We caught up with Lucy Ward, the creative mind behind the online marketplace that continues to save our much-loved bricks-and-mortar boutiques
Words Emilia Bruce-Watt
Lucy Ward is the Creative Brand Director at Trouva, the online marketplace showcasing boutiques and their distinctive products, making them discoverable for everyone, anywhere in the world. Lucy Ward has spent her career not only working with some of retail’s most-successful marketing and communications departments but perfecting her ability to predict next season’s fashions and trends.
We asked Lucy Ward about all things design, Trouva and how to follow in her footsteps
As Trouva means ‘a lucky find’, what are your top tips for finding a treasure?
The best way to find a treasure has to be via independent bricks and mortar boutiques. I love escaping London at weekends to visit towns like Margate, Hastings, Bruton or Lewes and uncovering new shops. I most recently discovered Caro in Somerset – a design boutique, coffee shop, bakery and guesthouse all under one beautiful 18th-century roof – now live on Trouva!
You predicted that silent colours and Japanese design would be this summer’s trend. What is the trend forecast for this autumn?
My predication for this Autumn is that Maximalism is going to be big, the antithesis of Scandi minimalism. Think bright hues, patterns and layered textures to create a warm interior. Someone recently introduced me to artist and interior designer, Luke Edward Hall, who I’m now obsessed with.
Which trend were you glad to see go out of fashion and what do you hope goes tomorrow?
I’m relieved that pineapples have had their peak. Gingham has been popular this season, however it’s not an easy trend to apply to interiors and therefore something I will be quite happy to say goodbye to.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I find my inspiration from Trouva’s community of hundreds of independent, bricks-and-mortar boutiques. Behind the doors of our 300+ boutiques are some of the most inspiring creatives and best buyers in the world. I also love going to shops such as Mag Culture and Liberia and try and visit monthly; I love sifting through books and magazines to get design inspiration.
What does Trouva look for in a boutique?
We search for boutiques that have a real vision and their own unique identity. Not only must they stock distinctive, design-led products but offer a fantastic customer-experience in store too, which we then bring to life online.
How does Trouva make sure that each boutique maintains its unique and independent message?
Each boutique is totally different, Trouva is purely the facilitator for these incredible independent businesses. We highlight their uniqueness and aim to share their individual stories with our boutique loving customers through shop owner biographies and interviews as well as our click and collect service which encourages footfall to the space itself.
How does Trouva maintain its quality and differentiate itself with ‘cheap and easy’ businesses like Amazon?
We set ourselves apart from businesses like Amazon by the shops we work with and our ingrained sense of purpose. We are on a mission to save the high street by helping independent retailers grow, whilst retaining what makes them unique and special. Each shop we work with prides itself on its design led product collection, but also the personal touches it offers that can’t be replicated by chains or ‘cheap and easy’ online businesses. For us it’s about quality products, chosen by the best buyers in the world with fascinating stories behind them.
As you are passionate about getting girls involved in tech and are a part of the ALT (Ambitious Ladies in Tech) programme, what is your advice for young women wanting to start a career in tech?
Make sure you don’t close doors when it comes to picking the right subjects to allow you to progress into roles like UX Design, coding and developing. Don’t shy away from typically male dominated areas such as technology, maths and science at school. Find a great mentor. If you can find an inspiring female mentor, even better!
Are you currently working on any collaborations or new projects?
We continually search for the best boutiques to launch on Trouva every month. This month we’ve launched some amazing design-led fashion and homeware boutiques including The Restoration in Stoke Newington, a go-to for a unique range of home accessories and The Method in Edinburgh. Not only is The Method a lifestyle store, it also offers massage treatments!
And, finally, what can we expect to see from Lucy Ward and Trouva in the future? Is Trouva planning on expanding internationally?
Trouva aims to become the global destination for the best independent boutiques, from the greatest cities in the world. As well as shopping the best from the UK, our customers will one day be able to shop the best boutiques in Berlin, Los Angeles, or even Shibuya!