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10 Thread employees on our 10-year anniversary

10 Thread employees on our 10-year anniversary

It’s easy to count the years in facts and figures: the number of brands we stock, last quarter’s revenue, how many users we’ve acquired. And while that all matters, the most important part of Thread has always been the people, and we’ve had many gems over the years. We’re talking people who’ve pushed our mission in ways we didn’t know possible. People who’ve spent their evenings writing the world’s best music quiz for our lockdown Christmas party. People who’ve coded, project managed, designed, strategised, and styled Thread to a better place than it was the day before.  

So in honour of our 10-year anniversary this July, we’re celebrating and spotlighting them. We coerced (err invited) 10 of them into the studio, styled them in Thread clothes that reflect their personalities, and chatted about their roles, their time at Thread, their lives outside the office, and of course, their personal style. In between bites of birthday cake, of course.  

Tom Okas, Head of Product Engineering

Time working at Thread: 10+ years 

Where do you live: London 

What drew you to working at Thread?

I actually worked with Ben and Kieran (the Thread founders) before, and from that time I worked with them, I could tell they were good at this. And I said, you know, I think I want to hang around with you for a bit longer. They seemed to approach things in a really sensible, rational way. They also came across as people who cared, and cared about doing this right. 

What were the early days like?

There were five of us, and we were working in a house in California, in Silicon Valley. We converted the living room into a working space. It was hard work. It was a lot of long days, but looking back at it now, it was really fun. I learned a lot during those early days. 

How has your role evolved over the past 10 years?

When I first started, it was a lot more about doing things myself, whereas now it's more about helping other people do things in the best way possible. We're setting ourselves up for the future. 

What are you looking forward to Thread achieving in the next 10 years?

More of everything. Hopefully expanding into more markets. We've got quite an interesting potential on the team to do something unique in terms of making clothing and fashion more democratised and accessible to everyone. We can also do things to make Thread even more inclusive for a lot of people, which I'm really excited about. 

How would you describe your personal style? 

I would try very hard not to. When I’ve been asked this before, I've really struggled to give a good answer. It’s very casual, and I try to wear an interesting print or pattern. I like a pair of trainers as well. I'm not a massive sneakerhead, but I like the ones that I like. 

Favourite brand on Thread?

Wax London does great stuff. They have some really good prints. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

I try to go to as many gigs as possible. I absolutely love playing racket sports, so squash, badminton, table tennis.

Song that always gets you on the dance floor?

[Laughs] it would probably be something by Bicep, if I’m honest. 

Courtney Draddy, Personal Stylist 

Time working at Thread: 1+ year

Where do you live: London

What drew you to working at Thread?

Before I joined Thread, I would naturally help my friends with personal styling, and I didn’t even realise that you could be a stylist online, so it was a match made in heaven when I found Thread. 

What does a typical workday look like for you?

When you sign up for Thread, you automatically get assigned a stylist. So if you have me – and I am real; I know a lot of our customers don’t realise we’re human – I’m there to be a human aspect of the company. I answer style questions, whether you’re going to a wedding and you need a new suit or you’ve recently lost weight and you need some help getting out of a style rut. I’m there to give that one-on-one service, giving you any tips or tricks you need in terms of style. Any style queries you have, any new brands you want to try; I’m the front person, so to speak. 

What are some of your favourite kinds of responses from customers?

There’s a big mix. It’s such a pleasure for me when customers are really happy with the service; that’s really what drives us. Giving them a boost of confidence is always amazing. When they upload photos of themselves in their new outfit and you can see how happy they look, that’s always a joy of the job.

What are you looking forward to Thread achieving in the next 10 years?

The growth we’ve had in the past 10 years has been amazing, and I can only hope for more customers to join and be as engaged and use the service as much as they do now. Just onwards and upwards, really. 

How would you describe your personal style?

Very minimalist. I know some of my friends would look at my wardrobe and be like, this is really boring, but I love really good staple items in my wardrobe in neutral colours that mix and match. I was born in the ‘90s, which is a huge inspiration pool for me, and I love architecture. I love clothing that has an elevation to them, whether it be a racer top that's asymmetrical or a suit that's got a bit of a pleat. For me, it's about having really good quality items that feel a bit more elevated and look a bit more curated for every day.

Favourite brand on Thread?

I have a good few favourites. I love AllSaints. Back in the day, it was a brand that was about rock n’ roll and rebellion, but today they’re making more tailored pieces. I love Anine Bing – I live in her sweatshirts and her joggers. I love Toteme, they do some nice minimal luxury pieces. And Ninety Percent do some awesome staples with asymmetric designs and a little tie around the waist. It can get dangerous sometimes when I’m shopping for people, and then I end up shopping for myself. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love finding new food spots. I love meditating. My tutor at Uni was a monk, so I got into meditating from that. I love yoga and doing pilates. I also love to go into shops in person and see and feel the clothes first-hand, so when I’m working, I can relay that experience to the customer. 

