Byline: JOHN HILL
A FEW months before she graduated from university, Joanna Feeley hopped on a plane to New York.
The Kingston University fashion student arrived in the Big Apple in 1998 chasing a job in trend forecasting, a field which predicts how consumers will be dressing, eating and furnishing their homes in future.
She is now selling her experience and instinct as the creative director for her own company, Trend Bible in Heaton Road, Newcastle, and urging others to start a business with help from the Entrepreneurs Forum's If We Can You Can campaign.
Joanna said: "I was told not to build my hopes up about getting a job in trend forecasting, as there were only 200 worldwide at the time.
"I spent my student grant on flights to New York in the Easter holidays. The recruiter wasn't due to visit the university until after graduation and I thought if I could get ahead of the pack.
"I got an interview that afternoon with American Eagle Outfitters and they gave me the job. It was good to be able to relax and know I had something as long as my grades were good."
New York before moving to London to predict trends for Topman and forecasting company The Bureau. Tesco was her first client as a freelance trend consultant in 2005, and she set up Trend Bible in 2007. Business is split between consultancy work and trend publications, which are bought in the UK, US, Europe and the Far East.
She said: "I knew that if I wanted to live in the North East, I would have to set up on my own as all the forecasters are in places such as Paris and London. …