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Rising Stars: Meet Mollie Balogun

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mollie Balogun.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
It all began in February 2020, during the most trying time of my life. I had just given birth to my first child and lost my father a week later when covid started to spread in the West. I work remotely for an event security company back in London and they were shutting down shows, events and all of our regular venues. I wasn’t sure if I would have a job to go back to after my maternity leave. It was a very confusing, emotional and exhausting period for me and for many others around me.

In March, I dusted off my sewing machine and grabbed some stacks of fabric I’d hoarded over the years and began making face masks to send out to my family and friends. We had been advised to wear masks, so I figured we could at least look cute whilst doing so. I followed an instructional video and YouTube and created beautiful African print face masks. It was a therapeutic escape for me. The sound of the sewing machine drowned out any noise in my head and the pretty patterns were almost hypnotic. Some weeks later, when I had run out of people to make masks for, I thought of offering them to neighbors for a low price. I was overwhelmed by the response. In that weekend, I got orders for over 40 face masks. They loved my creations and couldn’t thank me enough. That’s when it hit me- this could be a business. I could actually make money from doing something I love. In May 2020, I opened my Etsy shop and it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done. I hit six figures within my first year and am now approaching 7,000 sales.

I make so much more than face masks now. My offerings evolved and I started focusing heavily on hair accessories- especially satin-lined hair accessories as I noticed there wasn’t much for those of us with coils, curls and kinks in our hair. I create designs that look pretty and stylish but have protective lining to keep the hair moisturized and free from damage. So many people suffer from hair damage and a lot of it can be prevented by avoiding tension on the scalp, harsh hair styling products and heat styling tools. I aim to help my customers avoid using those and maintain the health of their hair. I’m also big on creating quick and convenient options. You don’t have time to detangle and style your hair? Just throw on one of my gorgeous satin-lined pre-tied head wraps and you’re good to go!

A big part of my line is satin-lined scrub caps for the doctors, nurses and careers doing such important work through the pandemic. They work long hours and their hair dries out terribly in the standard scrubs.

I receive messages all the time of women telling me how much I’ve helped them. From the brave women recovering from chemo keeping it cute to our healthcare heroes wanting to keep their hair protected during long shifts, to women fighting alopecia, to the white mothers learning how to care for their biracial child’s hair. I’ve had many deep chats in my Etsy inbox!

Yes, on the surface I just make hair accessories – but they make people’s lives easier, prettier and even more fun – you can’t wear a bright, colourful print and not feel good.

There is purpose in what you do. We all can’t be healers, or warriors, or educators…but don’t ever underestimate how you important and valuable your service can be for others. Put your heart and soul into anything you do and if you can make just one person happier then you’ve made the world just that little bit better.

Now I’m looking forward to expanding my business. I would love to have my products stocked in retail stores and reach more people. I launched my own website too this year where I also sell unique jewelry to compliment the hair accessories.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Waking up to create every day is the best feeling in the world. Within just a few months of opening my Etsy shop, I made the decision to quit my job. It was very hard balancing being a full-time mom, running my business from home and working.

Something had to give and I didn’t want to put my daughter in daycare at a young age- nor was I about to quit on my dream. My husband is my biggest supporter and he encouraged me to follow my heart. He said we would make it work. So I made the decision and luckily, I’ve not had cause to regret it since.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m most known for my satin-lined hair accessories- head wraps, headbands and scrub caps. Aside from sewing, I love creating in general. I paint, draw and love to teach others how to craft. I have sometimes upload DIY tutorial videos on my YouTube channel Mollie Makes Everything.

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
I was a very creative and inquisitive child. My mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are all very artistic. I was born in Nigeria to an English mother and a Nigerian father. Growing up, my mother taught me how to draw, how to sew little dresses for my dolls and even how to type stories on her old typewriter as she was a keen writer. She always encouraged me to pursue anything that would bring me joy. A way of life that I still try to embrace to this day.

Pricing:

  • Headbands from $15
  • Pre-tied head wraps from $24.99
  • Scrub caps from 26.99

Contact Info:

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