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BLOG: When Theo met Theo

Theo Paphitis meets “Little Theo” the micro-campervan

 When Theo met Theo | Theo Paphitis | Annette Wingate | Harrogate Motorhomes Ltd

What an exciting day we had at the SBS winners event; not only did little Theo the micro-campervan meet his namesake Theo Paphitis, but Theo even made time for a cosy chat sitting in the back of Theo.  The star of BBC’s Dragons Den is passionate about supporting small businesses and, as you can see he is also a dog lover.  Apparently Mrs P really wants a Cocker Spaniel!

Theo Paphitis with Annette Wingate of Harrogate Motorhomes and 'Becks & Stella' the spaniels in Little TheoWe met the Dragons’ Den star at an exclusive event for winners of his Small Business Sunday #SBS competition on Twitter, which was held at Edgebaston Cricket Ground on 30th March 2012.

“Little Theo” joined the Harrogate Motorhomes fleet of seven “grown up” motorhomes in the same week we won the Small Business Sunday award and naming our newest vehicle after him just seemed a great way to express our enormous gratitude – although we can’t claim all the credit.  The idea came from on online competition we ran which was won by Harrogate’s Anna Glazier, who suggested Theo first. There were plenty of other great ideas too but Theo seemed the natural choice after all the help we received from the real one.

We arrived at Edgebaston Cricket Ground in little Theo just a few minutes before Theo arrived in his huge “Chromamobile” Maybach and out popped Mr P looking dandy in a very smart suit with pink shirt.  We met his executive chauffeur Michael Brown (Twitter alias @KatoChauffeur) and asked if we could take a photo of Mr P’ car.  His response was, “Yes of course, as long as I can take a photo of your campervan”.

Here’s the great photo he took and Tweeted:

The photo of "Little Theo" taken by Michael Brown, the executive chauffeur to Theo PaphitisAround 400 people from over 200 small firms attended the exclusive, invitation-only SBS Winners Event which began with a champagne reception and networking lunch. Mr P briefly mingled with the crowd and when I was lucky enough to introduce myself I was delighted with his reply,

Ah, you’re the one who’s travelled down in Little Theo!”

Little Theo the microcampervan with the chrome Maybach of Theo Paphitis






After lunch there was a two-hour seminar and Q&A session by Theo who recalled the pain and 80 hour weeks when he first started out in business with just one other person called Jo in a small office.  Sounds familiar!

He also introduced the new SBS website – I’ve just updated the Harrogate Motorhomes SBS Winners Profile and would love to hear your feedback.

Theo’s enthusiasm and passion was infectious and he explained the rationale behind the SBS competition was to use his business reputation and Dragons Den celebrity status to recognise and support hard working small businesses and  “Give them the opportunity to shine

After the seminar he even took the time to have his photo taken individually with every single one of the 250 or so winners who attended the event:

The cherry on the cake was when Theo came out into the car park and headed straight for Little Theo.  I don’t know who’s smile was wider – his or mine!

Theo Paphitis meets Little Theo the microcampervan and says hello to the dogAfter what must have been a long and tiring day I was absolutely thrilled that he took the time to have a 10 minute chat with me.

Theo has a chat with Annette from Harrogate Motorhomes in Little Theo and meets Becks the spanielIt was a fantastic day and his advice has truly inspired me to continue to work as hard as I can to turn my ambitious vision for Harrogate Motorhomes into a reality:

“If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, stop doing it.  If you love what you’re doing, have belief in your business and offer personal customer service then the hard work and long hours will all be worth it.  There is always an element of luck in success, but the harder you work the luckier you get; there is a direct correlation”.

We’ve come so far from having just one motorhome 18 months ago working from our kitchen table in Follifoot.  Our exciting journey so far has taken us first to a small office in Kirk Deighton and now to our new depot near the centre of Harrogate.

We now have 7 motorhomes for hire, including our brand new 6 and 7 berth motorhomes which arrived last week.

It still seems like a dream.  Not for one moment did I expect to be where we are now quite so soon.

It’s been hard work at times and I’ve made mistakes and learned a lot along the way but I still see myself as very, very fortunate simply because I go to bed on Sundays looking forward to the week ahead – just like Theo!

 Theo Paphitis meets "Little Theo" the microcampervan from Harrogate Motorhomes


Related posts: 

Harrogate News:  When Theo met Theo

Harrogate Motorhomes in the News – Inspirational day with a ‘Dragon’

Harrogate Motorhomes in the Yorkshire Evening Post – Businessman meets his namesake

The Arrival of Theo Have you seen Theo yet?

Harrogate Motorhomes chosen by Theo Paphitis to win Small Business Sunday Award

Harrogate Motorhomes in the Yorkshire Evening Post:  Tweet from Dragon helps firm

Harrogate Motorhomes in the York Press:  £10,000 boost for motorhome company

Read harrogatenews.co.uk article:  Theo Paphitis helps Harrogate firm

Related harrogatenews.co.uk article:  Former firefighter blazing a trail in motor homes business



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