Dragon helps to get business roaring

Theo Paphitis and David Thorne.

Theo Paphitis and David Thorne. - Credit: Archant

DRAGONS’ Den star Theo Paphitis has singled out a Highbridge sales firm for an award just months after the business was first set up.

The well-known retail entrepreneur and face of stationers Ryman chose Walrow Industrial Estate-based Workplace Stuff as one of the latest winners of his Small Business Sunday award.

The firm’s owner, David Thorne, sent a tweet to Theo just a month after starting up the business in September last year, which the magnate then spread to his 471,000 followers, as one of the few companies to be selected to be part of his scheme.

Mr Thorne has also now had the chance to meet the Dragons’ Den star face to face, after being invited alongside other winners from the year to a special conference to recognise their work and offer further advice.

Mr Thorne told the Mercury: “You couldn’t put a price on what it’s done, really.

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“The traffic through our website and Twitter account has been massive from the moment Theo re-tweeted us. I’ve got the business account on my phone and it was going mad on the day.

“It has been brilliant for us, because naturally it takes a while to get up and running and build your customer base, but Theo’s lists are well trusted and we have seen a lot of orders come in.

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“My dad has been in the construction trade for 44 years, so I’ve grown up knowing the ins and outs of virtually every product.

“Just under a year ago it occurred to me that I should set up my own business specialising in selling construction equipment, and six months later I managed to do it.

“To have support from someone like Theo is fantastic because he’s recognised the hard work and determination it has taken to get here.

“Spreading the word about what we do to his followers on Twitter was just the cherry on the cake.”

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