Mila Jewellery wins Twitter-based Small Business Sunday prize.
Victoria Constable, a jewellery designer from Norwich, has won backing from Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Theo Paphitis through a social media based initiative called Small Business Sunday.
Constable, who works under the name Mila Jewellery, won the boost after taking part in Paphitis’ weekly Small Business Sunday (SBS) scheme, where small companies are encouraged to use Twitter to win his attention. In return, Paphitis lists the weekly winners on a dedicated site with all their background info, creating a UK directory of sorts.
On the day she won Constable tweeted the SBS has tag – #SBS – along with why she felt she should win, and found that she was re‐tweeted by Paphitis, meaning her tweet was broadcast to more than 230,000 of his followers.
She received a boost of about 800 new followers and has since won new commissions and a boost in interest from the public for her jewellery designs.
Constable told Professional Jeweller: “My followers increased 800 in that on the day that I tweeted to Theo. That evening I sent a tweet and all of a sudden my phone was buzzing.
"Since then I have had various commissions [and] the win has drawn people to my website. Last week I was on the local radio. At the moment my jewellery design is part time but if it stays like this it shouldn’t be too long before I can take it full time, which is what I’ve always aimed to do.”
Constable works from a studio on the border of Norfolk and Suffolk and says the backing from the Small Business Sunday scheme has helped to raise the profile of her brand.
“Anyone looking for a re‐tweet from Theo should tweet him about their business on Sunday between 5pm and 7.30pm and include the hashtag #SBS,” said Constable.
Each week six businesses are re-tweeted by Paphitis and are then invited to enter their profile on the SBS website, which is offered free-of-charge.
Paphitis recently welcomed the winners of the scheme, which has been running for several months, to a networking event at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, providing champagne for about 250 guests and giving them a chance to meet him in person and have their photo taken.
The types of businesses winning each week is completely varied but around 10 jewellery designers have won so far.
Constable explained that having a good website is key, as Paphitis looks back over your tweets and your website to check you are worth his time endorsing. “He said ‘if you haven’t bothered to do a half decent site, I won’t be bothered to re-tweet’,” she explained.