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Meet the Owner: Jill McNally of Thistle and That

Lindy resident looks for unique items to display in her store, along with a bit for everyone.

It's not often you step into a storefront and a greeted by the sight of both heavenly angels and flag-waving pirates, but that's the scene at Thistle and That in Babylon Village.

"We have quite a mix in here," said owner Jill McNally, who runs the storefront with her sister Christine. "The women tend to like the pretty things, like the angels I like, and men and children love the pirate items, which my sister loves."

Thistle and That's beginnings were not always in the village. McNally, who had been in bookkeeping for over 30 years, said she had always wanted to open up her own shop. She began operating at local craft fairs with unique items for sale under the name "Thistle and That."

The name stuck.

"We did the craft fairs until last year," McNally said. "But then we wanted to find a shop." The search led McNally back to Babylon Village, where she had lived for about ten years, and to a storefront that used to house Rubber Sole Running Company, which closed in November 2011. Thistle and That moved in not too long after.

"We were looking for a place to go at least temporarily, but we loved it so much we ended up signing a contract to stay," McNally said with a smile. "We're going to be here until at least 2014!"

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Now living in Lindenhurst, McNally said Babylon was always first on her list to have her shop.

"I always loved Babylon Village since I lived here," she said. "You don't get a lot of villages like this on Long Island – I wanted to be a part of it."

At the start, McNally said the store would rent out several spots throughout its space for different vendors to have their items displayed. As time wore on though, the store's popularity allowed it to display more of its own items.

"We only have a few spots left like that in the store," McNally said. As luck would have it, a vendor entered the store and dropped off a fresh batch of candles to sell.

As the name implies, the gift shop really is a mixture of "this and that" – from the already described angels and pirates to jewelry, a whole section dedicated to Irish items and, with Christmas now only a week-and-a-half away – Christmas decor including adorable ornaments.

"If you like sparkly things, lights... well, we just about have something for everyone," McNally said with a laugh.

Thistle and That is located at 32 East Main Street, next to Long Island Home Recreation.

Joanne MacDougall Reale April 11, 2014 at 10:26 AM
Hello McNally girls, coming to see you soon. Just heard about your store. Can't wait! Joanne MacDougall Reale

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