Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Molly Kent, Founder & Designer at DAY SEVEN

Molly Kent is the founder & designer at DAY SEVEN, a company creating designer functional workwear for contemporary hospitality.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I’ve been working in hospitality since I was 13, in a range of front and back of house roles and in various types of establishments. I started out in cafes, then moved to bars, resorts, and then had my turn in restaurant evening services.

The jobs I worked have been far and wide across Australia, as well as sea-hopping internationally. The last job I had before launching DAY SEVEN was as a private personal cook here in Melbourne.

With all this experience, along with the annoyances of some unconsidered aspects of staff uniforms, I explored the need for functional workwear for front-of- house hospitality.

Uniforms have a place in the future in elevating a branded customer experience, as well as reshaping the workplace cultures we have been used to for far too long in hospitality.

We deserve a little more as hard workers, so I’ve decided to offer more value, more convenience, more style, and comfort!

So now, my current role is Founder and Creative director of DAY SEVEN a designer functional workwear atelier for contemporary hospitality. 

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Due to Melbourne’s lockdown, my day has varied a lot. I would usually be running around from place to place with photoshoots or fittings or venue viewings but these days it’s more like, I wake up, stretch, have a coffee and double-check my calendar for the day.

Then I work on my goals list, recently I’ve reworded my to-do list to a ‘today’s goals list’ mainly to take the pressure off myself in lockdown.

Then I would reply to messages, emails or staff comms that I need to check in with, then check my emails. I usually go for another coffee and then get stuck into the sales side of things, which at this stage of the business is a whole lot of researching and finding people with shared values to align with.

Chatting to them and scoping out the pains and possible plans where I could then pitch our uniform atelier and custom design services to them.  As I wear a lot of hats with limited funds to employ others at this stage, I take on a marketing role too. 

I’m usually sorting out online content ads, website updates. photoshoot planning and strategy planning.

In the afternoon I check in with the production team and how they are going with either new client design development and then get stuck into working on that client project for the afternoon, ensuring timelines will be reached, the client is informed and sent their fabric swatches and samples. 

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Luckily yes, as the founder you find yourself doing more admin and organisational work as opposed to hands-on labour, which I’m okay with and fits in with WFH sweetly especially when I have a beautiful townhouse with my friends in a great location in Brunswick.

I like negotiating and speaking with people to come up with solutions for elevating the brand experience so it’s all online at the moment, which means I can reach anywhere globally.

I started DAY SEVEN in Japan and travelled around to research production and fabrics across Vietnam and Asia then onto client meetings in New York and London – I have always wanted to be able to take my work with me wherever I go. So, it hasn’t been a major issue for me – thankfully we live in the age of the internet.

 4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

I think in simple terms it means, freedom. I’m privileged that I’m paid ethically, I enjoy my work and I also have the means to create joy in my life. I’m aware and understanding that not everyone has this privilege and I hope that one day I can change this for a few (or many) women.

I work in the film industry on the side as my social outlet, yet still working and connecting with people in the creative sphere. We’d usually end up going for a drink or dinner after a long day on set to unwind. This work helps me balance the time alone at my desk nearly all day.

I love living very spontaneously in the moment and if I’m feeling it, like jumping in the car heading to the beach for a few nights, heading to the Grampians to stay in my vintage caravan I renovated in lockdown, taking the hiking boots, and heading out for a short hike or going to a gallery. They fill my cup and give my brain a rest. This is usually when I check in with family and friends.

Taking the time to try new, random hobbies helps me feel balanced and I have recently taken up roller-skating and clay moulding. 

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

My friend asked me this the other day. I said to her I’ve stopped fearing I’ll give up on the thing I’ve worked so hard on – DAY SEVEN.

Now I’ve abolished this thought and replaced it with I won’t be giving up because I have a bigger purpose road mapped for it – the social enterprise I aspire it to become.  I believe if I didn’t give up in this pandemic era, I don’t think I’d ever be giving it up.

 6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I listen to podcasts mainly, incredibly insightful and I can rewind and play something again if I was too distracted doing something while it’s playing, because that’s why I like them, I feel doubly productive.

My two favourites right now are Lady Brains and Owners Collective.

I love receiving My Daily Business Coaches weekly email so many tips and valuable insights. 

Honestly, I haven’t read anything business-related lately in lockdown as it makes relaxing feel stressful sometimes, I prefer to read autobiographies. 

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without? 

Canva and Plann are essential (and both founded by female Australians!) and Trello is great.  

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

Melanie Perkins. I love what she’s done and I’m sure she’s onto more great things. 

Paul Smith – he’s such a cool guy.  I’ve probably watched all of his interviews and he has such a relaxed creative uplifting energy about him, which I’m sure oozes into every aspect of his life. 

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Wake up and choose to live positively. Tell yourself what you want and make a plan on how to get it.

Always remember to just pause, smile and laugh. There’s always time for this. I remind myself every day. 

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.