Children’s shoe shop steps forward as Buxton’s latest #SBS winner

Nichola Sargeant, One Small Step
Nichola Sargeant, One Small Step

A children’s shoe shop has won the seal of approval from a star of BBC’s Dragons’ Den, and the business owner is hoping it will breathe fire into sales as they look to step up.

One Small Step, on Hall Bank, has received recognition from original ‘Dragon’ Theo Paphitis’ Small Business Sunday scheme.

Nichola Sargeant, One Small Step

Nichola Sargeant, One Small Step

Each week, Theo rewards six small businesses that send tweets to him @TheoPaphitis by reposting them to his 486,000 followers on the social networking platform.

Benefits include increased numbers of Twitter followers, positive publicity, an entry in the #SBS online directory and possibly a giant leap in sales.

One Small Step caught Theo’s attention on Sunday, August 9.

Business owner Nichola Sargeant, 40, said: “I was so happy. I’ve been trying this for 18 months. It increases the business profile and lets people know we’re here.

“We’re not on the high street so can get overlooked, but we’re worth finding.

“We earn loyal customers coming back again and again.”

Nichola’s tweet read: “#SBS Quality, fitted children’s footwear, from an independent specialist in the heart of the Peak District #Buxtonspa”.

Offline, she adds that the shop offers “professional service, friendly staff, and great quality brands made to last.”

A member of the Society of Shoe Fitters, Nichola is trained to ensure that shoes fit well, look good and care for young feet.

The shop stocks lines from well-respected makers such as Geox, Start-rite and Lelli Kelly, and also sells via, eBay and Amazon.

Nichola said: “At the moment, maybe five per cent of sales are from online - with shoes, especially for children, people like to try them on.”

She says she is a huge fan of Dragon’s Den but would never go on the show herself: “Oh no, I don’t think I have any inventions to sell, but I like getting ideas from the pitches.

“It’s good to hear that other people share the hard parts though, as well as the highs of working for yourself.”

Nichola who previously worked at Leek College and Hertz Car Rental, also gets involved in the business community through the Women in Rural Enterprise group, WiRE Doves.

To enter #SBS, send a one tweet description of your company including the hashtag to @TheoPaphitis between 5pm and 7.30pm on Sunday.