Yes this is me with the very lovely Mr.P! I am a huge fan of Dragons Den (especially Mr.P) but not once since making my very first bag did I ever think I would be stood within 20ft of Theo let alone posing for a photo holding my #SBS Winners certificate. If you didn't know, back in August I entered Small Business Sunday run by Theo on Twitter and won.
So on Friday we travelled up to Birmingham to attend the very first #SBS Winners Meeting. As soon as we pulled into the car park at Edgebaston Stadium I spotted Theo's Maybach!! The Chrome Mobile as he has aptly named it. Couldn't resist having my photo taken beside it :)
Walking in I wasn't sure what to expect but knew that there were a couple of people whom I'd met on Twitter but not in the flesh. So as we all mingled in the conference room we played the 'read the name badge' game.
Luckily enough we were stood just by the door (C and I, or Mr.Bagladee as he is slowly being referred to now) and as Theo walked through into the conference hall he stopped briefly to chat to a couple of people. One of them being me :D I introduced myself as Bagladee who made the 'Theo' Gingerbread men and straight away he said 'Oh yes, they were delicious' we both chuckled and he thanked me, said his girls loved them, that they had them on the tree and they are now safely packed away for next Christmas. He shook my hand and then shook C's too (which he was sooo chuffed about).
In the conference hall Theo gave the most inspirational and extremely warm and funny talk. He is such a genuine down to earth man. He talked about how and when SBS started and how surprised he was that it has grown to what it has now become. Theo then with the help of Chris Wheeler (also an SBS Winner) unveiled the Official SBS Website and what it will do for past present and future Winners. The whole point of SBS which Theo pointed out was not to 'endorse' our businesses but to give us all a platform to shine, the rest of the hard work is up to us. And rightly so! After that he took a Q&A session which was very entertaining and very insightful, some swearing included which made us all belly laugh. He even asked our opinions of SBS and the new website and what we would like to see from it all. At the end Theo received a standing ovation.
I'm sure I speak for all the winners when I say we thank him (and his team) from the bottom of our hearts for giving his time and dedication to SBS and the very special event he held for us all. He has created a commiunity of small business that will go on to support each other. The whole event was sponsored by Ryman's the Stationers and we even got a little goody bag when we left.
After the seminar we were each given the opportunity to have our Official photo taken with Theo holding our Winners Certificates (top photo). He was very charming and funny.
I am going to treasure my photo and certificate for a very long time. I'm a small independent designer/maker who works hard and this moment so far has to be the highlight. It will be very exciting to see what will happen next for SBS Winners. So if you have a small business and haven't entered Theo's Small Business Sunday what are you waiting for!!! Get to it!!! You could be at the next meeting!!
Thank you Theo!!!