Born from a passion for affordability and high-quality pieces, Left on Thread was brought to life within the cozy confines of Amanda Scherf’s Brooklyn apartment in 2019. The brand stands as a testament to the beauty of simplicity, championing the idea that style transcends fleeting trends and can be achieved through thoughtful curation and effortless confidence.
During our conversation with Amanda, she shared her inspiration for founding the brand: “From a young age, I knew I wanted to work in fashion and I knew I wanted something that was my own! I’ve worked many different jobs, but always had fashion in the back of my mind. It wasn’t until I moved to NYC that I felt a level of inspiration I couldn’t ignore.”
Left on Thread embraces the idea that fashion doesn’t need to exclusively chase the latest trends. Instead, the brand demonstrates that with careful styling and minimal effort, even the simplest pieces can make a wearer feel comfortable and confident. As a woman-owned small business now based in Chicago, the label continues to channel its Brooklyn roots and capture the essence of its unique style.
And when asked about her approach to staying true to her vision while embracing fashion trends, she added, “I’ve heard many customers describe LOT as “trendy, but timeless.'” I look for neutral pieces that can be mixed and matched, but will also curate statement pieces that are on trend. I opt for more textured, luxe fabrics, rather than patterns. Many patterns can be seasonal or what’s currently trending, but a good ribbed fabric never goes out of style.”
We caught up with Scherf to find out more about the secrets behind Left on Thread’s success and her plans for the future. Check out our full interview below.
What inspired you to start your own fashion brand, and what motivated you to focus on affordable, high-quality staple pieces?
From a young age I knew I wanted to work in fashion and I knew I wanted something that was my own! I’ve worked many different jobs, but always had fashion in the back of my mind. It wasn’t until I moved to NYC that I felt a level of inspiration I couldn’t ignore. While I worked as an esthetician, I launched LOT right out of my tiny apartment!
My own closet is filled with neutral pieces I mix and match throughout the year, regardless of the season, so I wanted to incorporate the same idea into my own brand. I’ve always believed you don’t have to spend a lot of money to achieve a high-quality look.
Given that you’re already a store owner and work in fashion, can you discuss the journey of bootstrapping your brand and moving to Chicago?
I had my daughter in March 2020 and with the rapid changes of the world during COVID, my partner and I decided to leave Brooklyn. I’m originally from Iowa and wanted to be in a city that’s close to my family. My goal was always to open a brick and mortar and I knew it was a lot more sustainable to pursue that in Chicago.
How do you balance staying true to your vision for Left on Thread while also keeping up with changing fashion trends?
I’ve heard many customer describe LOT as “trendy, but timeless.” I look for neutral pieces that can be mixed and matched, but will also curate statement pieces that are on trend. I opt for more textured, luxe fabrics, rather than patterns. Many patterns can be seasonal or what’s currently trending, but a good ribbed fabric never goes out of style.
That being said, how often do you incorporate your personal style into the pieces you design and curate for the label?
The pieces I curate at LOT are very true to my own personal style. It’s what I’m most passionate about, so I enjoy sharing that with my customers.
When you think of Left on Thread, who do you imagine wearing your pieces?
I imagine a young woman who’s a working professional. She’s someone who likes to be comfortable in her clothing and is confident about her own personal style. She’s someone who’s passionate about fashion, but doesn’t necessarily follow all the latest trends.
What are some of your favorite styling tips for wearing simple, staple pieces in a way that feels unique and fashionable?
As someone who’s worked in both physical retail as well as online, what is the main difference?
It’s hard to compare an online and physical store. Online is very dependent on marketing and social media, and a physical store is all about location and foot traffic. A great location is everything! I also love the more personal connections I’m able to make with my customers from in-person shopping.
Lastly, what advice would you give to young creatives looking to break into the fashion industry or looking to pursue a career similar to yours?
I would tell them to do as much research as possible online and always find networking opportunities! I’ve made so many connections just by simply participating in local events. Start slow and small and build your way up! Time, patience, passion, and consistency are key!