Interview and Studio Tour with Vivi Dot!

I was so happy when Molly from Vivi Dot decided to be my feature sponsor this month.  I've admired her jewelry for quite some time now, first being introduced to her shop through her collaboration with Diana from Our City Lights.  Recently, Molly and I realized we only live 5 blocks away from each other here in Seattle!  Isn't that crazy!?!  It takes like 4 minutes to walk to her house.  I am so lucky. :)  She invited me over last week to hangout and I took the opportunity to photograph her work space to create a little studio tour for ye ol' blog.  So read a little bit about Molly, her business, and check out her adorable work space!

My name is Molly Gaines and I'm the owner of Vivi Dot. I live in Ballard which is a cute little neighborhood located in the Northwestern part of Seattle. I'm originally from North Seattle and I moved back to the Pacific Northwest last August after eight years in San Francisco. I live with my fiance Duncan, my kitty Olive and my dog Indy. 

I get my creativity from Grandma Vivi (my Mom's side) and my business sense from Grandma Dot (my Dad's side). Grandma Vivienne passed away not too long before I was born, but I was lucky to inherit her artistic abilities and her name (my middle name). I combined both of my Grandmother's nicknames to form 'Vivi Dot' in honor of all that I've received from my family.

1.  When did you start Vivi Dot and what was your inspiration/why did you start your own accessory biz?
I bought a button press back in 2006 and started experimenting with origami paper, comic book pages and fabric. I made things for myself and my friends and decided to participate in a local holiday craft show after more and more people I didn't know started asking me about my pieces. I did a few more shows over the next year as I readied my products for a larger audience. I brought Vivi Dot online in 2008. 

I started out simply purchasing supplies and assembling them, but now I design almost every aspect that goes into a Vivi Dot item. I design the fabric that I use to cover the buttons, the laser cut pieces that the buttons are glued to and all of the packaging that ties everything together.  I feel like this differentiates my line and makes it truly unique.

2.  What is your favorite part about running your own business? 
If I were to win the lottery tomorrow I know I'd still be running Vivi Dot for years to come. I love that I am setting myself up to do something I truly love for a living. It doesn't get much better than that.

3.  What are the benefits and hardships of working from home? 
As with most things, working from home can be a blessing and a curse. I love that I wake up and work in a space that I've created to inspire me. Working from home can also make me a feel a bit isolated at times. It can be hard to stay positive when you're outside contact is mostly Internet based. Meeting up with my 'internet friends' in person and doing consumer shows is a great way to recharge and remind myself that I'm doing something right. 

4.  Do you have any small business heroes?
I have a lot of small business heroes, but the first one that comes to mind is Sue Eggen of Giant Dwarf. She has built her very successful accessories line around making incredible handmade items and her business seems to be booming. Even as her business has grown the incredible quality of her products remains steadfast.

5.  Do you have a favorite item in your shop currently?
My favorite new fabric is the Blue Blossoms print
I also can't stop wearing the Beauty Bar Doors Polaroid Necklace - one of the collaboration necklaces with Our.City.Lights Photography. I adore that photo Diana took and it seems to go with every other outfit I put on. 
6.  What do you do outside of running Vivi Dot?
I have a full time job as the Director of Marketing at an Internet based company. I also teach dance (tap and hip hop) at the studio where I grew up dancing. My jobs fill up most of my time, but if there's any extra then I love cooking, gardening, planning my wedding and exploring my new neighborhood.

Thanks so much Molly for inviting me over and letting me photograph your space!  I had a fun time checking out your workspace and I know our readers will enjoy it too!  It is a perfect reflection of your shop's style.  Colorful, playful, thoughtfully structured and unique. 

Later today I will be posting a Vivi Dot giveaway so stayed tuned!
In the mean time, check out her blog and shop!


Angie said...

This was a great interview! I loved hearing how Vivi Dot as a name came about and I think Molly's studio is gorgeous! So inspirational!

beca said...

Loving that space! So welcoming and white! I couldn't keep my studio that clean for like five minutes! Ha!
Great interview! And her jewelery is adorable!

Allie said...

Very inspirational! I need to redo my "Studio" (it's actually just a desk)

Liz said...

LOVE! I adore Molly and her work; what a great interview.

rach. said...

what a great blog! you are so inspirational! if you get the chance could you check out my blog? i would love to see what your opinions are!

follow me?

Diana said...

Thank you for sharing this! I've always been curious how Molly's mind spins and especially how her working area is like. I think she hit it right on when she mentioned the disconnection of working from home but it does have it's benefits. Thanks, Molly! Such an inspiration!!

Ashley said...

I love, love this inspiration behind the name Vivi Dot (my grandma is one of my best friends). It's so cool seeing behind the scenes in Molly's world.

Little Lo Hood said...

Aw! so great! her work space is so fantastic and magical!

Stevie said...

So fun to see one of my old fellow classmates become successful doing something they love. Hi, Molly!

Great interview. I'm so impressed by your creativity!

Bonita Rose said...

Love her work and her studio space looks amazing!

Lynn {hearted girl} said...

okay another fluky discovery, the five block radius is most def a lucky thing. i've adored Vivi Dot for a long time and when i saw your giveaway up above i almost spewed my coffee sip all over the keyboard!

i've never seen a feature like this about her or the wonderfuls she makes, so thank you for the chance to see the inside scoop, it's awesome!!!! and how she's combined her Gram's names into the brand, such a nice touch....that is well, touching.

how cool is it that she teaches dance?! um, super fun girl much? her studio is a tricked out dream, fab interview and post. ♥

Jenni Austria Germany said...

she is soooo adorable, love her stuff.

Anonymous said...

great feature! i just moved from the east coast to the ballard/greenwood area - its so inspiring! plus i am in good company with all these fab artists and bloggers!! :)

Vivid said...

This is really inspiring - we love to hear about other peoples adventures!