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Magpies' Nest

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Here in Utah, magpies live in abundance. We've all seen the black-and-white birds and have probably had the misfortune of awakening to their early morning chatter. But their striking plumage and strident cries aren't the only things that make them unique. Magpies are also known for the assortment of materials they use to build their nests. Where most birds are content with mud and twigs, magpies go on to collect plastic, wire, string and whatever else they can find. And they'll often reuse nests other birds have given up.

So what do magpies have to do with business? Everything, according to Mary Pearson and Annette Dumford. They own and operate the Magpies' Nest located at 39 North ìIî Street in Salt Lake City. It's a relatively small shop inside what was once a corner grocery store. But for two years now, it's been a thriving business.

No, the Magpies' Nest is not a place to find magpies or even a nestóthough, you will find decorative porcelain birdfeeders and perhaps, a birdhouse or two. It's instead a place to find an eclectic mix of valuable itemsófine artwork, collectibles and handcrafted furniture. The store is more or less a consignment shop, a place where local artisans sell their work and a place where shoppers find treasuresóthings like reproduction Stickley furniture, handmade quilts, unfinished antiques, mirrors, clocks, stained glass piecesóeven a restored gas pump from the 1950s.

But the Magpies' Nest is more than a simple store. It is also an art gallery where paintings from local artists complement the variety of treasures. In fact, the store is a popular stop during local art tours and recently hosted an art show of its own featuring such notables as Galina Perova, Jill Barton, Elva Malin and Larry Wade.

For owners Mary and Annette, the store is a dream come true. As artists themselves, they've always had talent for creating art and identifying things with intrinsic value. These days, that talent has translated in to good business as patrons flock to the Magpies' Nest.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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