My Style: Holly Tucker, Not On The High Street founder, is fighting for women's status

Holly Tucker, the founder of gift website Not On The High Street, shares her tips on everything from mentoring to travelling in style.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 02 Oct 2014


My nine-year-old son, Harry, wakes up at 5.30am, so we're an early household. I spend a couple of hours with him, and once he's left for school I hop on my mountain bike to our offices in Richmond, or I walk. We live nearby in St Margarets, so walking takes me 25 minutes.

I get in at nineish and have 10 to 12 meetings a day, but we try not to make them last more than half an hour. I never have a lunch break, so I eat during meetings. I'll have a Whole Foods super-food salad and on Fridays one of the noodle soups from Wagamama.

I'm very energetic and I'm known as the Duracell battery of the company, so my dress style tends to be very colourful. I have a great pair of Russell & Bromley wedge boots and I support my friend's company, Annoushka, as I'm a big fan of elaborate jewellery.

I leave the office around 7.30pm and on Monday I'll go for a glass of wine with some of the team. I attend business functions in the week, but I try to put Harry to bed at least three nights. My husband, Frank, cooks, so I always have a yummy meal to come home to.


Not On The High Street is opening offices in Germany this year and we've got big international plans, so I'll soon be travelling more for work. I try to go away every three months because I work long hours. At Christmas, I sort out our holidays for the year. In my home office, an entire wall is filled with a map of the world and we pin where we've been.

Last year, we went on an incredible trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar for a charity mission, where we helped build a school. We're off to Borneo in June, where we'll be working in an orang-utan sanctuary. Our holidays aren't about sitting on a Mauritius beach: we want to have adventures. We travel BA business class, which is so worth it because I’m normally on my knees by the time I go away. I take a pair of cashmere socks and a beautiful pyjama set that I always put on when we get on the plane. I’m also weirdly organised – I have first aid kits which I re-fill immediately after I return from a holiday so it’s ready to pick up for the next.


I don't have time for a beauty routine, so my hairdresser, colourist and beautician come to my house. My beautician visits every Sunday, so we watch The X Factor together and she'll do my nails. I have my hair done often because I go to lots of events, and I have a vitamin C facial once a month.

I'm a sucker for handbags. My latest one is a Stella McCartney, which is aubergine with a gold chain. Weekends are spent with Harry, Frank and our border terrier puppy, Mr Mudley.

Saturday starts with a long walk around Richmond Park and Sunday morning is movie time for me and Harry and for building his Lego city. We're big foodies, so we always eat out at weekends, whether it's a sushi feast or a sandwich by the river. When I'm spending quality time with the family, I put my phone on silent, which stops me constantly checking it.


When I started Not On The High Street aged 28, I was a bit naive to the whole thing. I have had various mentors over the years.I don’t necessarily agree with having one mentor – you should pick people who can help you through different stages of your career. My father was CFO of the business for its first seven years and early-stage investors have become mentors.

Despite 80% of household purchase decisions being made by women, they make up only 5% of senior decision-making roles in retail businesses. The advancement of women is important. I'm involved in the Specsavers everywoman retail ambassador programme. At Not On The High Street, 70% of our workforce is female and 90% of the small firms that partner with us are run by women - it’s really important to keep challenging the glass ceiling.

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