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Meet Clare Ramsey of Commune in Venice Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Clare Ramsey.

Clare, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After attending college and having the best time ever in Manchester, England, I developed a strong case of wanderlust, so I decided to waitress in NYC and backpack around the world. I was happy, but friends and family started questioning my aspirations.

I wanted to work abroad and aspired to the work for the UN Refugee Agency, so I decided if I studied masters in public health with a focus on international community health I could achieve my goal. It was close to the end of my masters and during an internship at the International Planned Parenthood Federation that I was asked by market research company Youth Intelligence to help out on a trend forecasting job.

One weekend later, I found myself in Miami being paid to find trends. I found artists, musician, tattoo artists, record store owners wait for staff to tell me what was hip. I was well paid, and the jobs kept coming. Detroit one weekend and LA the next. I had never traveled that much in the US. I loved the job and traveling around the US. The art scene in downtown Detroit had a great impact on me, and I have since moved to LA.

When Youth Intelligence (later known as The Intelligence Group)  offered me a full-time job, I decided that I would put my love of people, travel, culture, art, music, fashion, and research to trend forecasting. I became considered an expert in trend prediction and an established recruiter.  As a team of experts in understanding Generations X, Y, and Z we were bought by CAA.

I moved to LA and shortly thereafter started my own company – Commune- a boutique style recruiting agency.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Yes and no. The support amongst my former colleagues at the Intelligence group and CAA for Commune was outstanding, and it was not hard to find new clients.

I am a mom, and so I am always figuring out what is best for my son and I and how to make it all work. I loved creating my own hours, and I often worked (and still do) on the weekends or late at night.

I did suffer some personal financial drawbacks which made keeping things afloat hard at times, but it always worked out. If Commune was slow, I would Airbnb out my room.

Looking back, it was a massive balancing act, but it was always a lot of fun. I think my son and I will always remember the hustle in the early days. I have really great friends and family who always encourage and support me which is really why I never gave up. I have been very lucky.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Commune – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Commune is a boutique style recruiting agency. Commune recruits influential and insightful participants for focus groups, ethnographies, one on one interviews, and online communities. We have a global network of bright and engaged trendsetter and mainstream consumers.

Commune prides itself in not using tired, recycled databases that have been mined over again and again. Every member of ‘our Commune’ has been handpicked and vetted by us personally. We are committed to preserving the freshness of our community and only invite members who truly fit the needs of the research.

Whether our client’s business is in fashion, food, beauty, entertainment, retail, or consumer goods, we connect them  with dynamic, influential individuals  who provide  wisdom, insight, and inspiration for their market research projects.

During my 20 years of market research experience, I recruited and managed mainstream and trendsetter consumer panels in the states and around the world. I credit my success in trend prediction to the insight provided by the consumers I recruited. Commune was inspired by that success.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I need more helping hands. I love recruiting for projects, but it can be very time consuming and stressful.

My clients are often flying around the country just to interview the participants I have recruited whether it be for ethnographic interviews, creative workshops, or a traditional focus group. I want all my participants to be perfect respondents for my clients, and I want my participants to enjoy the project experience as well.

It can be quite a lot of pressure, so it is hard to always keep track of sales and business development. I am learning to hand over some of the responsibilities at Commune and hire more people to help me.

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