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12 May 2021

Holly Tucker Q&A: “I’m pretty gutted with the obviousness of politics today“

The co-founder of the online marketplace Notonthehighstreet.com discusses her passion for small businesses, Madonna and Frida Kahlo. 

By New Statesman

Holly Tucker was born in London in 1977. In 2006 she co-founded the online marketplace Notonthehighstreet.com. She is also the founder of Holly & Co, a small business advice and inspiration platform.

What’s your earliest memory?

Catching worms and red ants in a jar at the bottom of my garden and then building a home made out of grass for them.

Who are your heroes?

Madonna was a serious crush when I was younger. Now it’s any businesswoman who pushes the status quo

What book last changed your thinking?

Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman. I knew I loved people but this book helped me realise I was right to.

[See also: Reviewed in short : New books by Anita Sethi, Martin Gayford, David Hockney, Musa Okwonga and Benjamin Myers]

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Which political figure do you look up to?

I’m pretty gutted with the obviousness of politics today, with the lack of ambition and vision for our country and the world.

What would be your Mastermind specialist subject?

Small businesses. I have been in love with this community for nearly 20 years and I have become pretty much an agent for so many thousands of them.

In which time and place, other than your own, would you like to live?

I would love to be an apprentice to an entrepreneur of the past – Madam CJ Walker, Walt Disney, or Estée Lauder.

What TV show could you not live without?

Succession. I was upset that the pandemic delayed season three. The lockdowns would have been far more bearable with the show’s wit and naughtiness.

Who would paint your portrait?

Frida Kahlo. I’m happiest with the loudest of headpieces, animal-filled artwork adorning my walls, and lots of colour, so I think she would capture my spirit.

[See also: Gaston Fébus and the thrills of the chase]

What’s your theme tune?

Kate Bush’s “Cloudbusting”. All I have to do is press play and I’m sure I will change the world for the better.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

It is better to have a hole than an arsehole. This is in reference to when company founders are desperate to hire. But be warned: getting the wrong person on board can set you back a full year.

What’s currently bugging you?

That I can’t go on holiday abroad. And yet my internal monologue keeps high-fiving this fact, as I have so much to do this year. It doesn’t believe stopping is necessary.

What single thing would make your life better?

If someone were to come and look after my inbox it would stop me looking so rude for not replying in a timely manner.

[See also: Why oil money is still essential to Scotland’s political future]

When were you happiest?

Right now. I am the happiest I have ever been. Helping founders and those who dream of starting their own business every day, all day – I can’t believe I get to call it my job.

In another life, what job might you have chosen?

A schoolteacher. I love children ever so much and would want to help them know how utterly special each of them is, and that we cannot wait to see what their story will end up being.

Are we all doomed?

No. But we need to start to live with gratitude in our hearts and PPI (presume positive intent!) the shit out of life. 

“Do What You Love, Love What You Do: The Empowering Secrets to Turn Your Passion into Profit” by Holly Tucker is published by Ebury Edge

This article appears in the 12 May 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Without total change Labour will die