Holly Carpenter is in great form when we chat over the phone. The former Miss Ireland turned influencer is busier than ever.
She has her own podcast, Filter Free, she has her bustling Instagram and now is she a shareholder. UK agency, Matchstick, is launching in Ireland with some of the biggest content creators already signed to them.
VIP Magazine caught up with Holly to chat about business, life and what she’s up to next….
Hi Holly, congrats on Matchstick. Tell us a bit about it.
Vogue Williams saw a gap in the market here. So she decided to take Matchstick over to Ireland. They asked me and James Kavanagh to be shareholders. We’ve been with Matchstick since May but it’s only officially launched this month and they’ve got some big names already. It’s really exciting.
Now you’re involved in the agency, would you ever move over to management?
I’m happy for now to stay on my side of things. I’ve started to do a bit more TV and radio now which is something I really wanted to do before COVID. Obviously, everyone’s goals and plans got pushed back by two years. I’m really hoping I can go forward with that now. I can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store. I suppose if I was older and I was ready to park my side of things, I think managing younger and up-and-coming people would be great. I’ll always have Matchstick and it’s great to see other people come on board and help them out.
You’re a busy woman, aside from the agency, what are you up to?
I have a weekly slot on FM104 on The Juice and I’m really enjoying doing that and dipping my toe in the radio. Season one of my podcast, Filter Free, just came out recently. So I’m looking at season two and getting guests lined up. Coming up to Christmas it’s a really great time to work with brands, it’s a really busy time for social media collaborations. I feel like my head is screwed on at the moment. When you’re your own boss, it is easy to feel a bit overwhelmed and not know what opportunities you should say yes to. I feel a lot more grounded since joining Matchstick.
We love the podcast, how has the response been?
I had a great response, I wish I brought it out two years ago when I first had the idea. It’s really popular now to have a podcast. I still think there’s space for everyone, I go through podcasts so quickly. It was a really nice space to bring my guests on and have them open up. They didn’t know what to expect so people were really, really open with me. I was surprised by how open they were, but I made sure I was really prepared for each interview. I wanted it to be really relaxing and to make sure they felt like they were having a chat. When people give you their time, you have to really appreciate it.
Are you so excited about season two?
Since lockdown, everyone is so busy. So I didn’t think people would have time. But I was tactful with who I picked for the first season. I wanted to feel comfortable doing it too. And I have been able to use their names to pitch it to the next group of guests. Vogue is someone who I would really love to have on for season two. Her and Joanne are just flying it right now. It’s great to see her personality shine through. When you come from a modelling background people love to presume that you’re really stuck up and take yourself too seriously and not be any craic. I’m so happy for her. I’ve always known she was gas.
How did you find being on the other side of the mic interviewing people?
I really enjoyed it, I thought it was cool. I can be really bad for butting in and reacting. But I know when I listen to podcasts that really annoys me. So I had to be like, “Do not be the person who is shouting over them”. I was quite critical of myself when I listened back. Which can be good. Someone messaged me saying that I was speaking too fast. At the end of the day, it’s supposed to be a conversation. I’m not doing The Late Late Show. I’ve gotten a thicker skin when it comes to feedback.
On a personal side of thing, when you’re posting on social media how do you separate your “real life” from your influencer life?
Sometimes, you can panic when you’re like “I have no content to post today”. What will I post about or what will I do? Other times, I can feel like I’m on my phone too much and I haven’t been present with the people around me, I will take little breaks. I might schedule a Q&A on Sunday but make sure all day Saturday I’m not on my phone. If I’m having a bad day, everything I see on Instagram annoys me. Everyone’s pictures annoy me. It’s not a great place to be if you’re in a negative headspace, so if I feel that way I know the last thing I should be doing is scrolling. There’s no need. I have to be aware of how my mood is before I go on and do anything. Taking breaks is something I should do more.
On that note, did you expect people to be so interested in your relationship with your boyfriend?
I was pretty much single for a few years. I hadn’t posted any photo of any boyfriend since 2015 or something! I knew I wanted to wait until we were fully in it. I got a lot of messages from people saying how happy they were for me. People have been really sweet. I don’t talk much about how we’re doing or what our plans are. But Jamie will pop up in my Instagram Story if we’re out for lunch or if we’re walking Max. I like to keep my Stories to what I’m actually up to. It would be weird, to a degree, that two years in he wasn’t making an appearance. It is funny because he wasn’t on my Story for a few weeks and I heard people were saying that we broke up. I was like: “What?”
You previously spoke about toxic positivity, is that something you still feel strongly about?
That’s why with Filter Free I wanted to show the reality of people’s lives behind their Instagram. It’s okay to have bad days, it’s okay to have good days. It’s okay to feel whatever way you’re feeling. Sometimes I feel with this whole wellness trend if you’re not in a matching set of Lululemons doing yoga at 5am you feel like you’re failing or something. It’s this perfectionism of wellness and doing well is too much. It’s not helpful for anyone. It’s unrealistic and I don’t buy it.