Style & Shopping

Magpies Market

This happy place for the crafty is a family dream come true.

In the bird world, the magpie is expressive and graceful. Chinese cultures say her happy chatter symbolizes the arrival of friends and family.

At Amy Goodhart Koepsell’s Fort Collins shop, the name is a reminder to express these attributes outwardly. Magpies Market brings makers, locally crafted products and repurposed projects together under one huge roof.

The Pinterest explosion “market or make it” concept was born from that hushed side-mouthed “I could make that” comment shoppers utter to each other upon entering a pricey boutique. Goodhart Koepsell has been flipping that whisper into a proclamation since opening her dream space in April 2016.

She stocks her store with mostly Colorado-made gifts that include whimsical art, jewelry, greeting cards and bath goodies, many giving proceeds back to admirable social causes. The adjacent studio hosts classes on pillow stitching, watercolor painting, jewelry making and much more. Younger kids come for the Reading, Art and Music class every Thursday. Moms and retirees bring lunch or wine in and create together.

“The classes are inspired mostly by our customers,” Goodhart Koepsell says. “When someone sees a project on Pinterest that they’d like to try, we teach a class around that idea.”

There have been a few epic Pinterest fails, she admits, nodding to the unicorn string-art class for a six-year-old’s birthday party.

Magpies is situated in a former auto windshield repair shop, a block from busy College Avenue. Oversized garage doors roll up, making it easy to move large furniture in and out of the warehouse space where she teaches furniture repurposing and chalk painting classes.

The entire shop is a family affair, with Goodhart Koepsell’s parents and teenage daughters helping out behind the counter, picking up antique finds at estate sales and teaching classes. She tenderly recalls her Grandma Freda, who taught her to sew, make chicken and dumplings and find joy in simple things.

“This is where you take off your ‘Facebook face’ and you be you,” Goodhart Koepsell says. “Several women have said ‘this is my happy place’ about the store. That’s my biggest joy.”

4229 S. Mason St., 970-484-3102, magpiesmarket.com

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Donate to Magpies

Magpies will turn egg cartons into caterpillars, wood furniture into a children’s play stove, old buttons into everything. So clean out your drawers and garages. Here’s what they need:

  • Pickle jars, spice jars, any food jar with labels cleaned off
  • Colorful ceramic tiles
  • Marbles
  • Beads
  • Buttons
  • Clay flowerpots
  • String, yarn, embroidery thread
  • Sewing machines in working condition
  • Piano in working condition
  • 1950s or older refrigerator or stove
  • Barn wood
  • Fabric
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