Buxton entrepreneurs mingle with former Dragon’s Den star at #SBS awards

Nicola Sargeant and Mark Sidebottom receive their certificates from former Dragon Theo Paphitis. Photo contributed.
Nicola Sargeant and Mark Sidebottom receive their certificates from former Dragon Theo Paphitis. Photo contributed.
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Buxton entrepreneurs Nicola Sargeant and her partner Mark Sidebottom have received their Small Business Sunday certificates at a special event in Birmingham.

The awards are part of a scheme, run by former Dragon’s Den member Theo Paphitis, that rewards six small businesses each week who send him tweets through the social network, with the hashtag #SBS.

Nicola, 40, owner of One Small Step, a children’s shoe shop, won hers last August, whereas her partner, Mark, 50, owner of Peakcraft,a family firm of carpenters and joiners, won his in January.

The event, held annually at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham, was a chance for Mark and Nicola to mingle with other winners, as well as meeting Theo Paphitis, who presented them with their certificates.

After lunch they heard from two guest speakers, Holly Tucker, founder of the Not on the High Street shopping website, and Mike Pickles, owner of Really Useful Products, producers of storage products.

Nicola and Mark will also be eligible to attend the event again next year, along with all former past winners

Nicola said: “ I have already framed my certificate and it is in the shop window.”

When asked about her partner, she added: “Typical man, he has only just framed his, but I know he plans to hang it in his new workshop shortly.”

Nicola believes the award has raised the profile of her business and made it more credible, adding that they are not on the high street so can get overlooked.

Her shop, on Hall Bank, sells a range of children’s footwear and Nicola, as a Member of the Society of Shoe Fitters, is trained to ensure that shoes fit well, look good and care for young feet.

Her partner, Mark, runs Peakcraft, which specialises in producing made to measure joinery, traditional carpentry and fitted furniture, and has recently moved to new premises on Leek Road.

At present they are being used as a workshop, but Mark hopes to open a retail showroom sometime in the future, where potential customers can walk into a model bedroom or home office.

To find out further details about how you can tweet Theo Paphitis’s Small Business Sunday scheme, visit the website www.theopaphitissbs.com.