192 episodes

As founder of notonthehighstreet and Holly & Co, Holly Tucker MBE has spent the last 16 years growing and empowering small businesses around the UK. In Conversations of Inspiration, Holly talks to a new founder each week to hear the highs and lows encountered whilst building their business, as they share some advice and inspiration along the way.

Conversations of Inspiration Holly Tucker MBE

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 1.1K Ratings

As founder of notonthehighstreet and Holly & Co, Holly Tucker MBE has spent the last 16 years growing and empowering small businesses around the UK. In Conversations of Inspiration, Holly talks to a new founder each week to hear the highs and lows encountered whilst building their business, as they share some advice and inspiration along the way.

    Why building a brand is a marathon, not a sprint, with Mandy Watkins, Founder and Creative Director of Hush Homewear

    Why building a brand is a marathon, not a sprint, with Mandy Watkins, Founder and Creative Director of Hush Homewear

    What makes a brand like Hush Homewear stand out from the thousands of fashion and e-commerce businesses out there? Yes it's the quality and style of the clothes, but it's also another key element that makes them truly one-of-a-kind — and that's the brand. If you want to know the secret to building an identity that makes thousands of customers return again and again, and remain loyal to you for life, hear Mandy Watkins' hard won wisdom on the subject...




    Mandy started her laid back clothing and lifestyle brand from the kitchen table back in 2003 with a redundancy cheque, a huge dose of ambition and a desire for warmer clothes. Growing up in Australia, Mandy spotted a gap in the market after moving to the UK where she struggled to find relaxed, stylish and cosy clothing suited to living in our changeable climate. 




    After years of perseverance, determination and orders ever so slowly trickling through, Hush started to become a recognised and successful brand. However Mandy opens up about how her business' success was by no means easy, and explains the different routes to market she took in order to achieve the sales she so desperately wanted. 




    Now, after having such a strong identity in the clothing industry, Mandy explains how she has not only built and maintained her brand, but also why as a small business you have the power to make sure the brand heart of your business is beating louder than ever, which as Mandy shares, is a game changing advantage if used effectively. 




    Holly and Mandy share a passionate belief in sustainability, responsible consumer shopping and the positive effect that a work ethic can have on achieving your dreams. It is apparent that Mandy is, and always has been her true authentic self, and might that have had an effect on her business? You’ll have to listen to find out…




    If you enjoyed this conversation, you might also enjoy Holly’s episode with Liz Earle, founder of Liz Earle. 


    This Conversations of Inspiration podcast episode is brought to you with support from Adobe Express.


    Enjoying listening to these unfiltered chats? Subscribe to Holly’s weekly newsletters on our website, where she shares small business inspiration of all kinds, exclusive nuggets of wisdom from her and her guests, plus offers, creative ideas and topical, 'ungoogleable' business advice. 

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Lightbulb Moment 18: Making a living from that thing you love, with Henry Dimbleby MBE, co-founder of LEON

    Lightbulb Moment 18: Making a living from that thing you love, with Henry Dimbleby MBE, co-founder of LEON

    There’s a saying that if you make a living doing what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life – and this week Holly highlights how this is not only true, but genuinely possible for everyone. 




    Taken from her conversation with Henry Dimbleby MBE, co-founder of fast food chain LEON, Holly reflects on Henry’s obsession with fast food and how acknowledging this was his key to success. 




    Sharing the early signs that she remembers of finding her own diamond, Holly recalls how she recognised and used her love of shopping with small businesses to build the good life she’d always wanted. Holly also draws on how often our experiences working in jobs that just aren’t for us, can often lead us to finding our calling, and ultimately how there are hidden opportunities in the greyer patches of our lives. 




    Henry’s success story is truly inspirational, and is one that exhibits how following your passion, no matter what it is, is enough to build a business – Henry’s was an ever growing love for fast food… so what is yours?




    You can listen to Henry Dimbleby’s full episode here. 


    Enjoying listening to these unfiltered chats? Subscribe to Holly’s weekly newsletters on our website, where she shares small business inspiration of all kinds, exclusive nuggets of wisdom from her and her guests, plus offers, creative ideas, and topical, 'ungoogleable' business advice.

