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Cumbrian entrepreneur receives business boost from Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis

Rachel Gaw of Workington receives a Small Business Sunday award for her business Go Your Own Way from Dragon’s Den star, Theo Paphitis

Rachel Gaw from Workington, Cumbria, has been recognised by Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis as one of his Small Business Sunday winners.

Rachel’s Workington based firm Go Your Own Way received the business boost from the famous retail entrepreneur and in February Rachel attended a special event to collect her award.

In October 2019, Rachel tweeted to Theo about her handmade outdoor giftware business during ‘Small Business Sunday’ (#SBS) and was one of six weekly winners to gain a retweet by Theo.  The weekly initiative, set up by Theo in 2010, now has over 2,500 #SBS winners and supports small businesses in the UK.

Business and retail entrepreneur and self-confessed shopkeeper, Theo re‐tweeted Rachel’s message to his almost 500,000 followers and as a result, www.gyow.org.uk has gained numerous new followers and extra orders for its outdoor inspired art and accessories. The Lake District inspired brand is also profiled on the #SBS website (www.theopaphitissbs.com) that is exclusive to all Small Business Sunday winners.

Rachel said: “I’ve only been in business eighteen months and I still work out of my studio at my Dad’s house so it’s amazing to win this award. It is great to have support from Theo because it’s been tough trying to raise our profile in such uncertain times. I’m so proud that Theo has recognised my hard work and helped spread the word about what I do to his following.”

Small business champion and Ryman Stationery, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue Chairman, Theo Paphitis, 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 Go Your Own Way every success.”

In February 2020, Rachel attended the #SBSevent2020 in Birmingham accompanied by her proud dad Jim. Every year all the SBS winners are invited to the SBS annual conference to meet Theo, receive their award and attend master classes in areas such as social media, finance and marketing.

Rachel said: “It was such a fantastic event. I have made connections with other small business owners all over the country, plus we got to listen to Sara Davies (another Dragon), who is an inspiration in herself. I cant wait to attend next year!”

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