Q&A: Transforming traditional uniforms into stylish workwear

Today, we talk to Molly Kent, the entrepreneur behind DAY SEVEN, a clothing brand that aims to create functional and fashionable workwear. Molly set out to establish the venture from the experiences she’s drawn from having worked in the hospitality industry and the dissatisfaction she felt with the uniforms being worn. Molly sought to disrupt the uniform market by creating comfortable clothing that is made-to-order rather than the usual catalogue designs, which helps exude pride and confidence in those who wearing her clothing.

ISB: How did the idea behind DAY SEVEN initially come to you?

MK: I worked front of house in hospitality for years and always hated the uniforms. They were uncomfortable, unflattering and barely functional for the long shifts I was working. Wearing uniforms that I was proud to wear was essentially what formed my pursuit to find quality, comfortable and stylish uniforms that were functional and sustainable. I could not find anything that ticked the boxes, so took it upon myself when I realised just how big the gap in the market was.

ISB: What was the most challenging aspect of making a shift from employee to entrepreneur and how did you get past it? 

MK: I love intertwining my two loves for hospitality and fashion however it comes with the challenge of dipping in and out of each industry and constantly feeling that I sit in the middle of both, never delving heavily into one expertise or the other. Because of this, I have had to get used to sitting in the discomfort of new learnings and having to “change hats” in every department of production, marketing, finance, creativity, management, and everything in between. For example, when meeting experts and leaders in fashion or hospitality I feel I sit as an all-around forward-thinker for both industries rather than one or the other. This has been the most challenging in taking the entrepreneurial path. The way I’ve overcome this now is to be totally transparent on who I am, where I’ve come from and my goals within both landscapes which I’ve ingrained into the DAY SEVEN brand concept, crafting my own brand of expertise. 

ISB: Why is it important for you to have work uniforms convey a sense of style and confidence?

MK: It’s incredibly important to be nurturing staff and creating a good workplace culture before the staff member even steps foot out the front to meet and greet customers. As they are a reflection of your business, and what you want to relay to the world about your company/concept. Having staff feel a sense of importance, belonging, and respect, nurtured through providing a ‘uniform’ is incredibly influential to the quality of work they output. I see style as the holistic antidote. Ultimately the value bespoke workwear has on a person, a company and the customer as a whole will help enable businesses to understand the importance of staff wellbeing and culture and work towards a stronger industry with positive ‘experience’ for those serving and being served.

ISB: How do you ensure comfort when one wears DAY SEVEN workwear?

MK: When building out DAY SEVEN as a brand was to always prioritise staff comfort and this was a really important aspect of the design and point of difference as a brand. When I worked in hospitality, Wearing uncomfortable uniforms as a waitress would negatively impact my attitude and confidence in conversing with customers. DAY SEVEN is designed to lift employees’ moods and by extension elevate that customer experience.I make sure our samples have multiple test wears on shift and ensure the fabrics we use to adapt and move with us. This happens from the very moment we begin sourcing, ensuring it will tick our strict requirements, in feel, stretch, durability, technicality, and sustainability.

ISB: What is next for DAY SEVEN for the next couple of years? 

MK: We aim to invigorate and disrupt hospitality workwear traditions by challenging the industry’s relationship between fashion, renewing the earth, and employee wellbeing. Eventually we plan on growing in the direction of a social enterprise, however, in the short term, we’re excited to become an ethically accredited and reliable workwear atelier. 

ISB: What advice can you give to those who have a potential business idea that they wish to bring to life?

MK: That old adage of it taking time, is all true. If you’re serious about pursuing an idea, you have to be open to thinking about your business around the clock and sacrificing time that you would usually spend relaxing. But keeping an open mind around the fact you are building something and something good takes time.