    • 12 min
    Finding your true self and helping others do the same, with Jack Guinness, founder of The Queer Bible, writer, model and presenter

    Finding your true self and helping others do the same, with Jack Guinness, founder of The Queer Bible, writer, model and presenter

    With 2022 seeing the 50th anniversary since the first Pride took place in the UK, there couldn’t be a better time to celebrate the incredible trailblazer that is writer, model, presenter, and founder of The Queer Bible, Jack Guinness. 




    Fighting for change, acceptance, and kindness within our society, Jack’s conversation offers crucial education about the LGBTQ+ community, and is one that should be heard by all. 




    A self-confessed ‘queer missionary’, Jack’s journey has been one full of challenges, strength, and development. Growing up the son of a vicar with a very religious upbringing, Jack struggled internally with who he was taught he should be as a member of the church, and who he truly was as a queer man.




    In his younger years, views towards the LGBTQ+ community were still very blurred, and Jack struggled to find a safe space where he truly belonged. Yet little did he know that it was this turmoil that would ignite a fire to help so many others as he does today. 




    Jack also opens up about the countless rejections and homophobia he faced in the fashion industry, and speaks to Holly about the language that we should be using in our society today when talking about members of the LGBTQ+ community, and that so many of us worry about getting wrong. 




    Now, as his happiest self, Jack is the founder of The Queer Bible — a groundbreaking platform that celebrates the lives and works of the global queer community. He is on a mission to learn from others, share his knowledge with the next generation and to let all LGBTQ+ people realise that they deserve to not only survive, but thrive too.




    An enlightening and important conversation, celebrating Jack’s determination and courage to ensure our future is a more diverse and inclusive place for us all. As well as a testament to the power of finding your true self, and helping others to do the same.  And just remember in Jack’s very own words, “In a world that tells you you’re nothing, you’re everything.”

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Lightbulb Moment 17: Why it’s never too late to find freedom as a founder, with Caroline Hirons, Skincare expert, Author and YouTuber

    Lightbulb Moment 17: Why it’s never too late to find freedom as a founder, with Caroline Hirons, Skincare expert, Author and YouTuber

    For women, the world ends at 40 and your dreams drift off into the abyss. 




    You’ll be pleased to know that the above sentence is NOT by any means true, and instead is an idea, embedded within society with no proof, sense or logic behind it – and Holly is here to break this notion. 




    This week, Holly recalls her conversation with Skincare Expert, Author and YouTuber Caroline Hirons, who is a living example of why it’s never too late to follow your passion and start your own business, on your own terms. 




    Holly examines the very reasons why age is but a number, and why women are actually at an advantage when founding a business in their later years. She also explains the freedom that being a founder gives you, and talks of her own experience of setting up Holly & Co, and why she’s even happier doing it the second time round, in a way that feels truer to her. 




    Taken from Caroline’s Conversation of Inspiration – she explains why following her dreams has allowed her to achieve success. We often automatically think that ‘success’ means financial freedom, but Caroline shares exactly what it actually represents to her…


    As one of 10 very special episodes, Holly is also joined by Karishma Gupta, founder of Satatland and member of Dell’s Women's Entrepreneur Network, who has shared her very own Lightbulb Moment, too. 




    You can listen to Caroline Hirons' full episode here. 


    Enjoying listening to these unfiltered chats? Subscribe to Holly’s weekly newsletters on our website, where she shares small business inspiration of all kinds, exclusive nuggets of wisdom from her and her guests, plus offers, creative ideas, and topical, 'ungoogleable' business advice.

    • 14 min
    Yeo Valley CEO, Tim Mead, on growing a sustainable future

    Yeo Valley CEO, Tim Mead, on growing a sustainable future

    A leading expert in the farming industry, Tim Mead CEO of Yeo Valley, delves into a number of crucial topics around responsible farming, environmental consciousness and reveals how farmers can help to reverse the carbon crisis. This is an unmissable conversation that won’t only help our generation, but many to come. 




    Tim’s family have been farming in Somerset for over 500 years and are known across the country for stocking our shelves with delicious organic milk, cheese and yogurts. However what we didn’t know is just how much hard work and grafting has gone into the Yeo Valley brand over the years. 




