Local Business Spotlight: THREAD: Clothing & Accessories

By: Antoinette Duenas
I’m sure most women out there would agree that if given the opportunity, we would gladly accept the power to snap our fingers and have the perfect one-of-a-kind outfit appear right before our eyes.  Lucky for us, unlike most major department stores, Thread has a great selection of apparel and accessories without the huge price tag. And with America being in such an economic rut, we need to start weaning ourselves off the corporate chain stores and products and start supporting more local businesses like Thread, which recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local community.

I got in touch with the owner Christina Gomez for an online interview to learn more about the inspiration and fashion behind Thread.

Did you grow up in San Diego?
I grew up between San Diego and LA. I was born in LA and moved back and forth as a child, but I have been in San Diego since I was 12. I love LA, but I definitely consider San Diego my home. I think living in both cities helped shape my sense of style though; I feel like it’s a good mix of both cities.

What were you doing before Thread?
Before opening Thread, I was in banking for 5 years. It was my first real job right after graduating from USD. I was a business banker, and then I did home loans. It was a good experience, but it was never really for me. I knew that wasn’t what I wanted as a long-term career.

Did you have any prior experience in the fashion industry?
No. Only vicariously…obsessing over Vogue and watching shows like Project Runway. I had a little retail experience briefly working at Nordstrom while I was in college.

When did Thread open its doors, and what inspired you to start up a women’s boutique?
My grand opening was August 14, 2011. I had a DJ and a fashion show; it was a blast. I have always been into fashion and been a bit of a shopaholic. Friends often asked for my fashion advice and wanted me to accompany them shopping to help them select outfits. It was always a dream of mine to own a boutique, but I never thought I’d make it a reality. When I grew unsatisfied with my prior job, because I just didn’t have a passion for it anymore, I started doing some research and realized that I could make it happen.

How would you describe your boutique?
Thread is a clean, open space filled with carefully selected trendy pieces. It looks like a cool little warehouse because it has exposed piping like a lot of downtown places do. It’s also very quaint and homey. I have an antique coffee table and a red couch in the center, so people can relax while whoever they’re accompanying tries on everything in the store.

What separates you from other boutiques or clothing businesses?
I think a lot of people have an impression of boutiques as being too expensive, and some definitely are. I try to provide trendy, quality clothing at great prices. There are probably a couple of things here that you can find somewhere else, as the designers I carry aren’t exclusive to me. But for the most part, the styles I carry are not things you can find at other stores or boutiques. I select everything myself. It’s my own taste and sense of style brought exclusively to my customers, so they won’t be caught at the bar in the same dress as someone else.

What kinds of clothing do you sell?
I sell trendy clothes and accessories, from party dresses to slouchy sweaters, sheer blouses, bandage minis, cropped jackets, double finger rings, clutches, scarves and basic tees.

Who or what are some of your inspirations when it comes to your business or fashion?
I think Rachel Zoe is amazing. She started her career in styling and now has her own clothing line as well. She has great style, but she’s also a very savvy businesswoman.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
My favorite part is buying for the store. I love that I get to shop all the time. I also really enjoy styling. It’s so much fun when girls ask me to help them pick out a Vegas dress, something for their bachelorette party, a first date, etc.

What are some dislikes? Were there any obstacles for you when you started up the business?
My dislikes are the tedious things like inventory and cleaning. It’s also very stressful when you’re the boss and there’s no one to hold your hand and tell you how to do things. You make mistakes and learn as you go. I had lots of obstacles when I was starting out. Figuring out financing was difficult. With my banking experience, I was very aware that it’s tough to get business financing, especially as a start-up. Finding a location was also difficult.

Why do you feel supporting local businesses is important?
Supporting local businesses is good for the economy, especially the local economy. We generate significant tax income, which helps the local community. Small businesses also create variety and diversity for consumers.

What do you want customers to take away from Thread?
I want them to know that they can always come here and find that special outfit they’re looking for. I also want them to feel like this is their friend’s shop. I like getting to know my customers and helping them find what they’re looking for.

Thread is what women need now, so stop wasting your time at those department stores and start shopping local. It’s the smart way to dress!

658 9th Ave San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 231-1947
Open Mon-Sun 10am-8pm
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