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Practical and beautiful finds at Magpie

Keene sells thoughtful items that solve problems

Photo: Joshua Huston


Nestled in the Central District lies Magpie, a quaint children’s toy and clothing store. Owner Malia Keene’s shop name was inspired by two things. First, a family friend made a quilt for her as a child. One of her favorite quilt squares is a magpie sitting on top of a house; the quilt now hangs in the studio of the shop. Second, her mom had a cabin in Wyoming where the magpie was common. 

“Magpies are like kids. They are collectors, mischievous and very smart,” says Malia.

After a discussion with a friend and a short hunt for retail space, Magpie went from an idea into a reality within three months. She opened her doors in 2011 and moved in July to her new location on Union and 20th.

Malia buys for Magpie just like she does for her two kids, Henry, 9, and Iris, 6. “I like to buy practical items for the store that really solve a problem,” she says. Items like non-leaky water bottles and French-made sunglasses that bend any way a kid chooses to put them on. 

Then there are the items Malia makes in her studio: Jackets reproduced from vintage garments, as well as hats and bow ties made from beautiful fabrics. 

If this store wasn’t delightful enough, every Saturday Pocket Bakery sets up a little stand and sells delicious baked goods from the corner of the store.

Magpie will capture the hearts of parents, aunts and grandparents alike! 

2002 E. Union St., Seattle, WA 98122


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