We haven’t reached the end of 2016 yet, but the contest is over. Martyn Hett is the #SonOfTheYear.
Late in November, in fewer than 128 characters, the 28-year-old writer wrote out a tweet that launched a social media campaign and sent his mother’s handicraft business soaring.
Hett’s mum, Figen Murray, a life coach and counselor from Manchester, England, is a lifelong knitter who set up a booth at a crafts fair last month to display her holiday-themed decorative hearts, teddy bears, pouches and more.
But the shoppers weren’t buying, and when Hett texted her to see how things were going, she was “feeling a little deflated,” Hett told TODAY Parents.
So he took to Twitter to give his mum’s business a boost.
“I tweeted saying it was breaking my heart,” Hett said, “and one of my friends bought something from her online shop.”
After the sale, Hett said, his mum sent him “a really cute text about how happy she was. So I tweeted that with a link to her shop — and then it snowballed from there, really”
It was more like a blizzard. Within days, thanks to her son’s thoughtful tweeting, all of Murray’s online shop items were out of stock, including the purple “Monsters,” which Hett said is one of his favorite items.
“It’s just so unique and cute,” he said. “Hopefully she'll be making more glove monsters. I know she's frantically restocking as we speak!”
Hett posted about his first sale:
And about his mum's best week ever:
Now Murray is knitting up a storm, trying to fulfill item requests from around the world. Hett hopes she’ll be able to generate even more items over the next few weeks.
“She listed a few more the other day and they sold out instantly,” he said.
Murray, a mother of five, is a “great mum and a wonderful person … very eccentric, lots of fun and has a very big heart,” Hett said, adding that his friends “all love her to bits.”
Hett said Murray used to make curtains and tote bags for her children and still loves knitting and sewing as much as ever. “She believes it's good for the soul,” he said.
But now, thanks to her son, Murray has to be proficient with more than just yarn and thread. She set up a Twitter account five years ago, but she barely used it — until now.
“My mum isn't very tech-savvy,” Hett said. “She only had about 30 followers.”
But that was a month ago. Thanks to her son, Murray’s following has grown to more than 1,100. She’s even purchased a book, “Everyday Twitter Made Easy,” to help her manage her page.
As for himself, Hett said he doesn’t really see himself as #SonOfTheYear. He was just sharing his social media skills to help his mum.
“It's a lovely title to have, of course, but there are probably other sons much more deserving of it,” he said. “I don't think I'm the perfect son, but I love my mum loads. And I'm so, so happy about the way things have turned out as a result of this.”