It’s National Breastfeeding Week, and while I’m no longer breastfeeding, I still wanted to be involved in celebrating all that is awesome about it! And this is how I got chatting to Kirsty and Ros of Molke.
Molke is a rapidly growing small business, ran by two passionate mums, who make happy bras for happy boobs! With big plans for the future, and their Crowdfunder having smashed a 10k target and still gathering pace, this is the perfect time to hear more about their fantastic brand
– Who are Molke?
I’m Kirsty, the creative director and founder of Molke Ltd, and the other half of Molke is Ros. She is the ying to my yang! We have very different ways of going about things, yet agree on most things luckily! Ros focuses on the admin and money side of things while I oversee the manufacturing and design side. I’m the noisy one, Ros tends to stay out of the limelight. We both like gin, breastfeed our 3 year olds, and have 5 children between us.
– What was the inspiration behind Molke?
I’ve never been a fan of wired bras, I wore vests for years after having my first child, or soft crop top bras. They were always dull though, and never gave me great support. A local friend suggested I make myself a bra and I can remember thinking she was a bit crazy, but decided to give it a go. My youngest son was a toddler at the time of the first bra but was still breastfeeding regularly so needed something that gave me good access. The first bra was great, but didn’t give any support. I then drafted my own pattern which has changed drastically since to become the current Molke bra. Ros and I both wear Molke everyday. We do both breastfeed, but I doubt I’ll wear a structured bra regularly again. Comfort is too important!
– Why is having happy boobs so important?
So many women are wearing ill-fitting and uncomfortable bras. We have women who find their breastfeeding journey comes to an early end because of mastitis caused by a poorly fitting bra, or because they simply cannot find a nursing bra in their cup size. The best part of our job is reading the emails and reviews customers send in to tell us how much a difference their Molke bra made to them. We are so passionate about breastfeeding as well as helping women feel good in themselves, if we can do anything at all to support this we have achieved something worthwhile.
– Are Molke bras just for breastfeeding mums?
Not at all! We have a large customer base of women, young and old, who find Molke bras offer them the comfort and support they want. We cater for small back sizes and large cups too which many women cannot find elsewhere. Fibromyalgia sufferers have found our bras comfortable, and we have customers that are frequently in hospital and need bras without metal for scans and x-rays. Others just want a bra for lounging around in, or for sleeping.
– You’ve just moved in to an amazing new workspace, what are your plans for Molke to expand?
The new unit is fantastic, it’s been brilliant to move everything from my front room! We have staff starting next week which is really exciting. Our plan is to have a ready supply of underwear to sell via our online shop, and breastfeeding clothing should be joining us in a few months. This isn’t being made by us yet (although that’s the longer term plan), but is sourced ethically and being made at a fair trade factory with organic fabric. We have a few other exciting plans but they are top secret 😉
– Your crowdfunder is doing amazingly….tell us the story of Phil and the rainbow pants?
The first day of our Crowdfunder campaign was incredible, reaching 20% in just two hours. The MD of Crowdfunder, Phil Geraghty, replied to a tweet of ours wishing us luck and I seized the opportunity to get some publicity. Our local business advisory service Growbiz (amazing support in rural Perthshire- they’ve been incredible!) joined in and between us we convinced Phil to wear a pair of our rainbow pants. I made them straightaway before he had a chance to back out, and even put in an extra special gusset. True to his word Phil posed in his rainbow pants outside Crowdfunder HQ and did us proud. He also pledged, what a legend.
– How do you juggle motherhood and business?
With great difficulty and a large support network! I don’t think I’ll ever find a perfect balance and the inevitable Mummy guilt is ever present. Ros and I deliberately chose the Molke working hours to fit around school times, with the plan it would benefit our staff too. This means I can clock off in time to spend time with my children after school, then pick up my laptop and work again once they are in bed. I’m rarely home after 5 even if I do stay late at work. I’ve also got a fantastic husband who does way more than his share at home despite working too. He’s amazing. It’s meant very little sleep, and I’ll be honest it’s not been easy, however it’s been a fun journey if a little stressful!
– Your top tip to mums wanting to turn their dreams in to reality?
Make sure you have support. There isn’t a week that goes by without me calling a friend wanting to chuck it all in or in tears! Without our friends and family we’d have never got this far. I think it’s also so important to take time for yourself, out of work and family life. Go swimming, out for coffee with a friend, or just take a morning off to have a bath and read a book. If you don’t look after yourself then there won’t be enough in you for work or family.