We all know that the best moms out there have capes hiding under their regular clothes. They are gifted with the ability to do it all, while still making sure their cherished children are smiling. Molly Sims’ world revolves around her three kids, yet she manages to thrive in various careers simultaneously, from modeling and acting to starting her own jewelry line and getting involved in philanthropy. We asked her to give us the rundown on her professional and personal life, and how they seem to coexist so seamlessly.
1. Can you tell us a bit about your personal background? Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?
Family is the most important thing to me. I grew up in Kentucky with my mom, dad, and brother in a very close-knit family. My brother and I love to get our families together with our parents. We do this frequently because our time with each other is very precious. Everything my parents taught me, I instill in my own children. My mom taught me to love unconditionally, and my dad taught me to never give up.
2. When did you enter the modeling world? How were you discovered and what were your first impressions of the industry?
At the end of my sophomore year in college, a girlfriend who had experience in modeling suggested I take some photos with a fashion photographer she'd worked with in Memphis. So I drove myself down to Memphis, took my first ever modeling pictures, and sent them off to the New York agencies. When a few agreed to meet me, I flew out with my mom and I was signed with Next Model Management.
3. Can you share any anecdotes for what it was like being a model and whether or not you felt supported by the industry or industry mentors or not? Were there any specific challenges you had to overcome/lessons you learned?
The number one thing you have to accept in the modeling industry is hearing the word “no." You're never going to be the tallest or most beautiful girl in the room, but you can be the most determined. I had to learn to accept this and never give up my determination to succeed.
"My brother and I love to get our families together with our parents. We do this frequently because our time with each other is very precious. Everything my parents taught me, I instill in my own children. My mom taught me to love unconditionally, and my dad taught me to never give up." Photo courtesy of mollysims.com
4. Please share a bit about what life was like for you as you as an actor. What were some of the highlights/challenges?
Acting for me was a dream come true. I feel so lucky to have had my experience on the show Las Vegas. It ran for five years (which was practically unheard of) and that cast became my second family.
"My son has always been affected by eczema, not crazy bad, but it flares up where we need hydrocortisone. I found [ProCure] and it uses coconut oil and is very emollient. It doesn't sting or burn, and it makes his eczema feel so much better"
5. Do you have any advice for balancing motherhood and marriage? Do you have any go-to philosophies or life mottos?
You have to take each day at a time. Being a mom is my greatest joy. My family, or my "tribe of five" as I like to call us, is my entire life.
6. What advice do you give for women who have a really bad day/month/etc? What has helped you dust yourself off and put yourself out there after a set back?
Never let a bad day get you down. This industry is tough and it will knock you down, but if you want to succeed, you can never stop working. It's easy to look in the mirror and critique yourself, but you have to remember you are beautiful and strong, and that if you believe in yourself, you will accomplish your goals.
7. Can you speak about your experience in business and entrepreneurship, including launching your own jewelry line? What was that like? Can you share the challenges/high points?
I launched my signature jewelry line called Grayce with HSN in 2010. It was a great experience learning how to put myself out there creatively in ways other than modeling and acting. I have my own sense of style, so I wasn't sure if people would appreciate what I found stylish. It truly was a great experience that kickstarted everything else I've done.8. How did you get involved with ProCure? Do you use it personally? Can you share what it does for you? How do you work with the brand?
Being a mom of three you have to be organized at all times. It started when I created travel kits and first-aid kids for each of my kids. My son has always been affected by eczema, not crazy bad, but it flares up where we need hydrocortisone. I found [ProCure] and it uses coconut oil and is very emollient. It doesn't sting or burn, and it makes his eczema feel so much better. So that's ultimately how I got involved. I try to use things that are paraben-free and as organic as possible. It really takes any itch, burn, or pain away.
9. Can you talk briefly about the philanthropic causes that you champion? Please share why these are your passion projects?
Giving back is so important to me and it's something my entire family cares about. I'm passionate about Baby2Baby and everything they do for low-income children. At my son Brooks' sixth birthday party we just did a backpack drive for Baby2Baby. Instead of bringing gifts, guests brought backpacks to donate.
10. Any fun summer plans? Can you share any tips for navigating family vacations while still looking cool, calm and under control?
We always spend summer in the Hamptons. It's such a great getaway from LA and gives us a chance to slow down and be together. While traveling with my babies can be tough, I always keep my big bag of tricks with me. We've got snacks on hand, legos, bottles...anything you could need!
11. Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
Definitely Sarah Jessica Parker. She'd add a little glam, a little humor, and a lot of style.
12. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
The first thing I do in the morning is get myself and my children dressed and ready for the day. Although getting kids up and dressed can be the most challenging part of the morning, I make it a priority to prepare ahead of time and pick out all of our outfits the night before. This is the best way to get the morning started on the right foot.
13. What is your biggest beauty secret?
My biggest beauty secret is skincare. When your skin is fresh and flawless you can tackle anything. I love serums, moisturizers, face masks, eye patches...you name it. I'm currently loving the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask created by Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores Ireland. It's the best for travel, and as a busy mom I'm always on the go.
14. Please name something that is always in your purse.
In my bag I always have Wet Ones (I'm a mom, so that's an obvious one), some type of moisturizer, a pair of sunglasses, and snacks.
15. What is your go-to karaoke song?
If you know me, you know I'm a huge karaoke fanatic. Give me a mic and I will sing my heart out. I love a good, upbeat song.
I have always been in love with all things art- I was obsessed with drawing and painting before I was even walking. In high school, I started a career selling art through various gallery art shows and on Etsy. I then went on to study fine arts at the University of Southern California, with an emphasis in painting, but took classes in ceramics, printmaking, cinema and architecture to get a really well-rounded education on all sorts of art.
During my senior year of college, my career path went through a huge transition; I started my own temporary tattoo brand, INKED by Dani, which is a brand of temporary tattoos based on my hand-drawn fine art designs.
The idea for the brand came one night after a themed party at college. My friends, knowing how much I loved drawing, asked me to cover them in hand-drawn doodles using eyeliner. The feedback from that night was overwhelming, everyone my friends saw that night was obsessed with the designs. In that moment, a lightbulb went off in my head... I could do some completely unique here and create chic temporary tattoos with an art-driven aesthetic, unlike anything else on the market. Other temporary tattoo brands were targeted to kids or lacked a sleek and millennial-driven look. It was a perfect pivot; I could utilize my fine arts training and tattoos as a new art medium to create a completely innovative brand.
Using the money I made from selling my artwork throughout high school and college, I funded the launch of INKED by Dani. I had always loved the look of dainty tattoos, but knew I could never commit to the real thing, and I knew my parents would kill me if I got a tattoo (I also knew that so many girls must have that same conflict). Starting INKED by Dani was a no-brainer.
I started off with a collection of about only 10 designs and sold them at sorority houses around USC. Our unique concept for on-trend and fashion-forward tattoos was spreading through word of mouth, and we quickly started growing an Instagram following. I was hustling all day from my room, cold calling retailers, sending blind samples and tons of emails, and trying to open up as many opportunities as I could.
Now, we're sold at over 10,000 retail locations (retailers include Target, Walmart, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Hot Topic), and we've transformed temporary tattoos into a whole new form of wearable art.
My 4 best tips for starting your own business are:
- Just go with your gut! You'll never know what works until you try it. Go day by day and do everything in your power to work toward your goals. Be bold, but be sure to be thoughtful in your actions.
- Research your competitors and other successful brands in your category to determine how you can make your product stand out. Figure out where there is a need or hole in the market that your new offering or approach can fill.
- Don't spread yourself too thin. Delegate where possible, and stay focused each day on doing the best and most you can. Don't get too caught up in your end goal or the big picture to a point where it overwhelms or freezes you. You're already making a bold move to start something new, so try to prioritize what's important! I started off in the beginning hand packing every single tattoo pack that we sold and shipped. If I wanted to scale to align with the level of demand we were receiving, I needed to make the pivot to mass produce and relinquish the control of doing every step myself. I am a total perfectionist, so that was definitely hard! From that point on, overseeing production has been a huge part of my daily schedule, but by doing so I've been able to free up more time to focus on design, merchandising, and sales, allowing me to really focus on growing the business.
- Prioritize great product packaging and branding. It's so important to invest time in customer experience- how customers view and interact with your product. The packaging is just as important as the actual product inside! When we were starting off, we had high demand, and I definitely jumped the gun a bit on packaging so we could deliver product to the retailers when they wanted it. Since then, we've completely revamped the packaging into something upscale and unique that reflects what the brand is all about. Our product packaging is always called out as being one of our retailers' and customers' favorite part of our product!