So much more than pretty dresses, today the brand is bold, confident, and not afraid to make a statement.
With travel plans on hold and parties on pause, life in this the Covid era may feel like we’re all idling in neutral for a while. But that doesn’t mean fast fashion brands like Hello Molly have taken their foot off the pedal.
For this online retailer, the challenges of Covid have also presented new opportunities – resulting in the launch of their brand new, dynamic activewear range Elette Fit and the debut of a sexy ‘self-love’ category of vibrators and sex toys – all at the height of the upheaval.
From humble beginnings in the Waterloo living room of their co-founder in 2012, Hello Molly now boasts an online community of 1.6 million followers across Facebook and Instagram alone, drops over 100 new styles every week and has shoppers in 130 countries.
Operations Manager Ena Eaton describes the typical Hello Molly customer as a “social butterfly who has a jam-packed weekend and a full social schedule,” so when government-mandated lockdowns and restrictions hit, she knew it was time for the social butterfly brand to spread their wings.
“We definitely acknowledged it wasn’t a time to focus so much on sales,” she told Style Arcade. “We're self-aware enough to realize that our customers may have bigger things to worry about right now than cute dresses. So we made sure we were supporting them in other ways.
... we made sure we were supporting them in other ways.
I think that it’s important for any brand to accept that your customers are scared right now, they’re being cautious in their spending,” she adds. “It keeps your brand at the forefront of their mind so in brighter days when we all come out of this together they’ll keep coming back to you.”
HelloMolly made the conscious decision not to bombard customers with “buy this” marketing, but instead focus on offering their extensive social media-base some respite via interactive competitions, entertainment and a full schedule of Instagram live shows “that had nothing to do really with selling goods” such as a ‘paint with us’ event and a DJ session.
“It was so lovely to see how happy it made everybody at a time that maybe people aren’t smiling as much as they used to”.
Embracing all aspects of femininity was behind the brand’s bold decision to launch their self-love range two months ago, a concept they had seen work for US online fashion retailers, but one they considered a risky move regardless.
“It was a little bit scary prior to launch,” recalls Eaton. “As much as you like to think that you know your customers when it’s something that’s so different like that, you just don’t know how people are going to react but it’s been overwhelmingly positive."
“There was a lot of talk around ‘do we go all in or do we sort of still keep it a little bit secret, a little bit hush, like, it's there, but we're not really promoting it’. But then we're like, ‘all in’. We’ll talk about it, we'll shout it from the rooftops.”
“... we're like ‘all in’. We’ll talk about it, we'll shout it from the rooftops.”
“There’s something really nice about being able to buy that sort of product from a shop like Hello Molly, rather than a store that is dedicated to it, that might be a bit overwhelming and intimidating. We’re here to celebrate women at the end of the day and it’s part of women’s health really.”
Alongside supporting sexual wellness while their customers spend more time at home, the brand’s expansion into activewear had always been on the cards for 2020, but early planning for the concept quickly proved a silver lining to the disruption in the market brought on by Covid.
The debut nineteen piece range of activewear is the brand’s first foray into athleisurewear and features mid to high-intensity sports leggings and sports bras along with a tracksuit, bike shorts, and perforated training tees. Each piece features key trends from pocket detailing, block-colours of bold blue and fierce fuchsia, an exclusive, signature digital print and versatile silhouettes designed for performance but with fashion in mind.
“The vibe of our debut campaign for Elette Fit is different to our usual Hello Molly style, and that was very deliberate,” said Eaton. “The range was developed with performance in mind, and the styles are quite edgy with bold colours and lots of black.”
“The vibe of our debut campaign for Elette Fit is different to our usual Hello Molly style, and that was very deliberate”
“The performance factor is very important to us, this campaign is not about standing looking pretty in activewear, it conveys the strength and confidence everyone should feel when working out. People come to Hello Molly for a softer feminine vibe, but there are many sides to femininity and the Elette Fit campaign brings out the strength and boldness of femininity in a raw way.”
Bold decisions, adaptability and an understanding of their customer’s wellbeing is what Eaton says has seen Hello Molly weather this difficult period so successfully.
With the rest of year so uncertain right now, we could all take a page out of Hello Molly’s book and use this period as a time to focus on our own wellbeing – whether that be mental or physical health. What better time than now!