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Conversations of Inspiration
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Conversations of Inspiration

Author: Holly Tucker in association with NatWest

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As founder of Notonthehighstreet and Holly & Co, Holly Tucker has spent the last 15 years growing and empowering small businesses around the UK. In Conversations of Inspiration, Holly will talk to a new founder each week to hear the highs and lows encountered whilst building their business, and share some advice and inspiration along the way.
61 Episodes
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Holly meets Mindful Chef Founders Myles and Giles this week for a wonderfully inspirational interview. This episode hear's these two founders openly discussing their business highs and lows over the last 5 years, but also how a ‘giving’ mentality can transform a weekly recipe box into a true force for good.In this conversation you'll hear how these two went from packing their boxes to navigating a successful round of crowdfunding. And how exciting it is as a small business, using the power of your customers and community as your biggest and most powerful marketing tool. I hope that this episode will inspire just so many small businesses listening. You too can make a difference, and maybe even start that B-Corp journey like us here at Holly & Co - why not even give back to those in need!Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=enn
This week's episode was recorded in front of a live audience in the glorious Edinburgh, with Charlie Gladstone, founder of The Good Life Experience and Pedlars.  Charlie is hugely passionate about design, provenance, supporting makers, running businesses - but mainly helping everyone to ‘Live the Good Life’, and to do what they love. This is an utterly inspiring episode as Charlie leads us through (his self-described…) “feral” childhood but also what he believes to be game changers for small businesses and his hopes for the future of retail.In this conversation Holly and Charlie and discuss why you must shop with purpose and a consciousness, how to ultimately harness an overflowing enthusiasm (as a person and as a business owner!) and most of all how love and passion can propel you through this journey.Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=enn
Owen O'Kane, author of Ten to Zen and a trained Psychologist, joins Holly at the Holly & Co HQ for this week's conversation. This episode centres around Owen's personal path to happiness, as well as how business owners need to put into place simple strategies to help with the stresses and inner critical voice that can hold you back.Owen has been on an incredible journey through life and this episode is an emotional listen. You'll hear how Owen spent his childhood dodging the violence on the streets of 1970s Belfast, the pain of being bullied as well as Owen's struggle with his sexual identity.  A magical and up and down journey from priest to author, Owen shares his words of advice on how as business owners we can put into practice some of his knowledge on protecting our own mental health.Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=enn
Henrietta Morrison of Lily’s Kitchen (a pet food range made from the best of British ingredients) has had the most incredible career in business, spanning over 30 years. A born entrepreneur, Henrietta started (and sold) a number of businesses before founding Lily’s Kitchen - which now sells 50 million dog and cat meals a year.In this conversation, Henrietta recounts her happy childhood before a tragic series of unexpected events would turn her life upside down. But it was her terrible loss that became her fuel through her extraordinary life. A life filled with passion, purpose and entrepreneurial spirit.This is an episode about everything from disrupting an entire market and being a women in business, to money, B corps and doing good in the world.  But ultimately this conversation is about triumph over adversity and how love (for animals or people!) can conquer all.Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=enn
Emma Bridgewater is known best for her iconic style, mixing Britishness & wittiness with beautiful homeware and china.  In this episode Holly hears from Emma about how she built her iconic brand over the last 35 years, creating lasting designs, and reviving an industry in Stoke. With a turn over of over £20 million a year, Holly and Emma explore life as a female entrepreneur in a male dominated industry, discuss their approach to 'mother's guilt' and the strong role family plays within business. From sharing thoughts on the life span of a product, to discussing the impact her own beloved mother had on her career, this episode is a rare glimpse into Emma Bridgewater and her iconic brand.  Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=enn
Gemma Metcalfe-Beckers, founder of Muthahood, talks to Holly about her business' main mission - empowering women and girls through ethically produced products that have positive, strong and meaningful messages.  In this episode Holly learns how Gemma's incredible 'Strong Girls Club' represents every woman's strength and the need for celebrating self-value. Gemma's work has grown from only emotional heartache, physical pain and an searingly honest view on the world but wanting to "see" those that need touch of empowerment.   From her journey through childbirth and PTSD, to starting the business on just £400 and building a community - Gemma candidly shares what it means to be an entrepreneur whilst bringing up her young children and how you can navigate the bumpy road of motherhood.  Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=en
