I’ve been following Molly Stillman for a while now. I don’t know if it’s her affectionate welcoming smile or the way she brings light to some truly powerful subjects, but I’m so glad I found out about her brand on the good ol’ world wide web. Her confidence is inspiring and I love that she doesn’t hoard her secret for gaining it. Molly has been using her blog as a way to inspire women to walk confidently and with purpose especially in this world where we’re still seeing women tearing down other women. We definitely need more Good Humans, like this gal.
Meet Molly Stillman, content creator, speaker, and burrito lover, this week’s lovely #GoodTribe interview. Molly has been running her blog, Still Being Molly, for about 14 years now. It’s a hub for everything she loves and advocates for, including ethical and fair trade fashion, clean beauty, her life as a mom and wife, and so much more. I love that she calls her blog her ‘Internet Living Room’, it’s truly a space where everyone will find at least one thing to read, enjoy and learn more about.
1. Tell us a bit about your journey. What made you decide to create Still Being Molly?
I have always been a writer. My mom was a writer and her passion for writing rubbed off on me at an early age. When I was in college, I was an English major with a concentration in creative writing and I thought that my dream was to be a comedy writer and eventually land on Saturday Night Live. I started writing on LiveJournal in college (if you know, you know) and when I graduated in 2007, eventually migrated to Wordpress and started my comedy blog called “MollyHasTwoThumbs.” Yes, it was that bad. But I loved it and I kept at it.
By 2008-2010, I was realizing that people were reading my stuff and I began to transition to more lifestyle and personal writing. By 2012, I had grown the blog quite a bit, rebranded to Still Being Molly, and began to monetize the blog. Then, by the end of 2014, early 2015 I was able to leave my day job and pursue blogging full time. The blog has definitely evolved quite a bit over the years and has really changed right along with me.
Today, my blog focuses primarily on ethical and fair trade fashion, purchasing with purpose, sustainability, clean beauty and living, and then of course my life as a mom, our homesteading / farm journey, and so much more.
2. With your blog, you cover a variety of topics. Have you ever felt yourself being spread thin trying to educate and advocate for multiple things at once?
Not at all. I definitely went through a period where I wrote about ALL THE THINGS and I found that when I really hunkered down and focused my niche into “purchasing with purpose” that things started to grow. It’s been a lot of trial and error, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I think people really connect with my writing when I’m writing from a place that’s deeply personal. Passion can be conveyed through writing and that’s what I try to do.
3. You have written and advocated a lot on ethical and fair trade fashion for good. What is something you have learned in this process? Why is fashion for good important to you?
A few years ago it really clicked for me - so many of the things that I care about, like ending human trafficking, caring for orphans and widows, sustainability, etc., can all be positively impacted in a MASSIVE way, if only we just changed the way we spend our money and the way we do business. Will one person make a difference? Maybe. But, when MANY of us, collectively, change our habits… massive change happens.
This is a generalization, sure, but at the end of the day, many of the world’s problems and crises could be impacted in a positive manner, just by creating the opportunities for a job, a sustainable and living wage for people around the world. Many children become orphans because their parents simply cannot afford to care for them - if we created jobs for those parents? We could greatly reduce the number of orphans. Many widows struggle to care for their children, but if we created jobs for those mothers? We could alleviate much of their financial stress. For women and men, girls and boys who are lured into sex and labor trafficking, more often than not, many are lured because of a lack of access to economic opportunity. Jobs change lives. And by changing the way we spend our money and by spending our money with brands and companies that are making an impact, we, in turn, make an impact. I care so deeply about this!
4. You recently bought a farm! That’s big news, congrats! How did that decision come about?
This is something my husband and I have dreamed and saved for and prayed about for nearly a decade. We’d always just dreamt about owning a farm, but over the years, it really became something we felt called to do. And over the last few years, I’ve realized how much of it is just a natural extension of my own personal passion for sustainability, independence, and ethics. The decision definitely didn’t happen overnight. It was years and years of planning, preparing, and praying.
