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13 June 2024

Handmade Design: Small Business Sunday Winner


We’re incredibly excited to let you know that we were recently made Small Business Sunday winners in Theo Paphitis’ #SBS competition! This recognition from Theo is a huge achievement for us.

It was actually quite funny, I was sat on the sofa watching tv when the Instagram notification came up on my phone. My partner, Dan, was outside in the garden with Orla and Amber – I went rushing out screaming. He didn’t have a clue what was going on, I think his initial reaction was that I’d hurt myself or something bad had happened. I then proceeded to doing laps around the garden in my pyjamas.  whilst trying to explain the good news to him. Once I’d calmed down, I started ringing around my close family to let them know the good news too.

So you might be thinking what is Small Business Sunday?

Small Business Sunday, also known as #SBS, was launched by Theo Paphitis back n 2010. Every Sunday, Theo invites small businesses to pitch their business on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #SBS. He then reviews the entries and selects six small businesses to be that weeks winners. The winners gain access to an exclusive network of entrepreneurs as well as Theo reposting the winning submissions to over half a million of his followers.

What did we actually say in our submission?

We wanted to highlight to Theo what makes our shop different and memorable, here’s what I submitted on Instagram:

“Hello Theo Paphitis and the #SBS Team. I’m Laura, the Owner of Handmade Design. Although on the face of it, we may just seem like a little gift shop in Derbyshire – we are so much more.

Our mission is to make shopping for unique, handcrafted gifts an easy and affordable experience. We want everyone to be able to give thoughtful presents to their loved ones.

In doing so, we are able to support over 100 other creative small businesses from across the midlands and the UK. There are so many incredible designer makers out there – we make it easy for our customers to find them all in one place. Our customers discover meaningful gifts that are sustainable and not mass produced. They know their purchase makes an impact.

We offer an unmissable shopping experience both in store and online.”


How will being a Small Business Sunday winner make a difference to us?

Becoming a Small Business Sunday winner is a total game-changer for us. Here’s how I think the win could help us:

– Increased Visibility: Theo shared our social media post with his huge online following. This exposure is invaluable and will hopefully help us to attract new customers.

– Networking Opportunities: Being part of the #SBS community, gives us chance to connect with other small businesses as well as the opportunity for us to discover new designer makers to stock in our shop. We will also be invited to an annual networking event, where we’ll be able to meet some of the other winners.

– Credibility: Being chosen by Theo Paphitis adds a boost to our reputation.

We got to share our win with someone we know…

Our win was made even better by us being able to share it with one of our Makers, Molly Designs. She was also chosen as a Sunday Business Sunday winner the same week as us – what are the odds! As soon as I saw we’d both won, I messaged her straight away, she hadn’t noticed we’d be chosen too – she was too overwhelmed and excited.

Molly said: “We were on our way home from IKEA so honestly I’d totally forgot that I’d even entered. Then *ping ping* and I squealed in the car and couldn’t stop shaking.”

Small business champion and Ryman Stationery, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue Chairman, Theo Paphitis, said: “We are thrilled to welcome new #SBS members every week and highlight just how important it is to support our small businesses here in the UK.  My vision is that everyone who has ever won an #SBS re-tweet from me becomes part of a friendly club; like-minded individuals who can share successes and learnings. The website will also give a valuable profile to the winners chosen and I wish Handmade Design every success.”

If you’re a small businesses that is wanting to enter, you should tweet on Twitter or do an Instagram post to Theo about your business on Sunday between 5pm and 7:30pm – make sure you include the hashtag #SBS. Anyone looking for a re‐tweet from Theo should tweet on Twitter or do an Instagram post to him about their business on Sunday between 5 PM and 7.30 PM and include the hashtag #SBS. Six lucky businesses are re‐tweeted every Monday at 8 PM and then invited to enter their profile on the new website, attend the annual #SBS networking event and take advantage of the networking opportunities.

For further information about Small Business Sunday please visit

About Handmade Design

Based in the market town of Ashbourne in the Derbyshire Dales, Handmade Design is the home of handmade gifts from over 100 local and British small businesses.

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