Dragons’ Den boost to small business in Paisley


A well-known entrepreneur and former star of the BBC show Dragons’ Den has given a boost to a Paisley business.

Theo Paphitis regularly invites small businesses to get in touch and picks just six to highlight his nearly half a million followers on Twitter each week.

And Susie Rodgers Millinery was one of the lucky few to be tweeted about as part of the Small Business Sunday initiative – resulting in more followers for her small business on Twitter and an increase in inquiries.

It came after a testing time for Susie as the main source of her businesses – weddings and events – were canceled due to the pandemic.

She said: “It was a real boost to have Theo recognize my hard work and to spread the word about my business to his followers.

“The past 22 months have been difficult for businesses, especially those like mine who rely on special occasions and events such as weddings and race meetings.

“I had been lucky to get a place on the InCube Program run by Renfrewshire Council in 2019 and at the end of it I had an ambitious business plan to grow my business.

“Sadly when the pandemic hit in 2020 and weddings and events were cancelled, my business came to a standstill.”

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Once lockdown restrictions eased last year, Susie made the decision to move from her home studio in Barrhead to a space in the Embroidery Mill in Abbey Mill Business Center in Paisley in September.

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She said: “As we emerged from restrictions it became obvious that it was time for the business to leave home.

“In September 2021 I relocated to a studio in The Embroidery Mill and have a lovely space to work and meet clients that combines my workshop and a display area for my hats.”

Theo selected Susie’s businesses for his Small Business Sunday project. The weekly initiative, which he set up in 2010, now has over 3,000 #SBS winners and supports small businesses in the UK.

As well as receiving a retweet and a boost to their profile, the winning businesses are profiled on the #SBS website and are also invited to an annual networking event, which is taking place in Birmingham this month.

Theo Paphitis on Dragons' Den
Theo Paphitis rose to fame during his stint on Dragons’ Den

Theo, a small business champion and chairman of Ryman Stationery, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue 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 Susie Rodgers Millinery every success.”

Susie has also been shortlisted at the Scottish Wedding Awards, taking place this month, in the wedding accessory category.

Susie said: “I am delighted to again be a finalist at the Scottish Wedding Awards.

“A hat or fascinator is the finishing touch to any outfit and it’s a privilege to be trusted by so many, mothers, grans and aunties of the bride and groom, as well as several of their guests, to create a piece of bespoke millinery for their special event.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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