Gillette’s Magpie Designs is one of 10 nationwide winners of a $10,000 grant from Main Street America and American Express.
Located in one of the oldest still-standing buildings in historic downtown Gillette, Magpie Designs is an eclectic shop selling boutique women’s clothing, gifts and unique items from local artists. In addition to its retail space, Magpie hosts a maker’s studio where people can teach, learn or work on all sorts of art and do-it-yourself projects, from crafts to furniture refinishing.
Owner Tara Stoneking represents Magpie's second generation of female owners.
“One of Magpie's primary goals has always been to build up and support the local maker and artist community,” Stoneking said. “We help by providing business support and giving the artisans a modern and accessible brick-and-mortar store where they can sell what they create.”
Main Street America teamed up with American Express to launch the Future of Shopping Small Grant Program. Ten small businesses from across the country were awarded $10,000 each to help them innovate in the evolving retail landscape.
“I’m honored to be a recipient of this grant,” Stoneking said. “In addition to the challenges we’re all facing due the coronavirus, Gillette is up against even more challenges from mine shutdowns and layoffs. It’s a great feeling to be recognized and appreciated for contributing to our community.”
She plans to use the grant money to implement text message marketing, a store loyalty program and host in-store events.
“Gillette is fortunate to be home to Magpie Designs,” said Gillette Main Street executive director Jessica Seders. “Magpie bolsters our downtown economy by supporting local makers from creation to retail, by driving traffic downtown and by offering a unique experience that shoppers can’t get anywhere else.”
Gillette Main Street is a member of Wyoming Main Street, a program of the Wyoming Business Council that assists Wyoming communities of various sizes and resource levels with downtown revitalization efforts.