TALKING WITH THE DESIGNER BEHIND MOLASSES WAVE

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Loading up on cute little pins has been one of our favorite trends this year. Such a small piece can make such a big difference in the overall look of an outfit. Plus, they make perfect, affordable gifts for the holidays.  We chatted with Molly Halligan, the designer behind pin brand Molasses Wave to learn about the story behind the business, where she draws inspiration from, and what's to come! 
      
What's the story behind the Molasses Wave name?
Well, I started my business in March and I knew that I would be moving from Boston to New York in the near future so I wanted something to remind me of the city I once called home! Molasses Wave is a nod at one of the most bizarre stories I had heard when I was a kid, The Molasses Flood of 1919. A large vat of Molasses exploded due to a sudden temperature rise and shoddy workmanship. It killed 21 people and injured over a hundred. It’s nuts. People say that in the summer, you can still smell it. I feel like strange and morbid is a cup of tea and really fits well. Also, it has a good ring to it, people always laugh even if they don’t know the reference.
Why did you choose pins over all other types of accessories?
I had been following a lot of pin makers on Instagram and it was starting to become a problem for my wallet. I kept coming up with funny ideas and I just thought to myself, “Why aren’t I doing this?” I think I really like the tangibility of pins. It’s a nice object that can last a long time. Even if it’s small and just there for comic relief, it feels special.
Where do you draw inspiration for your designs from?
Television. Movies. Music. Books. Jokes from years ago that I still find funny. I write down a lot of phrases my friends and I come up with and revisit it when I need ideas. I design for myself and my friends. I design to make people laugh or to share my interests with others.  
Which is your favorite pin right that you have available right now?
That’s hard! I have a soft spot for my Surfing the Crimson Wave pin. It was a big breakthrough for me and it was my first pin featured on BuzzFeed. Plus, like, period jokes.
Do you think you'll ever branch out into clothing or other categories of accessories?
Yes! One of the many reasons I moved to New York was the promise of more studio space! I have a silkscreen set up and I’m starting to print shirts and bags. Those are starting to appear on my Etsy! Keep a look out!
Who are your influences as artists?
Pop Culture has a HUGE influence on me. Especially the 80s and 90s. Pee-Wee’s Playhouse feels like a major touch stone for me. Gary Panter. Anything like that. Rude fun. John Kricfalusi. Thurop Van Orman. I try not to focus too much on what other people in my specific field are doing. My fellow pin makers are a huge support system for me but I was raised on the classics. My dad is a sign painter and he really inspired me to get into hand lettering recently. He also oil paints and got me into Edward Hopper when I was really little. Then, humored me when I started to stray into modern and contemporary styles.
What are your hopes for your business?
I would love to build my business to a full-time gig. It’s a juggling act now but my main goal is to be in charge of my own art (which is something you don’t get as a graphic designer) and I’d love to be my own boss. Collaborations with other artists would be a big dream of mine too.
    
Follow @molasseswave on Instagram and shop on Etsy here

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