Friday the 23rd of March was a very surreal day for me! As I headed to Birmingham to meet ex Dragons Den star, retail magnate and entrepreneur or as he likes to put it "Shop Keeper", Theo Paphitis.
I couldn't believe it, me a mother of two small business owner, from Sandbach in Cheshire off to collect an award from THE Theo Paphitis!
The reason for my visit as stated above, was because back in July last year I was awarded the awesome accolade of SBS winner, in Theo's weekly business award competition.
Each week small businesses across the country and further afield have to tweet Theo about their business, and if you catch his eye and stand out from the crowd he will crown you as one of his SBS (Small Business Sunday) winners.
I'm not going to lie I must of applied every week for the last year trying to get him to notice me, I tweeted pictures of my products, I tried Quirky posts, but in the end what made me stand out, was a short video/slideshow I created of as many products as I could fit into the 40 second slot. With as much detail explaining my business and what it had to offer.
I went to bed that evening and had forgotten all about it, that was until the next day and all of a sudden my twitter exploded, it wasn't until I logged on to see what was happening that I thought OH WOW!!! It was me right there in Theo's Tweet! He'd picked ME!! I was absolutely ecstatic, maybe this was just what I needed to get my little business a boost, and i'll be eternally grateful for that retweet as nothings been the same since.
So back to march 23rd after the whirlwind of Christmas, I Arrived in Birmingham flustered and nervous, but also excited. the day was not just to meet Theo but to meet with experts in the retail industry, to gain advice, to talk with buyers from bigger retail companies and gain some crucial advice from Theo himself, as well as networking with all the other winners that have attended the SBS Event since it started in 2010. I had my Leaflets ready and everything in my head that I wanted to say.... that was until I walked in there and my brain turned to mush. *enter facepalm here*
The day went rather quickly, the presentations by John Roberts (founder of AO.Com) Kypros Kyprianou (CEO Ryman Stationary) and Theo Paphitis, were excellent, not only intriguing, but really gave my confidence a boost! I also learned that 329,000 have entered the SBS Competition since it started in 2010, with Theo choosing only 2256 winners which means I'm one of the elite 0.68% of small business owners to be chosen, How cool is that! Theo said we had been chosen as not only did we stand out, but shown huge potential to move forward and become the next best big business! After All we've got to start somewhere, (Speaking of which did you know AO.com was started as a £1 bet between John roberts and his mate in the pub? They started the company running it from the garage at home?! if thats not a motivational fun fact then I don't know what is!)
So with all that in mind and reflecting on a very proud moment, I'm happy to say I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and that is offering the best service to you my customers that I possibly can, I like to believe I offer a personal service/approach as I try to help wherever I can, to find the right product for you. There is only me at the helm, so whenever you email or pick up the phone its always me that you will be talking to... for now at least.
Hopes and dreams for the future? That Kayleigh Jayne & Co will become the go to brand when it comes to shopping for giftware and home decor, and your first port of call for any graphic design/creative design services, not forgetting to hopefully keep expanding on the range of other big brand products on offer too!
Heres to an amazing 2018 for all of us!
Kayleigh Jayne x