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Always Be You!

Gorgeous mug and image by Catherine Colebrook.

There’s so much I love about being a Founder, I mean, don’t get me wrong – there’s lots that gives me a small business headache too! But I think the thing I love the most is that it’s all about being yourself for a living, the gloriously colourful way that you were made! You don’t have to try and confirm to someone else’s expectations.

But as well as the right to be yourself, you also have a responsibility to create a business that’s inclusive and supportive. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot this week as I’ve been getting back into Holly & Co’s journey to becoming a B Corp.

Becoming a B Corp is a BIG undertaking. You complete something called the B Impact Assessment which gets you to assess all areas of your business: governance, workers, community, environment and customers.

It encourages you to really reflect on what your business is doing and think about how you can use your business to do good in the world. And no matter how much good you’re doing it will always encourage you to do more good! Which I love! Because we can always, always improve.

There’s one section all about diversity, equality and inclusion. Words which we all hear and read about a lot but rarely dig into what they actually mean. And yet as we celebrate Pride these words are more important than ever. At Holly & Co we’re going to be introducing training about the importance of all of these things, for ALL of our team. And because I’m committed to sharing my journey with you I’ll be posting about it on my Instagram, but wanted to start by demystifying what these words actually mean! So I want to demystify them for you all and share some useful resources, because we should encourage everyone in our businesses to ALWAYS be themselves.

Diversity is all of the brilliant things that make us wonderful; from gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, caring responsibility, different ability, socio-economic status… but we should think about it in 3D. So, it’s not just these differences. It’s about our different ways of thinking, outlooks, motivation, working style, personal networks, languages, social purposes, knowledges and skills!

Equality: everybody has an equal opportunity, and is not treated differently or discriminated against because of their characteristics.

Inclusion: all people, regardless of their abilities, disabilities, or health care needs, have the right to be respected and appreciated as valuable members of their communities.

When we create a diverse, equal and inclusive place to work we attract people from different backgrounds, so you get lots of different points of view and perspectives – which leads to exciting collaborations and innovation!

So let’s celebrate Pride this weekend and support all of the businesses who are showing their love openly. I’ve loved seeing seeing how many businesses are getting involved to help spread the message whilst being BRILLIANTLY creative.

Some of my faves are this month’s stationery subscription box by the incredibly talented Papergang, is in aid of Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline who help provide information and support to the LGBTQ+ community. Indie biscuits Lady Bakewell Park who have launched a special rainbow biscuit gift box and their donating 10% of their profits to the Unity Fund which helps address the needs of LGBT+ people, and support the vital work of Pride in London. And wonderful small business Bianca’s Design Shop who designs colourful pins and accessories featuring inclusive symbols and slogans.