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Pocket Watch & Petticoats wins Cambridge BID Christmas Window Competition 2021

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Pocket Watch & Petticoats on St John’s Street, Cambridge, has won the Cambridge BID Independent Christmas Window Competition 2021.

The shop, which opened its branch in the city in August 2019, secured 335 votes in an online vote for the annual competition, which was supported again by the Cambridge Independent.

Federica Bocchetti-Dunn, of Pocket Watch & Petticoats Picture: Keith Heppell
Federica Bocchetti-Dunn, of Pocket Watch & Petticoats Picture: Keith Heppell

Judges drew up the shortlist of eight businesses, which were: Lockhouse Escape Rooms, Regent Street, Cambridge Gin Laboratory, Green Street, Pocket Watch & Petticoats, St John’s Street, Cambridge Framing Centre, Sussex Street, The Cambridge Satchel Company, St Mary’s Passage, Angela Reed, Peas Hill, Bread and Meat, Bene’t Street, and Cambridge Gift Shop, Rose Crescent.

Voting took place on the Love Cambridge Facebook page between December 8 and December 15, and Pocket Watch & Petticoats will now receive a cheque from Cambridge BID for £150 to donate to a charity of its choice.

Sophia and Adrian are the founders of Pocket Watch & Petticoats and also have two other branches, in Ipswich – which opened in 2015 – and Bury St Edmunds, which opened a year later.

Sophia told the Cambridge Independent that it was “fantastic to get recognised for the lovely window display that my manager did” and added: “and it’s great to know that the charity money will go to a good cause.” That cause is Women’s Refuge.

On what inspired the display, Sophia said: “We’ve gone for a traditional theme, with reds and whites, greens, with nutcrackers... just in keeping with the spirit of the vintage shop.

“And it’s nice that we’ve got such a big frontage there so we can really display it quite nicely.”

BID Christmas window competition Pocket Watch and Petticoats. Picture: Keith Heppell. (53504382)
BID Christmas window competition Pocket Watch and Petticoats. Picture: Keith Heppell. (53504382)

Sophia revealed that her manager at the Cambridge branch, Kimmy Von Shimmy – as she is known in the shop – managed to “rustle it up in a couple of days”, noting: “We’ve added things to it – the giant nutcracker’s new so it’s a nice feature point for people to have photos with as well.”

She continued: “Obviously we change the shop window every season, but we like to change the décor every sort of two months to keep it nice and fresh.”

Sophia said that business this year has seen “a big contrast to pre-Covid times” but noted, positively: “However, we have got a really good following – so with their help and thanks to all of our marvellous team in all the shops, we’re lucky that ladies want to keep supporting us and supporting the high street, which is so important during these times.”

Pocket Watch & Petticoats is, Sophia said, “a 1940s, 50s retro-vintage ladies’ boutique catering from size six to 26” – “so we cater from pocket rockets to curvaceous goddesses, and we’re going from strength to strength.

“It’s a style that flatters everybody and we have everything in, from casual classics, everyday wear to elegant evening attire.”

Do Sophia and Adrian have plans to open more branches? “Next stop is world domination,” replied Sophia, “one petticoat at a time.”

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