Our Community is our Strength

The word community comes from the Latin ‘communis’, meaning “common, public, shared by all or many.” And for most of our existence, humans have lived in communities. Groups of 20 or 30 people who worked together, cooked communal meals, and lived and died around each other. For most of history, we’d watch the sun going down with the same people we knew deeply, trusted, sometimes bickered with, but overall felt overwhelmingly connected to.

It’s only very late on in history that we’ve started living in cul de sacs, commuting to work in offices with people whose values we don’t share and eating for one in cities of ten million strangers.

Being a part of a community can make us feel as though we are a part of something greater than ourselves. It can give us opportunities to connect with people, to reach for our goals, and makes us feel safe and secure.

Right now we can’t physically be connected in communities, but BOY we can be in other ways. Before I go into that… researching this has made me think!

I want to be connected to 20-30 people like that. That sounds really nice. A community. Is it neighbours and local traders, who look out for me and I for them? I think we have to be careful, in this period of time, to not allow the mind to say ‘I’m alright Jack’, being alone.

Anyway back to what I was getting at! Right now, we need to form close bonds and communities online and within groups that are our tribes. We need to have face time, Zooms, and all the rest of it – with these people. Collaborate with our new found friends and start to build connections that are new and potentially will be there forever, so that when we come out of this… we have built an even stronger community around us.

Thank you, dear Rebecca Strickson for being amazing as ever I am buying one now, and so can you from the holly.co shop!

As ever, please share SME: SOS with any small businesses you know, so we can reach and help as many as possible through this difficult time! Join me every day on Instagram for my Daily Bulletin and to access SME: SOS resources and community, please head to @hollytucker for all the latest information and follow the conversation with #SMESOS

Small things matter to small businesses.

Small things matter to small businesses. I love this saying and can’t thank the wonderful Stormy Knight enough for illustrating this better!⁠

That’s totally and utterly correct, because if we all do something small then this has a big effect.⁠

You have to only think, what if everyone who sees, likes, and comments on this post spent £5  today with a small business, the overall total would be well into its thousands, pumped into the small business economy.⁠

Nothing is too small when it comes to supporting this community. Nothing.⁠ Write a review, buy a card, purchase a pizza, buy a Xmas gift (just one if you want to save it till later), treat yourself, buy a voucher – nothing is nothing. You know the drill!⁠

Could you commit to spending a few pounds a day with a small business? What you might have spent on a latte? Even for us biggest supporters, shall we commit to this? A daily routine? Small things matter to small businesses.

As ever, please share SME: SOS with any small businesses you know, so we can reach and help as many as possible through this difficult time! Join me everyday on Instagram for my Daily Bulletin and to access SME: SOS resources and community, please head to @hollytucker for all the latest information and follow the conversation with #SMESOS

Don’t forget – you are small but mighty!

When you look at the definition of MIGHTY it means – possessing great and impressive power or strength, especially because of size. Now they were referencing being big, but actually we now realise, it can mean small too.⁠

This week I’ve read such worrying news about so many large businesses who are dealing with seismic issues. Of course, because they’ve grown into large and complex organisms. And it’s why Holly & Co will not grow large. I’ve been there and done that. It will grow large in terms of its effect and reach, but its HQ will only grow smart and grow small.⁠

I know from first-hand experience, that you can be small and mighty. You can be as impactful as big businesses but be a small business. And it’s why I encourage people to not look to the ‘big’ boys for any inspiration because the majority (if you knew the truth and the real workings on the inside) is not something you’d want to emulate.⁠

There is mightiness in your smallness. Know that small, is the new big. Thank you, dear House of Hooray, for a flag I fly proudly.

As ever, please share SME: SOS with any small businesses you know, so we can reach and help as many as possible through this difficult time! Join me everyday on Instagram for my Daily Bulletin and to access SME: SOS resources and community, please head to @hollytucker for all the latest information and follow the conversation with #SMESOS

Why we should all continue to shop small long after this

This picture was taken a little while before lockdown and outside my local, favourite and lovely butchers, proudly stood (might of had quite a few odd looks!) with my Modo Creative board in my arms, silently protesting to all who walked past!

And on that morning, where this all got serious, I remember my tremors of fear were for three things, in quick succession – for my family, for my businesses and for (my) small business community. How were any of us going to get through this?

So you can imagine, it was music to my ears when I read a recent report that stated since the coronavirus hit the UK customers are increasingly choosing local newsagents and smaller shops – FINALLY…!!! Those on the high street and all who are at home operating their small business are helping our nation function right now- from the local baker that will still deliver bread, to the mini-maker who helped you send that much-needed pick-me-up or even the indie card illustrator that SAVED your bacon when you suddenly remembered your aunty’s birthday – we are relying more and more on small.

I will continue to #campaignshopindependent all year round, pandemic or not because really it isn’t just shopping. It’s connection. It’s humanity. It’s community… and most of all – it’s love I’d love to hear your experiences where you’d have normally relied on, or chosen ‘big’ in your daily life, but now you’ve been helped by ‘small’? Would you go back, on the other side? #alwaysshopsmall #SMESOS #smallbusinessalways

The small business chameleon super power!

