Theo Paphitis’ #SBS reveals Autumn Fair shortlist

Small Business Sunday (#SBS), the online business community founded by high profile businessman Theo Paphitis, has announced its shortlist of 36 businesses in the running to secure space in Autumn Fair’s new #SBS Pavilion.

Out of the 36 shortlisted companies, 12 will be selected to fill free exhibition spots at the Fair – which will be held at the NEC in Birmingham from September 2 to September 5 – by a panel of judges from Autumn and Spring Fair organiser Ascential.

The shortlisted companies are: 

  • B Organic Skincare: Organic skincare range free from chemicals
  • Bad Dog Designs: Clocks created from original vintage Nixie tubes
  • Basket Basket: Handmade woven baskets, bags and raffia giraffes, from Madagascar, Morocco and Ghana
  • Berber Leather: Leather fashion accessories for business and leisure
  • BIGPAWS.CO: Wall mounted dog bowls and other accessories
  • Bodyenrich: Handmade nourishing products containing ethical ingredients and fine fragrances
  • Border in a Box: Garden design templates
  • Butterfly and Toadstool: Handmade, nature-inspired jewellery
  • Cally King: Perfume gift boxes for those new to the world of fragrance
  • Create Perfect: Bespoke interior design service
  • Cuddlebed Company: Sensory products for autism and special needs
  • Cuffs & Co.: Quirky, unusual and thoroughly British men’s fashion accessories
  • Dimpled Heart: Eclectic range of handcrafted homeware inspired by Scotland
  • Easy Peasy Cooking: Home recipe kits
  • EcoBags: Eco-friendly, promotional bags
  • I am Rachel: Kiln-enamelled, vibrant jewellery pieces
  • Kiss-Air Candles: Soy wax candles infused with strong fragrances
  • LALOA: Hand-drawn original artworks reproduced onto soft furnishings and interior pieces
  • Laundreez: An ‘on the go’ washing solution for fresh clothes anywhere
  • LIBRIUM Games: Strategy games for everyone
  • Letterbox Lab: A kids’ science kit designed to be colourful, convenient and educational
  • MK Kids Interiors: Personalised interior design company that caters exclusively to kids
  • Organik Orangutan: Organic palm oil-free soaps
  • Orkid Ideas: An all-in-one schedule, checklist, prompt reward chart and timetable solution
  • Perch Upholstery: A furniture upholsterer working with felted wool in the UK
  • Red Herring Games: Murder mystery dinner party kits
  • Sarah Greening Glass: Individually crafted glass jewellery pieces
  • Sue Roche Illustrations: Bright watercolour paintings in a fun style
  • Sweet Dreamers: Soft toys for restless babies designed to recreate the soothing sensation of the womb
  • The Book Matchmaker: A ‘blind dating’ service for literature
  • The Edible Museum: Novelty intricate chocolate sculptured to look like museum pieces
  • The Jam Horse: Family business producing jams, chutneys, mustard, meat rubs vinegars, curds and sauces
  • The Perfume Studio: A company that allows ‘everybody to design their own unique perfume at an affordable cost’
  • The Room Alive: Wallpaper designed and printed in the UK using paper from sustainable sources and organic ink pigments
  • Whisky Tasting Company: Whisky bottlers offering premium, old and rare whisky gift sets
  • Z-O-E: Design studio crafting patterned muslin babywear

Theo is the chairman of hardware and housewares chain Robert Dyas and high street stationery specialist Ryman the Stationer, and the owner of lingerie chain Boux Avenue.

In 2010 he launched the #SBS initiative on Twitter to help small businesses. Each week hundreds of business owners tweet Theo at @TheoPaphitis  and describe their businesses in one tweet including the hashtag #SBS. Every Monday night at 8pm, Theo reviews and chooses his favourite six tweets, which are then re-tweeted to his half a million followers.

Those businesses are then invited to become part of the 2,300-strong #SBS community, who network and support each other. Every year, winners are invited to a free event which is full of advice and guest speakers, and get the opportunity to meet Theo and receive a certificate of their win.

Theo said: “It’s great to see so many fantastic small businesses making it to the shortlist. The list reflects the unique, hardworking businesses which make up the #SBS community. I’m looking forward to visiting the final 12 at Autumn Fair in September and urge them to make the most of this brilliant retail opportunity. I’m just glad I don’t have to make the final decision on the winners; now that really is going to be tough!”

Louise Young, managing director of Spring & Autumn Fair, said: “These 36 businesses are a fantastic representation of the varied and unique businesses which make up Theo’s inspiring #SBS community. Whittling them down to just 12 will be no easy task. Each business on the shortlist represents a brand with a bespoke idea or product – something which we as an event encourage, nurture and value.”

“Whilst I wish each of the shortlisted businesses the best of luck, we’re looking forward to welcoming the final 12 passionate and unique #SBS businesses to Autumn Fair. Given that each business has been carefully selected by Theo himself to be part of the community, we’re aware that the competition will be tough, but are confident that visitors to Autumn Fair will have some truly standout exhibitors to engage with as a result.”

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