Life at TrendBible: Kate Usher, Senior Trend Consultant
Our Life at TrendBible series spotlights our team behind the scenes in their day to day.
We speak to Kate Usher, Senior Trend Consultant, about her life outside of work, the things that inspire her and the trends she’s currently helping brands with.
I’m an energetic and creative person from a big family – one of 6 siblings! I have a passion for design, pattern and colour together with a large dose of wanderlust. I live in the North-East of England and have two sons aged 13 and 18 who think I’m the least cool person on earth, and I’m OK with that! I’m quite outdoorsy and LOVE to get out hiking in the mountains at weekends. I live in a 1930s brick-built semi-detached house. I also love to garden, do DIY, and restore furniture, there is rarely a time when I’m not working on a creative home project, I recently taught myself to tile a bathroom.
I always knew that I wanted to specialise in home and interiors.
I studied for a degree in textiles and surface design at the Northern School of Art, and I knew from the start that I wanted to specialise in home and interiors. I met Jo, our founder by chance at a talk she was giving to students at my university about trend forecasting. I was excited that such a company existed in the North East of England as there weren’t many creative agencies that specialised in home at that time. I was intrigued and wanted to know more! Jo allowed me to intern with her and I became fascinated with how trends begin to form and unfold. A decade later with some experience under my belt with my own design business, I decided I wanted to work in trends full time and joined the TrendBible team as a Senior Trend Consultant.
It’s so exciting to think that we’ve carved out a niche for ourselves as experts in the future of life at home.
I remember working in a team of 3 people back in 2008. We’ve come a long way to become the thriving global futures agency that we are today. It shows in the diverse mix of brands and businesses we work with and the projects we get to collaborate on. One week I might be studying new crafting behaviours for a US-based craft retailer, the next it might be forecasting colour/material/finish trends for a kitchen manufacturer in the Nordics, then onto providing play insights for a German toy manufacturer or looking at household behaviours for a global laundry products company. I love that variety and it’s what keeps my job exciting.
Not every trend works for everyone. Only use trends that feel like a good fit for your brand.
When advising the businesses, we work with on implementing trends, we always stress the importance of determining their own brand’s style or what we like to call brand DNA. You can then decide how much core product you want to have in your offering and how much of your range should be updated by seasonal trends.
It’s also important to assign someone as a trend ambassador – someone who can steer change effectively. Larger businesses have a whole trend team or at least one person working solely on trends or insights, but for smaller companies who don’t have the resources to do this, we also provide coaching to give them the confidence to implement trends within their business.
What’s going to be the next unicorn?
Everyone wants to know that next big motif or icon update that will turn into a massive money-spinner. This is something we are constantly tracking for clients and while you rarely get a super-icon that turns out to be as heavily saturated as the unicorn did, there are many new and old motifs surfacing all of the time which can either blow up or fizzle out as quickly as they came. Predicting which way they will go, is our job.
For a closer look behind the scenes at Kate’s typical day at TrendBible as a Trend Consultant, visit her reel over on our Instagram page. You can also find out more about our Trend Consultancy Services and Insight Solutions here.