Trent TrendSpotter
Boomer-Breed Millennials

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As a boomer, I didn’t realize I have the millennial attitude. Not the way we communicate, work, learn, play and spend, but how we are wired to try new things, break boundaries, push limits, change tradition and set new rules. It makes sense; millennials were raised by boomers!

I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Youth Marketing Strategy, put on by Voxburner in New York City and I was completely blown away by what I learned about the generation of adults born between 1972 and 1997.

The pending questions is, as it was with my generation – “How do we get your respect?” Boomers fight hard for what they believe in and work hard for what they earn. How do we tame the irreverent attitudes of millennials and tap into the great potential they have to offer? One boomer of a panel of millennial ambassadors asked, “How do we get your respect?”  The response one millennial ambassador offered was ,“You respect us, and we will respect you.”  It was that simple and it clicked.  

Jane Gould, senior vice president of consumer insights and research at MTV chaired and opened the event with insightful research. 

Hackers: Gen Y will get in there and repurpose it, open it up, make it better, make it more useful and they don’t ask permission.

Hustlers: Millennials don’t want jobs; they want careers. They are always on the lookout to beef up their resumes and always have a side-hustle going on. Willingness and ability to hustle is more valuable to them than an MBA. Millennials believe you can Google how to be a CEO.

Inventors: Creativity is their language. They are always innovating. 70% surveyed believe that “creativity will save us.”

In a presentation by Joeri Van den Bergh, co-founder of InSites Consulting, Gen Y expert and author of How Cool Brands Stay Hot, I learned the following:

Kids just want to have fun: Labels have less influence. User experience is how to win over this crowd. 

Party all the time: Joeri introduces us to the concept of “Party-cipation.” Millennials are social. They want to be where the action is. They want to do what their peers are doing. Peer-to-peer communication is key. 

Stay real: As in real help in real time. Youth today want to look online and find an expert to interact with in the moment.   

During Andrew Au’s session, the president of Intercept Group, I picked up some great statistics.

Be fast and furious: You have between 15 seconds and 15 minutes to appeal to the attention span of a Millennial. This generation does not want to be marketed to. They are skeptical and not impressed with celebrity endorsements. They would rather know what their friends think. They want to be the brand evangelist.  

Where the money comes from: It doesn’t matter who is paying, the millennials are deciding. Every dollar spent by Gen Y directly influences another $3.50.

Try again: This crowd likes to experiment, but if they like a brand, they are more likely to stay loyal.

These social and daring kids are entering the workplace and I can’t wait to see how they run it. 

A one-stop media shop

Dozens of journalists were buzzing about our SoHo loft last week to check out the latest tasty, healthy treats at our inaugural Trent Tasting.  It was a showcase of all our clients’ gourmet goods that make eating more nutritious and delicious.  Held the Thursday before the Fancy Food showit was a great way to preview the “best of” and latest trends. 

"Outdoor-Tinted Glasses"

I don’t know if I’m just seeing everything through “outdoor-tinted glasses” or if the furniture industry, is indeed, trying to make us feel like we’re perpetually outside. That’s what it felt like at the InternationalContemporary Furniture Fair, May 17–20, in New York City.

Polar Moss makes mesmerizing indoor art and sculpture out of colorful reindeer moss that makes you look twice. Flower Box uses innovative natural modern horticultural arrangements that last for years in all sizes up to vertical wall gardens inspired by Patrick Blanc. The designs are just as practical as they are beautiful. 

I fell in love with Green Towers living furniture. They integrate micro-farming right into your existing furniture with hydroponic and aquaponic technologies. This actually means that you can produce a portion of your own food no matter where you live or work! 

The outdoors are getting more stylish and comfortable, too. Fermob’s classic French Bistro chairs bring color and a lot more styles than before. Sifas makes the “in-out” lifestyle more luxurious. Galanter & Jones is warmer with adjustable heating.Garden Glory makes it glamorous with colorful hoses and whimsical accessories for a more fabulous gardening experience. Recycled wood is the material for choice for Peter Glassford’s collage murals and tiles that make you feel like you’re in the forest when you’re nowhere near one.  

