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Meet Miss Larroudé, Molly Fienning

Meet Miss Larroudé, Molly Fienning

Entrepreneur Molly Fienning has a lot on her proverbial plate. When she’s not busy at the helm of her bustling brands Red Clay Hot Sauce and Babiators, she’s an advocate for women’s leadership and a pillar of Charleston’s creative community. We talked to the fiery mom and founder about what inspires her style, a “typical” day, and how she dresses the part.

 

Name:

Molly Fienning

 

IG Handle:

@mollyfienning

 

Where do you live? 

Charleston, South Carolina

 

What is your job title?

CEO/Co-founder of Red Clay Hot Sauce & Co-founder of Babiators

 

Favorite Larroude shoe for the Winter season?

I love the Penelope Sandal for nights out, the Blair ballet flat for daytime, and the Altuzarra collab pump for work functions. 

 

 

What excites you about the winter season?

One of my favorite combinations is a cold, crisp sunny day and wood-burning fire that warms your face—few things are better. Energetically, I love the invitation to rest, hibernate, and shed what you need to shed during wintertime in preparation for a fresh Spring season ahead. From a fashion standpoint, I love cozy sweaters, leather, suede, and tall boots. 

 

Favorite restaurant/dish in your city?

Charleston is overflowing with amazing bites and restaurants so this is a very difficult question! I love the gnocchi at FIG, the cauli buffalo wings at Basic Kitchen, the okonomiyaki pancake (add the fried egg!) at Xiao Bao Biscuit and the caviar sammies at Chubby Fish. Oh and I also dream of the truffle burger at Zero George. For breakfast, fresh peanut milk mochas at Baba’s on Cannon.

 

IG Account(s) you follow for Inspo:

My dear friends Julia Berolzheimer and Nat Steen (the Nat Note) curate two of the best fashion sites out there. My heart Grace Atwood always has phenomenal book suggestions and Serena Goh makes beautiful content that whisks me away to wherever she’s going. Serena’s IG also reminds me to live my life for me and not for anyone else. 

 

 

What inspires you?

Water is always inspiring for me: beautiful beaches, a hot eucalyptus shower, delicious mint tea, cold plunges, dips in mineral springs, the artful way waves move, and how they reflect sunlight.

 

How did you get your start?

One of my first dates after I had my second son Fox was to a favorite oyster bar here in Charleston. The bartender convinced me to try the Chef’s hot sauce, and it was the best thing I had ever had—balanced, flavor forward, and not too hot. Two weeks later, we co-founded Red Clay and the rest is history. 

 

Piece of advice for your younger self / One thing you wish you knew when you were first starting out?

Tune in and listen more to yourself, your inner knowing…because you do know. She’s a quiet voice, but she’s there and she will get louder when you give her a chance to speak up and heed her words.

 

 

What does a typical day at work look like?

As an entrepreneur who works from home, there’s rarely a typical day. Some days, I’m visiting restaurants and filming hot sauce content; other days, I’m in spreadsheets or on Zooms all day. So instead, I like to focus on my morning and evening routines as my rituals. In the morning, after I drop the boys off for school, I return to my bed with a matcha latte for journaling and a morning meditation. I like to set the tone for my day before I let outside influences (work email, instagram posts, or a phone call) set a different tone for me. In the evening, I like to turn work off with a walk along the water with my boys or a drink with a girlfriend. 

 

What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your industry?

The workings of the food & bev products industry is very capital intensive and requires a lot of fundraising to grow and scale. Small entrepreneurial ventures in the space have to compete against the behemoths (McCormick, Kraft Heinz, Unilever and more) and it’s not always a winning battle. The key is to learn how to be nimble and use your small size to your advantage (leaning into digital marketing, direct sales, creative PR, and gifting etc). Don’t play by their rules.

 

What is one of your biggest successes so far?

I love the earliest days of a business, birthing a beautiful brand that authentically connects with people from a simple idea. I’m proud of the brands I’ve helped to build (Red Clay and Babiators), and I know there are still more in me. 

 

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I still see myself here on the water in Charleston, surrounded by my loves (my sons, friends, family) and doing my best to take everything I am learning each day to help and serve others also along the path. I’m also hopefully playing and adventuring a little bit more and working a wee bit less. 

 

What’s your go-to Spotify Playlist?

I love the meditations by Sarah Blondin. After I drop my sons off at school, I make a matcha latte and begin my day grounding with Sarah’s tapped-in words and calming voice. 

 

What is your fashion uniform?

For daytime, I’m usually seen in a short skirt, flats/boots and a cozy sweater (15 years of Catholic school is a hard habit to break). At night, I love a flirty dress and a heeled sandal.

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