That's an interesting name...

Mrs Magooty. That's an interesting name.

Here's a story about it.

When I was little, my Granny and Grandpa lived in my house. On the bottom floor, they had their own living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. Out on the patio was my Grandpa's studio. It was actually a falling-to-bits portacabin, but he insisted all should refer to it as his studio. It was in here he painted and made beautiful frames for his exquisite watercolours. In a small corner, he had put together a strip of switches and dials (from broken appliances) for me to pretend was my space rocket.

My Grandpa was a special sort of person and I was very fortunate to be his grandchild.

The studio was a bit cold and leaky on a rainy day, so back indoors, their flat was full of trinkets and boxes and bells with pixies on and other treasure. And it was with this that I regularly played a game of shops.

As with most 4 year olds, the routine was everything. After breakfast, I would go round their room collecting all the ornaments and arrange them under the dining table. Not the most convenient place for grownups, but perfect for a little human like me. And it also meant that if something important was happening on the table top, my shop could stay open underneath regardless. Good business sense!

Once the display was set, I would head to Granny's bedside table and get the special box. An old wooden box with mother of pearl inlaid on top. Inside this box were a couple of metal nail files, lots of embassy cigarette cards and some old Ponds face cream. I would make card sandwiches with Ponds cream filling. These were the key product line in my shop. A whopping 2p each.

So, with the sandwiches prepped and the ornaments arrayed, I would declare the shop open. Grandpa, Granny and anyone else kicking about would then come and buy their own stuff back, plus a cigarette card and face cream sandwich, of course.

When Grandpa would come shopping, he would call me Mrs Magooty. Where it came from in his imagination, no one seems to know. That secret left with him in the late 1980's. But it was always the same: "why hello, Mrs Magooty! How are you today? Terrible weather we're having. What delights do you have for me to buy today?".

This isn't an Alan Sugar type story where I invested that 10p to buy more stock and by the time I was 16 I was a millionaire. Nah. It was just a kids game. The process, the routine, the utter joy in having Grandpa and others enter my territory and chat to Mrs Magooty was the point. That love of playing shops has never left me. Providing a happy retail experience with warmth, a passion for the product and a personal touch is something I care a lot about.

So it seemed natural when I started a pop up bead shop back in 2005, that I should call it Mrs Magooty. It's often misspelled and people think I am called Mrs Magooty which is confusing, but every time I say it I have a momentary memory of my wonderful, creative, kind Grandpa saying hello to Mrs M on a rainy day, back in Slough in 1981. That is worth everything and it plays a big part in the ethos of Mrs Magooty Ltd, as I try to build it as a similarly wonderful, creative, kind company.

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