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It’s Kind of a Funny Story: Molly Goddard and Joel Jeffery

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Amelia Diamond: Ok guys, tell me how you met.

Joel Jeffery, co-founder of Desmond & Dempsey: We were in Whistler snowboarding…

Molly Goddard, co-founder of Desmond & Dempsey: I was skiing and he was snowboarding.

Joel: Molly basically didn–

Molly: I did ski! I skied a lot, but if it wasn’t a nice day — I was living there for six months, I’m from Australia — I wasn’t going to go ski and be weird and cold when I had so much time there.

Amelia: So were you living there?

Molly: Yeah, we were both living there. I was 19 and moved to Whistler to be a proper ski bum before Uni. I was working at a pizza place and a bar.

Joel: I’m from London. I never planned to go back. I thought I might move to Vancouver so that I could snowboard every weekend. Anyway, I was a doorman at the bar and Molly and her friends used to come in and look at me and stare.

Molly: He’d wear these sunglasses.

Joel: I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t afford contact lenses and I thought you can’t wear glasses and be a bouncer so I just went for sunglasses. That’s where we met, but Molly doesn’t remember.

Molly: Joel’s friends worked at the same bar that I did. The first time I went out with them I got super drunk. A friend of mine who was also super drunk drew chalk all over my face and then we went out–

Amelia: Did you know that you had chalk on your face?

Joel: They all had it. I showed up to the bar and thought, “What the hell is happening?”

Molly: We had been day drinking. Anyway, I couldn’t remember which one was Joel and which was his friend Mac because they’re both 6’4″ with dark-hair, but we were chatting a lot.

Amelia: I’m just stuck that you had chalk on your face.

Molly: There was a proper monobrow–

Joel:  And a mustache. It didn’t seem that weird at the time. It was an “anything goes” time.

Amelia: Ok, so you had a mustache, Molly, and you two were talking…

Molly: Oh! Then what happened, Joely?

Joel: Nothing.

Molly: (laughs) Yes!

Joel: I saw you again the next day.

Molly: No. What happened?… Joel went home with another girl. And I crashed with Soph, who was one of the girls–

Joel: Who I lived with. So I woke up in the morning and saw Molly come downstairs and thought, “Ah, damn.” I thought she had hooked up with my friend Macca.

Molly: Joel went storming off when Mac left. I remember thinking his exit was weird. I was wearing a onesie on their couch, taking Advil.

Amelia: I just want to paint the picture of you in a onesie with chalk all over your face.

Joel: Super hot, yeah. Then we went for breakfast.

Molly: Oh right! Then Joel, the cheeky guy, ended up coming to breakfast with Sophie and I and we ended up spending the day hanging out. And having a really good day.

Amelia: So neither of you had a previous crush on each other?

Joel: Nah, I don’t think so.

Amelia: Did you, Molly, in that night you were in your onesie and had chalk on your face?

Molly: That night, yeah. But I didn’t know which guy was which.

Amelia: And you went home with a girl, too, Joel.

Joel: Yeah, but the next morning we went to breakfast I was like, “Yeah, I definitely like you.”

Molly: That’s so nasty to the other poor girl. Anyway, it all worked out! But, actually, I remember thinking, “Oh, what a dick,” because he came to breakfast with us instead of that girl.

Amelia: What did you guys do all day? The day after is so important.

Molly: We went for breakfast after I got out of my onesie and then we just hung out. We drove the lifts up and down and then we went and sat at Longhorn’s in the sun.

Joel: Longhorn’s is this really bad bar.

Molly: But it was so good. We sat there all afternoon, then I had to go to work, and after that, I would walk past where Joel worked, and he would walk past where I worked.

Joel: Then my friend had a house party and I begged her to come.

Amelia: So how long is this now?

Joel: Like a couple of weeks?

Molly: No, no, like a week.

Amelia: But you didn’t get her number or anything?

Molly: No.

Joel: So Josh had a house party and I had to beg Soph, our mutual friend, to get Molly to come.

Molly: You had that spectacle shirt on! That shirt with glasses all over it. Most dorky shirt.

Joel: I was like, “Soph, please get Molly to come.” And Charlie, who’s my best mate, was like, “I think I’m going to try to hook up with Molly tonight, rah, rah, rah,” and I was like, “No, man.” And that was it.

Amelia: “And that was it.” No, we’re missing some details. Did you guys hookup that night? Did you guys kiss?

Joel: We had a sleepover.

