Today we are lucky to have one of Mola Mola’s founders and sisters: creative director Adriana Dangond.
Laura Arciniegas: Adri, thank you so much for being here, so excited to have you and Mola Mola, why is the brand named like this?
Adriana Dangond: So happy to be here! Mola Mola was born many years back in Santa Marta where my sister and I are from, always surrounded by the ocean and the caribbean. When I created Mola Mola I wanted to find a name that was related with the ocean, the caribbean and this lifestyle but also something that was original, and one day talking to a friend who fishes he mentioned a fish called the Mola Mola. I started doing some research on this one and fell in love, so beautiful, different and unique, like Mola Mola.
LA: Love the name, as I mentioned before, it’s Adri and Ana, two sisters. How long has Mola Mola been around?
AD: I started the brand a long time ago! It’s been a very long and changing road for me to find the right product. It started as a leather bag brand and then it became plastic beach bags and organizers inspired by my art designs, at this point I realized I needed someone who would bring in more structure and organization into the company and that’s when I invited Ana into Mola Mola. Who better than my sister to come and work with me? She is in charged of the administrative side of the business.
LA: Yes I remember perfectly that when I met you two the concept was a beach bags/organizers brand. When did this change?
AD: Exactly, so we went to a fashion trade show and at this point my sister made me realize we had to broaden the line of products and not only focus on beach bags/organizers. And what better than swimwear? I loved the idea, it was always my dream to have my own swimwear line. We were in swimwear 24/7 as kids and we always bought more swimwear than actual clothes. This is when the swimwear journey started and we launched our first swimwear collection called “Queen of the Sea” 4 years ago.
LA: Oh wow, the swimwear line has been out for that long?
AD: Yes, we are already in our 8th collection.
LA: Well that is amazing! Me, myself I also love swimwear and really think you can never have enough and always want to wear new ones!
AD: Absolutely, always! And then our daughters where born and that’s when our Mommy & Me line was created.
LA: Love it! The matching concept is definitely something our customers love! How have you been able to create such a great product in terms of quality, fit and just everything? Specially with swimwear!
AD: As in everything in life it’s been a process, I have the mentality that within the road you learn and you will always improve, improve and improve. It’s obviously been challenging since production is in Medellin, I am in Santa Marta and my sister in Bogota, specially this year with the pandemic. But we count with a great team and we are always looking for the best fabrics, best quality and just the final product to be as perfect as possible. We have focused more on time-less swimwear styles with colorful and vivid patterns which is Mola Mola’s identity.
LA: Always improving and offering the best! I see that now you also have men’s swimwear and boy’s.
AD: Our sons were born! And we had to make something for everyone hahaha! Without realizing we started creating a brand for the whole family which is another of the aspects the brand is known for now: Family Matching.
LA: Families love to match, specially with little ones. What would you say it’s a must have piece in a woman’s swimwear/resort wear closet?
AD: I would say the long-sleeved one piece, without a doubt. You don’t realize but you go away for a summer or tropical vacation and after a couple of days you don’t want more sun exposure and the long-sleeved one piece is a must! Like this one that Eva Longoria has (watch IGTV to see image).
LA: I saw this photo and I was in shock! You have to be so proud of all you have accomplished!
AD: Than you so much! Yes, we were so happy, and this is the second time she’s worn Mola Mola.
LA: You’re right, the long-sleeved swimsuit is a must, I will definitely keep it in mind for a next trip.
AD: Yes, definitely! Also the Lola which is the typical triangle bikini will always be a best-seller and it’s a timeless bikini you need to own.
LA: You also have the resort wear line which offers the perfect complement for the sunny days, and aside from that you have just launched your new Urban Leisure line that I can see you are wearing (watch IGTV to see image).
AD: Yes! I absolutely love it! It’s super soft and comfortable made from 100% Peruvian pima cotton. We always wanted to launch another line and this was the perfect time for leisurewear with 2020 as it is. It’s also perfect for a boat day, or just to wear after the beach.
LA: It is just so convenient! To wear after the beach as you just mentioned, to travel, run errands or just to be at home. We just launched the line at Mucura, Adri I wanted to ask you more about the process of creating the brand, what has been most gratifying about starting your own business?
AD: Everything! If you had seen the brand when it started you probably would have thought it was going nowhere, the growth process and journey has been so beautiful and valuable. To think that this dream came to life and is what it is, even when the swimwear industry is such a competitive industry in Colombia is just incredible! To go back and see all we did, how much the brand changed and all the hard work my sister and I have put into Mola Mola, it’s just priceless!
LA: Definitely, Colombia’s swimwear industry is super competitive and Mola Mola being where it is, is huge! And what would you say has been the most challenging?
AD: My sister and I always sit and talk about how it’s hard, and it really is. Starting a brand is hard, specially from scratch, developing new products is hard, everything is. But the important thing is to really be sure of what you are, what you are offering and also having discipline and being constant, as everything in life.
LA: It is certainly not easy, at all! I feel you. Adri, both you and Ana are not only business women but moms, how have you managed to find this balance between work and being a mom/wife, etc? Specially today will the kids being home with the pandemic.
AD: It’s super complex, we start talking every morning at 5 AM, we organize our tasks, our schedule, etc. Nowadays with the kids home it’s obviously even more challenging given that before we had “free” time to work while they where in school. But we just make it work, our husbands are super supportive which helps immensely.
LA: That’s great Adri, my last question is a question I like to ask all designers, what advice would you give to someone who is starting their own brand/line?
AD: This is a long process, it is not an overnight thing, nor it takes a year, it is a long journey, so patience. Have an original product, something that differentiates you and is also excellent quality. Last but not least, discipline and determination. Ana Cecilia and I have not reached all our goals or dreams, we still have many! But that is what it’s all about!
Thank you to Ana from Mola Mola for taking the time to talk to us and tell us all these fascinating stories about the brand! And thank you! You who are reading for being part of our Mucura family and community, stay tuned for more interviews with our other designers and make sure to watch these on our Instagram @mucura_shop