For those in between the indoor and the outdoor is furniture for the “urban nomad.”  Dynomighty, the innovators that introduced the original Mighty Wallet that spawned an entire new genre of Tyvek Wallets around the world, showcased a new cardboard furniture concept: portable furniture that is fun, flat and can be assembled quickly and easily. Mio Culture also makes environmentally sound adjustable room dividers and lighting that can be customized, color, cut, rotates and pasted to your specific needs. This company is really dedicated to transforming culture through the design of sustainable products that are both beautiful and affordable.

Allergies are another thing more from the outdoors to the indoors. Our indoor environments are just as much to blame as trigger foods and the pollen count outside. I’ve noticed more brands positioning their products to help create allergy-resistant homes. The tools go far beyond air quality and can include filtration systems, surfaces and treatments. Motawi, a high-end tile company, is seeing its tiles expand beyond the backsplash as people opt for hard surfaces that are easy to keep clean and free of toxins. HearthCabinets Ventless Fireplaces provide the roar of an open fire without the usual allergens.  They are also safer, cleaner and usable indoors and outdoors, year-round. It gives of the glow of a roaring wood fire without the heat and can be placed safely, virtually anywhere (but a closet). It’s the only ventless fireplace approved by the New York Fire Department.  

As the walls between between indoor and outdoor disappear, I expect to see even more innovations and creative designs.

Are “Wearables” a Trend or a Fad?

As a trend spotter, I am often asked what makes a healthy habit a trend? First and foremost, it’s time. I have also recently been asked whether I think the now booming “wearables” market is here to stay. I’m not surprised the “wearable” category is exploding; I’m just surprised it took so long.  

I’ve been living healthy, long before it was trendy, back when it was weird. I’ve always been looking for health in some really unexpected places like the car … the movie theater … outer space, etc. One surprising place I did find health was in my Philip Stein watch, the original wearable technology that’s been helping me focus and deal with stress, everywhere I go, for decades.

This watch has a Natural Frequency Technology disc, programmed to act like an antenna, picking up frequencies that make me feel better. I swear by it! 

And while everyone else is trying to exceed their 10,000 step goal every day, my daily challenge is to get a good night’s sleep and Philip Stein’s latest Sleep Bracelet is helping me do just that!

If you don’t want to wear a wellness watch, I suggest you try the new wellness bracelet. It’s just as discreet and effective.

So, yes, I definitely think the “wearables” market is here to stay. It opens up new ways for us to make health a more natural part of our everyday lives.

If I Could Invent One Thing to Make the World a Better Place…

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Every year Google hosts an inspiring competition for kids ages K-12 called “Doodle 4 Google.”  This year’s competition yielded over 100,000 submissions with the theme “If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place…” Kids from all over the U.S. submitted their ideas in the form of a Google homepage.  The results were absolutely breathtaking!  Hats off to Google for putting on this enriching competition and hats off to these young children.  They are our future, and it’s very encouraging to know there are so many bright minds out there ready to shine. 

This year’s winner was 11-year old Audrey Zhang from New York.  Her doodle was an imaginative display of colors and wildlife. Displaying a large machine with Pegasus-like wings purifying polluted water for the animals and people nearby.  Zhang said “To make the world a better place, I invented a transformative water purifier.  It takes in dirty and polluted water from rivers, lakes, and even oceans, then massively transforms the water into clean, safe and sanitary water, when humans and animals drink this water, they will have a healthierlife.”

Way to go Zhang!  What an inspiration this young woman is.  This year, Google decided to take it a step further and animate the winner’s doodle for the first time.  The result was an absolutely magical and awe-inspiring display of creativity and hope. 

For winning this year’s competition Zhang also took home a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 Google for Education Technology grant for her school.  Google was so inspired by her Doodle that they also donated $20,000 in her name to a charity that provides clean water to schools in Bangladesh. 

Yesterday I learned  from Paull Young who is the director of digital of Charity:Water that 800 million people don’t have access to clean water.

Imagine waking up and having to walk to the east river to get water and then drink water that makes you sick…that is everyday life for 800 million people…that breaks my heart

Audrey Zhang, You are my inspiration!

