Founded by Holly Tucker of Notonthehighstreet, Holly & Co is demystifying business and creating a movement championing small businesses bringing colour to grey.

Holly & Co is the first of its kind with a mission to empower and cheerlead everyone, whether they are dreaming, dabbling or already running a small business. Passionate believers in living ‘the good life’, Holly Tucker and her team want to demystify business and create a movement championing those bringing colour to grey. Here Holly talks about the challenges her latest startup faces.

I’m building an immersive brand that touches all the senses - you can visit us online, you can literally visit us and experience the very best in small business at the Holly & Co work/shop in St Margarets. And, I am very excited to announce, my first ever event - ‘The Congregation of Inspiration’. This September I plan to turn the business conferences and networking world, on its head. I’m going to share all my lessons, tips and hacks in creating and running a small business. I plan for everyone to leave (for the better) a different person to the one who arrived. This will be an event of learning and inspiration - a day the world has never seen before.

I came up with the idea when…
I had taken a step back from NOTHS and brought on a CEO for the day to day running of the company. I was exhausted, mentally and physically - we had been building for eleven years and never once stopped to breathe, enjoy the journey or even notice a season! I knew that I had a calling beyond NOTHS and so with the support of my family I decided to build Holly & Co.

I saw that there was a need to support and champion creative small businesses, in a more holistic way, to empower them. I wanted to build a company that would enable anyone who dreamt of leaving their 9-5 to start their passion. Those who enjoyed their hobby or passion, but hadn’t taken the leap into making it a business. Or to cheerlead and support those already running ventures because it is not always easy! It's why our line is ‘Dream, Dabble, Do’!

The biggest challenge is…
Amplifying myself! Every day I have up to ten requests for ‘a coffee’ and I wish I could do them all. But, the caffeine might kill me and it is not efficient. Hence creating a day ‘The Congregation of Inspiration’ that will be full of the same advice, but for everyone.

The average day is spent…
Coffee first thing at the Holly & Co offices, in St Margarets (close to Richmond). We start the day with a full team 10 a.m meeting, where everyone in the team updates the office on any big changes or things to be aware of. It’s amazing, as a new company, we find ourselves in such an exciting time where new decisions are taken every day, sending us in a different direction. So, despite only being a small team, it's so important that we have a daily meeting to make sure we are all working towards the same goal.



I love getting hands on with small businesses, so we have a number of small creative businesses that we work closely with to develop new products, re-brand and generally cheerleading them along what can often be quite a lonely and scary journey (seeing them is nearly always the highlight of the day!)

I still work closely with the NOTHS team as their Chief Inspirator, so I can often be found popping back into the offices during the week.

I try to be home at a reasonable time - as my son Harry is thirteen and so I like to be on hand for homework and to have supper as a family.

The team consists of…
My two co-founders: Carrie who is my sister and third employee of NOTHS and Gabi, who is an honorary sister and who we count as family.

We then have thirteen members of staff (both in the office and front of house in the shop) who work a mix of full time and part time. I am determined not to build an empire, as then all my attention would be spent on ‘running it’ not ‘doing it’. The team are all extraordinary and each have their own talents, which as a company we champion.

Holly & Co is very much a family and way beyond work colleagues.

My favourite quote…
Is one by Margaret Mead ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it it’s the only thing that ever has.’

I am where I am today because of…
Never giving up or accepting the word ‘No’!

I am who I am because of...
Those who are the wind beneath my wings. My co-founders, family and this exceptional community I champion.

The best advice I've been given…
You can grow a business in two ways; fat or strong. The key to growing a strong business is keeping it agile, small and focused. It must have a strong brand at its core, because if you have a strong brand, you can weather any storm. Your customer will be more forgiving of mistakes the business might make along the way and will ride out the storms with you.

In five years I’d like to be…
Doing exactly this! I am so happy in exactly this moment, building Holly & Co with an incredible team, surrounded by positive energy and passion. I plan to be an ‘Iris Apfel’ of small business!

The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online…
That is isn’t all about tech! Infact, in today's world, tech is easily accessible. If you are going to have a successful online business, then you need to focus on how you connect emotionally with you customers. How you make your customer feel? The experience you have with your customer offline will ultimately be the driver to purchase online. It also means you will have a repeat and loyal customer - which is crucial for any successful online business that doesn’t have buckets of money to keep acquiring new customers. I absolutely believe, that the future of online retail, will be having both a physical and online presence.

Our biggest mistake and what it taught us…
I don’t really like to look at things as ‘mistakes’ am I very much a believer in looking back to connect the dots. That everything happens for a reason and leads me to where I am today.

The most rewarding experience we’ve had to date…
I have had so many, professionally it would have been being awarded my MBE by The Queen for services to small business. It was perhaps the first moment in my career that I stopped to look at what I have built and appreciate that perhaps I had done something very significant!

For me personally, it would probably have been watching my son Harry, set up his first business - Sugarboy. For so many years, the sacrifices I made when building NOTHS meant I missed his first steps, his first words etc. I was terrified that I had messed him up for good, but in fact, as it turns out, at thirteen he is becoming an amazing young man. One who has decided that he doesn’t want to go to uni, instead he wants to work with me - by my side.

The Congregation of Inspiration will be held on the 28th and 29th of September 2018 in Syon Park, West London. To book please visit www.holly.co.

We are delighted that Holly is lending her expertise as a judge in this year's themission GWG Awards.

June2018