Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amy Marks-McGee, owner of Trendincite LLC., located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Trendincite LLC, and I specialize in fragrance marketing, flavor marketing, and trend forecasting. I am a marketer, researcher, and writer. My customers are fragrance and flavor suppliers, consumer packaged goods manufacturers, and market research firms.
To be proactive rather than reactive to the changing consumer, Trendincite LLC identifies and analyzes fragrance and flavor marketing trends within consumer packaged goods. To generate new product ideas, I identify patterns across a variety of industries and research lifestyle trends. Trendincite LLC then concisely synthesizes relevant market information, observations, and insights into custom client content. The company's core values are to engage all five senses, capture inspiration from unexpected places, and make the creative process enjoyable.
Trendincite LLC provides the following custom services:
Trend Excursions: Guided, custom sensory trend excursions designed to engage all five senses, stimulate creativity, and inspire new product ideas. Marketing Presentations & Trend Reports: Custom food, beverage, and fragrance marketing, trend presentations, and reports based on client-specific needs.
Food, Beverage & Fragrance Market Research & Reports: Custom primary and secondary fragrance, food, and beverage market research and analysis.
Fragrance & Flavor Writer: Professional business writing services such as ghostwriting, branded content, newsletters, blog posts, ezines, and press releases, specifically designed for clients who work within or service the fragrance & flavor industry.
With an industry insider perspective, broad fragrance and flavor knowledge, and the ability to identify and analyze emerging trends early, I apply my expertise uniquely and impartially.
Tell us about yourself
I have a BFA in advertising and graphic design. In art school, I knew I was never going to be a fine artist and realized I enjoyed figuring out who the target audience was, why people would want to buy a product and how the benefits of a product should be communicated. This was all marketing. I fell into the Fragrance & Flavor industry and spent my 15-year corporate marketing career with three leading suppliers. My main focus is creating marketing and trend presentations to identify emerging ingredients and fragrances for new scented consumer products and line extensions.
In each fragrance house, I worked on proactive future-focused trend presentations. Identifying trends, inspiration meetings, and concept development are what I love to do and am passionate about. Early on, I realized that my best ideas for new fragrances or products didn't happen during traditional 9 to 5 work hours. They happened when I was least expecting it and was not trying to solve a problem. My best ideas happened when I was traveling, eating out, experiencing a cultural event, or playing with my children. When I launched Trendincite LLC, I created custom, sensory-guided trend excursions to get individuals out of the office and help inspire and encourage creativity for new product ideas.
The curated trend excursions are experiential and focus on smell and taste, where customers visit unique stores, boutiques, restaurants, and cultural events in New York City. If I'm not leading a trend excursion, I'm researching or writing about new products, services, and trends.
What excites and motivates me is that every time you think a store shelf is too crowded and can't possibly fit another product, a new product makes its way onto the shelf. There's always room for a new product, new trend, new application, a new fragrance, new flavor, or new technology. Consumer products are continually evolving, and I love to develop, watch, and report on their evolution.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think my biggest accomplishment as a business owner is the successful launch of Trendincite LLC. Fortunately, in March this year, Trendincite LLC reached its 16th year in business. The longest position I held in a corporate job was five years. Prior to Trendincite LLC, I would outgrow my positions and get bored with my work. Flavors and food always inspire me and are intricately connected to fragrance. However, I only worked on the fragrance side. Trendincite LLC consults on both fragrance and flavor, which is unusual. Since my work is project-based, I get to work on a variety of different and exciting projects. I have control over the direction of my business, and I can choose what creative projects I work on.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a business owner, I think one of the hardest things is always having to go after new business to keep projects in the pipeline. Since my services are project-based and require my intellect and experience, it's difficult to manage project work at the same time as being proactive in obtaining new projects. You are constantly on and responsible for bringing in new work. As a marketer in a corporation, sales is responsible for bringing in new clients and work. Now I don't just create the marketing materials for my clients; I must be a salesperson and market myself.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Create a success file: A success file is a place to keep thank you notes, e-mails, or testimonials when a colleague, friend, teacher, or client gives you positive feedback. If you're having a bad day or feeling doubtful, it's a great resource to look back at. It acts as a reminder and helps reinforce your value.
- Have a presence: Networking is so important for individuals, particularly entrepreneurs. Having a point of view is also important. You need to get out there and show the world your expertise by volunteering, writing, being a mentor, or getting involved. These activities help establish credibility and thought leadership.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions: If you don't ask, you don't know. And what is the worst scenario that can happen? Someone answers, "No."
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.