Meet Cori Molloy, the vision behind Olson & Burke as we ask her about big career changes, opening a new business and finding that elusive thing called balance…
What made you leave law practice to open a clothing store?
I’m not sure who left whom, but I’m sure we’re both the better for it!l
Seriously though, that’s a big switch.
It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I studied Fashion Merchandising Management through FIT and have worked a ton of retail over the years. It’s been a long road, but it finally came together. I came to a point where I just couldn’t get excited about someone else’s dream anymore, it was time to start living my own.
Why Olson & Burke?
Those were my grandmother’s maiden names. It’s a reminder of the amazing women in my family. I chose their maiden names because I feel there’s something special about the name you are born with. It’s your foundation.
What was the best part of getting ready to open the store?
The people. I chose local businesses as much as possible because when you start something like this, it drives home how important it is to support the people in your own community. They’ve listened, helped and been so supportive. One of them told me to take time to enjoy the process of opening because it’s easy to get wrapped up in the stress of it, but then it’s over, you’re open and you missed the joy of putting it all together. I’ve really taken that to heart. When things go a little sideways, I’ve stepped back and reminded myself how grateful I am to be doing this. Now that the store is open, I love meeting and getting to know the customers. Some of them are already starting to feel like good friends.
Now that you’re open, have there been any surprises?
Every day is different. When you go to buy for the first (and second?!) season, you do it in a vacuum. You have an idea of who you think the customer is, but you don’t really know what people will want until they start coming in the door. This is a bit unnerving, but so far the response has been really positive, so that’s been a huge relief!
Has the business taken over your life?
No. I’ve consciously built in time for family. Family, business and health are my three priorities. Each supports the other. I love triathlon and raced in June. It wasn’t my best race, but training gave me a mental break from the business planning. I also found that sometimes things I couldn’t figure out at my desk became crystal clear out on a run or a bike. Since I opened, my energy has been spent elsewhere. I'm not beating myself up over it. I meditate and will gently add the exercise back at a pace that works for me.
Thank you Cori for taking the time for this interview, I can only imagine how busy you have been. For those of you who haven't made it in to Olson + Burke yet, you really need to get in there.
I'm including an invitation to her Grand Opening this Thursday evening. It's sure to be an incredible time filled with fashion, giveaways and prizes. Get a head start on your Christmas shopping and check out the Beauty Bar pop-up by Ethos Salon Spa that will be there too!