Molly: But nothing happened that night. And then the next day we just had a little kiss and then I slept over, fully clothed. Then, do you remember? I had to work that day. I am the worst waitress in the entire world. I was really bad. I was so bad the manager, Steve, would only let me work through the days where I didn’t have to do anything. I’d just sit people. But what happened is these four old guys would come in every day, one was named Larry, and they’d sit at the bar, and it was the only time I’d be allowed on.

After our sleepover, Joel was like, “I’ll come and visit you,” and I was like, “Oh, no, that’s okay,” but he did anyway.

When he walked in, Larry and Steve got on the microphone and they were like, “Miss Goddard, you’ve got a visitor! Who’s your friend? Aren’t you going to introduce us to him?”

Joel: I was so embarrassed. But I don’t think I was as embarrassed as you.

Molly: I remember being like bright red, thinking, “Please go away”.

Joel: Yeah, so then we went on our first date. I had zero money, three jobs and I wasn’t getting paid by any of them. But I helped move this guy’s stuff and he gave me a restaurant voucher to say thanks. I think I just said to Molly, “I’ve got $50 to spend at this place, will you come with me?”

We had tapas. And Molly dropped her cutlery everywhere.

Molly: It was one of those things where you prepare yourself, like, “Don’t mess up!” Because, you know when you think someone — don’t let this go to your head, Joel — is just too cool? And then you, like —

Amelia: You can’t chill?

Molly: Yeah!

Molly: That was a good date, wasn’t it?

Joel: It was a good date.

Molly: And then…the pool.

Joel: Oh god. Yeah, you tell this story.

Molly: We were a bit tipsy and we thought, “Let’s go for a swim.”

Joel: It was a jacuzzi. Everyone in Whistler has a hot tub.

Molly: We were like, “Let’s go for a swim.” I put on a set of pajamas and gave Joel a set of my boxer shorts.

Joel: Why didn’t I wear my boxer shorts?

Molly: I don’t know! You know how Aussie boys wear their knickers tight?

Joel: I never wore them tight!

Molly: Yeah, you did.

Molly: So Joel put on my boxer shorts and I remember being like, “Why did I do that?”

Amelia: Wait, you gave him girls’ boxer shorts? Or some guy’s whose you had borrowed?

Molly: They were girly. They were from my mom!

Amelia: So Joel, you were wearing booty shorts?

Joel: I guess that’s what did it.

Amelia: And you wore pajamas in the water?

Molly: I wore pajamas in the water.

Joel: We both made weird decisions that night. We panicked and both wore completely ridiculous things. We had to climb over a fence to get in the hot tub, too.

Amelia: That’s, like, pajama foreshadowing! It wasn’t your jacuzzi?

Molly: It was part of our apartment’s but we couldn’t use it.

Amelia: Breaking and entering. Was it awkward when you were in the tub? Did you feel like you were on The Bachelor?

Joel: It was a little bit awkward. We kissed that night. It was the only way to make a hot tub not awkward.

Molly: Then I got the mumps.

Amelia: From the hot tub?

Molly: No, my best friend got them from this smelly boy and I got them from her. Joel was in Vegas at this time with friends, and for some reason, when he came back, I didn’t want to see him.

Joel: Yeah, so basically, it was all going great — we were dating and spending quite a lot of time together. All good, I went to Vegas, we talked the whole time I was there, then Molly got the mumps and I was on the way back. I texted her, “Hey, can’t wait to see you,” and Molly just didn’t reply. To anything. She just decided she didn’t want to ever see me again. I literally don’t understand.

Amelia: Molly, what happened??

Molly: I really can’t remember! I remember having the mumps and feeling so gross and ugly. Maybe I didn’t want to spend my last two months in Whistler with a boy. And I was going back to Australia. …I do remember thinking that it was easier to just not reply.

Amelia: You ghosted Joel.

Joel: I eventually called Charlie like, “What’s going on man? Do you know what’s up and why she’s not replying at all?”

Molly: Boys do that all the time to girls!

Joel: Then I found out she had the mumps, so I thought, “Maybe she doesn’t want to see me because she’s got the mumps!” So I just turned up with kiwi fruit to Molly’s house.

Molly: Oh yeah, you did.

Amelia: Why did you bring her kiwi?

Joel: Apparently they’re full of Vitamin C.

Molly: He was at the door like, “Did you know that kiwis have more Vitamin C than oranges?”

Amelia: That’s right out of Love Actually. So that’s what sealed the deal?

Joel: Kiwi fruit facts, yeah.

Molly: After that, we were obsessed with each other. It was a bit sickening. After that summer, when I finally went home to Australia, we left it as, “We’ll just see what happens.”

It was awful saying goodbye. Charlie and Joely drove us down to Vancouver, and I’m not much of a crier–

Joel: You cried.

