A skater girl in Venice Beach in the '80s inspired the founders of Odd Molly to start their brand.
Music at Odd Molly
Odd Molly is a Stockholm-based clothing company that has grown a worldwide following of loyal fans with its award-winning designs that are personal and daring, yet feminine and beautiful, and full of vibrant colors and elaborate patterns.
Each Odd Molly collection has a theme and a value platform reflected throughout it. The brand seems to have a mind, a heart, and a conscience. The brand's motto of “you are perfect because you are not” appears to resonate with women of all ages.
We met retail operations manager Siiri Soveri at Odd Molly's beautiful office on the Old Town island of Stockholm, to learn about the girl who inspired it all and how music sets the mood for the whole experience.
What’s the story behind Odd Molly?
– Odd Molly wouldn’t exist without Molly. She was a skater girl in Venice Beach in the '80s. Her courage to break free from conventions and follow her dreams inspired us to start Odd Molly.
– Molly’s more than a part of our history. She’s Odd Molly’s soul. It’s all an homage to her. Her values reflect everything we do: our clothes, our campaigns, and even the music we play in our stores. We often think about her perspective, how would she live? How would she travel? What would she wear? What would she listen to? Molly will always inspire us, and we fight to have more Mollys in the world.
Interesting to think of her as a muse. So how do the stores sound?
– Odd Molly sounds like what we feel Molly would listen to, music that gives life to anyone that comes into our stores and also music that gives life to the clothes we sell. It sets the mood for the whole experience and is a crucial element. It can be everything from soft pop to rock and even electro music. Songs that fit the mood of the day and make people feel happy enough to stay in the friendly atmosphere. Now that we use scheduling it’s a lot easier to program the music also.
Nice. How did you hear about Soundtrack Your Brand?
– I heard it on the news about a month before you contacted me. As soon as I saw it, I thought it would be the perfect solution for us and then, thankfully, it all just kind of fell into place.
Why did you think it would be perfect for Odd Molly?
– As a private consumer, I’m used to using Spotify, and I know how easy it is to work with, so that was a big plus straight away. I mean, it’s direct access to a database that includes all the kinds of music there is. It seemed like the easiest solution for us to play music in our stores. The calendar and scheduling opportunities make that even better.
When did you sign up?
– We’ve been using the service since it launched last summer, and we upgraded after the sixth store opened. It was a smooth transition, and I love the scheduling system.
How do you plan a daily playlist schedule?
– We like to start of the morning smoother and slower just to get the day going. When the lunch rush hits, the beat goes up a little bit. As the afternoon goes on, the beat intensifies. So it follows the pace of the day. There are differences in opening hours and customers in our different stores, but it still makes sense to have a unified sound.
How do you select tunes for that unified sound?
– I started off by going through my music and seeing what could fit us and got quite a good list from that. But just because I like to listen to lots of Whitesnake doesn’t mean that everyone in our stores has to.
– I also note all the great suggestions that come up in my Spotify feed. Also, I get feedback from the store, and some of them send me playlists of songs they like, which we can include in the general Odd Molly playlists. The staff can be involved in the process if they want to be.
I guess they are best placed to make suggestions that work?
– Exactly. I go through the lists they send me and remove some tunes, but they have a good awareness of what fits the stores. They're good at knowing the feeling we want. I try to add new songs to our playlists at least once a month but in a perfect, less busy world, that would happen weekly.
”Music sets the tone for the whole experience”
Who’s a typical Odd Molly customer?
– It can range from 11-year-olds to… well, there’s no age limit. We make clothes for all the Mollys out there, no matter how old or young they are.
That must affect your choices of music then?
– We make varied choices to reflect them all as best we can. But it’s also true that these days a 15-year-old Molly who’s a big Taylor Swift fan could quite easily also like Billie Holiday, don’t you think? I’m into stuff like First Aid Kit and John Mayer as well as Lynyrd Skynyrd, and I think that fits perfectly in our stores.
– We don’t play more music that has a strong female presence either, although we sell women’s clothes. We don’t feel it should have to be that way.
Do you think more about music in other clothes stores now?
– I’ve always done that, so that hasn’t changed. Whenever I step into a store, restaurant or hotel, one of the first things I notice is the music. It sets the tone for the whole experience.
Final question; who would you collaborate with on these playlists if all options were open?
– I’d have to say the original Odd Molly. I’ve been told that she’s aware that her uniqueness started this whole thing, so I’d be very curious to see what she’d contribute. I wonder what she listens to in the mornings or what music she’d bring with her on a road trip. I imagine that the range would be extensive. She has lived many years now, so she probably has some experiences to draw from.”