We had the good fortune of connecting with Molly Mackenzie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Molly, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve wanted to launch my own business for as long as I can remember and one day I simply heard an 80’s song playing by Don Henley, called “The Boys of Summer”. My mind immediately jumped to the idea of Four Boys of Summer. I had an incredible sense of excitement and clarity, designed a logo and envisioned the entire 4BOS concept within a few days. I knew I wanted to start a clothing brand but decided to start blogging and posting photos on Instagram to start. It was really scary to suddenly throw myself out there but my intuition said, “Go for it!” because the fear of regret was much larger than failure at this point. When the pandemic started in in 2020, I decided it was a great time to officially file an LLC, design my clothing line and launch an online clothing brand offering premium (extra cozy) apparel inspired by life in Southern California. 4BOS brand is is all about being positive and choosing to “live life sunny” even when you are faced with dark times. There is hope in each new beautiful day and while living anywhere, you can still relate to the 4BOS mentality and lifestyle.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
The loss of my dad had such a profound effect on me. I’m most proud of making the brave decision to turn dark times into something beautiful and bright, plus having the empathy and understanding to help others going through tough times. I worked hard after college in various creative fields, and then decided to transition to motherhood and raise my four boys. Becoming a mom reminded me to appreciate the little things in life and open my heart to the entire community around me. After my fourth and last son was born, I felt an incredible closure and the most success I will ever feel in my life. I decided to dream even bigger and started soul searching about my next adventure. It was time to unleash my creativity again and start a coastal apparel brand inspired by my dad, four boys and the life we live in sunny San Diego. Anything soft and cozy brings me so much joy and comfort, so I wanted to pass this wonderful feeling along to my customers. You won’t find anything scratchy in our collection and all of our apparel is made with eco friendly inks and dyes.
Running a clothing brand with four little kids (especially during a pandemic) is like brushing your teeth with a mouthful of Oreos. Never smooth when you try your best to be productive and there are constant interruptions and tiny needs to be met. It’s super loud and active in my house, and every day is completely unpredictable keeping me on my toes. It can be a challenge but I try my best to roll with the punches as much as possible. We wanted a large family filled with tons of love and personality, and our wishes were definitely granted! We knew it would come with chaotic moments but we love what we have, and try our best to laugh off the small things greeting each day with gratitude. My family will always be my top priority so I’ve learned to be extremely patient and find dedicated time to concentrate and collect my thoughts. My designs and concepts come authentically from the heart, so it can be a struggle when you are extra inspired and have only a short time to produce. Luckily this is where determination and late nights come in handy!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love everything about San Diego because there are endless possibilities for exploration. We always have so much fun with our visitors being tourists in our own city. First stop, we would checkout the the breathtaking views at the La Jolla Gliderport, followed by lunch at Caroline’s Seaside Cafe.
Later in the evening we would head downtown for sunset drinks at The Nolen and dinner in Little Italy for a one-of-a-kind dining experience at Born and Raised. Mr. A’s is another one of my favorites along with Cucina Urbana and Craft and Commerce.
We would tour the museums at Balboa park one day and another day we would take the ferry over to Coronado Island while exploring on bikes. Not to mention the Safari Park followed by a brewery tour and sunny lunch at Stone Brewery. Our guests would most definitely experience the laid back view and California cuisine at Island Prime C-level.
Belmont Park is always a good time, and definitely a hike at Torrey Pines afterwards enjoying a lunch picnic on the beach. Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach is a great spot for shopping and unique finds, and luckily Pizza Port is only minutes away. Towards the end of the visit, we would head head straight to La Costa Resort for a rejuvenating spa day.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is dedicated to all the extra strong women in my life and especially my mom who became a widow at a very young age. I respect that she showed so much grace while dealing with unimaginable heartbreak. My mom is an extremely creative and giving “people person”, and I learned everything I know from her including resilience, manners, spontaneity, love for animals, entertaining, and overall sense of style. Now she is extra busy being a fun Grandmother spoiling her grandchildren and giving out extra doses of sugar when we are not looking. I would also like to give a very special salute to my healthcare hero husband and all the frontline workers who have sacrificed so much during the pandemic and beyond. My husband works very hard, he is amazingly involved with our boys, and encourages me to follow my dreams 100%. There are so many days where he is behind- the- scenes folding 500 t-shirts, running packages to the post office and making sure QuickBooks and business taxes are in order. I’m beyond thankful to live this lifetime with someone who truly understands what an equal partnership is all about. Lastly, Four Boys of Summer will be donating 1% of yearly proceeds to an outstanding organization, Operation Underground Railroad, making a significant impact in the fight to end child trafficking and exploitation. This is a dark topic but I’m a mom of four and willing to stand up and bring attention to this incredible cause. If you would like to help, please click on the link and donate to our fundraiser. https://my.ourrescue.org/fundraisers/four-boys-of-summer-llc-fundraiser
Diana Rose Photo