SMALL BUSINESS SUNDAY AWARD

#SBS started in October 2010 and is run by Theo Paphitis possibly better known from (Dragons Den).
Every Sunday small businesses send a tweet to @TheoPaphitis describing their business in one tweet including the special #SBS tag between 5pm and 7.30pm.
Every Monday at 8pm Theo will retweet his favourite six.

Realising how good this could be for my small businesses I decided to give it a go. So every week from the 26th June 2016 I sent a small tweet to Theo telling him about Smart Dogs Boutique and showing him a sample of my handmade products hoping to be recognised.

On the 22nd August 2016 the excitement began at 8pm that evening I got that all important retweet from Theo stating that Smart Dogs Boutique had been chosen as a Small Business Sunday Winner.

My twitter feed went crazy, it was a whirlwind of excitement, in that evening along I received over 300 tweets from people congratulating me.

As the days went by more opportunities started to open up I was invited to join the SBS website and create my own personal profile, add my products to Shop SBS, attend the winners Twitter hour, join the Facebook group, I started to get more and more followers and within a few weeks I had gained an extra 2000 followers.

My local newspaper got to hear about the award, and published a small story on Smart Dogs Boutique, the first day the paper was released I had enquiries and orders from local people, this has given a big boost to my profile in the local area, I’m now being recognised when out and about.

I was invited to attend the annual #SBS Event at the ICC Birmingham on 3rd February 2017.

This was a day off Networking, Seminars and One to One business advice and getting to meet fellow winners.

Guest speaker was Jodine Boothby from Gummee UK. Jodine came on the stage shaking with nerves looking at her family in the audience for support as she fought back the tears. She told everyone how she left school with no qualifications drifted from job to job, until she found work making Pasties, she loved this job and the people she was working with but felt she still needed more out of life. She then became a mum and her first child struggled badly with teething, the child always found comfort from putting its hand in the mouth but this came with its own problem of sore hands, so she started using mitts on the baby. She spent hours looking into how she could adapt a mitt into a teething product and eventually made her first mitt, these are now widely available online and in retail shops, and her boss at the pastie shop is now one of Jodine’s employees. Jodine’s story was a true inspiration to all.

Theo hosted the Question and Answer session along with (Dragons Den) Deborah Meadon and (JML) John Mills, giving valuable business advise as well as sharing their own business experiences.

After a extremely busy day the time came for the presentations of certificates, a very proud moment for me as I stepped up to meet Theo and collect Smart Dogs Boutique’s certificate.

From winning #SBS Smart Dogs Boutique has gone from strength to strength, I’m now excited to see what the future holds.

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