Former dragon backs unique bag designer's firm

Joanne Melton, owner of The Seaside SewJoanne Melton, owner of The Seaside Sew
Joanne Melton, owner of The Seaside Sew
BAG designer Joanne Melton has spoken of her joy at getting a business boost from retail entrepreneur Theo Paphitis.

Last week, Joanne, owner of The Seaside Sew, tweeted Theo about her business during Small Business Sunday and was one of six weekly winners selected personally by Theo.

As a winner of the weekly competition, Joanne was thrilled to gain a retweet by Theo to his 500,000 Twitter followers.

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The weekly initiative, set up by Theo in 2010, now has 1,700 #SBS winners and supports small businesses in the UK.

Theo retweeted Joanne’s message to his 500,000 followers and as a result, has seen a boost in Twitter followers and extra orders for their handmade products.

They are also profiled on the #SBS website

Joanne, from Stubbington, said: ‘We’ve only been in business two years and although I still work out of my garden shed during the summer, things are certainly looking up.

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‘It is great to have support from Theo because it’s been tough trying to raise our profile and Theo has recognised our hard work and helped spread the word about what we do to his followers on Twitter.’

Theo said: ‘We are thrilled to welcome new #SBS members every week and highlight just how important it is to support our small businesses here in the UK.

‘My vision is that everyone who has ever won an #SBS re-tweet from me becomes part of a friendly club; like-minded individuals who can share successes and learnings.

‘The website – – will also give a valuable profile to the winners chosen and I wish The Seaside Sew every success.’

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