Last week we received some lovely news in the post, which brightened up what had been a very challenging month for us at the Nest.

Back in September Wrendale launched a new range of plush characters and set the challenge for their European suppliers to come up with a concept to promote the launch of the new range. Wrendale is one of our favourite products in store, we love Hannah Dale’s beautiful animal drawings, so having four of the animals brought to life was definitely something we all were excited to have a go at. We began with a good old brain storm and lots of sketching out of ideas, a real team effort. We did have to overrule Catherine’s idea of having the creatures helicoptered into the shop window, and taking part in a strictly style dance off!! In stead we opted for “Journey to Magpie’s Nest” Which was a campaign we ran on social media and linked to our shop window display in store. You will remember the week when all these cute little Wrendale characters go off the train at Stalybridge train station and set off looking for our shop and exploring the town on the way. Rowan the Hare found himself visiting the shortest named pub ( in the Guinness Book of Records & the Longest ( sampled a few pints of Carrot juice, before finding his way into our Wrendale woodland window. Mable the hedgehog found herself lost after having a nap in the memorial gardens at the old town hall. Luckily she found Ruth the admin from Stalybridge Town Facebook Group, was able to help her find her way to the shop. Autumn the fox found herself outside the old market hall, and asked Jack Judge if it was a long way to Magpie’s Nest, never mind Tipperary. Last to turn up of course was Webster, he had been frolicking with the other ducks and geese on the canal. tired himself out and had to come in the window for a rest. Since then we have had sightings on Webby out in Deli Felice, and in Tesco collecting food donations for the local foodbank. He has a better social life than most, this duck! We loved the campaign but soon had to change the window display over for Halloween, and with all this lockdown business we totally forgot about the competition. I am sure you can imagine how thrilled we were when we received a hand written letter from Hannah Dale saying that she loved the campaign and that we were the first place winners. It really lifted all our spirits during a month that has been really challenging for us as a small business. Some of the other entries from other retailers were really good, there was an entry from a shop in France that looked really beautiful and a gorgeous display from Grahams of Monaghan

We had so much fun doing this campaign, and it also helped us to view our town differently. It can be so easy to be negative about the town, focussing on when we used to have a market and how the high street used to be so busy. I am sure that these were great days, but time moves on and things change. One thing that hasn’t changed is that we do have a naturally beautiful location, with a river and canal right in our town centre. The old buildings that remain have some beautiful architecture, which (love it or hate it) is highlighted and contrasted by the new build apartments on derelict sites. We have some amazing claims to fame as a town, and its something we should be prouder of as a Stalybridge business. Big thanks to the ticket master at Stalybridge Train station, for a, letting us wander round the station with a bunch of stuffed animals and for taking part in the campaign. Gill from the Q Inn, and Sarah from the longest named pub!! Also thanks to Ruth at Stalybridge Town and also my birds in the Nest for a great piece of creative team work that brought a smile to peoples faces.

The Wrendale plush range is available in store, along with lots of other gorgeous Wrendale gift ideas.