Catching up with... Molly Masters of Books That Matter

Since winning Startup Sussex in 2018, Books That Matter has been growing in popularity, strength and numbers. As of this week, they have reached an enormous milestone of over 1000 subscribers!

This is just one of Molly’s best publicity highlights; over the past two years Books that Matter has been heavily featured in publications such as Forbes, the Huffington Post and Stylist. Towards the end of last year she also won the Female Start-Up of the year award at Enterprise Nation. It has truly been a momentous couple of months for Molly. So, we thought it was a great chance to catch up with her following her Enterprise Nation win to chat about her entrepreneurial journey.

After being nominated, going through a public vote, and then pitching to judges, Molly Masters stood on the Enterprise Nation stage and was presented the Female Start-Up of the Year award. While "shock" and "genuine disbelief" were her initial reactions, Molly told us that winning the award reminded her "so much of being at StartUp Sussex again."

Two years ago, Molly entered and won StartUp Sussex with her book subscription box, Books that Matter. The vision for her start-up was a monthly feminist subscription box to empower women and girls through literature.

Her plans of doing a masters were "thrown out of the window" after looking at loans and already juggling three jobs in her second year. Molly decided she was going to do "something a bit different and get people to appreciate literature in a different way." Feeling a "world away from doing an English Literature degree", Molly described the StartUp Sussex workshops that focused on a variety of business-related topics as "empowering you with the knowledge that you needed."

Molly said that entering and winning StartUp Sussex has been "life-changing". The money got her started on her journey, but she said it was the support from Sussex Innovation that made the business. Her advice to future StartUp Sussex students is "to enjoy it and make the most out of everything, and out of every opportunity that you get to have support."

Alongside winning the Enterprise Nation Female Start-up of the year award, since StartUp Sussex Molly said that her biggest achievement has been seeing "how grateful people are to have something that's a real surprise. It empowers them and it changes the way that they think about the world and feminism."

Molly reminisced about how the StartUp Sussex organising team organised female-only seminars for the first time during her year in the programme and how much it benefited her journey. She enthused how creating a space where women feel comfortable, such as female-led workshops and meet-ups, is important in encouraging more women to get into leadership roles.

The future for Books that Matters looks bright as Molly tells us that she has been refining the process of her business, creating new podcasts and rebranding. Molly is also excited to be working on a second book box for young girls, to empower and inspire them through female-led fiction.