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When Molly McGrath started working with a laser cutter to create building models during her time as an architect, it led to a discovery that set her on a whole new path. “I’ve always liked jewelry, and so I made some earrings out of birch plywood—the same material as the models—and liked the way they turned out,” says the UC Berkeley grad. “So I made a bunch more and sold them at a craft fair.”
Thing is, this wasn’t Molly’s first experience peddling her own creations. Growing up in Napa, California, she was surrounded by creative family members who encouraged her artistic drive. “I did a lot of beading in high school and tried to sell my wares in the parking lots at Grateful Dead shows,” she shares. So when, in 2009, she put her all-planned-out career on hold to turn her on-a-whim project into Molly M Designs, a line that now includes metal jewelry, leather accessories, and intricate cut-paper art, it felt a little destined. And, her background in architecture comes into play all the time. “My latest collection is inspired by a trip to Morocco with two girlfriends. The details of the plaster carvings in the buildings were incredible,” Molly adds. “The thrill of creating something that resonates with people and all the different hats I get to wear—it never gets dull.” —jane gauger
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