With notonthehighstreet.com Holly and Sophie Cornish helped reinvent how small businesses operate online, offering them a platform as well as marketing and business support. Holly has gone on to be the government’s Ambassador for Creative Small Businesses and to found a new company helping startups. She considers both the world of online retail and entrepreneurship, but also the new workplace where companies foster personal as well as professional priorities.
Holly Tucker is the co-founder and president of the online marketplace notonthehighstreet.com. She helped create a whole new way for small retailers to operate in the online era by providing them with a digital platform, support, and her knack for spotting products that will sell, and businesses with potential.
An energetic prescence and hard worker at school (earning the nickname ‘Holly Hurricane’) she nonetheless struggled with dyslexia. Like many entrepreneurs she thrived in the world outside academia and joined the ad industry, becoming one of the youngest advertising manager in the sector during her time at Publicis. She moved to publishing giant Condé Nast but remained restless and keen to work for herself. In her spare time she held design-led craft fairs around London, where she realised that small businesses needed a platform to sell their products beyond town halls and assembly rooms. The internet provided an obvious solution and with her former Publicis colleague Sophie Cornish they founded notonthehighstreet.com. A home for small businesses where they could advertise and sell their creations.
As the online marketplace grew in popularity, it became an award-winning, multimillion pound business, going from serving 100 enterprises to 5,000, selling over 200,000 products. Having built one of the most successful UK online retailers Holly turned her attention to the broader change affecting small businesses and the future of retail. She founded Holly & Co, offering help to startups in need of advice.
The UK’s Ambassador for Creative Small Businesses has advice for big businesses as well. Holly suggests ways in which companies can foster an entrepreneurial mindset, build a genuine connection between business and consumer, and grow without losing the values at the core of the company. Drawing from experience, she talks creativity and bringing colour back into business. She puts emphasis on the caring side of company life and leadership, hiring ‘Office Mums’ to make sure staff are happy, and the importance of finding your ‘good life’ – where work coexists with the other important elements.
Holly is also the author of Build a Business From Your Kitchen Table and Shape Up Your Business. She reveals the secrets to maintaining work-life balance whilst setting and achieving your goals; confidence, the rules of negotiation, and excellent team management.
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