Every big business goes through periods where they wish they were able to adapt as quickly as they did when they started. They spend huge budgets to hire consultants, to work out how they can get back to their roots, be more entrepreneurial, get faster, focus on what matters, cut the bureaucracy and so on. And some businesses had to get big, to make what they did work. But some just grew ‘fat’ and they blotted as they thought that getting bigger, would help things. News Flash – it doesn’t.⁠

I love these little chameleons from @nordborinterior as they remind me of the superpower in being able to adapt quickly. Change your make up depending on your environment. And I think we all should have one of these little guys, on our desks to remind ourselves that we can, and should, adapt.⁠

Just because you do one thing today, doesn’t mean, if it feels right and there’s an opportunity, that you can’t test something totally new tomorrow! You don’t have to be ‘just one thing’ and I think we suffer from the need to compartmentalise ourselves. You were born with many talents, you have lots of ideas and right now – you need to be flexible. See what you can be ‘today’ that’s current, that meets customers’ needs and societal change.⁠

Keep your eyes peeled and your mind open. Change and adapt. Pivot and move quickly. Fail lots and learn fast and well, just keeping changing and adapting. Be a proud chameleon!

As ever, please share SME: SOS with any small businesses you know, so we can reach and help as many as possible through this difficult time! Join me everyday on Instagram for my Daily Bulletin and to access SME: SOS resources and community, please head to @hollytucker for all the latest information and follow the conversation with #SMESOS

The Holly & Co‑mmunity Facebook group is here!

Drum roll please! I am so bloody excited to announce that the Holly & Co-mmunity Facebook group is now open for you all to join!⁠

Holly & Co-mmunity is a friendly and encouraging place for people running (or thinking about starting!) their own small businesses to connect, collaborate and be inspired.⁠ Whether you’re dreaming about starting a small business, you’re moonlighting every spare minute you get, or you’re already running your own enterprise this will be the space for you!⁠

Make new friends, ask questions (there’s no such thing as a silly one!) and enjoy exclusive Holly & Co content!⁠

Head over to the Holly & Co Facebook page and then request to join the ‘Holly & Co-mmunity group’. Once you’ve been accepted I’d love you to say hello and introduce yourself to your new friends. Where are you on your business journey? What’s your business (or business idea) all about? What do you enjoy doing? What are you hoping to get from this group?⁠

I can’t wait to get to know you better! And thank you dear Make and Mend Co for the most beautiful notepad imaginable!

Click here to join now!

 

If you start a small business, you’re in the top 10% of humans!

I’d never thought about this, but Dave put it brilliantly – if you have a small business or you’re going to start one, you’re in the top 10% of humans. Humans are wired to take the path of least resistance and creating a company is certainly not that! You embark on a rollercoaster that’s relentlessly dealing with the most stomach-churning issues, barely coming up for breath and continuously putting yourself last when it comes to self-care, money and sanity!

So you might say, “Well that’s why we’re in the 10%, the other 90% have their heads screwed on!”… but you know, and I know that actually it’s because with that pain, comes GREAT riches. Either from carving out a life where you have total control of or being utterly alive living within your creativity. Making good (and sometimes better) money and ultimately living a ‘good life’ – the true definition of wealth.

Don’t you give up! Do you hear me? Do you hear Dave?

Life is going to be different on the other side, so you do what you have to, to keep alive until then. You and I will get through this together and will lead that 10% into happier times.

As ever, please share SME: SOS with any small businesses you know, so we can reach and help as many as possible through this difficult time! Join me everyday on Instagram for my Daily Bulletin and to access SME: SOS resources and community, please head to @hollytucker for all the latest information and follow the conversation with #SMESOS

How can I help you, now and on ‘the other side’ – tell me!

I have woken up this morning, with the clearest of thoughts…and not just because the wonderful @jadefishercardco beautifully captured my spirit (you are brilliant Jade and thank you!)… that I need to take everything I am about to the next level.⁠

I think I have, through SME: SOS but I have to keep going…⁠ If you could only see inside my head – I have so many plans to explode the status quo and bring (hopefully) such colour to your lives.⁠

I’d love you to email me hello@holly.co with all you wish me to create! What do you need, what can I help with? The silliest of ideas (NO such thing as a silly idea – remember that!) very welcome. What could I go to the Government with? Do you have a shop? What things have I brought to you through SME: SOS that you want me to carry on – on the ‘other side’?⁠

Take your megaphone and tell me!
As ever, please share SME: SOS with any small businesses you know, so we can reach and help as many as possible through this difficult time! Join me everyday on Instagram for my Daily Bulletin and to access SME: SOS resources and community, please head to @hollytucker for all the latest information and follow the conversation with #SMESOS

Our Work/Shop – a modern-day ‘citizen’s advice’

The Work/Shop may be physically shut, but we’re still cheerleading the small business community! We’re virtually here for you always, but especially now, as we navigate this bloody topsy-turvey world together.

And our window is showing it! With our SME: SOS logo proudly displayed for anyone who passes to see… although we hope it won’t be too many – essential trips only and all that!⁠

We think we look a bit like the modern-day ‘citizen’s advice’! Dedicated to supporting, empowering and inspiring small businesses!⁠

As you know I live and breathe ‘independent’ business, so it makes me so sad to see the high street looking so closed. I wanted to still use our window as a way to communicate our mission to the world and to bring some life to the empty streets of St Margarets.

It got me thinking, how can we all use our windows, literal or virtual, to keep communicating with the world? Or to show our creativity, bringing a smile to someones face?⁠

I’ve been seeing lots and lots of rainbows on my daily walk, and here on Instagram, and this week have spied the teddy bears too (for people on a teddy bear hunt)! It just makes me feel son connected to the creative community, even from afar.

To access SME: SOS resources and community, please head to @hollytucker for all the latest information and follow the conversation with #SMESOS