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Frustrated with the lack of opportunities for college students to gain experience and build their professional resume, Samantha Cooper created Trend Tribe - a New York based accessories company.  Campus 'Trendsetters' gain experience in marketing, public relations, e-commerce, social media, branding, event planning, and communications all while donating a percentage of sales to their chosen philanthropy and wearing the season’s hottest trends in jewelry.  Samantha’s passion for connecting experienced Trendsetters with fashion executives has helped college graduates across the country land the job or internship of their dreams.  Find out Samantha’s tips for having a successful fashion accessories business and her advice to college students for finding their passion in the post-grad.

Apply here to build your resume and become a Trendsetter on your campus!

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This vision has become a reality and we're working with fashion executives connecting them with our experienced Trendsetters.

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Trendsetting 

Why did you create a company that helps college students gain work experience and build their resume?

During my freshman year at Babson College I tried SO hard to get an internship in fashion, but it was impossible.  I had very little experience on my resume and unless you have industry connections, no one will even read your resume.  That summer I launched my own jewelry business and was able to create a killer resume from real-world experience.  The next year I applied to Barneys New York, my dream internship, and I landed the job.  I knew it was because I had a unique resume from running my own jewelry business the summer before.  I realized I wasn't the only college girl who craved real world experience and wanted to build a unique resume to stand out from all of the competition. That’s how the idea for Trend Tribe was born.

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It's the combination of having in-person and online experience that help our Trendsetters stand out from the crowd.

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Can you tell us about Trend Tribe jewelry?

Our style is, as the name says, trendy!  We're constantly scanning fashion magazines and reading blogs to know the latest trends and we work with different manufacturers to curate the best collection at the most affordable price.

It's extremely important to me to keep our collection below $50 a piece.  In fact, 85% of the collection is under $25.  College students are on a budget and in order for our Trendsetters to be successful with selling to their friends on campus, they need to have great products at a reasonable price.  

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At the end of a trunk show or online marketing campaign, Trendsetters have real sales results to prove their skills.

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What are a few of your favorite Trend Tribe pieces to wear for winter?

One of my favorite statement necklaces is the Cobalt Statement Necklace ($25) because you can wear it season after season.  It's the perfect pop of color with my all-black winter wardrobe, but I can also wear it with white jeans for the fourth of July.  It's all about versatility for finding your favorite piece of jewelry.

I'm also obsessed with dainty layers.  Many of our pieces can mix and match to create a look that fits your personality.  I love wearing our Geometric Y-Necklace ($18) paired with the Dainty Wing Necklace ($12).  It's sexy but understated at the same time and goes great with a white tee and jeans for the weekend or with a LBD for evening.

How can we build our resume and become a Trendsetter?

Trendsetters build their resume by hosting in-person trunk shows and online social media marketing campaigns promoting Trend Tribe's jewelry collection.  It's the combination of having in-person and online experience that help our Trendsetters stand out from the crowd.

At the end of a trunk show or online marketing campaign, Trendsetters have real sales results to prove their skills.  Trendsetters aren't just saying, ‘Yeah, I'm good with social media.’  They're instead saying, ‘Yes, I have experience in social media.  I run an online marketing campaign every month and generate an overage of $500 in revenue each month by doing this, this, and this.’

Even those students who have fancy, brand name internships aren't going to have this kind of experience.  This is the secret to building real-world skills that will help your resume stand out.  We take a lot of time to teach our Trendsetters exactly how to put the Trend Tribe experience on their resume so that they can land their desired job or internship.

To become a Trendsetter, simply apply here and we'll reach out to you.  We can't wait to meet you!!

What advice do you have for college students for how to make the most out of their Trend Tribe experience?

Our most successful Trendsetters host trunk shows by partnering with organizations that are passionate about raising money for a specific philanthropy.  For example, our Trendsetters at George Washington University hosted a trunk show with a service sorority called ESA.  ESA raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and they were so excited to work with Trend Tribe as a cool and new way to raise money for St. Jude's.  The trunk show did over $1,000 in sales and we were able to make a donation on ESA's behalf.  The key to successful sales is being a problem solver for groups on campus by providing a fun alternative to classic fundraisers.

