Fashion designer Christopher helps draw the crowds to Biggleswade charity shop as it celebrates its first anniversary

There will be a discount plus goodies for shoppers
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A fashion designer has been putting his skills to good use to draw in the crowds to a Biggleswade charity shop.

Christopher Hooper is the shop manager at Willow charity shop on High Street, which celebrates its first anniversary on Saturday. Drawing from his background in fashion design, Christopher finds inspiration in crafting fun and distinctive window displays. He handcrafts embroidery designs to place around the shop using machine stitching techniques to bring his creative vision to life.

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“I have been working for Willow since January 2023, and the Biggleswade shop opened March 4,” he said. “For years I worked in fashion design and I feel I have brought some of my design skills to the shop. I try to go for a vintage boutique approach for the Biggleswade shop. It is a work in progress, but we are getting there.

Christopher outside the Willow shopChristopher outside the Willow shop
Christopher outside the Willow shop

“The window of any shop is what showcases and attracts the attention of the public, so it’s important to create a window to draw people into the shop. We start with a theme and colour – at present it’s Mother’s Day where soft tones of purple, grey, and pink are the colours used.

“A charity shop is sometimes a challenge as you can only work with the donations given by the public. The Christmas window was a challenge as we wanted to create a Christmas window of Christmases gone by, so I had to put a call out for any vintage toys and Christmas decorations. A lovely customer lent us her vintage 1970s Woolworths Christmas tree and lights which was the centre piece of the window. Lametta tinsel covered the tree and floor with vintage Christmas paper wrapped boxes. We made stocking buntings and used a vintage sewing machine to sew Christmas Willow stockings. We were finding Lametta around the shop for weeks!

“I love denim and I recycle damaged jeans donated into embroidered signs throughout the shop. I even made denim jean legs into giant carrots for the Easter Window.”

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The Willow Biggleswade first birthday is on Saturday March 9. There will be a 25 per cent discount on all goods on that day and sweets and balloons will be available for customers.

The charity Willow provides special days for seriously ill young adults.

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