Dragon wowed by arty Phiona

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An artist who crafts jewellery from unwanted books has met the Dragons’ Den guru who praised her creations on social media site Twitter.

Phiona Richards met entrepreneur Theo Paphitis at an event for the winners of Twitter Small Business Sunday at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham last week.

Corby Old Village resident Mrs Richards, 49, is a previous winner of the competition, where entrepreneurs tweet Mr Paphitis with their business idea and he re-tweets his six favourite to his 235,000 followers.

Her tag line was “Saving unwanted books from going to landfill, I create beautiful paper jewellery instead.”

Mrs Richards said: “He was very inspiring.

“He talked about his journey from being a small business, about hard work and having a smattering of luck.

“For me it was great to hear from someone who had been a small business.

“There were just so many people there and I was quite daunted. But he was very friendly.”

Mr Paphitis said: “As small businesses we make our own luck. The harder you work, the luckier you tend to become. Social media and the internet has levelled the playing field in terms of marketing for small businesses.”

Freelance artist Mrs Richards has sold her work across the UK and France.

She is currently exhibiting with 40 other local artists at the Corby Open, in the old Corby Library building.

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