Small businesses in Perth, Bradford and Tottenham have today unveiled shopper-stopper windows fit for top fashion houses.

The collaboration is setup between celebrated window dresser, Petra Storrs and Facebook, in support of female-owned small businesses across the UK.

Storrs, who has worked with fashion giants including Hermès and Louboutin, has given a high fashion look to Clootie McToot Dumplings in Perth, I Luv Designer in Bradford and Cinnamon Leaf in Tottenham. Like Selfridges, Liberty London and Harrods, the window designs aim to stop shoppers in their tracks.

This follows the release of recent research by Facebook, the OECD and The World Bank that reveals female owned businesses are more likely to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, highlighting the disproportionate impact lockdown has had on female business owners – many of whom are working in sectors worst affected by the lockdown measures.

With fewer individuals taking to the high-street due to social distancing measures, browsing culture has been greatly impacted leaving small businesses amongst the worst affected. The high-end window designs aim to encourage shoppers to take a closer look at the unique small businesses on their local high street to help them weather the current crisis.

Drawing on Petra’s experience designing window displays, props and sets for shoots, film and stage around the world, the small business shop fronts in Perth, Bradford and Tottenham will showcase each independent retailer’s unique heritage, products and services.

The female-owned businesses involved include Clootie McToot Dumplings in Perth, a traditional Scottish dumpling shop run by Michelle Maddox since 2015. I Luv Designer in Bradford is a retailer of original Pakistani designer dresses owned by Nina Naheed. And, Cinnamon Leaf, is an organic food hall owned by Kiera-Lorelle Rhomes in Tottenham, North London.

In Scotland, Petra used tartan to transform the window display at Clootie McToot Dumplings to create a surreal dumpling tree that stretches up and around the shop window. Inspiration was taken from Pakistan’s Shalimar Garden using bright coloured fabric to bring the window to life at I Luv Designer in West Yorkshire. While the display at Cinnamon Leaf in North London celebrates Afro-Caribbean food culture and pattern, using brightly coloured textiles to create a windowscape full of fantasy fruit and vegetables.

As part of the collaboration, Petra Storrs has developed 5 tips for small businesses on how to make the most of shop windows on a budget [see below].

Petra Storrs said: “Having spent a number of years working with globally recognised brands on their window displays, it was a privilege to bring to life the shopfronts of these small businesses. We have created a window into the world of possibilities inside each store, showcasing the heart and soul of each business at a time when they need support more than ever.”

Nina Naheed, owner of I Luv Designer in Bradford added: “It has been amazing to be a part of this campaign. Being able to use Facebook and Instagram to keep customers updated about the stock we have in the shop – even when they couldn’t browse – and place orders for click and collect has been essential to our survival. We hope our window will attract new shoppers to either come in to sample our dresses, or check us out online.”

Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice-President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Facebook commented: “COVID-19 has had a huge impact on female owned businesses and we want to celebrate fearless female entrepreneurs across the UK who have persevered, pivoted and adapted to life during lockdown. By highlighting the important role female owned businesses play in the local community, the eye-catching window displays we hope will encourage shoppers to stop and consider small businesses in their area. Like Clootie McToot, I Luv Designer and Cinnamon Leaf, millions of small businesses across the UK use Facebook and Instagram to stay connected with customers and reach new ones, which is more important than ever during this uncertain time.”

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