Sunday, 8 April 2012

Small Business Sunday - We're in!

Time to tell a story, a story of an invitation we couldn't turn down, a story of a Dragon and a story of a stepping stone to the future!

This story is of last Friday, when we headed over to Edgbaston Cricket Ground for the Small Business Sunday (#SBS) Event hosted by BBC Dragon, Theo Paphitis and Ryman Stationary!

Once upon a time, well last year on 31st July, Piddley Pix was chosen as one of Theo's Small Business Sunday Retweets on Twitter.  Each week the BBC Dragon picks 6 small businesses to tell his twitter followers about. This year on 30th March Theo invited all of his SBS Winners to an event to meet each other and of course him!

With Dean (DaddyNatal) + Damian (Creche on Location)
On arrival at the venue, we were showed into an impressive room overlooking the cricket pitch, and with the offer of a drink, it was the perfect start, a chance to say hello in person to people we had been chatting to for a while on twitter, meet new people and network!

We were able to finally say hello to Sarah from Silver Birch Crafts in real life, we spent time chatting to Dean from DaddyNatal and met the lovely Amanda (and her husband Damian) from Creche on Location - to name but a few!

So, what happened next, well we were all taken into 'An audience with.....' The event was introduced by Kyros Kyprianou, the Chief Executive of Ryman Stationary (sponsors of the event). What a lovely man, the passion for business and the want to support us small folk shone through!

Next up was the main man, he took to the stage and talked to us about business, Small Business Sunday and more. He was so down to earth, so easy to listen too, and he really knows his stuff, oh and he has been on Telly!!

It's amazing that something Theo started for fun on a Sunday evening has come to hundreds of people meeting together and a brand new website being launched!  Theo introduced Chris from Metalfrog Studios (the guys behind the website) who wowed us with the new site and what it can do.  There's a profile for each business, opportunities to link up with other winners and a showcase of some of the best UK Small Businesses for you to browse through (check it out!!)

Theo then took questions from the floor, people asked how to break into the UK market, what Theo thought of the high street and how does he pick his #SBS winners (nope I am not telling!). Theo then even asked questions to us!

We had a great day, ending with a drink and some more networking, we had chance to catch up with Neil and Jane from Kidz outdoors and Ellie from Baby Duck Shop and Theo then had a photo with each business, what a nice guy (he even managed to keep the smilie going until the end)! There was so much talent in one room, so what did we really get out of it, well, we learnt more about what we knew, gained a new motto '3 Ps - passion, planning and perseverance', a kick up the bum for our re-launch (coming VERY soon) and a chance to mix with some fantastic people!

As we left we met another Theo, he was slightly greener but just as lovely and definitely worth a mention, so meet Theo from Harrogate Motorhomes!

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