Donna Wilson, aptly named ‘Designer of the Year’ at Elle Decoration’s British Design Awards, has been creating her curious creatures, cushions, knitwear and ever-expanding home accessories since 2003.Donna’s story began on her parent's farm in rural Aberdeenshire, and it was from these early adventures (and a little push from her inspirational Grandma) that her love for landscapes, wildlife, crafting and of course sustainable practices grew. In this episode, Holly visited Donna in her incredible East London Studio to hear all about how she honed her homegrown talents into the business it is today. Donna shares with Holly her magical time at the RCA, watching her products popping up all over the globe and the vital importance of UK manufacturing, exploring how true collaboration and a network of talent is key!Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=en
Rosie Wolfenden & Harriet Vine founded their handmade jewellery company Tatty Devine in 1999 very much as a 'side hustle'; selling their first pieces from a market stall in Camden after discovering the discarded fabric and sample books that they would create their first collection from. Having worked together for the past 20 years, Rosie & Harriet know a thing or two about making collaborations work, having seen successful collaborations with the V&A, Rob Ryan, & Anthony Gormley, to name a few. In this episode, Rosie & Harriet share their journey from that market stall to the pages of Vogue, their approach to sustainability, and how they found their signature style. A must listen for those dreaming of turning a side hustle into their dream career!Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=en
This week's episode is highly emotionally charged, as Dame Kelly Holmes discusses the challenges she faced and overcame on her journey to winning two gold medals at the 2004 Olympics. In an extraordinary conversation, Kelly reveals the dramatic lows and mental health struggles that preceded her dreams coming true.Kelly also discusses life after achieving her dreams, how a focused passion can fuel success as well some insights into her own winning mentality and how that can translate into business. This episode is amust listen, for anyone who has ever faced adversity; Kelly is a testament to overcoming the odds and the power of belief.Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=en
This week’s episode is a LIVE special podcast from The Congregation of Inspiration 2019. The 12 hour day condensed into one podcast, with tips, advice, lessons and laughs from all our speakers on the day - including Fearne Cotton, Sahar Hashemi OBE, Charlie Gladstone, Freddie Harrel & Emily Coxhead. Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, Edward Perry, Pip Murray, Dave Buonaguidi and of course, Holly Tucker herself. Covering topics from being brave in business, building a brand doing good, to pursuing happiness and what it really means to build an immersive brand, this episode is a snapshot of an extraordinary day. Throughout the episode you’ll also hear from some of the people who attended the day, as well as the sounds of the brilliant Urban Voices Collective who joined us on the day.Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=en
This week’s episode of Conversations of Inspiration was recorded LIVE at St Mary’s Church in Marylebone London, as part of the most incredible day in the small business calendar, The Congregation of Inspiration 2019. This week’s guest is Rob Ryan, an artist renowned for his intricate papercuttings. His artwork has featured in Vogue, Elle, and Stylist. One year he created 28 Liberty Christmas windows which started a journey where Rob's work began to be seen by the masses. He has collaborated with Alex Monroe, Tatty Devine and none other than Sir Paul Smith.In this episode, Holly and Rob discuss his childhood, how he discovered his talents at the RCA, to then after a hard 20 years trying to make a living out of his art, the difficult choice he made, to allow his art to be for the masses. Recorded live, in a London church with the light streaming through the stained glass windows, as he told his story - this episode was personally an extra special and spiritual one. Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker
This week on Conversations of Inspiration Holly meets Will Ramsay - founder of the Affordable Art Fair. With a shared passion for art and supporting creative individuals, as well as a joint belief in the power of curation, this is an episode filled with sage advice and a particularly poignant letter to close the conversation.In this episode, Will and Holly discuss his unique upbringing, being one part of a military dynasty, with a very significant grandfather, and how that shaped his life as an entrepreneur.Will founded the Affordable Art Fair just over twenty years ago, with a purpose to democratise the art world, which at the time was deemed snooty and only for the upper elite.  His business has not only made it easier for more people to buy art but given greater opportunities for artists to make a living. Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=en
