Updated: Sep 12, 2021
There's a wonderful story to how I came to work with the amazing HOLLY & CO and create the The Holly and Co Postcard.
The story is such meaningful one to all of us at LILIAN MAY STUDIO because Holly Tucker's (founder of NOT ON THE HIGH STREET and HOLLY & CO) Conservations of Inspiration podcasts are not only the background music in the studio (me, my mother and nephews love listening to the podcast so much so that we talk of Holly as if she were a personal friend and part of the team) but also the inspiration to dream big and keep growing!
A connection forged in difficult times
I've been inspired by Holly Tucker's drive to enable small creative businesses to reach great heights and change the oppressive 'normal' work environment to one that makes your dreams a reality, a 'good life business' for many years now. At the very end of 2019 I took the plunge and left the job that was crushing me and risked it all starting my own business - LILIAN MAY. After a successful first Christmas things seemed to be going well until 4 months in COVID brought the world to its knees.
Light in the dark
I remember for 2 whole weeks all sales stopped. I'm not sure if it was the first 2 weeks of lockdown or just when the realization that the covid virus was going to change the world, but for 2 weeks the world was a scary place and we had no income.
I thought the business was dead. I don't want to sound utterly materialistic here, my life outside of business was terrifying too. My father had developed a dry cough and was feeling so ill that it took all his resolve to get out of bed to shave and shower, which was super scary as my mother has COPD a lung condition that means even a mild chest infection is life threatening.
I moved back to my home town of Glastonbury to be on hand to help my parents out with things such as the weekly shop, something once so normal which now was a danger for them. How quickly the world changed. I don't remember when the talk of furlough began but I knew it wouldn't apply to me. I had no idea how I was going to get through the pandemic, but a light shone in the darkness. Holly used her platform on Instagram to give hope and direction with her daily live broadcasts, SME SOS. They were a life saver for me!
Every day Holly took to Instagram Live to broadcast SME SOS, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that it was her that kept me going through those difficult times. It was during one of these Lives that Holly spoke about dreaming as big as you can and it was these words that inspired the break through for me that took my business that what primarily a commission based affair to creating an art company. Realizing that I wanted to create a business that not only created art but also inspired others to do so too and produce a range of top quality art materials from palettes to handmade paints.
A BOLT FROM THE BLUE
As lockdown went on I was floored by the response from my patrons. A huge wave of previous customers placed commissions - typing this now it brings a tear to my eye. One wonderful patron, John, wrote "Will! I'm back. Wild horses couldn't drag me away at this point." I can't thank him, and so many amazingly thoughtful people, enough for their support!
We were desperate to do something to help others too, so I made our MISS YOU card and we gave £2 from each sale to the NHS and Refuge.org, the largest single provider of specialist domestic abuse services.
Out of the blue we received an email from Holly & Co saying that they would like to stock the MISS YOU card! We could not believe it! It stands as a mile stone in our history, our proudest day!
A SPECIAL THANK YOU
While we busied ourselves making the wholesale order for Holly and Co I was determined to take the opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks for all Holly and her team had done, not only giving the tools and encouragement for me to start my creative business but also being the guiding light leading me and the team through this unprecedented time.
I thought that words wouldn't be enough so I created a unique THANK YOU card.
To my shock and delight I heard back from Holly and she said that since early on, she had wanted a postcard for Holly & Co and asked if I would tweak the thank you card into the Holly & Co postcard which you can now buy from Holly & Co - The Work Shop and on the Holly and Co website!
Thank you Holly and the rest of the team at Holly & Co! You are flipping amazing!