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Olivia Gissing, Trend Hunter (INTERVIEW)

Gissing Shares Her Love of Viral Video Pranks

— March 15, 2013 — Pop Culture
Olivia Gissing is one of the quirkiest personalities to set foot in the Trend Hunter office. When she isn't hunting down trends, she tends to be a total social media addict and checking out viral video pranks on the Internet. She says that her proudest accomplishment was getting Scrubs star Zach Braff to retweet a picture of her eating her breakfast. Nothing quite excites Gissing like a perfectly timed Internet meme.

How do you define cool?

I define cool as gut instinct. It's something you see that gives you tingles up your spine. You just have to have it. Something you just can't stop thinking about.

What is your favorite trend and why?

My favorite trend right now is viral video pranks. I'm really into viral videos. I have a great example here. Basically, I'm sure many of you have seen this, but Jimmy Kimmel told parents to give their kids a Christmas present early, make it a really crappy gift and then film their reactions to it. These poor kids are so excited that they get to open a Christmas gift early, and then get things like Broccoli or the boys get Barbie dolls and their dreams are just crushed. I don't think it's that bad of a gift anyway, it's a Barbie doll, anyone can play with it. It was really funny to see their reactions and it went viral pretty quickly.

What's your favorite thing about working at Trend Hunter?

My favorite thing about working at Trend Hunter is the same thing that everyone says, it's the people here. Everyone is super fun, super creative and even though we all went to school for different subjects like philosophy, history, math, I went to school for multimedia, but we all converge and have similar interests. That's really awesome. It's a fun place to work.

How do you reset to get creative?

When I need a creative boost or rest my creativity, I like to browse Reddit and listen to podcasts while I edit videos. I'll put it really quietly in the background. I really like 'This American Life,' 'Radiolab,' 'The Sporkful' which is a really funny food-related podcast. It keeps me revved up and editing smoothly. That's how I stay creative.

What is your favorite accomplishment?

My favorite accomplishment would probably be traveling to Peru on my own when I was freshly 18 years old. I decided to go there on a whim when I had a couple of months off in the summer. I went there for a month, spent all my money on this plane ticket, didn't speak a word of Spanish and stayed with a host family. I couldn't really interact with them a lot, but I grew to love them. I worked in an orphanage teaching English. It was a huge culture shock at first but also one of the best experiences of my life. It was very memorable.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

When I was little, I wanted to be a writer. I was a huge bookworm in school, the nerd that everyone liked as well. I wasn't an outcast or anything. I read a lot and I wanted to be a writer. I also wanted to be an archeologist for some reason. I really liked the 'Land Before Time' movies so I thought that I was going to find the biggest dinosaur in the world and get very famous for it.

What inspires or excites you?

Something that inspires and excites me are Internet communities like Reddit, YouTube and Trend Hunter. Just interacting with people online. Related to that, I really love Internet memes. When people are making memes they kind of feed off each other and it's an inside joke that the whole world shares. I love that and they're really funny.

What advice would you give to the business world?

My advice to the business world is to engage with your consumers as much as you can, such as through social media, by crowd sourcing ideas from them. It gives you a positive relationship with your consumers and they learn to respect you more. It'll also give companies more inspiration to make products and services they can offer.

Is there anything you'd like to add about Trend Hunter?

Hunting all the trends and making all the friends! Come to Trend Hunter!
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