Song that always gets you on the dance floor?

“Woman” by Doja Cat. I recently just went to Rome with my friend and we played that song nonstop. It just brings back really happy memories.

James Barr, Marketplace Fulfilment Manager

Time working at Thread: 6+ years

Where do you live: Stoke Newington, London

What does a typical workday look like for you?

A typical day of work for me involves setting up my team to work – we have a team who buys a lot of product for our customers – liaising with suppliers we work with, responding to emails, working with the wider Thread team, including the commercial team, the ops team, and the support team. 

How many Thread offices have you worked at?

If you include the warehouse, then three.

Biggest milestone at Thread since you started?

Launching womenswear. It’s taken Thread to the next level. 

How would you describe your personal style?

My own. Some people might say that it’s streetwear, but I’m not really a big fan of that word. My style is mainly football culture and rave culture. 

Favourite brand(s) on Thread?

NikeAriesAdidas, and Reebok

What do you like to do outside of Thread?

I like cycling. I go for runs. I like football and going out raving. 

Can you tell us about the next hair colour you have planned?

I’m going to a festival next week, and I’m going to try to paint a smiley face on top of my head. 

Alicia Wakefield, Thread Menswear Buyer 

Time working at Thread: 2+ years

Where do you live: South East London 

What does a typical workday look like for you?

Day to day, I’m talking to brands that we stock, building and maintaining relationships, selecting products for our customers to make sure they’re on the site at the right time. 

What’s the dynamic like on the commercial team?

There are a lot of personalities, which is quite nice. Everyone's super caring and always helping each other. But I think the main thing is like we have quite a lot of fun working together at the same time.

Biggest milestone at Thread since you started?

Launching Thread womenswear.

What are you looking forward to Thread achieving in the next 10 years?

Reaching more people, especially more women, and seeing how much happier we make people in terms of what they're wearing and how they look.

How would you describe your personal style?

Minimal but a little bit playful.

What do you feel your best wearing?

Anything big and oversized. Anything I can breathe in. 

Favourite brand on Thread?

That would be Ganni, because across all the different categories, there’s something different: something muted or something playful, something fun. They cover it all. 

Has your style changed at all since working at Thread?

I've definitely started buying a lot more sustainably and investing in better pieces. So buying less frequently, but buying better things that will last longer.

The song that’s most likely to get you on the dance floor?

“Dancing in the Moonlight” by Toploader. 

Who do people tell you that you look like?

Wednesday Addams [laughs]. 

Quy Vu, Data Scientist 

Time working at Thread: 7 months

Where do you live: London 

What does a typical workday look like for you?

Basically what I do is I apply data science and machine learning techniques to try to understand our customer, and then think of ways to recommend stuff that could be relevant to them.

Why did you want to work at Thread?

One reason is that I've never worked in the fashion industry before, and it's a very fast moving one. And the other reason is that I really like the startup culture where you get to take ownership of a lot of things, and the pace moves very fast. 

What are you looking forward to Thread achieving in the next 10 years?

Becoming a big leader in the recommendations field, because what we're doing is very unique and is unlike what any other companies are doing. Also, based on the fact that we have a strong culture, a very good work-life balance, and people really look out for each other, I think the next 10 years is going to be really good. 

How would you describe your personal style?

 

I would call it athleisure. 

Favourite brand on Thread?

Superdry. The materials are really good, and the designs are very sleek and clean.

Any pets?

I have a cat named Taro – a pretty short hair, and he's nearly one year old now. If you call his name, he will come. He will turn back at you, and he complains all the time. But overall he's a very funny cat. 

The song that’s most likely to get you on the dance floor?

To be honest, I don't really dance, but the kind of music that would make me dance? I think that would be electro. 

Amy Ackerley, Styling & Production Lead 

Time working at Thread: 5+ years

Where do you live: East London 

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I support the styling team in achieving their objectives, alongside overseeing the production of our in-house shoots. 

What do you love most about working at Thread?

The opportunity to contribute in ways beyond what is expected of your own role. You're invited to play a bigger part in Thread's success and collaborate with others outside of your direct team; I feel very grateful for that. 

Biggest Thread milestone since you've worked here 

The launch of womenswear. This feels like an achievement that so many people contributed to, and one I feel very proud to have been a part of.

What are you most looking forward to Thread achieving in the next 10 years?

Contributing to the development of our brand and introducing Thread to more users. 

How would you describe your personal style?