5. What is one eco-friendly/sustainable change you’ve already made to your lifestyle since living on the farm?
The biggest shift in sustainability for us has been composting and also our chickens! ALL of our food scraps are either composted or given to our chickens as a treat. We compost basically all of our cardboard and paper, pine shavings from the chicken coop, and so much more. It’s a learning curve but we are getting there.
Sustainability has been a HUGE part of this journey for us. Our eventual, long term goal is to only eat meat that we ethically and sustainably raise ourselves. We also hope to grow the majority of our produce that we eat. For us, this is a marathon and not a sprint so these are 3-5-10 year goals. We currently raise chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, and honeybees! We have a garden with corn, tomatoes, green beans, cantaloupe, potatoes, watermelon, lettuce, spinach, herbs, okra, peppers, and radishes. We also have blueberry and blackberry bushes, we planted grapevines, and we have apple, peach, cherry, pear, fig, and plum trees. Right now the birds are eating all our fruit tree fruit so there’s that… ;-) Our hope is to expand the orchard and garden each year. I also have a dream of eventually having a massive flower garden where people can come pick flowers and make their own bouquets!
6. What has been your proudest moment for Still Being Molly?
In 2017, my friend Carly and I were able to team up and design a line of clothing with Elegantees, one of my favorite ethical fashion brands. That was a dream come true!
7. In your podcast you have talked with a lot of people with different jobs and journeys. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a guest?
It’s hard to pick just one guest, but I’d have to say just overall the commitment I’ve learned from so many people. Success doesn’t come to people who quit. Success comes to those who do not give up… each and every day they show up and they keep at it. It’s so inspiring to me!
8. You have talked with so many inspiring people that are in the business of doing good. Was there one story you could share with us that really resonated with you and that may have inspired you to make a positive change?
Ooof! After interviewing 250 people, it is so hard to pick just one. BUT, I think the people that always inspire me are people who have risen above impossible circumstances. They’ve left all excuses behind and they are doing the work to change their own lives as well as change the lives of others.
I remember, in particular, a man I interviewed by the name of Antonio T. Smith Jr.. He became homeless at the age of 6 and was living alone in a dumpster from the age of 6-14. The odds were so stacked against him, and yet, he overcame incredible adversity… a mentor and coach spoke into his life and he eventually went on to serve in the military and is now a self-made millionaire. His passion is helping to coach and create other millionaires because he believes good people with money can make a difference. (I’m greatly summarizing his story, but man, it’s powerful!) He just really showed me that when we leave excuses behind, we can make an insane impact in the world. He inspired me to leave all my excuses and negative mindsets behind and do what God has called me to do.
9. How can ethical fashion be normalized in a world relying heavily on fast fashion? How do you usually involve more people in this conversation?
I think it all starts with us sharing our own individual journeys. By sharing our own journeys we are able to personalize it and, in turn, inspire others to pursue a life of purchasing with purpose. I think we need to educate people that it’s not hard, it doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be out of reach. I also think it’s important that we don’t shame people when they do purchase fast fashion or shop from a “big box” retailer. We should celebrate the baby steps and the little by little progress that they make. Change doesn’t happen overnight!
10. What are your plans for Still Being Molly in 2021 and beyond that you want us to know about?
This year, my podcast, Business with Purpose, turns 5! I’m focusing a lot on how I can improve the podcast and really grow it in the next 5 years. I’m also in the early stages of working on a book!
I think it’s safe to say that Molly is basically Superwoman. It’s so important for all of us to focus on more sustainable practices and we’re thankful for women like Molly inspiring and motivating others to purchase with purpose and make those conscious living decisions that can inspire positive change in this world. And to start inspiring this positive change, we have to take those baby steps. A great place to start is giving Molly’s podcast episode
about how to support ethical businesses during COVID-19 a listen! If you are looking to shop more sustainably you can also check out our top ten tips here
Did you love our discussion with Molly and what she stands for? Like, comment and give her a follow!