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We work with different manufacturers to curate the best collection at the most affordable price.

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Passion + Fashion

What is your dream for Trend Tribe 5 years from now?

I would love to have Trendsetters on every college campus and perhaps expand into high schools within five years.  I also envision our Leadership Summits filled with hundreds of Trendsetters and representatives from the top fashion companies looking to recruit top talent from our Trendsetter pool.  I’m excited to see our first class of Trendsetters land jobs and internships as a result of their Trend Tribe experience.

I would also love to see a network of Trendsetter alumnae supporting each other after college.  Their Trend Tribe experience will be an immediate bond or connection and create a feeling of sisterhood and hopefully help bring them to the next level in their career.

I'm also excited to expand our internal team and grow the Trend Tribe empire!

What are you most proud of accomplishing since founding Trend Tribe?

When I started Trend Tribe, my goal was to have 50 Trendsetters by the end of 2014.  We hit that goal in November and it was SO exciting.  To be helpful to young women is what this company is all about.  It's also exciting to see that we've raised thousands of dollars for philanthropic organizations through Trendsetter trunk shows.

One of my other big goals was to hold a leadership summit for our Trendsetters during their winter break.  Before we had a single Trendsetter or sold a single necklace, I wrote down my vision of having a one-day conference where we could introduce our Trendsetters to fashion industry pro's.  This vision has become a reality and we're working with executives from companies like Haute Look, L'Occitane, and L'Oreal and connecting them with our Trendsetters.  It's exciting to be able to provide them the opportunities I wish I had when I was in school.

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Before we had a single Trendsetter, I envisioned having a conference where we could introduce our Trendsetters to fashion industry pro's.

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What has been your biggest lesson learned in building your company?

I live by the motto, ‘It may not all happen today, but it's all going to happen.’  As a type-A perfectionist that has big dreams, I want everything done immediately and I want it to be perfectly fabulous.  As an entrepreneur on a shoestring budget, it's simply impossible for that to happen.  I've learned that it's okay if everything doesn't happen overnight.  I’m learning to enjoy the journey and to have faith that whatever I want to happen will happen, but maybe not right away and that's okay.  It doesn't mean you're a bad business owner.  With time, everything will come together.

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When you're in college, it's the perfect time to get involved with as many things as possible and see what ‘speaks’ to you.

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What would you tell yourself in college about how to find your passion and be smart at a young age?

When you're in college, it's the perfect time to get involved with as many things as possible and see what ‘speaks’ to you.  Whatever club meeting you're most excited to attend or whatever school project you find yourself actually excited to work on, take note of it and do more things along that path.  Not everything will make sense at first, but eventually you'll discover your path.

For the longest time I thought my passion was designing clothes.  When I put pen to paper I realized I wasn't nearly a good enough artist, nor did I truly enjoy the design process. That made me realize I loved the business side of fashion and I went on to major in business instead of fashion.  If I didn't take the time to explore my interests, I would have never realized what it truly was that I was passionate about.  Once you find your passion, it's easy to be successful.  Well, success doesn't come easy, but it becomes easy, fun, and exciting to work hard…and when you work hard, success will inevitably follow. 

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It's exciting to be able to provide the opportunities I wish I had when I was in school. 

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Meet Samantha Cooper

Dream Mentor: Ivanka Trump!

Ultimate Accessory: Trend Tribe statement necklace, of course!

Favorite Store: Ruby & Jenna! 

Go-to Outfit: Black skinny jeans, structured blazer, a Trend Tribe statement necklace, pumps, red lips. Boom. Done.

Can't Live Without Product: My Conair Wand

Beauty Essential: Beautini by B. Lo

Best Date: For our 5 year date-iversary my boyfriend took me on a surprise weekend getaway trip to a vineyard that had apple picking and live music. 

Travel Destination: Paris. Oui oui!

Best Advice: It may not all happen today, but it's all going to happen.

Favorite Quote: The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.

College: Babson College

Sorority: Chi Omega - Chi O til you die-o!!

 

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