This week on Conversations of Inspiration Holly meets Alan Keery, co-founder of The Cereal Killer Cafe in their awe-inspiring cafe on Brick Lane.From ignoring the naysayers when launching a niche business to gaining media attention from day one and dealing with a completely overwhelming media frenzy when they were targeted with attacks during the London riots, the Cereal Killer Cafe have been on an extraordinary journey in the last 4 years. They have now overcome that to be the feature of a London musical as well as scaling the business to have a global presence! Recorded in an immersive cafe, where retail theatre is brought to life in the very truest sense of the word, Alan's kindness, generosity and honesty with which he recounts the most difficult moments along the journey, make this podcast a fascinating listen.Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=en
This week on Conversations of Inspiration, Holly made the short journey down the road to the beautiful Sipsmith distillery in Chiswick, to meet Sipsmith founders Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall. This is a story that shows the beauty and power of building a company with a close friend, with a shared vision and passion.Sipsmith's story is a special one - in an industry that has not seen a new independent gin distillery opened in over 200 years, Sipsmith single-handedly changed the entire industry, simultaneously bringing with it a connection to the traditions of the gin industry, whilst also bringing the fun that its founders embody so completely.They discuss their startup journey to success, the decision to sell their business after 10 years and their formative years that laid the foundations for building the Sipsmith empire.Sam and Fairfax share incredibly heartfelt and emotional letters at the end of this conversation, they are not to be missed.Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=en
This episode was recorded in front of a live audience of 300 in the beautiful surroundings of Manchester Cathedral. Mark Constantine, co founder of the iconic brand Lush, is the ultimate role model of someone who can turn their life around through following their purpose and passion. Abandoned by his father at a very young age, Mark had a very difficult start in life, ending up living on the streets at 16 and with very little prospects. However his sheer hard work, determination and following his passion, he founded his first cosmetic brand for his kitchen table, supplying to the infamous Body Shop. Today Mark and his team are forging the future for retail, with Lush now boasting 928 stores globally, with newest concept stores in Berlin, Milan, Tokyo and most recently Manchester, along with opening the world’s largest Lush store in Liverpool. A highly innovative, creative and conscious brand, Lush is using its power to change the world to be a better place. Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=en
This week on Conversations of Inspiration, Holly meets Tina Bernstein, founder of Mapology Guides. In this thought provoking episode, Holly & Tina discuss how Tina used her struggles with mental health to help empower others, and how she now lives the Good Life through founding her business. A designer, blogger, and entrepreneur, Tina started her creative career studying at the renowned art school, Central St Martins. However, after suffering from a nervous breakdown at 26, Tina moved into the world of psychology.  She noticed the lack of colour, design and illustration in self-help guides, so decided to create her own guides to help others. Mapology Guides was born as a tool to empower individuals to adopt their own approach to mindfulness, well-being and personal development, with her love for printed maps and illustrations gave her the idea for this format.  Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=en
This week on Conversations of Inspiration Holly speaks to Fearne Cotton, founder of Happy Place.  A true entrepreneur in the making, Fearne is creating a strong brand from her purpose and passion - building a business doing exactly what she loves. In this episode, Holly and Fearne discuss the difficult transition to taking the leap into starting her own business, the juggle as a working mum, navigating social media as well as the solace she has found in putting creativity at the very heart of everyday.  Fearne started her working life from a young age when she won a competition to be a TV presenter. Her warmth and openness won over the British public straight away and she went onto present shows such as Top of the Pops, Comic Relief and then became the first ever female presenter of the Radio 1 chart show. After suffering from a spell of depression Fearne’s career took on a new direction. She decided to leave her top job at Radio One and instead, publish books focused around happiness, with tools to help others who might also be struggling.   She launched her podcast ‘Happy Place’ in 2017, which draws on her own experiences and shares advice from experts and celebrities, helping everyone to find their happiness. Her brand continues to grow along with a huge allegiance of fans. Her books, podcast, brand collaborations and now her Happy Place Festival, are a testament to her success. Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals.  Follow Holly  on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=en