Asteroids and Skin Care

Last week while I was reading Time Magazine an article caught my attention; “The Man Who Guards The Planet” by Jeffrey Kluger.  It was about an astronomer named Don Yeoman who has the daunting task of protecting planet earth from killer asteroids.   Talk about a stressful job!  Currently NASA and Yeoman know of 1,500 potential life-threatening asteroids, and follow each one closely every day.  Any change in trajectory could potentially make landfall on earth, which could have a devastating impact.  If these asteroids are caught soon enough, NASA can stop them using our advanced technology.  They can either blast the asteroids out of the sky, turning them into smaller penetrating rocks, or they can give the asteroids a slight nudge changing their trajectories.  Given the distance these asteroids are from earth, a slight nudge from an impactor or spaceship could do the trick.  The asteroid would only need to move 1 cm per second to change it’s path completely. 

So you’re probably wondering where I’m going with all of this. That article was extremely fascinating to me, and I couldn’t help but relate it to skin care.  Yes, that’s right… skincare.  The first method (Blasting Method) made me think of the tiny little molecules that penetrate our pores to give us that smooth glowing skin we all want!  Thousands of molecules associated with facemasks and scrubbing gels break through our pores and tighten our skin.

In addition, think of the technologies companies are using to constantly break down molecules to penetrate our skin and give it what it needs in the deepest layers. Maybe the latest science in skincare can help Yeoman’s team to come up with ways to break down asteroids.

After all, we are all Yeoman’s to our face and it’s our duty to protect it.  So next time your using scrubbing gel or a facemask you can think about Dan Yeoman, and how he’s protecting you and think out of the box thoughts on how he can protect us from asteroids, while you’re protecting your face!  

Meet Your Crowdfunder Mixer

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Most people don’t know that I specialized in investor relations before I opened Trent & Company the week before the 1988 stock market crash.  I can tell you that NOTHING increases the value of a company more than PR.  Our company’s focus has been on healthy lifestyles—my personal passion—since we opened, and we have helped countless startups launch, get investors, get acquired and sell.  Crowdfunding has really taken off as a way for startups to do this. Not only does it help companies raise funds to expand their businesses, but it provides them with opportunities for heightened brand exposure.

Last month, I wrote an article for WholeFoods Magazine about crowdfunding in the naturals market, which included insider interviews with experts from crowdfunding platforms, startups and investors. The article sparked a lot of conversation so we turned it into a three-part series – a Facebook Power Lunch, a Livestream where I shared the stage with Samantha DelCanto, CRO at FundAnything, and a “Meet Your Crowdfunder” mixer in our SoHo loft where I had the opportunity to greet celebrities such as Jennifer Westfeldt and Fred Nelson as well as friends like actress Linda Lavin and actor/painter Steve Bakunas.

Each event was fun and informative. It was great to see it all come to a head when a mix of passionate influencers, executives, entrepreneurs and investors brought their energy and brilliance to our vibrant space, making connections and bringing healthier, more natural products to the market for us. 

Manhattanhenge

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If there’s one thing I love about New York other than it’s energy and love affair with trends in fashion, art, architecture, food…you name it… it’s the magical sunset I savour every evening…Some of my favorite moments in the city have involved friends and wine overlooking the water and/or other rooftops watching the sunset.   I am lucky enough to have a remarkable sunset view right from the desk of my SoHo office and wait for my daily dose. They are all truly breath-taking in their own way and fill me with heartfelt awe and amazement.

Today is one of my favorite days of the year!  Manhattanhenge, which happens four times a year, occurs when the sun aligns perfectly with Manhattan’s cross streets.  Slightly after 8pm the first of this year’s four will make is presence on NYC as the sun radiates down on our faces in it’s golden glow of perfection.  The sun will illuminate both the North and South side of every cross street in the borough. 

For the best possible viewing, position yourself as far East as possible with a clear line of sight looking West. They say best cross streets are 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, and 57th. If you’d like to watch in style with a cocktail in hand, try one of these chic rooftop bars:

The Roof at the brand new Viceroy Hotel:
124 W 57th St

Bookmarks Rooftop Lounge at the Library Hotel:
4299 Madison Ave. at 41st st.

