What led you to study architecture? Do you still practice?
It seemed like the perfect combination of right and left brain – when I started college I was very interested in art but wanted a profession that had a more obvious practical application. I haven’t practiced in several years, but I put my architecture education and skills to use everyday, at a micro scale.
Do you have any design or architecture mentors who have influenced your work?
The Eames have been a big influence, as well as the professors and students in the Bauhaus and Werkstatte schools. I love their simultaneous embrace of technology and craft and playful approach to design.
For me, product design is based on concepts, materials, and processes. There are usually simple formal concepts I am interested in exploring like geometry, chromatic interplay, etc. Then there are materials – I’m constantly looking for new surfaces – be it textiles, papers, leathers, ceramics, or wood – that will look beautiful when laser-cut. As for processes, the challenge is to evolve my craft and use the laser cutter in a new an interesting way. Sometimes I try a whole new product category like the leather pouches, which necessitated sewing – very fun to learn! Other times, I stick with the same product category but try to do something different. For instance, I had been doing the wood jewelry for a while and was interested in doing metal. I had to outsource the laser-cutting, figure out where to get huge sheets of brass, learn about plating, soldering etc. But that is what I love – new materials and processes!
Totally instinctual – if they are pretty and I think they will be interesting when laser-cut I will test them out.
What is your favorite part about the creation process?
I love it when a good design serendipitously results from a process of working rather than something I had planned for. This often happens when customers ask for a custom piece with colorways or materials I wouldn’t have considered.
Travelling, going to museums, spending time outdoors, meeting other creative people … I am inspired by all types of design, be it architecture, industrial, textiles, landscape, graphics, or fine art.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
Start small and grow organically – and stay true to what is interesting to you.
What has been the most difficult part of running the design studio?
Definitely figuring out the balance between my business and all of the other things I love to do in life.
What plans do you have for Molly M in the future?
I want to experiment with ceramics and glass, and potentially lighting.
My dad grew up here, so I love the history of the city as well as the architecture, topography, and amazing natural beauty.
Best local eateries?
What do you love about the neighborhood you live in?
If you could just pick up and leave, where in the world would you love to travel to?