Yorkshire Entrepreneur Meets Theo Paphitis After Winning Small Business Sunday Competition
Local Entrepreneur and Founder of Little Beau Sheep, Sarah Turner, is celebrating this week after meeting business tycoon and ex-dragon Theo Paphitis at his Small Business Sunday event, having been chosen by him as a winner of his Small Business Sunday #SBS social competition, championing small business owners nationally.
Using pure British wool, Founder of Little Beau Sheep, Sarah Turner handmakes a range of natural and novel gifts and goodies in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. From dryer balls for a faster more fragrant tumble-dry to felted soaps for an invigorating bath or shower, there’s a whole flock of fabulous stuff to choose from.
Small Business Sunday (shortened to the hashtag #SBS on Twitter) was created by Theo Paphitis, with the aim of recognising entrepreneurs and small business owners. Sarah was invited by Theo Paphitis, alongside other national #SBS winners, to join him for a networking event in Birmingham last week.
Founder of Little Beau Sheep, Sarah Turner said; “I was absolutely delighted to be chosen by Theo as part of his #SBS competition. Attending the event was so inspiring. It was amazing to meet Theo and being presented with this award, as well as meeting all the other small business owners. People often don’t realise the amount of work that small business owners put in. Being self-employed doesn’t mean you have more free time, and I often find myself working weekends, so it’s great to see initiatives like Small Business Sunday which recognise the dedication and commitment that business owners like myself put in and encourage us to come alongside like minded business owners.”
Small Business Sunday, was created by Theo Paphitis to recognise entrepreneurs and small business owners, he said; “I admire people who have passion and energy. I was struck by the number of business owners on Twitter who wanted to tell me about their new products and services. Small Business Sunday was born so that people have a specific time slot to tweet and can pitch their ‘sell’ directly to me. My vision is that everyone who has won #SBS becomes part of a friendly club. Like-minded individuals can share successes and learnings. I know I have been lucky in business and I am keen now to spread goodwill to others, of course not forgetting that very often, you make your own luck by making use of every opportunity.”
Sarah had been working in a fast-paced corporate role for a global bank until she had her first child. She started to want a little more flexibility with her time, so she could enjoy the new arrival in her life. Although she loved her job, it was pretty much all-consuming. After the birth of her second child, Sarah and her family were living in a small flat as they renovated their house. Sarah found herself up to her eyes in baby-laundry, finding the tumble-dryer permanently on. When her child developed a dry and itchy skin condition, Sarah sought to find a natural treatment. She discovered lanolin, a natural by-product of wool. After learning the art of felting on a local craft course - the first dryer balls were created.
Early support came from the local Ilkley Blue Belles Women’s Institute and Sarah started selling her eco-creations at farming shows as well as setting up her own Etsy shop. People from around the globe were interested in her creations, so she started to expand her range to include more laundry products and natural bathroom treats. With the business expanding, Sarah employed other local mums and took Little Beau Sheep to the next level.
Sarah is keen to ensure her products have as little environmental impact as possible. Last year, she set up a successful crowdfunding campaign to redesign her packaging from recyclable plastic to cardboard and now all of Little Beau Sheep’s packaging is plastic-free. In 2018, Sarah was delighted to have been invited to take part in the Etsy Good Store. A pop-up shop dedicated to mindful shopping from artisan traders, promoting the huge array of ethical gifts available on Etsy.
Environmental impact and British produce will always remain at the centre of Sarah’s business. She champions pure British wool and is a proud supporter of the Rare Breed Survival Trust and The Campaign for Wool - described as ‘a miraculous material’ by none less than Prince Charles, British wool has an amazing history, especially in Yorkshire and Sarah says; “In my own way, I’d like to think I’m carrying on a truly grand tradition with my small business, from the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.”