We had the good fortune of connecting with Molly Coath and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Molly, is there something you believe many others might not?
Within the industry of Interior Design it is often a pre-requisite when applying for jobs or starting your own business that you need a Degree, from my experience I do not think this is the case. Interior Design is all about being creative, expressive and being able to read a client, so I personally believe that those skills come naturally to some people and cannot be taught. Sure a degree would be useful for the physical qualification, may make it easier to become employed in the industry and could help with things such as CAD design and networking, however I am self taught in CAD…which is longer and requires more drive and determination in your free time but worth it! Also if you’re a natural and open people person, networking and building a rapport and relationship with a client will be inherent. I also believe in order to grow and develop as a designer and create your own sense of style (without being regimented or confined to rules) simply getting out in the world, getting a creative job and putting the practical work in, you will learn and grow quicker than at University (plus you will save a hell of a lot in fees!)
I left school when I was 17 after completing my A levels in all arty, creative subjects Art, Music, Drama, Textiles and Fashion and got an Internship in London working for a small luxury handbag company…the job started just packing boxes but quickly I grew close with the rest of the small team and gained experience and knowledge in fashion design, digital marketing, web development and business. During this time I also held press events and served customers in the studio which gave me first hand experience in a client facing role. Following my Internship I was lucky enough to be employed as a professional Interior Designer for a huge UK Homeware company. When the role was advertised it said “DO NOT APPLY UNLESS YOU HAVE A DEGREE.” But I thought…I’m going to do it anyway…I’ve got nothing to loose. So I went into the interview with a giant mood board which I’d spent hours on, a presentation prepared and a blue velvet suit (go hard or go home!) I threw everything into the interview and my manager took a leap of faith and hired me…although I was the youngest in the company with NO experience in Interior Design and NO degree. I ended up being one of their top performing Interior Designers for three years. I found learning on the job far more beneficial as you are thrown in at the deep end and forced to learn quickly – it’s sink or swim! Following this I applied to be one of the contestants on a BBC1 show called ‘Interior Design Masters’ where week by week you are set a challenge e.g. renovate an apartment in 2 days, a hotel room, a school common room etc…you are given crazily small timeframes and equally as conservative budgets so you have to learn very quickly to adapt, build, upcycle, make do and mend, thrift and think in your feet! It was a really intense process and another massive learning curve. Now I am 24 with my own Interior Design Company – MoCo Interior where I renovate residential properties, work on commercial projects and hand design my own cushions and wallpaper. So if you’re a creative and looking for a career that matches your artistic nature, do not let anyone tell you that you NEED a degree. With hard work, drive and a creative flare you will thrive!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My Interior Design business MoCo Interior is a completely home-grown company. Everything about it from the fact that I am self-taught to the candles we sell being curated and hand-poured from my kitchen in the countryside is a refection of the character behind my company. Every project that I do has a personal touch and story behind it. I have just recently released my own products on www.mocointerior.com, all hand designed by me! I have grafted constantly to get to where I am today and I’m still not quite where I want to be. I have struggled with imposter syndrome and never thinking I’m good enough but as my business grows and I create more work for happy clients and am building up my confidence daily. I am 24, so quite young to have my own business but I have had over 5 years professional experience within this industry already and as my learning process has been so intense it feels more like 15 years!!! I am really proud of the brand identity I have created – here at MoCo we have a design aesthetic which balances a classic, traditional botanical look with an opulent, quirky and edgey side.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am a strong believer that company is everything so there is no better place to be than a cosy pub, talking to friends and people you love. However, if I had a friend staying with me and I wanted to show them a fantastic time, I live just outside of London so I would hop on a train and go to Covent Garden. I have been coming to Covent Garden since I was a kid and it is a truly magical place, I would wonder around the market, watch the street performers, have a drink in the square outside Tuttons and pick up a few gorgeous shopping bags. For lunch – Tapas – ALL THE WAY! For dinner – Serastros…it’s this AMAZING restaurant which is like a theatre with little booths, curtains, opera singers, masked waiters and live violins…a truly immersive, magical experience. Then I would retreat to Covent Garden Hotel, the decor, interiors and luxury there is like no other. If I really wanted to ‘up the anti’ and continue this luxurious adventure, the next day I would hop on another train to somewhere that always holds a special place in my heart – Brighton. A wander round the old lanes, pub lunch and back to Hotel Una, a gorgeous boutique hotel in a Victorian house on Regency Square, overlooking the sea – bliss.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a shoutout to my mum and family. I came from a creative arty background where everyone supported my dream and enabled me to follow it without any judgement…if you’re lucky enough to have a supportive family, it is such a game changer. Love you Mum!
Linkedin: Molly Coath
Youtube: Molly Coath – MoCo Interior Design
Other: Interior Design Masters Series 3 on BBC Iplayer