Holly Tucker MBE is the CEO of notonthehighstreet.com which was founded in 2006. The concept behind NOTHS is very simple and yet so brilliant. Take your local fair, which everyone loves, and put it online. So come rain or shine, it is accessible 24/7. It’s main focus is selling high quality bespoke items from small British businesses. It’s a win-win situation: we get beautiful (mainly handcrafted items) and small businesses all over the country get put on the map.
NM: Your son Harry (now 9) was born around the same time as NOTHS. Many people would use a newborn as their excuse to not start a new business but you did quite the opposite. What was that like?
HT: Hard work! Becoming a mum for the first time is a full time job in itself and here I was trying to balance motherhood with launching my first online business. I can’t say it was easy but it did allow me (at least in the early days) the luxury of spending time with my son.
Notonthehighstreet.com launched in April 2006 and Harry has always been very much a part of the business, so much so that on his sixth birthday he asked if he could come in to the office to learn some coding with the tech guys!
NM: Having an idea and actually executing it are two completely different things. What tips would you give to anyone looking to start their own business?
HT: Know that you are doing it for the right reasons. Running your own business can have lots of perks but ultimately it means you have the toughest boss of all – you! I didn’t set out to become an entrepreneur but I have always been passionate about small, creative businesses. I saw hidden talent everywhere and I was determined to shine a light on these sellers and offer them an online platform to trade more efficiently.
NM: How do you balance your work life and your family life?
HT: When it comes to running your own business there is no such thing as a work/life balance and whilst that can be difficult to accept, you have to remind yourself that no one can do everything all of the time. I’m not always the best at switching off but holidays are my time to dedicate to my family. We’ve recently come back from a trip to South Africa where my partner Frank, Harry and I helped release some baby turtles into the sea. Memories such as that are incredibly precious to me and make the long working hours all the more worth it.
NM: What can we expect from NOTHS in the next 12 months?
HT: What’s not to expect?! We’ve set the wheels in motion for our busiest year yet with new category launches (including the launch of notonthehighstreet.com experiences which I am VERY excited about!), international development as well as a new TV ad campaign set to launch this summer.
From its inception, notonthehighstreet.com has focused on championing unique, original and high quality products and obviously one of our on-going ambitions is to continue to delight customers with our product range. Notonthehighstreet.com promotes ‘a life less ordinary’ and this is what we want to bring to our customers; beautiful products that will make their lifestyles just a little more extraordinary.
NM: An MBE is such a honour, congratulations! What one word describes how you felt on the day?
HT: Bursting with pride! (Am I allowed three?)
Ofcourse you are Holly! 🙂 Thanks so much for speaking to us.
For fabulous, bespoke and personalised gifts, visit www.notonthehighstreet.com I just received my Mother’s Day present in the post 🙂