I’m writing it…Yes there you go, I’ve just written the first words of my blog!
A blog you can now all see! Probably those shouldn’t be my first words, but I think I’m in shock! I don’t know what all the fuss has been about – it’s so easy launching a company the second time around – a piece of confetti cake!
I can’t even begin to tell you, how long I’ve longed to put pen to paper and start to write within the Holly & Co hub. Well, actually I can tell you, it was almost 32 months ago that the idea of Holly & Co came about and we’ve worked on it, every single day since. That’s a total off ‘roughly’ 1000 days that I’ve longed to have this moment. A moment I connect with my tribe, in a wigwam of positivity and hope.
So, what the dickens is Holly & Co? Firstly, just to be clear, this is NOT an egotistical maniac (Holly), building a company (Co)! Although, it makes me smile to think of those who will think this. It also makes me excited, to show those who underestimate the power of small, what this group will achieve.
Holly & Co is simply a place built, brick by brick, megabyte by megabyte, in order to create a space where the hearts of small businesses can belong to. It’s a place to be safe, to be creative and ultimately to come together to change things, for the better. It’s a place only made out of love and belief in this army of creativity. My belief in the power of small. It’s a place where all I want, is for us all, to feel connected in a movement we all share. Where we get to help businesses stay away from the ‘grey’, whilst we all connect, learn, grow, cry and laugh together. I’m calling it ‘The Home of Small Businesses’. Where collectively, we bring colour to the world of grey. United in our shared dreams to live ‘The Good Life’ and pour ‘what ifs’ into society.
I’ve believed in this group of people for over 13 years and I now plan to dedicate my life, in helping this most inspiring group to thrive – for the rest of my, and their, lifetimes.
As this is totally funded by myself and the business has been built by a team as dedicated to the cause as I am, I’ve had the freedom to build another business that can change things. But this time, I have my war scars and my battle learnings of building businesses. I want to share with you all that I’ve learnt. I want to bring honesty to the world we live in. I’m excited to dream up and build a brilliant company that just brings joy, knowledge and inspiration to everyone who makes a living with their hands. Who knows, we might even get to change society, the landscape we live in (the high street) and our parents or children’s lives. Big thinking? Well, that’s what it’s all about, and together, I know we’re going to achieve the most awesome colourful and creative things.
So with this freedom, and hoping I know you guys a little bit, I wanted to give you something to be part of. A place that has never been created before! A destination to ride the waves of everything ‘small business’ and the community to watch and encourage you to paint your future.
A place where you can sign up and interact online, but also, where you can physically visit too.
Now, for those of you with publicly facing physical spaces, you’ll know my pain! After living behind an online marketplace for a decade, I wasn’t quite aware (or respected enough) how hard it was to build a public space and run it. I hear you laughing! I suppose it’s funny looking back now, but my goodness, no wonder our high streets are so shit. If it’s this hard to launch a simple small space as a small business…Okay I’ll stop there! I could go on for ages about this whole subject, but I’m going off topic!
Anyway, back to the space. We’ve created the first of its kind. A place where we celebrate – you. A hub of small business and The Artisans. You can eat, drink, buy, learn and experience Artisans and small business all under one roof. To our knowledge nowhere in the world has done this before and so I’m beyond excited to see where this leads.
But, as you are reading this, you’ll realise that the ‘Work/Shop’, is only part of what we’re doing. We plan to bring you a very rare thing – an immersive brand. A brand, company, hub (whatever you want to call it) that offers you the ability to ‘feel it’ in more than one dimension. Below is a short rundown of what we’re all about.
So, at the heart, is a space to call your own. Where we’ve developed every single thing you eat, sourced the most artisanal drinks, scoured and co-produced the 100 unique products available in the physical shop. We made sure that everything you touch has been created by a small business, even down to the paint, tables and chairs. We’ve tried to delight our discerning customers with real attention to detail. To keep things interesting, we change things around each month, by celebrating a different artisanal industry. So this month we are celebrating – The Artist and last month we celebrated The Florist. We’re also going to hold our events at this place we call ‘The Work/Shop’ (we have a shop out the front and we work out the back).
As some of you will know, I’ve been writing on Instagram for over two years now and I’ve managed to write over 700 pieces. I’m not a writer, actually I’d never written in my life before I started my posts. This was due to my non existent confidence, thanks to a life of being told I couldn’t write and being dyslexic didn’t help either! But, I started and now I couldn’t live without it. I dipped my toe into this whole area on Instagram and people seemed to like it. As much as I adore Instagram, and will continue to share using this wonderful platform, I‘m going to be transferring the longer pieces over to this platform. It will allow me to express myself more and bring articles to life in a better way. I just can’t wait for this! Even better still, I’ve been collecting amazing people to write for me, on areas that they’re passionate about. I look forward, in time, to introduce you to all of them. But for now, I am on my tod and love this new found freedom. I hope you do too.
Knowing a few things about product and utterly adoring retail, selling products couldn’t be far from me in anything I build. Now, my first child is notonthehighstreet.com and I am very close to the team and believe wholeheartedly that there’s no better place on this planet to buy ‘unique’ and the most thoughtful gifts. Full stop!
But, with an yearning to always do things differently and loving the idea we’re in a club, we jumped at the chance to curate exclusively for this community. Rather than a shop for everyone, it’s a shop that only has you, small businesses, in mind. We’ve got so many ideas about what would make your ‘retail therapy/business side’ of yourself happy. It’s a chance for us to find things that will bring you such joy from across the globe, whether it’s a treat, inspirational for your working day or just allows you to celebrate your profession – we’re bursting with excitement to fill these virtual shelves. Everything is made by small businesses, for small business – of course
People love getting together (when we can find the time!) and I know that being inspired is never easier than when in the presence of creative genius. So, we’re going to be running magical events! These will be in the Work/Shop (for now) and we’ll have a real mix in the future. We’re going to hold classes that are creative, some that are soul-searching and others to inspire our young. We’re going to concentrate on the 10-16 year olds as we think this is a group who really need help in thinking differently. We want to help them discover what amazing qualities they already hold and that the world would love to know about. In time, we’ll be designing events outside of the Work/Shop – so watch this space.