Three Ships #HerHustle Interview with Threads Founder, Xenia Chen

Three Ships #HerHustle Interview with Threads Founder, Xenia Chen - Three Ships

Xenia is the founder of Threads, a DTC subscription tights company. Before this, she worked in private equity and investment banking in Toronto and New York. 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and what inspired you to start Threads?
I used to work in finance where I would wear a lot of formal business attire, like suits and dresses and pencil skirts and such. Tights and nylons were a work wardrobe staple for me, yet I struggled to find a good quality and comfortable pair that was also affordable. On top of that, it was a pain having to remember to stock up and I would frequently run into the problem of reaching into an empty drawer or scrambling to the nearest drugstore right before a meeting.

Tights are one of those things that every woman has worn at least once in their life, but no one is excited to shop for them, much less splurge on a pair. 

We take the traditional supply chain and streamline it, so we remove all these unnecessary markups that traditional brands are charging - markups that eventually fall on the customer. By working with our factory in Italy and selling directly to customers online, we’re able to offer a super high-quality pair of tights at a fraction of the price you’re used to paying. 

What does your typical day look like?
My wakeup time varies depending on what time I went to bed the night before. Sleep is really important to me and I like to get 8 hours every night. I tend to work from home in the morning - I find I get my best work done in the morning so I like to carve out those hours to work solo. Then I’ll walk my German shepherd, Gigi, before heading into the office until the end of the day. I’m usually home before 7pm, and I’ll cook and eat dinner with my partner before winding down. I absolutely love to cook and it feels almost therapeutic - the best way for me to unwind at the end of the day. 

threads founder xenia chen

What was the worst piece of advice you've ever received?
The worst pieces of advice I’ve received have probably all been others telling me not to go after something or do something, based on their own personal fears or doubts. Usually it’s not intentional nor is it coming from a bad place, but we all have a personal bias when giving advice to others. But it’s up to you to sift through the advice you’re given and pick out the pieces to take to heart and apply to your own life. 

What does success mean to you?
Inner peace and meaningful relationships. Connecting with others on a deep level is what brings me true joy. 

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
I think it’s important to talk things out when I’m feeling any sort of self-doubt - the negative thoughts or doubts in my head are never as bad in reality when they’re vocalized. I feel very grateful to have a strong support system at home in my partner. 

threads founder xenia chen

Do you have any morning routines or evening rituals to help you stay balanced?
I actually don’t have many rituals or routines but if I had to pick one, it’s definitely getting out with my dog. When we’re on a walk or at the park, there’s really no chance to even touch my phone or look at emails - time with her really helps me peel away. 

What are you most inspired about going into 2020?
Personal and professional growth. Not just in 2020, but every year! I think we have a responsibility to ourselves to try our best always and be lifelong students in the classroom that is life. 

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If you liked this interview, you might like our recent interview with Nina Zilka, founder of Alder New York.