Small Business Saturday: how Instagram helped North East mother’s business

Small Business Saturday is here!

With the rise of social media contributing to small businesses’ success, we spoke to Sunderland mother Ruth Pownall, owner of online small business ‘Handmade by Ruth, Loved by Jacob’.

Her business specialises in bespoke handmade crafts for children and newborn’s plus occasion supplies and seasonal gifts. She believes the campaign is a great way to celebrate small businesses and expresses how her business ‘would most likely not exist’ without social media site Instagram.

She said “the campaign holds an emotional value for me as it makes small business owners aware they have support. Running an independent business is challenging, especially at busy times like Christmas. It takes time, determination and patience. The campaign is great as it makes my hard work feel appreciated by the community”

Social media played a large part in Ruth’s success. She gained 7000 Instagram followers within 9 months of opening her business with 98% of her customers being directed to her business through the social media site.

She said “Instagram is my main marketing platform. It’s a great way to reach out to my target market and be able to work and contact customers on the go from my phone. Having a business online from Instagram allows me to work from home and be there for my one year-old son; he inspired my business. I rarely ever have a day off but it means I’ll never miss a milestone in my son’s life.”

Ruth’s business can be found on her website at and on Instagram: @handmadebyruthlovedbyjacob

To find out more about other small businesses or to get involved yourself register on the Small Business Saturday website at


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