Northamptonshire artist picked as by Theo Paphitis as a winner of a small business award

Sarah Hodgkins

Sarah Hodgkins

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An artist from South Northamptonshire has been picked as the winner of the Small Business Sunday award run by former Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis.

Charlotte Designs was set up by Sarah Hodgkins from Potterspury in 2005 and since then she has painted over 250 murals and signs for businesses, schools, care homes and private clients up and down the country.

Thanks to a tweet of her son’s bedroom mural, she is now part of this exclusive club.

Originally trained as an interior designer, Sarah put her talent for painting large to good use, initially creating educational rooms for children.

She now paints for businesses such as Kuehne and Nagel, Grundfos Pumps and The Retail Ombudsman and has developed specialist skills in painting murals for dementia sufferers.

Northamptonshire born and bred, she is perhaps best known for painting the mural on the outside of Milton Keynes Art Gallery, but while this might be one of her larger projects, it is not typical of the kind of subject she paints.

She said: “I don’t really have a style as such, my role as a commercial artist is to take a good brief from my clients and fulfil their requirements.”

In December 2015, Sarah launched a range of hand painted wall stickers, Instamural, to compliment her bespoke murals.

Small Business Sunday was set up by entrepreneur and investor Theo Paphitis to help small businesses to grow and prosper. Business owners tweet between 5.30 and 7.00pm on a Sunday with an eyecatching tweet tagging @theopaphitis and including the hastag #SBS. Each week Paphitis chooses just five businesses from thousands of entries to become members of his business club.

“I hadn’t entered for a while,” Sarah said, “But this week I was sitting down watching the Olympics having just muralled my son’s room, so thought I would submit his mural as my entry.

“Clearly Theo has a liking for graffiti style murals as this was the tweet that won!”