Empire Hotel Rooftop:
44 W 63rd St between Broadway and Columbus Ave

The Press Lounge:
653 Eleventh Ave between 47th and 48th St.

Rare View at Fashion 26 Hotel:
152 W 26th St between 6th and 7th Ave.

Top of the Strand:
33 W 37th St between 5th and 6th Ave

Schedule of Manhattanhenge:

Half sun on the grid:

Thursday, May 29th 8:16pm

Saturday, July 12th 8:25pm

Full sun on the grid:

Friday, May 30th 8:18pm

Friday, July 11th 8:24pm

Faces & Places

Not only did I used to cover parties for New York Magazine’s Intelligencer column during the Studio 54 days, I also had a reputation for throwing wild parties years later at my SoHo PR firm.   It gave everyone an opportunity to let their hair down and get to know each other better. Many friendships, love affairs and weddings came out of those events.

Today’s parties are a bit tamer but I realized at the start of the year, when I was taking a brief break at Esalen Institute, that it had been a while since we turned our loft into a party space. Those parties were legendary… I was itching to get our space renovated but was paralyzed by the enormity of the undertaking. I did want the space to double as a gallery so I can enjoy my first love, art.  

That was on my mind when I met Steve Bakunas, a jack-of-all trades actor, painter, carpenter, director and musician that week in January at Esalen.  Steve had been painting for 15 years, never had a show and always wanted to, so I invited him to have it at what would be my fresh new office. At the time, we had 50 shades of blue painted all around because I had yet to pick a color.  We set the date for May 8. 

That meant we had to be done with construction and putting the place back in  order. Little did I realize that most of the pieces for the show had yet to be painted.  Steve and I were on a race to get ready for his opening date.  It lit a fire under both of us and that was great! 

Days before the show, Steve and his wife Linda Lavin, the Tony-award winning actress of 80s sitcom fame were featured in a New York Times real estate section cover story. Linda is quoted saying she is determined he exhibit his art.  Linda herself was opening a new show Nicky Silver’s, Too Much Sun  at the Vineyard Theater the week of the party. It was a busy week for all but we worked together to celebrate with them and our joint network of art lovers, artists, actors, musicians and directors.  

The opening was buzzy and fun, paintings were sold and a new painter is launched. 

Easy Does It

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The one place I don’t want to face challenge is when I’m home. I know the average consumer feels the same. The housewares industry is listening. It’s making it easier to do just about everything and I was excited to see just how much easier my life is going to be at the International Housewares Show in Chicago, March 15–18 at the McCormick Convention Center.

Housewares designers are paying close attention to how people live and use equipment and are developing items that fit in their routines.

"It’s a growing trend in industrial design," said Vicki Matranga, design programs coordinator for the International Housewares Association, which produces the show. "Designers are creating things that make a difference in everyday lives. They observe people in action to find what’s missing and design products to fill those needs."

Here are some trends I was excited to see.

Easy to Cook
Gourmand or not, professional appliances are being adapted for personal use and invading the home kitchen helping skilled and unskilled cooks create meals like chefs. SousVide Supreme was the first company to develop a sous vide water oven that created an explosion of interest in the consumer market for a cooking technique that was once only used in restaurants and by professional chefs. SousVide Supreme is launching its latest innovation—a sous vide vacuum sealer. This inventive product is uniquely designed to make vacuum sealing foolproof for the home cook, for both sous vide preparation and other everyday food storage needs. Because food is vacuum sealed, the nutrients, flavor and juices are locked in. Chefs depend on it. Guys are crazy about it. Women, especially busy ones, are just realizing it’s potential.

Kenwood Cooking Chef actually stirs for you while cooking at precisely the right temperature which ideal for meringue, risotto, truffles and ganche. Maybe now I can make those dishes!

Gunter Wilhelm's steel and stylish cutlery and cookware are changing the dynamic in the kitchen with stick-resistance stainless steel pots and pans and well-balanced high-carbon stainless steels knives.

