Downtown London - News

July 2015

  • Business Spotlight: Operation Magpie

    July 21, 2015

    Business Spotlight: Operation Magpie


    Discover Operation Magpie downtown!


    You will feel whimsical inside Operation Magpie, downtown London’s unique repurposed furniture and décor store. Rustic wooden signs, old-fashioned picture frames and vintage paper wreaths, both elegant and bold in design, line the walls of the shop. A wonderland for the senses, there’s an eclectic mix of old typewriters and age mirrors juxtaposed with funky iron bar stools and birdcages. Freshly painted wooden furniture in teal, grey and coral with shiny gold trim dazzle the eyes.


    Located at 82A York street, next to the Renaissance condominiums, Operation Magpie opened in May 2014 .


    A self -proclaimed “reverse engineer,” owner Lori Smith founded this creative outlet after working for years in high fashion on Richmond Row and completing studies in environmental technology. Her research and commitment to a small business plan paid off as Smith combined her knowledge and raw talent to create Operation Magpie. The store’s name is derived from the fabled black bird that is known to bring shiny objects back to its nest. Smith feels grateful that her family allows her to “wander off during family walks” when she spots something that sparks her creative interests. It could be a desk, a table or a mirror. Smith’s imagination and skill can give it new life. A collector herself, she loves to go forging for materials such as old barn doors and used furniture that she can resurrect and beautify in her downtown studio.


    Do you have heirloom furniture in need of a facelift? Send Smith a picture and she’ll be happy to discuss the best design and products to turn an old piece into a conversation starter for your home. With over 500 followers on Operation Magpie’s Facebook and Pinterest pages, on-line is a perfect place for customers to peruse the before and after pictures of completed projects. Smith is happy to do the work for you. She has carefully selected the best paints and products of the Amy Howard Collection that she expertly uses and sells in the store. Howard is a Memphis based designer, famous for perfecting paint techniques such as milk finishes, cracked patina and furniture lacquers. Samples of wood hang on the shop walls for inspiration and for customer tutorials.


    There’s much more than wares at Operation Magpie. Visit the website and Facebook page for DIY workshops to learn how to create chalkboards, decorative trays and home improvements in décor with specialized paint techniques. A recent addition, Operation Magpie holds a kids’ day camp for crafting over the summer months. Keeping close to her family values, Smith loves to inspire kids to get involved in creative design at a young age. “A home décor should tell the stories of everyone living in the household.”


    At Operation Magpie, the possibility of finding a one of kind treasure is almost certain. Drop in to meet warm-hearted owner Lori Smith and you will surely be inspired by her ingenuity and passion for design.



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