From a small corner of her Aberdeen flat, Molly Goddard is making a big imprint on the world.
Just months after launching her own personalised gift business, Molly Grace Prints, Molly now has people from Finland, Spain, Italy and Germany placing orders for her customized wine glasses, jumpers, t-shirts, water bottles, tote bags and makeup bags.
All of this has come while the 21-year-old entrepreneur juggles her business and marketing course at Robert Gordon University, with her job at the Long Dog Café in Aberdeen.
“It was definitely a leap of faith as the machines I had to buy in the beginning to set up my business were very expensive ,so loads of people around me were asking me if I was sure as it was a lot of money to invest,” said Molly.
“But I was very determined.
“I just knew that this is what I wanted to do, and I never thought that I would be where I am now,” said Molly.
Unconventionally creative as a child with a natural flair for business, Molly excelled at school in her hometown of Hampshire before moving with her family to Dubai.
“I think I was creative in my own way, not in the traditional way,” said Molly.
At school I did art for GCSE and I remember my teacher asking if I was sure that I really wanted to do art because I couldn’t draw and I couldn’t paint. but I loved the creativity around it.
“I loved creating collages so I think I’ve always been creative in a different way.
“When I was growing up, I always remember pretending to have my own business too.”
From Dubai to Aberdeen
In a twist of fate, Molly met her Aberdonian boyfriend Mark in Dubai.
And three-years-ago the couple moved to Southampton before settling in Aberdeen.
“It was great to grow up in Dubai but I’ve enjoyed coming back,” said Molly.
“After moving to Southampton, I decided that I wanted to move up to Aberdeen with Mark.
“I looked at Robert Gordon University and I thought it was the right place for me.”
Inspired by mum
Molly’s entrepreneurial spirit runs in her blood, as her mum, Amanda, runs her own business.
“My mum is very creative and that’s where I get my inspiration from,” said Molly.
As part of her university course, Molly has spent the last year working for her mum’s Dubai based company remotely.
“I’ve been working for my mum as she has just started up a small business creating balloon decorations,” said Molly.
“I’ve helped her bring her business from the floor upwards, and make it an actual business.
“It really inspired me to set up my own business.
“It was tough as my mum is still based in Dubai so due to time difference, I was getting up at 7am to answer messages but I get to finish at 3pm/4pm which is nice.”
Working from home
Since launching Molly Grace Prints in October last year, Molly hasn’t looked back.
“I create personalised gifts for special people for yourself or your friends and family,” said Molly.
“I have a little corner in my spare room where I make all my stuff.
“I had to buy a Cricut, which is a cutting machine that cuts all different types of material.
“So for all my products I use permanent vinyl, so I can design whatever I want on my laptop and then it sends everything to the cutter and cuts out exactly what I’ve drawn.”
Starting with wine glasses, Molly now has a vast array of personalised gifts she promotes on her Instagram page and sells online via Etsy.
“For a while I was only doing glassware and now I’ve branched out, so I have water bottles, make-up bags, and customizable screen-printed jumpers, t-shirts and tote bags.”
She even counts a famous soap star as one of her customers.
“My parents are friends with Andy Whyment, who stars as Kirk in Coronation Street, so he’s bought some of my wine glasses,” said Molly.
Keeping it local
As a small local, independent business, Molly is thrilled to be showcasing her products at Curated Aberdeen, an indoor market at the Bon Accord centre, set up to support local creatives and the children’s charity Charlie House.
“I’m keen to reach more people in Aberdeen so I started doing outdoor markets,” said Molly.
“Then I found Curated Aberdeen and it’s been a game changer as I can now make personalised wine glasses for people there and then.
“Curated Aberdeen runs each weekend, from Friday to Sunday, and people come can come in and buy from independent businesses which I think is great for Aberdeen.”
Looking to the future, Molly will soon launch her own website and plans to eventually open a shop.
“My dream when I finish university is to keep doing this as I love it”, said Molly.
You can find out more about Molly’s business on her Instagram page.