FOUNDER JOURNEYS: ALWAYS TRAVEL WITH A CORKSCREW, SAYS LOUISE HILL
Lauren Ho, travel editor of Wallpaper* magazine, talks to Louise Hill, founder of gohenry.
A former e-commerce pundit, working for brands like Next Directory, John Lewis and Debenhams, Louise Hill set up gohenry, her flourishing online Fintech business, seven years ago. With the goal to educate young people about money management, gohenry is an app and a Visa debit card with unique parental controls that empowers young people to learn the ropes and give them a safe space to earn, save and take part in the digital economy. Now, with over 700,000 members at home and across the pond where the company has just launched, Hill travels regularly, particularly to the US, and says travel has given her a much wider sense of perspective on the world.
What has been the most unexpected experience you’ve had on your business travels?
Bumping into Paper Lace [a pop group] at Leeds Bradford Airport and then sitting next to the lead singer, who I confess, I worshipped when I was about 13 years old.
How has travel impacted your life and your business?
Travel has opened my eyes to different cultures; I hope that my travels over the years have helped me approach things with an open mind and a willingness to accept differences.
What are the three things that help you achieve a good work-life balance while on the road?
My eye mask; my phone; and an old photo of my two kids that I always keep in my suitcase.
Describe your travel style in three words
In two words: prepared and organised- which means I can be relaxed for the journey itself.
What travel destination has been the most important to your business and what have you learnt about it?
The United States. We launched there last year and have been growing incredibly fast, ever since. Working with US-based businesses and customers has really brought home that it is not one country, but a whole collection of different countries, and that you have to tailor your business and your thinking to suit.
What are the most important factors in a good piece of luggage?
A good piece of luggage needs to be stylish, strong and functional. It gets battered about like nothing else you own, and yet it still needs to look good when it arrives at your destination.
What is the one surprising thing that is always in your carry-on luggage?
Lavender pillow spray and – dare I confess – a corkscrew!
What is the ultimate packing tip?
Roll! I was told to do this almost 20 years ago, but I only recently started doing it and it really works.
What makes a trip a journey?
Meeting new people and discovering new places.
Where are you off to next?
Amsterdam for work and then to India later this year for a holiday.