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Molly’s Cottage

Apr 17, 2024
Article by Claire Van Ryn

Shopping around for just the right gift that communicates affection in just the right way isn’t everyone’s jam. In fact, we have it under good authority that many cringe when faced with another venture into town or online to shop for a loved one. Enter Molly Taylor of Hobart, who started a business to take the pain out of gift-giving. Not only does her business Molly’s Cottage provide beautifully curated gifts and hampers, but she has a heart for sustainability and supporting local enterprise. She was also recently selected as an Australia Post Local Business Hero. We caught up with her to find out some more.

What inspired you to start your business, Molly’s Cottage?

Molly’s Cottage began in June 2020 after I lost my then dream job, as an outdoor education teacher, due to the pandemic. I’ve always had a love of creating things and my passion for outdoor education meant that sustainability was always front of mind. I started with a small range of candles and handmade goods and over the past three years have curated my range of hampers to spotlight Australian artisans.

Reading by Candlelight is a component of your business that means you get to work with your mum, tell us about that.

My book subscription, Reading by Candlelight, is a newer addition that celebrates debut and sophomore Australian authors. I love spending an evening with a good book, a candle burning and a glass of wine so I wanted to create an experience like that for those who receive a box. My mum, Fiona, has been a part of the writing community for a few years now so asking her to interview our authors was an easy decision. It has been incredible to see how much it has grown over the past year and we have had so much support from readers, writers and publishers. What’s something you wish you’d known before starting your own business?

Finding your community is so important. I didn’t realise how much I would miss having colleagues and a place to go to work when I started Molly’s Cottage. I love running my own business and being self-employed but it can get quite isolating at times. Over the past few years I’ve attended a number of different markets and made friends with so many creators and business owners. We have our own little community now and I have made some close friends that I talk to almost every day.

What do you love the most about Molly’s Cottage?

Being a part of brightening someone’s day. So many of my hampers are sent as get well, pick-me-up, condolences and congratulations. Being a small part of that means so much to me.

One tip you’d give to someone starting out in a similar space?

Be willing to give it everything. It is obvious to your customers how much love and care is put into every aspect of your business. If you love and value what you create, they will too.PAGE 33

Have you come up against any challenges working out of Tasmania?

The biggest struggle is ordering supplies. I order a lot of my materials in bulk so it is heavy and the shipping costs are expensive. I had to adjust a lot of my prices when we moved to Tasmania because the shipping cost increased significantly. I’ve moved to purchasing a number of products from Tasmanian businesses but a lot of what I need such as wax and candle vessels aren’t available to purchase in Tasmania. It is difficult but I’ve found a way to adapt. Just a few months ago my car was filled to the brim with presents and wax boxes after visiting family in Melbourne for Christmas!

Five years from now, all things going well, what does Molly’s Cottage look like?

The dream has always been for Molly’s Cottage to be a real, physical place. A small miner’s cottage surrounded by native flowers, veggie patches and a shed out the back with plenty of space for new ideas to grow. We’d run workshops and classes on anything and everything and it would be our forever home. If all goes to plan, in five years’ time, I will have been able to turn that dream into a reality.

FB @mollyscottageaus
IG @mollys.cottage

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