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.
How a childhood love for chocolate can build a brand, with Jens Knoop, founder of Knoops
Jens Knoops is a man who is obsessed with chocolate. After starting his brilliant artisan hot chocolate business in 2013, Jens’ journey has catapulted him into a world that not only brings him joy everyday but that brings each of his customers a little magic too.
Holly talks to Jens about the huge passion he has for his products, the sustainable goals he has for Knoops and his decision to expand the business during the pandemic.
It’s a story that is both heartwarming and motivating and shows all of us that with enough drive and belief, even our wildest dreams can not only survive but thrive.
The Man Behind the Model with David Gandy, founder of David Gandy Wellwear
Holly’s guest this week is a fascinating one, David Gandy, a man whose image is synonymous with high fashion and whose face has graced countless magazine covers, billboards and our televisions.
Whilst sharing a cup of tea with Holly on her sofa, David delves into the story behind his career, life as a father, and his recent experiences of founding David Gandy Wellwear. Holly soon learns that David, much like the rest of us, tackles imposter syndrome, despite the successful career he has built and discusses the importance of encouraging kindness in the fashion industry, where scrutiny is rife.
Whilst explaining the sheer hard work that David has dedicated to his venture, Holly learns about the unique DNA of his brand and of his vision to build a clothing line that offers products which are not only stylish, but are practical, and also advocate sustainable fashion.
This week's conversation has so much food for thought, it’s an ode to dedication, hard work, and to following a passion in order to achieve fulfilment.
Holly’s Christmas Special 2021
It’s that time already - Holly’s Christmas special!
Every festive season, Holly sits down and reflects on all of the wonderfully inspirational conversations she has had with guests throughout the year and it’s her absolute pleasure to take you on this journey with her.
In the last episode of 2021, Holly revisits some of her most favourite guests and anecdotes from throughout the year. From David Hieatt, Jake Humphrey and Bobbi Brown to Anya Hindmarch and John Timpson, each guest shares their insights, wisdom and lessons that they live by as they seek to build successful brands as well as a life they love.
Also in this collection, is a very special conversation with Holly, her beloved husband Frank and incredible son Harry, who each share their experiences of having a wife and mother who chose to live a life less ordinary, as a founder herself.
For a final Christmas treat, this episode culminates, not just one but two of Holly’s favourite ‘letters to my younger self’, so have your tissues at the ready and prepare to take a trip down memory lane.
The greatest micro-sculptor with the biggest heart, with Dr Willard Wigan MBE, creator of the world’s smallest sculptures.
This week, Holly has one of her most thought provoking and emotional conversations yet, with Dr Willard Wigan MBE, a man famous for creating the world's tiniest and most beautifully crafted micro-sculptures that are invisible to the naked eye.
Growing up in the sixties, with undiagnosed dyslexia and autism, Willard experienced a heart-breakingly difficult childhood as his confidence was crushed at school by a taunting teacher he will never forget. However as Willard’s late mother always said, “Don’t get bitter, get better” — and that’s just what Willard did.
Turning to his love for crafting all things minute, Willard began at just six-years-old to build tiny pieces of furniture for his beloved garden ants, and his work only got smaller from there. Now, Willard is recognised across the globe, by his fans and also by royalty, for his miraculous sculptures that can only be viewed through a microscope.
Despite the painstaking process of carving his creations, Willard’s unbreakable determination ignited by his mother and fuelled by a need to prove those who have underestimated him wrong, always sees him through. Willard really is the ‘Micro-Angelo’ of our time.
The Great British Role Model, with Nadiya Hussain MBE, Chef, Author, and TV Presenter
Nadiya Hussain MBE is a woman whose journey and whose words are seared into the consciousness of all of us. Who could ever forget that tearful victory speech when she won The Great British Bake Off?
But the most remarkable thing about Nadiya is not what a talented baker she is but the way in which she has courageously tuned in to her inner voice, broken down barriers at every turn and challenged nearly every stereotype possible.
Overcoming panic attacks and racist trolls to become an accidental ambassador for British Muslims, this is just the start for Nadiya, an extraordinary woman who has been propelled from full time mum to national treasure, capturing all of our hearts along the way.
Unlocking Talent, Stitching Hope, with Katy Emck OBE, Founding Director of Fine Cell Work
In a captivating conversation, Katy Emck OBE delves into her inspirational story as Founding Director of Fine Cell Work, a charity and social enterprise which tackles social rehabilitation by teaching prisoners the art of creative needlework.
Together with the late, great Lady Anne Tree, Katy began working with prisoners to create fine, commercial needlework which is now sold to customers across the globe. The therapeutic nature of stitching acts as a purposeful activity that has given hope, empowerment and optimism to over 8,000 prisoners.
Sharing many tear jerking and heartwarming tales from her business journey so far, Katy explains how giving prisoners the opportunity to use their hands creatively not only provides mental and physical stimulation but also gives many inmates a purpose, something that some have never experienced before.
Katie is a kind-hearted, passionate believer in second chances, and lives by Winston Churchill’s mantra that ‘There’s a treasure in the heart of every man if you can only find it’, and Fine Cell Work does just that.