Digital Marketing Success: How mentoring helped Thalia’s business grow


After struggling to find beautiful lights for her home during a house renovation, Thalia noticed a gap in the market and took the leap to start building Sparkle Lighting. Sparkle Lighting has become a destination for beautiful and unique lighting. It’s loved by interior accounts across the country and it’s thriving thanks to Thalia’s hard work!

Although Thalia had some PR and advertising experience, digital marketing was a whole new arena that she knew nothing about. It was a steep learning curve, but luckily Digital Boost was able to connect her with experts who helped her learn new digital skills to grow her business!

A gap in the market

Having had an extensive career in international sales, Thalia has worked in many environments! Before starting her business she had the chance to work in a start-up environment and absolutely loved it. After moving into a corporate role, the strain of the travel and office-based culture presented Thalia with a career crossroads. She could either continue in what she’d always done or take the leap to be her own boss!

After experiencing first-hand how hard it was to source beautiful lighting for her house renovation, Thalia had the idea to create a business that solved that problem. So she set out to create a destination site that specialised in sourcing gorgeous lighting and Sparkle Lighting was born ✨

Tuning into her customer’s needs

Initially, Sparkle Lighting offered traditional lighting options for the home. However, Thalia’s business truly took off 4 years ago when she decided to add pretty Christmas lights to her website. Her social media had been growing steadily, but after posting the newest addition to the site, Thalia’s audience went wild for the new product! She started working on her SEO and leaning into this new niche that her audience was reacting so well to. Eventually adding a new children’s and garden range, designed to suit her customers’ needs all year round.

Needing digital marketing support

Despite coming from the world of PR and advertising, Thalia says herself that she had next to no digital marketing skills. She went on a ‘steep learning’ curve with her marketing, learning everything she could to adapt her skills to the new digital world.

Having undertaken some paid online courses, Thalia was intrigued when a friend recommended Digital Boost. Hearing it was a free resource where you could have hour-long calls with experts, for no cost at all, Thalia signed up to give it a go!

An amazing mentoring experience

Thalia signed up for her first mentoring call, totally unsure of what to expect. She came away delighted with the support that her mentor gave her! After learning the mentoring sessions were unlimited, she went on to book mentoring sessions in a whole range of topics!

“I just started realising that it was a real opportunity to talk to an expert about what you’re doing”

Knowing that she needed support with digital marketing, Thalia was able to get super specific with the support that she wanted. She booked mentoring sessions with Google Ads and SEO mentors to help her develop her digital skills.

Getting unstuck

“It is quite a lonely existence starting your own business from scratch […] and sometimes you get really stuck on something. [..] And you go on these [calls] and start talking to [a mentor] […] and then by the end of it, you get this real excitement because you’re getting all this insight and information!”

For Thalia, having some prior business knowledge set her up for success, but it didn’t prepare her for how lonely the journey would be. Like many founders that Digital Boost supports, Thalia found solace in the accountability and friendly support that her mentors were able to give her. Being able to book regular mentoring sessions and get support “in the moment” allowed Thalia to keep overcoming hurdles that would have otherwise held her business growth back.

Personalised digital marketing support

Unlike other support programmes, Thalia recognised the power of the personalised support she received through Digital Boost. Whereas other programmes are focused on “one-to-many support”, Thalia has seen immense growth thanks to the 1:1 support and personalisation of the mentoring she’s received.

Digital marketing results

Since accessing Digital Boost’s mentoring, Thalia has been able to develop her SEO skills, confidently doing the SEO for her own website and seing amazing results! And the best part? She doesn’t just have generic SEO advice to follow, she’s got advice that’s tailored to the SEO goals of her business!

As part of her mentoring, she’s been able to SEO her FAQs which have better served her customers and built her trust and authority as an online seller.

Thalia says that Digital Boost stands out because of it's focus on digital skills.  Whereas other programmes are more general, Digital Boost helps business owners to develop key things like digital marketing, social media trends and online ads, all of which are essential for growing an online business.

Unlocking new growth with Strive UK

Strive UK is a programme run by Mastercard that funds initiatives like Digital Boost to support micro and small businesses around the world.

Digital Boost was so impressed by the growth Thalia had seen from her mentoring sessions that they put her forward for a very special opportunity with the Strive UK team.

Strive UK produced a report about the impact of small businesses in the UK that was presented at the Houses of Parliament. As part of that presentation, Thalia had the opportunity to talk with members of parliament, showcase her products at a pop-up shop and even give a talk about how much mentoring has helped her business to grow!

The press around Strive UK’s report also resulted in a Times Magazine feature and radio interview where Thalia had the chance to promote Sparkle Lighting. After the radio interview alone, Thalia went on to have a record day of sales!

Strive UK's programme helped Thalia with her digital marketing and now her business is thriving!

📸 Sparkle Lighting Blog

What’s next for Sparkle Lighting?

Since we interviewed Thalia, she’s continued to meet with our mentors regularly, attend Masterclasses and join us for new Planning Power Hour sessions to keep the momentum in her business 💪 She’s now working on her business strategy, aligning her plans with her goals, and getting clear on her KPIs and metrics so that she can grow even more 🚀

We’re delighted to have been a part of Thalia’s journey and we can’t wait to keep supporting her as Sparkle Lighting grows even more!

Celebrating our mentors

The support that Thalia received wouldn’t be possible without the kindness of corporate partners like Mastercard, BT, NatWest and so many others that make it possible for us to offer our mentoring totally free of charge.

Thalia was supported by incredible mentors like Tom and Ian from the BT team, Karen from the Digital Boost team, Maddie from Guide Dogs UK, Chris from Polything Marketing, Alvaro from Apple and so many other incredible volunteers who give their time to support founders.

If you’re a small business and want to access our free mentoring, you can sign up here 👇

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