The Trend Curve Team
When you see a name below a post, or read the name of an editorial correspondent in The Trend Curve, you might wonder who they are. Here's a brief snapshot of the people behind The Trend Curve:
Michelle Lamb is co-founder and chairman of Minneapolis-based Marketing Directions, Inc. Established in 1987, Marketing Directions specializes in home furnishings color and trend forecasting, working extensively with clients to provide individual direction and color specification. A sampling of past and present clients includes 3M, Hunter Douglas, Target Stores, Home Depot, Gerber Baby Products, Tarkett, Hunter Fan, EK Success, Petmate and Day-Timers. Learn more about Michelle here.
Steve Borsch is co-founder and President/CEO of Marketing Directions, Inc. and joined our growing firm full time in 2006. Prior to that he was Vice President, Strategic Alliances at Lawson Software in St. Paul, MN, and today works with executives and leaders in public and private companies on next generation social media, Internet and Web technologies. In addition, Steve runs our Innov8Press business, which creates and delivers leading-edge websites for small-to-midsize businesses.
Paris-based Mélanie Ayem came to the world of trend via her work in digital marketing and communications. She has focused on digital media strategy with platforms such as Google, Facebook, WeChat, TikTok and other influence-marketing entities. Mélanie is currently a Marketing Master student at IESEG School of Management in Paris, France. During her time as a student, Melanie has had significant internships at Guerlain, Hanes France, Graazie.com, and Moulin Roty, LTD in Hong Kong.
Elizabeth Borsch is an editorial assistant and correspondent for The Trend Curve who thrives on all aspects of color, pattern and design and is particularly adept at trendspotting. With her extensive background in the use of social media, her passion for mobile and computing technologies, along with her interest in the psychology and sociology of their use, Elizabeth brings a unique perspective to the team.
Kim Cook is a former marketing professional in both Toronto and Chicago. Kim has spent the past decade as a freelance journalist based in New York, covering international and national design, décor and lifestyle stories for several print and digital entities.
Her regular "Right at Home" columns for the Associated Press focus on trends and topics across the Home categories. In addition to her work for The Trend Curve, she's a contributor to magazines including Innovation + Inspiration, Casual Living and Exterior Design. Kim has also served on the judging panel for NY Now’s Best New Products awards and the Best in Biz awards. See KimCookHome.com for more.
John Currie, President and Creativitymonger of CURRIEWORKS, Inc., is a graphic designer and copywriter, and edits a private journal for collectors of historic military vehicles. His distinguished client list includes such companies as Target, Canson Papers, DayTimers and 3M/Post-it.
Long associated with the restaurant industry, he helped create the concepts for chains such as The Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52. John also is a cast-bronze sculptor and oil painter, with works in private collections in the US, South America and Europe. John believes that good design works, communicates, improves function––it is almost always more than just good-looking.
Trisha McBride Ferguson is passionate about all things related to color, fabric and furniture and she is a 20-year veteran of the home furnishings industry and a trained interior designer. When she’s not reporting on furniture, textiles and interior design, she’s experimenting with them in her own home in Clemmons, NC.
Doty Horn is the Founding Director of ColorVoyant® LLC, Visionary Color Marketing. With an expansive “cross-current” background in the interior and fashion industries, as well as product development for companies such as Benjamin Moore, Armstrong, Formica, Cole of California, Congoleum, FIDM in Los Angeles and FIT in NYC, Doty brings a unique perspective to the color and design field. She is more recently and notably known for the award winning, Color Pulse®, which she created and curated for Benjamin Moore for 7 years.
Elaine Markoutsas writes a monthly lead home design feature that appears in 100 newspapers for Universal Press Syndicate, something she has done for almost 28 years—launched while she was home furnishings director at the Merchandise Mart for two years. Prior to that, she was home furnishings editor at the Chicago Tribune, where she began as a features writer, as well as a reporter in the newsroom.Elaine is a field editor for Traditional Home, Better Homes & Gardens and its special interest publications, where she enjoys both producing location shots and writing. Other publications include: the Chicago Tribune, Luxe magazine, and Modern Luxury Interiors.
Jennifer Pinto, a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia’s acclaimed School of Journalism, is a hard-nosed reporter with a soft spot for pop culture and pretty things. Upon moving to Chicago in 2005, serendipity introduced her to the world of decorative lighting and home furnishings, and without looking back, she snatched up a post as associate editor for the trade magazine Residential Lighting. There, she worked her way from taking assignments to making them, while perfecting her turn of phrase and sharpening her eye for design.Now, as a freelance journalist, Jennifer indulges her love of design by writing for publications a range of trade and consumer publications. She is always on the look out for the next big thing and dreams of someday opening up her very own luxury paper store.
Mary Sausen, Managing Director of Trajectory LLC, has led world-class branding, marketing and new-product development teams for Fortune 500 companies for over 25 years. Working at the executive level, she has been responsible for the Post-it, Scotch, 3M, Budget Gourmet/Michelina’s, Briggs & Stratton and University of California Riverside brands, as well as many smaller brands in a variety of industries. She holds a B.S. in Advertising and an MBA in Marketing Management from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Jane Stockel, principal of Hong Kong based Jane Stockel Designs, consults to companies on home/interiors design trends and colors. She specializes in the nuance of horticultural themes, fashion trends, texture, color and Eco directions, helping her clients translate them into global assortments. Jane has contributed to the design panel for the Design and Decoration Trade Show, held annually in Melbourne and Sydney Australia and has been guest speaker for the China Fashion and Color Association in Beijing. She is a longtime chair holder of Color Marketing Group and has served on the board of directors. Jane was recently appointed Special Envoy to the CMG President for the Asia, Pacific Rim Region.
Leigh Ann Schwarzkopf is the co-founder of Project Partners Network, is honored to work with some of the world's largest corporations as a consultant or fractional/interim licensing executive. As a trailblazing trend expert, she ransacks the globe for Fortune 50 to midsize clients as their informed outsider looking for unexpected, innovative and inspired opportunities to promote differentiation and business growth.
Previously, she led General Mills’ trademark licensing team for six years overseeing the Betty Crocker, the Pillsbury Doughboy, Wheaties and Cheerios brands. During that time, she tripled the licensee base for several properties, integrated Pillsbury’s properties into General Mills’ portfolio during the billion-dollar food giants’ merger, redeveloped the company’s licensee summits, and structured programs to improve licensees’ start-up and speed-to-market time.
Arthur Douglas Thayer is a nationally prominent designer, trend forecaster, writer, cartoonist and artist. Doug studied at Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). For 25 + years, his design firm remains on the cutting edge of the home furnishings industry through design, artwork, writing and teaching at RISD, Kansas City Institute, Georgia State, Atlanta International School, the Art Institute of Atlanta and the Sawtooth Center in Winston-Salem. His designs are used in the textile, rug and paper industries. Currently, Doug focuses on residential interior design in the metro Atlanta area.
Julie Smith Vincenti is Editorial Director and Creative Director of Nine Muses Media LLC, a Chicago-based media firm that specializes in home furnishings product reporting and trend forecasting. Prior, she was Editorial Director and Editor for media brands such as Furniture Style, Design & Decor, Home Fashion Forecast and The Retail Experience. She attends numerous national and international home furnishings trade shows every year; supports the Sustainable Furnishings Council and WithIt; and has twice led the external curriculum review of Kendall College’s Furniture Design program. She earned both a B.S. in Magazine Journalism and B.A. in Political Science from Syracuse University.