Interview with Jessica Kremen, Mother and Co-Founder of Worthy Threads
One woman’s desire to create unique, fun clothes for her child led to an internationally-recognized brand. Finding clothes that weren’t preppy or athletic but rather vintage-inspired styles in design and playful in print allowed Worthy Threads to forge its own path in a very saturated market. This Meems Monday we interviewed Jessica Kremen, mother and co-founder of Worthy Threads. Together with her business partner, Lily Brown, she creates trendsetting clothing that’s been featured in Parent Magazine, Harper’s Bizarre, Marie Claire, and on The Today Show.
The Blow-Up Moment
Building something good takes time. Worthy Threads gradually built their brand over seven years, starting at craft shows and eventually being featured on the Today Show and in parent’s Magazine. However, the pinnacle of their success arrived when they nailed a trend that officially blew them up. “I just had this feeling that tie dye was going to be big and I wanted to add it to our collection,” says Jessica. Just before COVID, Worthy Threads launched their line of tie dye clothes. Fortunately, COVID became the perfect moment for this trend because people were stuck at home with money to spend, looking for comfortable and bright clothing. As tie dye took the COVID world by storm, Worthy Threads was there to serve, ultimately putting their brand on the map, globally. “I think during COVID everyone wanted to wear happy fun sweats and we were making our tie dyes outside the traditional colors. People really liked that and it was lightning in a bottle.” Even as we have this conversation, Jessica is tie-dying items. Every piece of their clothing is hand dyed by her and that level of attention ensures that each item is unique.
A Dedicated Fanbase
Jessica attributes a lot of their success to Instagram, as they don’t do paid marketing. “[On Instagram] it was me telling a story and people feeling a connection to the things I was posting,” says Jessica. She makes an effort to mix personal stories with reposting other things she finds funny. “I don’t want to be an influencer or an advertisement and I think people trust me because they realize that. I only post things I want to see myself and I think that’s the reason we have gained so much attention, especially into places like Saks and Bloomingdales,” notes Jessica as she continues to perfectly tie dye each article of clothing. During quarantine, with everyone being on their phones, it was easy for Worthy Threads to stay connected and continue to build a strong online community. Social media has even allowed them to connect directly with some of their biggest clients, like Andy Cohen! Jessica notes, “I love seeing other people think things I post are also funny. I find it motivating and I’m not just posting into a void”.
Balancing it All
Balancing a successful business while also raising two children is not an easy feat. Yet, Worthy Thread’s founders have managed to do both in what looks like a seamless way. “Part of finding that balance is easy because I love my work and want to do it,” says Jessica. When work doesn’t feel like work it is more motivating to do it all day. Jessica adds, “we work 26-hour days and love it!” Outsourcing became a necessity as orders grew. “We started out with Lily sewing all of our clothes, but now have a manufacturer in Brooklyn. Our outfits are well-made, with 95% of them done in the U.S. We love that our manufacturer is close by, which allows us to have so much more control,” explains Jessica.
Though Jessica doesn’t always make her children wear Worthy Threads, she notes that her daughter can be quiet in public and the bold prints give her a voice without having to say anything. “She would wear our pieces and people would come up to ask her about the outfit. She would get a lot of attention and I think it makes you feel good to have compliments about your style,” says Jessica. Jessica does note she is a big multitasker (say no more as she is still tie-dying and managing to have a coherent conversation with me, something most of us could not manage), but she is aware there are moments when her children need her full attention and will put down the work.
Mixing unusual prints with a classic style makes for an interesting combination. “I think the thing that makes someone cross the street to compliment your child’s outfit is a striking print,” Jessica explains. She goes on to say, “I’ve had testimonies from parents saying our clothes are the only outfit they don’t fight over while getting their children dressed in the morning. It was our llamas print and both the parent and child loved it.” Worthy Threads also play outside ‘normal’ gender themes, allowing for girl’s dresses to have prints with math equations or dinosaurs. “Our prints are all so different and not something you see a lot, which allows for individuality,” Jessica explains.
Follow @worthythreads to see hilarious posts by Jessica, stay tuned for what trend they nail next, and how they continue to break gender norms with their striking prints!