A combination of quality minimal basics, offset with some standout key pieces that elevate it. I'm a big believer in a capsule wardrobe and lean towards clean lines, neutral tones, and oversized styles. In summer, I'm a bit more playful with colour and pattern. My holiday wardrobe is inspired by Florida retirees – lots of fun clashing prints, textures, and colours. 

Favourite brand(s) on Thread?

JosephArket, and Riley Studio

What do you like to do outside of work?

Travelling and music are the things that make me most happy. They’re my escapism.

Hannah Abdul-Hamid, Head of Merchandising 

Where do you live: Bromley 

Time working at Thread: Nearly 4 years

What made you want to work at Thread?

I'd never worked in a truly values-driven culture, and I'd never really worked in a startup. I really love those things about Thread – the energy and the pace.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

It's quite varied. There's a lot of making sure we have the right stock for our users. I find it exciting when I get to work with the data science team on making our algorithm better and optimising our range so that everyone can find what they want, when they want it.

Favourite Thread memory? 

Our first in-person social after COVID. I hosted a music quiz, and by the end of it, everyone was dancing on the tables, which is a pretty big deal at Thread where you have so many different types of people, so to get data scientists and engineers dancing on the table felt like quite an achievement. 

What are you looking forward to Thread achieving in the next 10 years?

I'm looking forward to Thread becoming a household name. And I'm looking forward to being able to help loads of people put their best foot forward when they step out the door and feel really confident. Essentially change the way that people shop and feel inspired and get passionate about what they're wearing.

How would you describe your personal style?

Rock meets modern pinup girl.

What do you feel your best wearing?

I probably feel my best wearing a band tee or leopard print.

What do your friends call you? 

My friends call me Han or Mills, which was my maiden name.

Go-to karaoke song?

“Gimme, Gimme, Gimme” by ABBA.

Lorenzo Marasca, Growth Director 

Time working at Thread: 10 months 

Where do you live: Peckham, London

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I think of how to acquire new customers while spending Thread resources efficiently. 

What do you love most about working at Thread?

The complexity of the challenge of building a highly personalised fashion shopping experience.

Your favourite Thread memory?

Our Iteration Day where I finally got to meet lots of people in person after COVID restrictions were lifted. 

What are you most looking forward to Thread achieving in the next 10 years?

Thread becoming the one-stop shop for fashion purchases.

How would you describe your personal style?

Masculine and a bit scruffy. 

Favourite brand(s) on Thread?

The one I wear most is Levi’s

What do you like to do outside of work?

Reading, swimming – plus I love cooking and opening a bottle of wine with my friends. 

Dominika Fojtikova, Midweight Designer  

Time working at Thread: 3 years

Where do you live: East London  

What does a typical workday look like for you?

Creating visual assets for Thread’s content – from editorial to advertising. 

What do you love most about working at Thread?

Working with amazingly talented people that all want to make Thread the best it can. 

Your favourite Thread memory?

Shooting our Christmas editorial content in Sheffield. The place where we were shooting was so beautiful, and it was the first big shoot where I was able to participate.

What do you feel your best when wearing?

Anything oversized. It makes me feel really comfortable, and I can eat as much as I want.  

How would you describe your personal style?

I fall into Scandi style, which is all about comfort, simplicity, and materials. 

Favourite brand(s) on Thread?

It's really hard to pick just one; I love Ganni – their dresses, patterns, and overall brand identity. Another brand I discovered on Thread is Nanushka; they have beautiful products.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I have a dog, so I spend a lot of my time walking and listening to podcasts. Apart from that, I love visiting art galleries and travelling.

Anda Truta, Software Engineer 

Time working at Thread: 2.5 years

Where do you live: I only recently moved to East Dulwich after five years of being a North Londoner 

What does a typical workday look like for you?

As a Software Engineer, I work on maintaining and building new features for our website, with a particular focus on our inventory system.

What do you love most about working at Thread?

The people and culture! It's such an amazing environment full of talented people.

Biggest Thread milestone during your time here?

For me, this would have to be launching womenswear. Even though it was initially a small launch, it's been great to see how quickly this has grown

What are you most looking forward to Thread achieving in the next 10 years?

I would love to see Thread expand to other countries in Europe.

How would you describe your personal style?

My style is still changing and evolving, but I would probably describe it as generally classic and clean, though I do like to add some contemporary elements as well.

Favourite brand(s) on Thread?

I'm a big fan of Arket. I've also recently discovered Ganni through Thread, which is something I likely wouldn't have tried out otherwise.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I really enjoy anything to do with sports, whether that's playing or watching tennis, going for a bike ride, etc. On a typical weekend, I will also spend some of the time meeting friends and trying out some of the many great places that London has to offer.


Words: Allison Pavlick & Team Thread
Photography: Jack Batchelor
Styling: Millie Rich, Toby Standing & Heather Green