This week we are excited to feature Molly Dobson as The Fold Woman. Molly is one of the rock-stars piloting a management development program at a prominent British retailer (shown here in The Fold’s Swanston Dress Mink, Rose Gold Leather Belt - ROUS ILAND, Cocktail Ring and Bracelet by Astrid and Miyu).
Tell us about your path that led you to retail…
Believe it or not, I found my ideal career path thanks to an off-handed comment from my Mom.
I originally studied Biomedical Engineering at university and after infinite interviews for jobs I wasn’t really interested in, my Mom finally got sick of it and said, “This is ridiculous, why don’t you go work for a company you actually like? Go work for the Gap.” And the rest is history. I spent four years working for the Banana Republic headquarters before moving to London to pursue my MBA at London Business School.
At LBS, I decided I should probably quit retail and get a job in investment banking or consulting because that’s what most MBAs want to do. I tried so hard to be interested in those industries, but after one particularly awful interview, I finally asked myself why I was trying so hard to get away from something I liked so much.I ended up doing a phenomenal internship with the Coca-Cola strategy team, but when I was offered a full-time job after graduation for a major British retailer, it just felt right.
What is your favorite aspect of where you are in your career now?
I finally have a grasp on what I want to do with my professional life.
Acting as a “pilot” and bringing a new management development program to life is beyond challenging, but even more so, exciting. I am constantly amazed by the weight put behind this new initiative because you can bet I wasn’t having career development conversations with my CEO in any other company. I’m very confident in my role, but still feel slightly amazed on a daily basis that I have the opportunities I do. Integrating myself into such a beloved British retailer in this much depth has been an incomparable skill-building experience for me.
The best part about working in retail is…
Retail is an incredibly dynamic business, where tomorrow could be the polar opposite of today… it’s really exciting that the smallest decisions my team makes can impact the way people shop in such an enormous way. I’m constantly analyzing what people want and why they shop the way they do and that’s just fun for me. Oh yeah, and I really love the discounts!
You travel a fair amount for work, what is your fail-safe outfit for flying?
I’ve got a travel “uniform” that never fails me. Dark skinny jeans that have a bit of stretch, flat leather ankle boots that come off and go on quickly at security, a top with a fun pattern that hides wrinkles, and a casual blazer over it all. I look exactly the same when I get off the plane as I did when I got on.
Any must-haves that you keep in your purse?
My purse is huge and I carry way more than I could ever need!
I always keep a travel umbrella and some aviators with me so I’m sure to never entirely hate London when it changes weather halfway through the day. I’m mildly addicted to any form of lip gloss and I actually have seven in my bag right now! I basically have mini Lancome Juicy Tubes and True Shimmer ChapSticks in every purse I own. My iPhone and Blackberry are constantly fused to my hands, but I still can’t leave the house without my old school Mead diary that keeps my entire life together.
You are not originally from London, what gems have you discovered since moving here?
Anyone who’s ever met me knows that my favorite things in life are aimless wandering and eating (healthy balance right?)… so I’ve come across a whole lot of fantastic places in this city.
My absolute favorite place in London is the pesto and olive stand at Borough Market, but I will never get sick of Yalla Yalla and Bibimbap never fails when I want cheap and cheerful with really good food. I also adore the Guinea Grill for its wonderful steaks, chatty old British men in suits who greet you at the door, and because my boyfriend smartly took me there on our first date.
Last but certainly not least, what is your favorite dress by The Fold?
Definitely the Brompton Dress Navy Leather. I love the cap sleeves that make me feel like I’m not forced to wear a jacket or cardi with it to the office if I don’t feel like it that day… but I also really like how easily it can transition from a daytime work dress to an evening event dress just by shifting around my accessories a bit.
I love how the Brompton Dress Navy Leather can easily transition from a daytime work dress to an evening event dress!