A dozen businesses that took part in a competition run by #SBS Small Business Sunday – the online business community founded by retal entrepreneur Theo Paphitis – have won free stands at next month’s Autumn Fair.
The 12 companies, which were selected from a shortlist of 36 entrants by Autumn Fair’s retail experts, are:
- A Year of Dates: A family gift brand that encourages couples, families, new parents and friends to spend more time together through surprise weekly date ideas sealed in envelopes.
- Angels’ Share Glass: A specialist glass manufacturer that designs and develops handmade glassware, predominantly with the whisky drinker in mind. Products are based around the legend of the ‘angels’ share’: a term used for the whisky that evaporates during maturation in the barrel.
- Ascent Bath & Body: Ascent Bath & Body creates bath and body collections ‘designed to transport the user to another world, from mythical lands to scenes from books, for some precious ‘me time’’.
- Beeutiful: Founder Carly Hooper looks after bees, takes their excess beeswax and honey, and hand-blends it into small batches with oils and butters..
- The Bottled Baking Co: The Bottled Baking Co has a core range of six cake, cookie, and brownie mixes plus seasonal varieties for Christmas and Easter. The bottles are clear and show off all of the ingredients, which are arranged in layers within the bottle.
- Kate Chesters Art: Kate Chesters Art decorates wooden chopping boards, placemats and artworks with resin art, inspired by owner Kate’s travels around the world – particularly the rapids of Niagara Falls and the frozen landscape of Reykjavik.
- Little Beau Sheep: Little Beau Sheep celebrates the very best of British wool, with a range of natural laundry and body care products. Founder Sarah Turner said: “We’re on a mission to be kind to the environment. Wool is 100% natural, renewable, sustainable and biodegradable so makes the ideal alternative to plastic as a dryer ball.”
- Our Little Globe: Our Little Globe started as a subscription box company for children to explore the world. Each month kids receive an activity kit that is themed to a new country.
- Sandwick Bay Candles: Sandwick Bay Candles is a sustainable candle company. Founder Megan Macdonald is committed to reducing plastic in her business and has eliminated the use of the plastic packaging for her wax melts, which are biodegradable. She is also starting a scheme for customers to refill and reuse their containers.
- The Smokey Carter: The Smokey Carter is an awarding-winning artisan food producer of barbecue spice rubs, sauces, chilli jams and chutneys. The whole range is based around world cuisine.
- When Lulu met Weasel: When Lulu Met Weasel creates handmade teepees for children, designed to fit into look and feel of the kids’ homes.
- Whispers of Wood: Whispers of Wood sells wooden bladed knives for cutting, which are designed and created by founder John Jacobs. He said: “My knives can be used for cheese/charcuterie and soft fruits; we do not compete with larger knife companies producing metal knives for chopping etc and so sit in a niche market.”
Theo said: “The winners represent the very brightest and boldest of the UK retail sector. Their free space at Autumn Fair will provide an invaluable opportunity, offering them access and exposure to some of the retail sector’s most important and influential buyers. Presence at the show can have a significant impact on sales and leads – it’s an opportunity that can’t be wasted. Hopefully they’ll also be able to inspire visitors with their abundant entrepreneurial spirit!”
Julie Driscoll, regional director of Autumn Fair organiser ITE Group, said: “Whittling the original 36 down to just 12 was no easy task. Each of the shortlisted businesses should be incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved. They’re an exceptional cohort of businesses that reflect the current state of incredible entrepreneurialism in the retail sector.
“We’ve selected the absolute crème de la crème of the shortlisted to come to Autumn Fair this September. On behalf of Autumn Fair I’d like to extend my congratulations to each of the winners and thank Theo for helping to organise the competition and providing us with a brilliant shortlist. We thoroughly look forward to opening up new opportunities for the 12 winners who’ll be exhibiting at the show.”
The winners will showcase their products at the #SBS Pavilion at Autumn Fair, which runs from September 1 to September 4 at the NEC in Birmingham. Visit www.autumnfair.com
Small Business Sunday (shortened to the hashtag #SBS on Twitter) was created by Theo Paphitis in 2010. Each week, Theo rewards small businesses that tweet him @TheoPaphitis and describe their businesses in one tweet including the hashtag #SBS. Every Monday night at 8pm, Theo reviews and chooses his favourite six, who are then re-tweeted to his half a million followers, and invited to become part of the 2,500 strong #SBS community, benefiting from boosted publicity and attendance at a yearly conference with access to motivational speakers and workshops.
Theo Paphitis at Autumn Fair 2018