Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Interview with Designer Molly O

Where were you born and raised? Michigan

Where do you live now? My husband and I moved to Las Vegas, NV about 4years ago with our kids. Talk about a change of weather and socialsetting!

How many children do you have? Names and ages? Alexandria - 6, Clay - 5,Gabriella - 2

What are your hobbies (besides designing and sewing)? I'm a trained dancer and always seem to go back to dance whenever I'm stressed out or need some time to myself. I taught dance up through my 3rd pregnancy, so it is something that has been with me a long time and will always be apassion.

What is your eBay ID? mollyodesigns

Do You Have An Etsy Store? Yes! I love Etsy. It is such a great fit forWAHMs. Etsy allows you to develop a business in a setting where indieartists are appreciated all while being at home with your children. Itis the perfect balance.

How did you come up with your ID, is there a story behind it? Beforechildren (in my previous life) most of my coworkers called me Molly O.Orr is my last name. But for some reason no one would call me Molly orMolly Orr, it was always Molly O. As I was developing my business and began to develop my vision for my designs, I kept coming back to the classic lines that were worn by Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn. I knew I wanted my line to reflect a much simpler and more romantic time. So Molly O Designs just seemed like the perfect fit.

Are you a member of a design group? How long have you been a member of that group? I'm a member and co-leader of Bijou & Company (BijouCo). Istarted with the group right after it was formed back in February 2007. We have grown by leaps and bounds and developed an amazing group of designers and customers. I think we are extremely unique because we operate through a message board called We are able to chat as a design group and develop our team and friendships, while also using the rest of the board as our own personal focus group for our ideas and designs. I love that our group has come to depend on each other for personal and business related issues.

How long have you been selling your designs on eBay? I started selling on ebay in January 2007. But I had been selling my designs locally since2005.

What got you started? It is the typical design story. I was tired of the clothing that was available for my kids. Either it was designed for a 4 year old wanting to look 30, or it was the same old designs that everyone else was wearing at playgroup. I have been sewing since I was 6 years old, so I began making unique creations for my girls, and strangers off the street started asking me where I bought them. From there a business was born!

Do you remember the first set you sold on eBay? How much did it sell for? I still get excited thinking about it! LOL. It was a lavender dupioni silk set. It sold for $225 and I was thrilled! Selling really becomes an addiction. A single sale can truly make your week. At the same time, listing a design you love that doesn't get any bids can really make you doubt yourself as well. Being a designer is a constant rollercoaster of emotions.

Have you noticed a change in your designs from when you first started? I think I have simplified my designs since I started. On ebay, the trend tends to lean towards embellishment and appliques. And I love that look. However, this year I am transitioning over to manufacturing my line and offering a ready to wear line for fall. So I'm learning quickly that quirky designs that are loaded with appliques and interesting little design elements do not go over well with the manufacturer. So I have had to streamline my designs. However, my plan is to still offer those unique pieces on ebay and then tone them down for the following year to be manufactured.

What is your inspiration for your designs? I LOVE to look at the runways of Paris, Milan, New York and see what is hot in women's wear. I often take an element of a woman's design and work it into my designs. You would never know that is where the inspiration came from, but I love toning down women's couture and creating something wearable for girls.

Is there any other designers you admire? Where do I start? Most of thedesigners I love are women's designers. Dana Buchman has impeccablelines and silhouettes. I also love Jenni Kayne. She is a young designer based out of LA. I love the simplicity of her designs. She designs to make women look beautiful.

What is your favorite design you have created? I always have a new favorite design. I’m usually in love with whatever I have finished recently. I have a tendency to look back at my designs that I thought I loved and say, “what was I thinking?!” LOL.

Who is your favorite fabric designer? I use a lot of the staple designers like Michael Miller and Robert Kaufman because they tend to be very useable for children’s clothing. But, I’m in the process of sourcing designers that are focusing more on organic fabrics. We have a son with autism, and it is very important to our family to limit exposure to environmental toxins. So I’m trying to incorporate organic fabrics into my designs whenever possible.

What is your favorite custom auction on eBay right now? I use to look at the listings on ebay everyday. But I found that I was just driving myself crazy. I would start to second guess everything that I was doing. Wondering why one designer was getting $500+ for a simple design, while another designer was only getting $50 for a design that took 14+ hours. So I decided about a year ago to stop looking and stop driving myself crazy. It helps me to stay focused on what I need to be doing to make my business successful.

If you could max out your credit card at one store, what store would that be? Well, my first question would be, do I have the money to pay off the credit card after my shopping extravaganza?! I live in Las Vegas, so the shopping here is AMAZING. I could easily blow through my limit in Chanel, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo. BUT, on my current budget it is much more probable that you would find me at H&M, Marshalls or Home Goods. LOL.

What can we expect from you in the future? I’m so excited to be launching my first ready to wear line for Fall 2008. I’ve made the decision not to sell to boutiques at this time. I have had a great deal of success locally in selling at Trunk Shows. So I have decided to offer my line exclusively through in home Trunk Shows. We are already booking up for fall and I’m so excited to get my line out to my customers. Overthe next couple of years we have a plan in place to recruit sales reps, or what we are calling “Molly O Stylists” across the country. Being aWAHM has been such a blessing to me. I want to be able to share that with other moms. Being a Stylist will allow stay at home moms a way to get out and socialize with other mothers. It will also give them a way to earn extra money and earn free clothing for their own kids. We all have days as mothers where we just need to get out and feel like an independent woman. I’m hoping my company will be able to do that forother women and moms.


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couture*4*my*cutie said...

Great interview! I love the maxing out the credit card question, LOL! Thanks for taking the time to do this! BijouCo is a favorite design group of mine!