    Tim grew up in the family business, but a tragic accident left Tim holding the reins aged just 26. Since then, he has been on a quest to not only continue his father’s legacy, but to follow his true north star which is encouraging, educating on and producing food that is made in a healthy, natural way. 




    Having witnessed the introduction of industrial manufacturing, Tim shares that 55% of what we eat is classified as ultra processed food – and offers unmissable advice on how we can start to change that statistic to not only help ourselves, but our young and the environment. 


    Contemplating the introduction of alternative milks, the importance of community and the marketing genius that changed the Yeo Valley brand forever, Tim’s story is one of hard work and determination that binds both legacy and heritage with adaptability and future proofing. 




    If you enjoyed this conversation, you might also enjoy Holly’s episode with Guy Singh-Watson, founder of Riverford.




    This Conversations of Inspiration podcast episode is brought to you with support from Adobe Express.




    Enjoying listening to these unfiltered chats? Subscribe to Holly’s weekly newsletters on our website, where she shares small business inspiration of all kinds, exclusive nuggets of wisdom from her and her guests, plus offers, creative ideas and topical, 'ungoogleable' business advice. 

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Lightbulb Moment 16: Do you love yourself enough? With Sir Tim Smit KBE, founder of The Eden Project

    Lightbulb Moment 16: Do you love yourself enough? With Sir Tim Smit KBE, founder of The Eden Project

    Is it selfish to feel drained by other people's energy? No, and you really need to listen to this episode to hear why…




    It’s remarkable how as humans, we’re so affected by the energy of others around us isn’t it? Just one person in our presence has the ability to build us up as tall as the Eiffel Tower, or bring us lower than we’ve ever been. 




    This week, Holly explores why founders and dreamers have a vulnerability that must be protected, and offers advice that has taken her a long time to understand when it comes to surrounding yourself with happy, selfless people in order to prioritise the most important person in your life — yourself. 




    Holly opens up about her own experiences of negativity, and shares her thoughts on why it’s okay to make that decision that those ‘drainers’ might just not be the right company for you and your dreams anymore. 




    Holly’s Lightbulb Moment was sparked when she met with Sir Tim Smit KBE, and he so eloquently read his letter to his younger self. Full of life-changing tips and hard hitting realisations, Tim shares his recipe for how to live a life where you will feel no regrets when looking back as your older self.  




    Both Holly and Tim explain the magnificent effect that surrounding yourself with the right (or wrong) types of people, can have on so many other elements of your life — this is not one to be missed.


    You can listen to Sir Tim Smit’s full episode here. 


    Enjoying listening to these unfiltered chats? Subscribe to Holly’s weekly newsletters on our website, where she shares small business inspiration of all kinds, exclusive nuggets of wisdom from her and her guests, plus offers, creative ideas, and topical, 'ungoogleable' business advice.

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
1.1K Ratings

1.1K Ratings

LucyViews ,

Thank you, what a gift!

I absolutely love this podcast - and what a huge gift it is to the SME community and for others who are looking to dip their toe in the water in these strange times. All guests are so generous with their insights and personal experience and Holly just exudes warmth, knowledge and a genuine desire to build and support the SME community. Thank you. I love listening.

tyttttttzzzzzz5555 ,

Uplifting and inspirational

Conversations of inspiration is truly the most inspiring of podcasts. Holly gets to the beating heart of the founders she talks with. Every episode is so full of wise words, which cannot fail to leave you feel uplifted and with a fresh perspective on the world!

Juste Nature ,

So much insight for small businesses!

Holly’s podcast brings together all the wisdom from entrepreneurs who have made mistakes and learnt from it along the way.so inspiring for me as a small woman owned business of 1 to know that it is all a journey and there’s always so much to learn. Thank you Holly for sharing such great podcasts! Stina x

Top Podcasts In Business

Steven Bartlett
Pushkin Industries
This is Money
Rob Bence and Rob Dix from The Property Hub
Tim Ferriss: Bestselling Author, Human Guinea Pig
Bloomberg

You Might Also Like

Fearne Cotton
Elizabeth Day
Steven Bartlett
Adrienne Herbert
Gabby Logan
Anna Mathur