Easy to Serve
I love the new portion control plates from Livliga. These dishes help you eyeball a healthy portion and stop you from topping off your dinner. The Perfect Slice cuts cake servings with precision and KlearBar dispenses the right-size beverage at the sink and purifies water. KlearBar is pioneering a whole new exciting category.

Easy to eat
I’m grateful for any product that makes me feel like I’m at home on the go and I hope to see more of that. Especially if it means I take my morning smoothie with me. I love the The Yonanas Makera small kitchen gadget that emulsifies frozen fruit ONLY into a guilt-free creamy frozen dessert that is just like soft-serve ice cream—in seconds—without separating the nutrients we need.

If you are like me, you are always eating on the go. Hamilton Beach’s personal blender makes it possible to take your smoothie with you wherever you are. It’s a single-serve blender with a no-spill travel lid.

Easy to clean
Housekeeping gadgets, especially robotics, are getting more impressive and specialized each year. The smart home is here.Ecovacs launched a new FAMIBOT, the first multi-functional essential home robot controlled by an iPhone or Android app. This robot, connects to your home security system, as well as other household electronic and purifies your air as well. 

If retro is more your style, the original Fuller Brushes are making a comeback for traditional cleaning.

Easy to Keep
I’m so impressed with the science of storage. I’m looking forward to seeing techniques for space saving and longevity. I heard about Berry Breeze, a new innovative battery-operated oxygen generator that helps keeps produce in a “living” stage two to three times longer while maintaining freshness and its nutritional value. There’s an economical bonus, too, because the machine helps avoid spoilage of food.

In the bathroom, Better Living Products offers an array for smart bathroom dispensers and accessories that can save time, money and waste.

For tea lovers, Tea Boxes by Mark Feldstein & Associates craft exquisite wooden storage boxes to organize and preserve your favorite teas.

Easy to Breathe
Living in NYC, with little control over the air I breathe outdoors, I value any product that can help me control the air-quality in my living spaces. Winix makes a full line of air-cleaners and air-filters. They use true- HEPA filtration to ensure that their products are working to keep your air clean and fresh.

Smart gadgets make me happy; Freidrich Air Purifier purifies air with five chambers and can detect changes in your air-quality and will adjust its cleaning level accordingly.

Eva-Dry Mini-Dehumidifiers are perfect for using in closets and pantries to remove moisture that can damage clothing and food-goods. No need to worry about musty smells clinging to your favorite garments. They even work in gym bags.

For the less tech-savvy among us, Kenwood Cooking Chef makes elegant and easy-to-use air purifiers that feature a minimal option touch screen display.

Surface germs and bacteria can affect our air quality as well; Verilux uses CleanWave UV-C light to tackle biological contaminants without liquids or chemicals. As a bonus, you can take many of these products with you on your travels to disinfect whatever space you land in.

Easy to be Green
Going green is not a preference anymore, but a necessity. A room I find is often overlooked when it comes to ways to be green is the bathroom. Brondell’s bidets strive to eliminate a percentage of the 34,000,000 rolls of toilet paper Americans use daily.

Out of the bathroom and into the kitchen, Full Circle crafts beautiful scrubbing brushes based on the idea that resources should be cyclical and long lasting.

KleenMaid is introducing new eco-friendly cleaning appliances and products.

Easy to be Fashionable
Fashion is constantly evolving; I am always looking ahead to the next big thing. It’s Exciting Lighting produces a smart and stylish aleternative to traditional lighting fixtures for your home. Instead of hard-wiring a lamp to one spot, they use LED technology to make your home lighting choices as malleable as the home-fashion industry itself.

Kitchens are the center of a home, and I want mine to be as beautiful as it is functional. According to Hudson Home GroupExecutive VP Rick LaPine, kitchens are the new runways of the fashion world.

Inflatable beds may not be what comes to mind when I say beautiful, but that is only because you haven’t seen InTex inflatable furniture yet. Whether you are camping out or staying in, these beds seamlessly blend comfort, style, and versatility.

I’m looking forward to living easier in 2014! WF

As seen in WholeFoods Magazine