Founder & CEO / Just Nips
Every so often a beauty/lifestyle product comes along that disrupts. It doesn’t happen often but sometimes this product is something that we didn’t know we desperately needed. That’s exactly what founder of Just Nips, Molly Borman, gave the world.
In the early days of the brand, Molly told everyone she possibly could about her new idea and miraculously the idea spread. The viral nature of social media took hold and the US very quickly added to cart. But, a smart socials strategy will only get you so far; the real beauty in this story is that the product is truly amazing and fills a void, especially if you are a woman that has been hit by the monster of breast cancer.
Molly’s #careerstory is filled with all the juicy bits that you actually want to know about growing up in the US. She takes us back to time at high school, her time at University and why it really doesn’t matter if your degree doesn’t match what you want to do when you finish. (Side Note: Molly completed a teaching Degree, but then got a job at Ralph Lauren as a member of their digital team.)
I am so excited to introduce you to the audacious Molly Borman. Let’s hear it for the girls with BIG ideas and an even BIGGER drive to make these ideas grow.
Let’s dive in…
Hey Molly, I am so happy that you are with us today. Let’s start at the very beginning. Where did you grow up and how did the experience shape the person you are and the career that you are in today?
I grew up in a perfect little suburb of Detroit, Michigan – the kind of place where everybody knows everybody. When I was younger, I used to complain about that part – the everyone knowing everyone thing, but as a business owner, having a community back home to always support me has been THE BEST! I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I started Just Nips – stick-on nipples designed to make you look cold and feel hot! a little over a year ago. I’ve been so, so, so lucky to have such a strong support system especially because starting a nipple company is… risky to say the least! All of my key hires have been recommended to me by people I grew up with, like my lawyers, tax people, accountants, etc. If I ever have a question about anything, I know exactly who to ask.
Where did you go to High School and how was that experience for you?
I went to the same High School my dad went to, Detroit Country Day School – I even had some of the same teachers he had! High School was HARD! High School was a lot of work – much more work than college. Socially, I was both a victim and a perpetrator of mean girl stuff and general bitchiness, but now that I’m older, I see that it’s all rooted in insecurities. I have friends going through it now and I feel for them, everything seems like life or death when you’re in it. One of my best friends and I had a rough patch in 8th grade that we still talk about (and laugh about!) today – and we’re both almost 30 years old. High School was soooo dramatic!
Did your high school play an important role in helping you choose your further education and future career?
Absolutely! If it wasn’t for my advisors and college counselors, I probably would’ve made way more dumb decisions than I did. Thankfully, I had a great support system at school who encouraged me to apply to the University of Michigan. Teenagers are hard-wired to NOT listen to their parents, so having great teachers and advisors around really helped me when I would tune out my mom and dad. Looking back, I was always drawn to reading and writing and connected the most with my English teachers. I thought I wanted to be a doctor, but my first “real” job was writing for Ralph Lauren’s website! I stayed there for 5 years. Who would’ve thought!?
Did you complete any internships or work experience placements in high school? Tell us about that experience.
I babysat ALL. THE. TIME.
I was fully booked after school and on weekends and it taught me the value of time management – which is one of the most important skills to have. I had to balance homework, friends, sports, family obligations and babysitting. It was (and still is) important to me to NEVER be late.
I took it all very, very seriously, which in turn got me more jobs, which led to more money. Even though it meant less time with my friends, the stuff they were doing without me wasn’t that great anyway! I know babysitting doesn’t have the same cache as say, a fancy magazine internship, but I loved having responsibility and financial freedom. And free snacks :)
Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent? Take us through the courses that you studied and why you chose them?
I went to the University of Michigan for 4 years with a focus on English and Education. When I was in High School, I loved the idea of being a doctor…way more than all the blood and guts that comes with the job. I was really drawn to helping people, so I figured teaching was a great way to be with people and make a difference. I was wrong! Teaching was not for me. I was scared that having a Major in Teaching would hurt me when applying to only non-teaching jobs, but I was wrong again!
I learned that you can spin anything any way you want. Sure, I had a bunch of teaching classes under my belt (and nothing in marketing, fashion or retail) but I highlighted the fact that I’m organized, can multi-task, have great reading and writing skills landed me a job at Ralph Lauren.
Tell us about your career journey so far. Who you have worked for, and explain any highlights.
I started working for Ralph Lauren and I wrote the little descriptions you read when you’re shopping online, “this polo shirt is made from our signature cotton…”. I liked my job, but more than that I loved my coworkers. After a few years, the job was very boring to me, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to change jobs just for the sake of changing jobs, so I stayed for a few more years.
In that time, I focused on my creative writing before and after work. Every morning I would write for a few hours, go to work, come home, and write some more. I wrote a few scripts for a cartoon and found an animator/friend who helped me animate the episodes and bring my ideas to life. This was more of a hobby than a job, but one day, I met a girl named Allie at a book club a friend from college put together. Allie worked in TV and knew some people at MTV who might be interested in my cartoons, so she passed my ideas along.
This was my big break! Just kidding. It wasn’t.
I never heard from MTV. But two years later, Allie was working on a new project that needed a cartoon! Even though I hadn’t seen her since she remembered me. A few weeks later, I quit my job and started working on a short cartoon series for Lifetime TV. It was surreal! I was so happy every day, eating, breathing and sleeping cartoons. I loved it so much. Shortly after the cartoon aired, I was ready for MORE!
An idea I had years prior kept coming back to me – fake nipples. I had never started a company or made a product before, but I was ready to give it a try. So I launched Just Nips Fake Nipples and decided to learn along the way.
Molly, this trajectory is incredible. What a journey. So let’s dive into Just Nips, your business. Tell us more about it.
I launched Just Nips with nothing more than an idea and a website. I had no idea what I was in for!
It’s also worth noting I didn’t have a lot of money either, as I had quit my “real” job and my cartoon project was over. Sure, I had money saved up but I was very, very, very scrappy and resourceful (read: cheap!) when it came to starting Just Nips. I bought some nipple pasties on Amazon and went to a craft store. I found some plastic beads in various shapes and sizes that I glued together into the shape of a nipple. This was my first prototype for Just Nips.
I told a few people about Just Nips, even though it was still in the prototype phase. Those people told more people and next thing you know, I’m getting requests for press interviews. I knew I was onto something and had a hunch it was worth getting a factory to mass produce Just Nips. As you can see, it was all a bunch of baby steps at the time. They really do add up!
What is the hardest part of owning your own company?
Staying focused! And this one is less about my job and more about the world we’re in right now, but the biggest challenge for me is not to compare myself and my work to others – especially strangers on Instagram! It’s hard to see how “successful” someone is and fall into the trap of feeling bad about it for the rest of the day.
What does a day a typical business day look like for you?
Emails, emails, emails!
I’m always pitching editors and writers about Just Nips and our latest products or collaborations.
Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?
I absolutely adore Kim Kardashian and her ability to not give a fu*k about what others think. People have built entire careers on shit-talking Kim and her family and there Kim is, living her best life. I respect and admire anyone who does what works for them, and to me, Kim is the epitome of just doing you!
What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?
Baby steps! Nothing happens overnight. Just keep chipping away at whatever it is you want to do, and you’ll get to where you want to go!
List the most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration in your profession?
- Favourite Websites: Manrepeller and Daily Mail!
- Name an Instagram Account that you can’t go a day without checking: @KimKardashian and of course, @JustNipsForAll
- Favourite Podcast: How I Built This, Say Bible Podcast.
- Favourite Netflix Series: Does watching Friends on Netflix count?
- Favourite all time book/s: Harry Potter!!!!
- People: My sister and KKW