When it comes to independent shops, visitors to Southport are spoilt for choice. In addition to the usual high street names you’ll find stores stocked with almost everything you could think of! One such example is The Walking Stick Store situated on Southport’s brightest shopping street – Wesley Street.

We caught up with Margo to find out more…

Tell us a bit about yourself

Having worked in retail in Southport for over 50 years – both in the large department stores and local independent shops - it was always my dream to have my own shop. Independent shops have always been my passion, and my husband John and I first opened as Barton Gift Co back in 2011. We started off with about 15 walking sticks and now we have hundreds! I’m very proud of them variety we offer, particularly the folding sticks which are fabulous. We’re proud to say that in November 2021 we will have been trading for a decade!

handle of a walking stick carved to look like a hare, with daffodils in the background

Tell us a bit about your business and the items you stock

We are always happy to help and can offer advice on the perfect stick for you. I’m proud to say that we’re well known for our excellent customer satisfaction. There are so many different sticks on the market, and we have such a wide selection to choose from, that we’re sure we have a stick to suit you. As I say to our customers - Walk In Store, We Will Support You and Stick By You.

The range covers everything from rustic country sticks, thumb sticks and seat sticks, to classic collector’s dress and wedding canes to folding fashion sticks. The fashion sticks come in variety of bright and beautiful patterns, including florals and wildlife designs, ladybirds, bees, owls, birds, cats, dogs, horses and many more. For something more traditional, our wide range of wooden sticks are beautifully crafted in ash, oak, beech, blackthorn and even ebony.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love my sticks and I love my customers. There are some lovely people out there, and quite a few of our customers just call in for a chat and a hello. I’ve had some lovely experiences over the years; I’ve laughed a lot with customers, and even cried with them too. It’s a very personal business and it truly is my dream job.

purple walking stick handle painted with flowers, on a blurred background of purple flowers and foliage

What do you love most about Southport?

I’ve lived in Southport for 57 years and I still love it here - it’s got the lot: beaches, parks, Pleasureland, tons of fab restaurants, bars and cafes, hotels, B&Bs… and not forgetting some super-niche shopping with the local independents. My favourite, of course, is Wesley Street where we are. There are also lots of lovely shops in the town centre, and in the surrounding villages such as Churchtown and Birkdale. With all of the plans for the future of Southport it’s going to get better and better!

Where are your favourite local places to go for a walk?

We are so lucky to have lots of great places to walk, including the beach, promenade, and around the Marine Lake. My favourite place without doubt is the beach; I think it’s the most relaxing place and you can just switch off after a busy day. We take a flask and one of our seat sticks and just chill for a while – it’s even nicer at sundown. I also love the Botanic Gardens and Churchtown Village and have lots of fond memories of this part of town. It was where John and I met and were married, and in fact my first job was at the Botanic Gardens. Aged 13 selling ice creams from the kiosk must be where I got my first taste of retail, and ice cream!

view along a river to a black and white bridge, with trees and grass on the right bank

The Walking Stick Store, 12 Wesley Street, Southport PR8 1BN

01704 542 567     email: sales@walkingstickstore.co.uk

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