On Monday 3rd July 2017, something very unexpected and exciting happened, and I’m still not quite over the shock!
‘Each week, Theo rewards small businesses that tweet him @TheoPaphitis and describe their businesses in one tweet including the all-important hashtag #SBS. Only tweets made in the time slot between 5.00 PM and 7.30 PM each Sunday count.
Every Monday night at 8pm, Theo reviews and chooses his favourite lucky six who are then re-tweeted. As he has over 500,000 followers, this provides a massive boost to the chosen lucky businesses’
I’d entered #SBS three times over the last 4 months or so. My first tweet was lame, hopeless. I’d hardly used Twitter and didn’t know what I was doing. A couple of weeks later I sent another tweet – an equally lame one. I find trumpet blowing so hard! I left it a few weeks and entered again; my tweet was an improvement, but I didn’t expect to win. It’s strange, but on Sunday 2nd July something told me to tweet – it felt different. There were only 30 minutes left, and I was trying to think of what to say; something that describes what I do. I was dealing with a custom order, and the clock was ticking. No time to think too hard! I tweeted, added a few photos* and carried on working. For the first time, I was happy with what I’d written.
Monday evening, I was clearing up the kitchen and could hear lots of beeps in my workroom from my computer, telling me there were notifications. Wondering what was going on I went to investigate. My jaw hit my feet! My name was on Theo’s congratulatory tweet! What?! I had to check and double check I wasn’t seeing things. I’ve won! I have WON! It sunk in a bit… OH MY! I HAVE WON! Woah! How exciting! The most I’ve ever won was a set of bath cubes at a Summer fayre about ten years ago, but my little business had been chosen by Theo Paphitis – entrepreneur, multi-millionaire, owner of Rymans, Dragons’ Den; “Why should I spend my children’s inheritance on that?” investor, as one of his winners! Woohoo!
It’s now a week on, and social media has been craaaazy! One cake I’d tweeted, showcased on Facebook and is on the website home page, has a reach of a staggering 24,123 and has been shared 1224 times in the past few days; doing a world tour – Scotland to Cornwall, Spain, Canada, various states in the USA, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Kenya, Australia, Poland, Ireland, and South Africa. It’s amazing!
My regular customers, many of whom have become my cakey friends, have been incredibly supportive. The SBS community have sent congratulatory messages and have tweeted and retweeted in support of my win. I’ve never received so many messages! My Twitter followers have tripled and Facebook has been mad, mad, mad! What a whirlwind week!
I’ve been able to join the Theo Paphitis #SBS winner’s group to access support and advice from the SBS ‘family’; one member, who designed the shiny gold winner’s badge below, customises it for winners – how kind is that? I’m registered on the exclusive SBS marketplace where I can open a shop, and will get to attend the annual SBS event to meet other SBS winners and the man himself. Theo will present me with my SBS Winner’s Certificate – one occasion when I will actually stand proudly for a photo with him, (I hate having my photo taken). I can’t wait!
Apart from the much appreciated exposure, winning #SBS has inspired me. I’d been working on an invention for the cake industry. It’s a product that isn’t ‘out there’. There’s nothing comparable. The manufacturing process is a confusing minefield, and I’ve been riddled with self-doubt, as well as not knowing how I could possibly fund manufacture. Winning has given me a new found confidence in myself. From my scribbled sketches, my product has been professionally designed, tweaked, protected, and manufacturing quotes are in! A video and crowdfunding campaign will be put together to get it to market. It’s so exciting, scary and pretty confusing, but I’m determined! So… thank you Theo! A retweet of my business has done so much more than you realised when you pressed that button!
*The cake shown in the photos is by the very talented Sarah Garland of The Crafty Kitchen, using the 3D Knobbly Starfish and Shells Multi moulds. Thank you for sharing your photos with me Sarah!