CROSBY by Mollie Burch is an Atlanta-based women’s clothing line hallmarked by bright prints, funky patterns and unique shapes. Founded by Mollie and her business partner Taylor Richardson in 2015, CROSBY’s signature designs are flattering, feminine and, most of all, fun! In addition to her obvious talent for fashion, Mollie and her team are also passionate about supporting organizations that aid victims of sex trafficking. Twice per year CROSBY creates a special #endit print inspired by a sex trafficking victim’s story. The print’s proceeds are given back to their nonprofit partner, Wellspring Living, an organization dedicated to helping trafficking victims. One thing we know for sure: this fashion designer’s heart is bigger than her closet. Get to know Mollie, our newest FACE of Atlanta, and learn more about her mission to empower women one bold print at a time.
What is your retail/design background?
I studied at University of Virginia where there was no fashion program, so I created my own major through the interdisciplinary major program called “Art of Fashion.” During college, I also studied at Parsons in New York for a summer, took online classes through FIT and spent a semester in Florence where I attended a fashion school. I held internships during college at Milly and Hunter Bell. After college I worked as the head designer for a local fashion company, Annie Griffin Collection.
How did you know it was time to take the leap into entrepreneurship?
CROSBY is something that I have wanted my entire life. My parents will tell you that growing up, I was always doodling or dressing up and dressing up other people. Taylor, my business partner, and I were roommates in Atlanta right out of college. We had both gone to UVA but didn’t meet until we were signing our lease to live together. We became fast friends, and over time she watched my passion for design and heard my ideas and desire to start CROSBY which made her really want to get involved. She believed in my passion and saw an opportunity to use her business knowledge to help me get started. One day, she came home with a drawing board, and with glasses of wine in hand, we began to talk through the business and map out a plan. She’s one of the smartest people I know, so when she told me that she wanted to help me start CROSBY I was so happy! I’m beyond fortunate to have her both as a friend and business partner. She was truly a godsend. We officially started CROSBY in October of 2015 and launched our first collection in Spring 2016. We have been full speed ahead ever since!
Where did the name come from?
CROSBY is my maiden name! I got married right before starting CROSBY, and I am one of three girls, so it is my way of carrying on the family legacy.
What advice would you give someone looking to make the leap into fashion or to simply start a business venture of their own?
Stay true to yourself and trust your instincts, but recognize your strengths and weaknesses and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I often find myself wanting to control and know everything when in reality, CROSBY is much stronger when I am able to depend on others and not just myself. Everyone brings a different skillset to the table. Learning to acknowledge that my weaknesses are someone else’s strengths has been key to CROSBY’s success and growth. Teamwork is so important!
One of the things you are passionate about is supporting organizations that aid victims of sex trafficking. Why do you feel so strongly about this cause in particular?
The Lord first put this cause on my heart in college at a Christian conference called Passion, where my eyes were opened to the alarming issue of sex trafficking. I had no idea the gravity of the situation around the world, in our country and the city I call home: Atlanta. I immediately felt convicted to help in any way I could. I have hope that we, as a generation, can put an end to this unjust reality so many women and girls face every day by speaking up, spreading awareness and supporting organizations like Wellspring Living who do some much in the fight to #endit.
Your line is filled with colorful prints, unique designs and flattering cuts. Where do you get your inspiration? How, if any, has the South inspired your line?
Everywhere! Travel, exploring new places, nature, vibrant and unexpected color palettes. My love for color is directly reflected in the brand’s playful and cheery aesthetic. My eyes are always open to new inspiration! I love making women feel beautiful and confident in what they’re wearing. My Southern roots are absolutely reflected in the designs I create. CROSBY is made for the stylish and contemporary Southern woman looking to make a bright, fun statement.
What are your rules of thumb when it comes to styling an outfit? If you choose a vibrant CROSBY print, do you stick to subtle accessories, or do you subscribe to the “more is more” philosophy?
Well, I do love a statement earring or a fun colored shoe, but so often the prints are like wearable art and can stand on their own. While I don’t think “more is more” is necessarily the way to go, I don’t think you should ever be afraid of too much color!
What trends can we expect to see as we dip further into summer and even head towards fall?
Billowy statement sleeves continue to reign, matching sets, florals, bright colors and faux fur for the fall. I’m dying over our leopard coat coming in September. Animal prints, bold stripes, silver and cropped wide-leg pants.
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?
Since I can remember, my parents have encouraged me to believe in myself and follow my passion.
Excluding faith, family and friends, what are three things you can’t live without?
Chapstick, “The Office” and the color pink!
Thank you Mollie, for sharing more about yourself, your creative process and your passion for helping others. To learn more about CROSBY, visit crosbybymollieburch.com. Finally, three cheers to Catrina Maxwell of CatMax Photography for these fun photos of Mollie!