Getting our Fixx: Confidence is TRNDing!
We got our inspo FIXX, when we interviewed creative entrepreneur Jaime Peck of TRND, a fashion forecasting service.
Long brown hair, with a thin frame, walks up to the bar dressed in tight black pants and a vintage jean jacket. She says to the bartender “can I get a Hennessey neat?” and sits down next to her three friends who are sipping their umbrella cocktails. I knew I liked Jaime right then and there.
Jaime keeps her own pace. She doesn’t sugar coat, and she doesn’t take no for an answer. Michigan, born and raised, she left town to pursue a career in fashion. She attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in downtown LA and graduated in 2008 with a degree in design. From there she held positions as a trend forecasting analyst, an assistant designer and eventually an associate designer.
Determined to start her own business going after her passion for trend, she left her growing design career to forge her own path. Today she is the founder and director of TRND, a modern trend forecasting company that publishes market-specific trend books and e-reports for the contemporary, young contemporary, fast-fashion, and junior levels. Check out our conversation below, where we get to hear her break down of what is trending in fashion right now and learn about her journey as a small business owner.
Jaime, for those who aren’t familiar with the fashion world, could you tell a little bit about what trend forecasting is?
Sure, trend forecasting is predicting future fashion concepts (colors, fabrics, textures, materials, prints, graphics, accessories, footwear, style) by researching and analyzing past and present trends. We look at shifts in the global economy. We look at social influences/influencers and then build reports, curated for companies in need of advanced information to ensure their product is consistently relevant and salable.
How did you get in to the field of fashion-based trend?
Fist off, when I started out I had no idea that fashion trend was even a field. At the time I was attending FIDM, we were taught the importance of it, but it wasn’t emphasized that it could be a career. Now they offer trend classes, which is great.
Right when I got out of school I was searching for jobs, and this woman, who had just stepped down from a high-level position at a large fashion company, was going to start her own trend forecasting consultancy. She needed an assistant and so I became her right hand. She really taught me the ins and outs of trend reporting. The information I learned from her in that first year was priceless. She taught me that direction must be actionable, and that the presentation of the material should be well merchandised. Her ability to teach me, that directing trends is a balance of creativity and analytics is what made me realize I wanted to further pursue trend forecasting.
You knew you wanted to pursue trend forecasting, but was starting a business always to the plan?
I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but starting a forecasting business was born out of necessity really.
After years of working in-house and consulting for various companies on their trend needs, I recognized the need for a trend service that was more focused and refined. I was often getting hired, because companies needed help interpreting direction that they already had. I kept thinking, why wasn’t there a trend service that catered to the needs of a specific market? From there it would be much easier to interpret which of those predictions would be best suited for the brand I was working on.
This realization is what inspired me to launch my own service. I recognized that not only would it be nice to be provided with trend that was catered to a specific market, but there is also a need for trend direction that is modern and utilizing fresh, clear imagery.
What is one of the biggest trends your seeing right now?
Right now for the contemporary market, I think minimalist coats. Longer trench style coats with really simple style lines. It’s stemming from runway all the way down to fast fashion retailers. We are seeing it on runways from Jason Wu, David Koma, Juan Carlos Obando, Mara Hoffman, etc. In the fast fashion market these coats are showing up in retailers like Topshop, H&M, Forever 21, Zara, etc.
What have been your biggest challenges in starting your business?
Learning the importance of balance. Starting a business is a lot of work and takes a lot of time. It’s crucial to keep a good balance of health and happiness alongside your ambitions. Otherwise it’s easy to drain your mind and body and lose focus.
What have been your greatest successes?
TRND has now been in business for 3 years. We have had amazing feedback regarding the methods in which we use to produce and develop our reports and have sold to big name companies like Henri Bendel, Laundy by Shelli Segal, Knot Sisters, Amuse Society, Raisins Swimwear, many private label companies, educational establishments, and a handful of international brands. We have representatives in California, New York, and will be expanding to Japan in January 2017. The growth feels good! I know what I want at the end of all this. So, I remind myself every day and maintain focus on my end goals and the steps necessary to get there.
Do you have any advice for someone trying to break in to the fashion industry or starting their own business?
Hard work really does pay off! Stay persistent! Obstacles are inevitable (plan for them). And lastly, have patience...great things don’t happen overnight.
You can find Jaime and her Trend services at www.thetrndforecast.com or @thetrndforecast on instagram