Molly: No, I didn’t.

Joel: Yes, you did. You cried when we were pulling up to the airport. I am a terrible crier.

Amelia: You cried when she left?

Molly: Yes, he did!

Joel: This is the lamest thing ever. I cried and then I went to see Harry Potter.

Molly: So then what happened?

Joel: You went back to Australia and we Skyped.

Molly: Yeah, so I went home and my mom was like, “This is really weird, you actually really like a boy.”

I collect teacups, and the first thing Joel sent me was this huge–

Joel: This huge Texas mug.

Molly: I remember being like, “Aw, that’s really nice.”

Joel: But I didn’t quite get it right.

Molly: My dad was like. “I’d love a mug to drink out of from that boy!” And my mom was like, “That’s actually really sweet of him.” We weren’t officially in a long-distance relationship, but we kept talking. When it came time for my family vacation in Italy, my dad said I could stay with Joel for a week in London first and then meet our family.

Joel: It was pretty awesome of him.

Molly: Yeah. But then we went, and I remember being on the plane thinking, “Ahhhh, what have I done?” My mom was like, “Molly, just go, because the worst case is that it doesn’t work out. You’re a big girl, you’ll be fine.”

Molly: That day we rolled up in matching outfits!

Joel: Wearing the same jeans and a striped top. That was quite awkward, the drive home from the airport, wasn’t it?

Molly: Yeah.

Molly: We hadn’t seen each other in like, six months. You know how, when you’ve met someone on vacation and you know each other but, like, you don’t know each other in real life…

Then we got to Joel’s parents, went skiing, and then after that, it was so good.

Amelia: You guys just got back in your groove.

Molly: Really quickly. And then I met my parents in Cortina d’Ampezzo and I was like, “It was so awesome, it was so good,” and my dad was like, “Right, well, tell him to meet us in Florence. It’s about time we meet this chap.”

So he came! My dad talks a lot. You think I talk a lot? Joel thinks I talk. Well, Dad does not shut up. Like talks, talks, talks, and he’s a big Australian man, really loud. And me and my mom are so messy, so like stuff’s going everywhere and my dad is yupping away, and Joel’s this very put-together Englishman. Like, wears his glasses, very like organized and neat, and it was quite funny.

Joel: It was great.

Molly: We had the best night. But my mom spilled like a whole glass of red wine all over Joel’s shirt! And then what happened? And that was–

Joel: And that was it. Molly went home, and I went home, and we decided to do long distance. It’s all weird when you think about it. Like, how it all came together. I was working for an ad-network at this point and traveling to Madrid for it quite a lot and then Molly got into school in Madrid…

Amelia: Wait, had you guys said “I love you” yet?

Joel: Um, on that trip actually. Molly’s response was, “Ditto.”

Molly: Well, what do you say if you’re not sure?

Joel: I was like, “Ohhhh, ouch.”

Molly: I think ditto is better than thank you. Don’t you think? Ditto.

Joel: It’s better than thank you.

Amelia: I’ll poll the readers. You two are engaged, so at least you know now!

Joel: Yeah.

Molly: Yeah. So then I went to school in Madrid for a year. The long distance sucked but we Skyped every Sunday night.

Joel: And it got easier. When Molly moved to Madrid I saw her like every other weekend.

Molly: And that was just fun, because we didn’t have to deal with all of the boring stuff through the week. No work, no errands. Joel would arrive on a Friday, and I would just tell him the restaurant that we were going to. In Madrid, you have two sittings for dinner: an 8 o’clock and a 10 o’clock. 8 is for families and 10 is for for drinking, so we would have a 10 o’clock sitting, I’d pick a restaurant and Joel would just show up there.

Joel: Straight from the airport.

Molly: It was just like a really fun time in life, wasn’t it?

Joel: It was so good.

Molly: After that year I had one more semester of Uni back home. Did that, then moved to London. This was about three years ago?

Joel: We lived together. With my parents.

Molly: For two weeks.

Joel: It was only two weeks?

Molly: Yeah. Joel was still looking to buy a place. Then I moved in with friends…that place was fun but…

Joe: There were mushrooms in the bathroom.

Amelia: And now you two live together again and you’re engaged. Joel, when did you propose? Or did you propose, Molly?

Joel: I proposed in August.

Molly: No.

Joel: Yes.

Molly: No. Well before August. You should know this, pal.

Joel: June, June yeah. Sorry. In June.

Amelia: How did you propose?

Joel: I didn’t have a ring yet. I had a bangle, it was a family thing. I got the date engraved on it.

