TV star’s back­ing is just the busi­ness for mum

East Kilbride News - - NEWS -

NICOLA FIND­LAY

An East Kil­bride-based busi­ness has re­ceived a ma­jor boost from en­tre­pre­neur and Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphi­tis.

Mum-of-two Julie Herkes, 49, owns The Wee Mud Hut based in Calder­wood.

She has a small pot­tery work­shop in her home where she cre­ates hand­made func­tional ceram­ics that she sells on­line and at craft fairs.

Julie tweeted Theo about her pot­tery busi­ness dur­ing his ‘Small Busi­ness Sun­day’ and was one of the lucky six win­ners to gain a retweet by Theo to his 50,000 Twit­ter fol­low­ers.

The ini­tia­tive set up by the star of hit TV show Dragons’ Den now has over 2200 #SBS win­ners and sup­ports small busi­nesses in the UK.

The win­ning busi­nesses are pro­filed on the #SBS web­site and are also in­vited to a busi­ness event in Birm­ing­ham in Fe­bru­ary to meet Theo and other win­ners.

Julie said: “It’s an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity and I’m hon­oured to have been cho­sen.

“I started The Wee Mud Hut three years ago and as a small busi­ness, I ap­pre­ci­ate sup­port from such a suc­cess­ful and in­spi­ra­tional busi­ness­man such as Theo Paphi­tis.”

She went on: “I did a night class for fun 20 years ago and was hooked and went on to do an HND in ceram­ics at col­lege but had a big break bring­ing up the kids.

“Es­tab­lish­ing the busi­ness hasn’t been with­out its chal­lenges but it has been worth it.

“And this is the first year I have recorded a profit which means I must be do­ing some­thing right.

“Fear is a big bar­rier for peo­ple but I would say to any­one think­ing of setting up a busi­ness to just go for it.

“The Busi­ness Gate­way have been and con­tinue to be a tremen­dous sup­port, so there is help out there.”

The mum added: “I have booked my flight for Birm­ing­ham in Fe­bru­ary and I am so ex­cited – I can’t wait to meet Theo in per­son.”

Julie also runs work­shops at the mo­ment from No 18 venue in Ruther­glen and at dif­fer­ent venues such as Scouts, youth clubs and birth­day par­ties.

Theo Paphi­tis added: “We are thrilled to wel­come new #SBS mem­bers and high­light just how im­por­tant it is to sup­port our small busi­nesses here in the UK.

“My vi­sion is that ev­ery­one who wins a re-tweet from me be­comes part of a friendly club with like-minded in­di­vid­u­als. I wish The Wee Mud Hut ev­ery suc­cess.”

You can watch Julie’s progress and view her work at www.the­weemud­hut.co.uk

Pot luck Julie Herkes is all smiles af­ter her The Wee Mud Hut won sup­port

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