Homegrown Business: Heather Dawson, Founder of Molly Moth

Molly Moth is an online luxury fashion store that sells high-quality and versatile cashmere coats. Their hand-sewn coats will be a staple in your closet and are the perfect solution to making any outfit look timeless and chic. At Molly Moth, you’re bound to find the perfect coat to make you feel sophisticated, in-style, and confident. We spoke with Heather Dawson, the founder of Molly Moth to learn more about them.

Molly Moth

What is your business called and what does it do?

Molly Moth We create luxury hand-sewn cashmere coats for women. Our timeless yet unique coats help women look and feel like their best selves and simply amazing.

What made you want to do this work?

When working in luxury fashion retail in the past, I loved seeing the effect when women were styled in pieces that were right for them; they seemed to stand a little taller and hold their chins a little high as their faces lit up.

I have always loved fashion and appreciate the value of investing in timeless classics. I appreciate quality fabrics and fine craftsmanship. The pieces I turn to in my closet most often are those seasonless pieces because they make me feel my best. Wearing very trendy clothes because someone tells me they look good or are in style right now, feels inauthentic. There is simplicity in curating a wardrobe of versatile, classic silhouettes through adopting a “buy better, buy less mentality” – spending less time thinking about what to wear I am freed up to think about other more important things. When shopping, however, I often found I would like pieces more if only detail x, y or z were changed. By working with a tailor, I could create the looks that I really wanted that felt classic and timeless, yet uniquely me.

The creation of Molly Moth allows me to share this experience with others; to help women look (and actually BE) effortlessly put together so that they always feel like an elevated version of themselves.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

1. Material – most cashmere blend coats on the market have a cashmere content of only 10%. I find them to be itchy. Those of higher cashmere content, tend to be very very expensive. Quality cashmere is expensive – to purchase and produce when sewn by hand. As a small business without the overhead of our own store or having to allocate huge resources to advertising budgets, we can provide quality cashmere products (over 80% cashmere) for about a third of the cost of other cashmere coat companies.

2. Simplicity – our coats are extremely versatile and look as good dressed up for dinner out as they do with athletic gear running errands (and some styles are even reversible – two coats in one!) We provide one simple piece that can tie a multitude of looks together. Knowing you can pull your Molly Moth coat from your closet and know you’ll always look good simplifies women’slives and frees up space (both in their closets and their minds with one less decision to make).

3. Colour – we intentionally steer away from basic black opting for softer (and more flattering) navy and grey colour palettes. Our closets are full enough already with black (especially in Vancouver) – adding navy (which pairs with black beautifully by the way) gives women a unique alternative that allows them to stand out. No one said classic had to be boring.

4. Waste – an estimated 92 million tons of textile waste is created annually from the fashion industry and an estimated 18.6 million tonnes of consumer clothing will end up in a landfill every year. A number that is continuously rising. Choosing to invest in classic, quality pieces, as opposed to fast fashion or trendy pieces that look dated within a couple of seasons, helps keep coats out of landfills and saves the consumer money in the long run.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Our coats are worn by women and girls of all ages who value quality material, enjoy classic styles, see the value and simplicity of investing in foundational pieces and honour their uniqueness by not wearing the same coat as everyone else. Young professionals love our coats to wear to work, for example, new moms appreciate the ease and versatility of the wrap-style coats, and yet other moms have purchased them both for their daughters and themselves. Navy is far more flattering next to the face than harsh black which further extends the desirability of our coats across the lifespan.

Molly Moth

How does your business make money? How does it work?

Our coats are available for purchase directly at mollymoth.com with private shopping experiences available by appointment. We are fortunate that customers who are so pleased with their coats, the way they feel and the compliments they receive when wearing them
have graciously spread kind words about us to their friends, which, with Social Media marketing drives business to our site. We also are available, in person in a variety of time-limited retail pop-up venues across the Lower Mainland.

Where in Vancouver can we find your profession?

As mentioned, we participate in various time-limited retail pop-up venues across the Lower Mainland. For example, we participated as a vendor at “Let Her Sing” a fantastic Music Heals event at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in the Spring. Following us on Instagram will keep you up to date with the details of upcoming Fall events.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

Do you really know where your products are made?

We worked very closely with a tailor with whom my mom developed a strong professional relationship while living in Shenzhen for two years. It was important to us to also visit the factories in which both the fabrics were made, and where the coats were hand sewn; to meet the people responsible for bringing our Molly Moth vision to life. Sometimes being “made in China” is like a dirty little secret of companies. We are proud to do business with lovely people whom we know take great care in producing our garments and are treated well.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

Interacting with the public and seeing the joy of customers as they feel the exquisitely soft fabric and hearing their excitement build as they think of the many different ways they will wear their new coat with their existing wardrobe.

Over the course of this first year of Molly Moth, I have had to learn bookkeeping. Though I love math, and this is an obvious necessity of owning a business, bookkeeping and data entry are just not my favourite thing to do.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

I like dad jokes.

What do you call a jacket that’s on fire? A blazer!

Or How do you know a woman is wearing tights? Her knees swell up when she farts.

What are your social media channels?

On Instagram and on Facebook by the same name. You can also visit our website.