In this episode, Holly meets passionate and inspiring Petra Barran, the founder of KERB. Throughout this conversation, Petra and her love not only of food, but for inspiring and helping small businesses build their own companies and dreams shines through.With the goal to become part of the fabric of London, this was a podcast designed for those who need to see, how big things can come from the smallest of beginnings - even, out the front of an ice cream van!Petra began her small business journey from an ice cream van, selling her homemade chocolate at markets and festivals, where she discovered her passion for independents vendors and the small business community.  This passion began to take over her life and so she decided to start her new business bringing together the most exciting street food talent on the streets of London and so KERB was born.Her first site for her street food market was in Kings Cross back in 2012 and since then Kerb has grown to five sites across London, with over 90 traders, serving up over 10,000 dishes a week. Launching in’kerb’ator programme her business also helps to support and progress their small business traders building community of entrepreneurs who are driving change across the city’s food landscape.Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com (http://natwestbusinesshub.com/)  for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals.  Follow Holly on Instagram: http://instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=en
This week Holly meets Roger Wade, the founder of Boxpark, - to hear about his mission to use his business as a force for good, to bring together communities and make them thrive, safer and happier.   Holly & Roger discuss the future of the high street, their shared passion for independents, and how though his visionary concept for Boxpark, Roger is disrupting the world of retail.Roger started his career in advertising, being fired twice before moving to the US where he discovered his passion for American streetwear and recognised the huge market there was for it back in the UK. So on the third time of being fired, he realised that he needed to be his own boss, and start his own business.He founded Boxfresh in 1989, initially selling streetwear from his market stall, but eventually growing the business to being an international company turning over £20million a year, before selling it and founding his latest venture Boxpark. Known as ‘the world’s first pop up mall’, Boxpark is a unique shopping concept made up from shipping containers, offering independents a much more affordable and flexible retail space.Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com (http://natwestbusinesshub.com/)   for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals. Follow Holly on Instagram: http://instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=en
This episode was recorded in front of a live audience in Bristol for the second date on our live tour of Conversations of Inspiration, in partnership with NatWest. In this conversation, Holly & Levi discuss his difficult early years, the decision to turn his life around and the passion and determination that powered him to success today, as well as, of course his unforgettable appearance on Dragons Den which would go on to supercharge his brand.  Born in Jamaica, he came to the UK at the age of 11, not being able to read or write, and found himself struggling to find his place in Brixton in the 70’s.  After stints in prison, Levi turned his life around through his sheer determination and returning to his two true passions in life - music and food, and combining them into a business.  His appearance on Dragons Den set his life on a new trajectory, and after gaining investment and mentorship from Peter Jones, Levi's Reggae Reggae sauce went from strength to strength. Since then his life has been a whirlwind of success, expanding his range to include cooking sauces, ready meals, soft drinks and desserts, he has published six cookbooks and a business book, released a new album and most recently, Levi realised his ultimate dream of opening his Caribbean ‘Rasta-rant' in Westfield Stratford.  Find tickets to the Manchester recording of Conversations of Inspiration here: https://holly.co/conversations-live/manchester/Conversations of Inspiration is brought to you with support from NatWest: visit natwestbusinesshub.com for information, tips and insights to help business owners meet their goals.  Follow Holly on Instagram: instagram.com/hollytucker/?hl=en
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Comments (12)

Nadine Hume

loves listening to this ❤️

Oct 29th
Reply (1)

Dotty Red

loved this. wow

Oct 8th
Reply

Neil Holmes

Without doubt, far and away the best of the amazing Conversations of Inspiration. If you only listen to one. Make sure it is this one!!!

Jun 18th
Reply

Dotty Red

wow

Jun 12th
Reply

Emma Bradstreet

incredibly inspiring! I think this may be my new favourite podcast!

Jun 3rd
Reply

Joanne Rasmussen

wow Chrissie's letter to her 15yr old self made me very emotional. I'm a small business owner & I loved listening to her story. Thank-you 💙🙏💙

Apr 10th
Reply

sagar karathiya

"The letter" was indeed the best part of this podcast.

Feb 1st
Reply

Sara Cook

I completely love this podcast. Thank you Holly for bringing so many inspiring people to my attention. 😍

Oct 10th
Reply

Sara Cook

This is wonderful. Definitely inspiring. 😍

Oct 3rd
Reply

Neil Holmes

Truely inspirational

Sep 21st
Reply

murdoch mac

very inspiring I now want to start my own company

Sep 5th
Reply
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