We were in bed. She woke up, and had joked about it before but I was like, “Why don’t we do it, why don’t we get married?” And that was it.

Molly: It was really lovely.

We decided to wait to tell everyone. I wanted to tell my mum in person, not over the phone, and this gave us time to secretly get a ring and go to our lawyers to figure out the fiancé visa. Then I went home to Australia before Christmas to deal with paperwork.

Joel: She basically got kicked out of London. She overstayed her visa by like–

Molly: I forgot the dates.

Joel: We were sitting at the kitchen table and I was like, “Molly, what day does your visa actually run out?” It ran out a week prior. So Molly got kicked out. We were in the middle of a fundraise for Desmond and Dempsey and suddenly, Molly was gone. We thought it would be a week or two — “We’re engaged. They’ll just tick the boxes and she’ll be right back.”

Molly: And then the lawyer was like, “You guys know you have to get married in six months?” So we planned this surprise wedding for our parents.

Joel: And did not tell them that we were engaged.

Molly: When I was ready to fly back to London, I asked my dad if he would drive me to the place to pick up my visa. I remember being like, “We can go for an ice cream or something afterwards,” all happy-chappy.

So dad’s waiting in the car for me and I sit down with the paperwork and this poor lady who gives out visas is going through my paperwork like, “Um, your visa has been denied.”

So I’m crying. I go out to the car. My dad is like, “Let me read it!” And it had “FIANCÉ VISA DENIED on it.” So now I’m crying because my dad found out I was engaged, even though Joel had already called and asked him, which I didn’t know! And then we had to organize to Skype our parents at the same time so that they found out together.

Joel: And then it was exciting, because before, it kind of sucked. We were excited, but it’s not as exciting when you can’t shout about it. So it was fun once the moms got involved.

Amelia: And here you guys are now! The wedding’s in August, right?

Joel: In Brisbane.

Amelia: So how did Desmond and Dempsey start from all of this? The hot tub?

Joel: Maybe that’s the seed.

Molly: No, I would wear Joely’s shirts; I actually have like-–

Amelia: Is “Joely” on the record? Do we put that in here?

Molly: Everyone calls him Joely now.

Joel: Everyone started to call me Joely since Molly started. She likes to nickname everyone even if it makes the name longer. It’s makes no sense.

Molly: Joel doesn’t look like a “Joely” so it’s way funner.

Joel: I don’t mind it anymore. So Molly was wearing my shirts to bed, and as you’ve heard, Molly’s pretty clumsy, so there’d always be breakfast or coffee spilled on my shirts…

Molly: Joel’s such a neat freak.

Joel: I’m not a neat freak but I had to wear those shirts to work.

Molly: Then one day he was like, “Um, should we get you some pajamas?” So we went shopping and there were none. Joel went and did all this research after, trying to understand the market gap.

Joel: I’ve always wanted to start something.

Molly: Joel’s one of those people who always has an idea. Even now he’ll be like, “Oh, Molly, we should do this, and we should do that.” You would have always done it.

Joel: I don’t know. You pushed me to start it in a lot of ways.

Molly: Neither of us had a fashion background but we figured it out along the way together. It was not easy and we’re still making mistakes and learning.

Amelia: What’s the hardest part about working with each other?

Molly: I’m like terribly impatient. And Joel is really laid back. That’s not really about working together..

Joel: I think we’re pretty lucky. We don’t fight.

Molly: We’re both so passionate about it. We both really want it.

Joel: I think the hardest thing is knowing when the other people doesn’t want to talk about work outside of work hours, even if you do.

Molly: What’s also hard is that you can’t be tired or hate it at the same time. You need the other person to keep you going.

Amelia: What’s the best part about working together?

Joel: You get to do so many cool things.

Molly: Like, this is pretty cool.

Joel: This is pretty cool. Or, the first time we came to New York together to meet the buyers at Bergdorf’s. So many things, new experiences.

Molly: And you learn stuff together.

Amelia: What’s your favorite thing about one another?

Molly: My favorite thing about Joely is that he’s really, really good at stuff. I like when he teaches me things. He’s very knowledgable but doesn’t interfere. He’s also very patient. He built our website — he’s never done tech before — and he will sit patiently and teach people how to work on it, too.

Joel: My favorite thing is how Molly gets up, the way she makes people excited about things. She makes me excited about things.

Amelia: That’s really sweet. I think this is the sweetest story ever.

Joel: Ditto.

Molly: Don’t start crying, Joely.

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Check out Molly and Joel’s brand Desmond & Dempsey; follow the brand on Instagram @despondanddempsey. Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.

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Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond is a writer, creative consultant, and Man Repeller alumnus living in New York City.

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