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Q&A: Gift and card shop Chirpy is a thriving design hub

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Chapel Allerton-based Chirpy not only stocks quirky Yorkshire-themed cards and gifts but also acts as a hub for up-and-coming artists and designers. Here, Ricky Charlesworth chats to the store’s owner Jo McBeath.

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE STORE?

I took over in November 2016 from the previous owner Harriet.

It was my local gift shop and came up for sale, so I decided to buy it. I was ready for a change of career and it was a case of right time, right place.

WHAT MAKES CHIRPY SO UNIQUE?

It’s different to other gift shops nearby and has more of a quirky side.

We mostly sell cards and gifts that are design-led.

We stock a lot of Yorkshire-based products and locally-sourced jewellery, ceramics and art.

We’ve also got workshop space upstairs which has a busy programme throughout the year. They are run by local workshop providers, including furniture painting to weaving.

Over the last couple of years we’ve been increasing the amount of workshops we hold.

There’s also an artist-in-residence programme where they showcase their work for a month. There’s lots going on!

WHAT CUSTOMERS DO YOU ATTRACT?

It’s a real mix. I’ve got a lovely, core group of customers who always come and buy their cards.

The workshops obviously bring in new people and we also get a lot of passers-by.

People know Chapel Allerton as a kind of destination and I also get people who see the shop on Instagram (@chirpystore).

It’s lovely to see people coming in off the back off that and I’ve even supplied gifts to a lady in New Zealand who saw our page.

Chirpy is on Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton and is open Tuesday-Saturday. See chirpystore.co.uk.