The Trend Curve Story

Michelle LambMarketing Directions, Inc. was born in April of 1987. After a long career in retail–management, operations, buying and trend positions with Target, Room & Board and others–I launched a consultancy to take advantage of my trend expertise. I worked alone for the first two years and loved the independence that being self-employed provided. But as the business grew, I began to run up against the physical limitations of what I could do myself.

My business partner (and President/CEO of Marketing Directions) Steve Borsch suggested I create a product that could help the industry while I was busy working one-on one with larger projects. People respected my talent, he said, and wanted to know my forecast of future trends. Steve Curry, owner of the Curry Sales manufacturer¹s rep agency in Minneapolis and a man I had met during my tenure at Room & Board, suggested I write down my thoughts in a newsletter that his client companies could buy. It would be a hit, he was sure of it.

I wasn’t. Besides, I was too busy.

Then one of my consulting clients ran into a scheduling conflict and asked me to “just write down” everything I planned to discuss about trends in our scheduled daylong meeting. Like any good consultant I said, “I can do that!”

Not only did I write a targeted summary and trend recommendations for my client, I also wrote another version that pushed the trend piece further. Although I did not yet know what I would do with that second document, I asked Steve Borsch to develop a layout for it and sent it to Steve Curry with a note that said, “Look, I did what you suggested.” Without my knowledge Steve C. sent that first issue of The Trend Curve, an 11″ x 17″ piece of gray paper folded in half, to 20 companies he represented. Imagine my surprise when 16 of them subscribed! The Trend Curve was off and running.

Since that time, The Trend Curve has evolved into a publication with an international following. We relocated from Chicago to Minneapolis, grew our staff and expanded into products like color forecasts, European trend reports and trend seminars. Our skills and expertise have been called on not only in the U.S., but also around the world, where we have directed trend exhibits at trade fairs, spoken for professional organizations and worked to educate companies about color and design trends in the U.S. and in Europe. But we have also stayed true to our roots, functioning as a consultancy that applies trend knowledge to the specific needs of our clients.

Evolution of The Trend Curve - 1989 to Present

Evolution of The Trend Curve – 1989 to Present