One year ago Mollyhopp was not even a thought on the horizon. I was working in a very different industry, spending most of my time in sales, training and support 0f marketing software for multinational corporations. It’s more fun than it sounds, I promise. But between working too much, and not working out at all, my body was being terribly abused and neglected. While packing for a business trip I realised that none of my clothes fit.
Fortunately I was headed for New York, which is probably my favorite shopping destination. Not for the service or ambience, but for the abundance of clothes in my size. A trip to Macy’s plus size department later, and I was feeling pretty good about myself and my new Calvin Klein business suit. It fit perfectly, and made me feel less like an ogre and more like a business woman again. Isn’t it amazing how what we see in the mirror can change the way we feel, and the way we feel changes our perception of the mirror image?
Finally, for the first time since my youngest was born, I felt like myself again.
Fast forward to today. I have all but left the corporate world. Nowadays, working out is part of my job. My own exercise inspires the designs in Mollyhopp, and every garment and item is tested and tested again in the yoga studio, the park, and on the treadmill.
My gorgeous, superwoman business suit has been worn exactly three times (once with the pants, twice with the skirt), and though I am not working out to lose weight, running has melted away my breasts, so the jacket hangs sadly from my shoulders.
A few hours ago I saw a post on Facebook about Image Mission, a local charity that empowers men and women to gain economic freedom. They need plus size business clothes that can be worn for job interviews. I have those clothes. I don’t need them. They don’t look good on me any more. Still, taking the decision to donate them is tearing me apart.
What if Mollyhopp fails, and I need to return to the corporate world soon? What if I return to my sedentary life and all the clothes I’m keeping will become to small for me? What if my boobs suddenly balloon back, and I’ll fill the clothes perfectly again? What if, what if, what if my power and self worth are woven in the fabric of my work suits, dresses and cardigans? What if I need to go to an interview myself? Who will I be? Who do I think I am?
I could pump out dozens more questions like these, questioning myself and the future. But I’m not. I called up Image Mission, I’m dropping off a massive bag of clothes tomorrow. I’m praying that they will help somebody else feel like a corporate super woman. And I’m closing that chapter of my life.
Now I’m just Linn. Designer, founder, and non-corporate CEO of Mollyhopp. Linn, who spends a part of every day in active wear, and the rest of my time in comfy summer clothes. An older Linn and younger Linn at once. A Linn that may look out of place in conference rooms, but more at home in herself.
Don’t be afraid to be afraid. You can only be brave if you do something you fear. A lot of times we need to hold on, but every once in a while, we have to let go. Be brave.