In the spotlight this month is an independent womenswear boutique, celebrating ten years in business
Boudoir Femme started life in an antique centre off Mill Road, selling beautiful vintage occasion wear back in 2004. Then in 2006, owner Pippa Sandison opened her first store at 18 King Street, inspired by an old black and white film she’d watched one rainy day. “There was a scene where a woman walked into a shop that looked like an elegant bedroom. She sat at a dressing table and a man brought her everything that she was looking for; the outfit, the shoes, the jewellery. That’s what I wanted Boudoir Femme to be – a girl’s dream shop, where she could get every single thing she needs for a fabulous, glamorous occasion.”
Now in its tenth year, Boudoir Femme is everything that Pippa dreamt it would be, catering to Cambridge’s most stylish women of all ages and from all walks of life. “I don’t believe there is a particular ‘Cambridge look’,” says Pippa. “But our customers all share a desire for beautiful, good quality pieces.” The boutique sells clothing from a range of high-quality brands, including American Vintage, Maison Scotch, Ganni, MiH Jeans, Gestuz and Elia B.
They also offer accessories, shoes and fragrances, and have kept the vintage element with a range of jewellery and scarves. “Our customers love to hear the stories behind their purchases,” says Pippa, “and learning that our cashmere range is made by a wonderful British artist and knitwear designer, or that our vintage jewellery is personally sourced by me from New York is all part of the personal service that we offer at Boudoir Femme.”
"I wanted Boudoir Femme to be a girl's dream shop, with everything for a glamorous occasion"
Although the population of Cambridge can be transient, Boudoir Femme has a core of loyal customers who have shopped there from day one. “We love the fact that we have customers who come back year after year, but because this is a university town, there are people who live here for a few years, then move on. Interestingly, some of the young people who shopped with us when they were students are now moving back with young families and new careers. They remember us fondly from their university days and are thrilled that we’re still here, still selling gorgeous clothes!”
In 2014 Boudoir Femme moved to its current location at 2 King Street. “We wanted to grow the business, and increase our offering of shoes and accessories,” explains Pippa. “This building is three times the size, but we’ve worked very hard to maintain the element of very personal customer service that’s part of the essence of Boudoir Femme.” The new location has been a great success. “We were a bit tucked away before and had to work hard to let people know we were here. Now, we’re one of the first shops that people see when they come on to the street. King Street is a really vibrant location, with a host of other thriving businesses, including D’Arry’s and the Cambridge Brew House. Afternoon Tease sells the most amazing cakes and I buy my coffee in Urban Shed every day. It’s a great place to be.”
This summer Pippa and the team will be celebrating Boudoir Femme’s tenth anniversary with an in-store fundraising event on 2 July, with proceeds going to the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity. “We will launch a very special own-brand accessory to celebrate our decade-long relationship with Cambridge, treating customers to free champagne, massages from Finn Jordan, healthy bites and juices from Tasty Cambridge, and goodie bags. We’ll also announce the winner of our prize draw, with a prize of £800 worth of designer goodies. Tickets are available in June.”
With its great location, passionate, knowledgeable staff and shelves packed with gorgeous clothes and accessories, we have a feeling there will be many more anniversaries to celebrate in Boudoir Femme’s future.
Celebrate Boudoir Femme's 10th anniversary
On 2 July, 10am-5pm at 2 King Street, Cambridge, enjoy mini massages, complimentary fizz, nibbles and goodie bags. Tickets for the prize draw can be purchased throughout June in store. All proceeds to Arthur Rank Hospice, Cambridge.