On the Job: Interview with Colleen Schmidt of Thread Lounge

by Rachel Yeomans | December 12th, 2011   

Throughout my musings on TheWorkingWardrobe, you may have come to realize that I truly value creativity in clothing, and shopping local. In preparation for an event I am hosting with Thread Lounge (a fantastic boutique in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood) on December 20th that combines both, I wanted to share what Thread Lounge is all about. I’m very proud to have interviewed the woman behind the boutique, Colleen Schmidt. Read her insights here, and meet her in person on the 20th! Details HERE.

colleen On the Job: Interview with Colleen Schmidt of Thread Lounge

1. When did you first get involved with Thread Lounge and how have you grown with the boutique?

With seventeen years of experience in the fashion industry, Thread Lounge was my next step. I originally opened Thread Lounge in 2006 as pop-up shops. I would travel the country and sell merchandise at a quarter of the retail price! I then opened my first permanent location in 2008 in Hayes Valley California. I have grown like anything of mine that changes. My business expectation have changed and my personality has become a lot more easy going. I deal with so many aspects of my businesses that my job is never finished there is always something new to learn, grow, and develop.

2. What sets Thread Lounge apart from other boutiques?

The whole concept of a designer sample sale for sure sets us apart from other retailers as well as our customer service definitely. We care about our clients and how they feel in the clothing. Making sure that they feel comfortable in the clothing is key; when they feel great, we feel great!

3. I’m so excited to host an event with you about having fun with your workwear. What is a piece that you would love to see me style at the event for the workplace?

One of our best sellers are the Tag Element pants, in both a flare leg and a skinny. They are very versatile, so I would love to see how you could style these for the work place.

Picture 2 On the Job: Interview with Colleen Schmidt of Thread Lounge

4. So many women think that they need to go to their nearest department store or chain to find work wear. Tell me how they can shop local to find what they need for the workplace?

Something amazing about Thread Lounge is that we have something for everyone in our store we have work basics, but we also carry evening attire as well as casual-wear.

5. What are 3 do’s and 3 don’ts of fashion that you can see someone applying to their work clothes?

3 do’s: Be smart, own what you wear (feel the power), and simplicity.
3 dont’s: Wearing clothing that is uncomfortable, trying too hard to make a statement, and wearing your evening clothes to the office.

6. What’s next for yourself and Thread Lounge?

Today I plan to open 3 new locations of Thread Lounge, I am also going back into the PJ business. On top of all of that I am leaving this evening (Dec 6) for Marrakesh! My goal is to bring some new inspiration to mine and my client’s wardrobes. Tomorrow is another story…

7. What’s your favorite item from Thread Lounge that you can see translating into an office setting?

I think Tag Element translates into any setting. We carry basic flare leg pants, skinny leg pants, and pencil skirts.

Picture 1 On the Job: Interview with Colleen Schmidt of Thread Lounge