Patricia (Tricia) Messeroux
(BA, Video/Television, ’99)
Q & A:
- What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
My favorite class was any Video Production class. I loved the control room. I loved producing shows. My favorite professor was Professor Nancy Kaplan. She was so attentive and patient and allowed us to bring our creativity.
- What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing learned in that position?
My first job after graduation was at J. Walter Thompson. I was interested in getting into advertising. The problem was that I was in the wrong, noncreative department for a few years before I was able to find my way. It was actually kind of comical. But I was able to learn the business and creative aspect of building brand campaigns. I networked and climbed the ladder very fast. I was a senior vice president before turning 30. I traveled the world and met the most incredible people.
- What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
I am an entrepreneur. I own my own creative agency. My boutique agency builds brands of all sizes, from strategic development to creative campaign development, which includes digital, social media, and traditional. The best part of my company is that we execute our ideas. We are a full-service photography and video production agency. At the moment, we are creating a web series that we’re looking to pitch to Netflix, Hulu, etc. …
- What advice would you give Hofstra students?
Keep an open mind. What you may think you want to do with your life may change. There are so many opportunities, and the world changes every day. So keep your eyes open and be as creative as possible. Your creativity is needed.
- In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
- How did your idea for Toddlewood® originate? Can you please explain how you were able to bring your visions to life?
Toddlewood® was created with my desire to produce work that included my daughter. One day someone mentioned to me that my then 3-year-old daughter, Skylar, looked like Diana Ross, so I dressed her up like Diana Ross. That triggered the idea. Then I reached out to other talented women (hairdressers, makeup artists, wardrobe designers) and shared with them my idea. I put out a casting call on Facebook expecting to be only 10-20 kids. To my surprise, over 200 families showed up. I later received a call from The Huffington Post for an interview, then The Today Show, GMA, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and they kept flooding in domestically and internationally.
Today, Toddlewood® continues to be a brand of kid photography and, most recently, I launched a Toddlewood® Engineers of Equality coffee table book that is taking off! I am so pleased to have had Hofstra University give me the foundation of executing my creativity and cleverly implementing creative marketing skills.
- What has been the single most rewarding experience in your career thus far?
The most rewarding experience in my career has been and continues to be seeing the exposure of my work revealed on large platforms. My Toddlewood® work has been featured on Access Hollywood, The View, GMA, The Today Show, and The Tamron Hall Show, to name a few. The work from my company, TMezz Creative Group, has reached incredible levels on behalf of my clients. These success stories are legacy builders.
- How has your degree from Hofstra University helped you in your career?
Hofstra University has a great reputation. It's such a recognizable school in that employers know it's reputable; therefore, I was able to get in the door. The instructors were so attentive and armed me with the right tools, knowledge, and experience so that I was able to walk confidently and represent myself.
Tricia Messeroux is a self-taught photographer and creative of Toddlewood. Tricia began her career immediately after graduating from Hofstra University with a degree in TV and Film Production and a minor in marketing. She served more than 15 years in advertising, leading strategy and creative development for global companies and major kid brands. She has graced the boardrooms of some of the largest advertising agencies, including Young & Rubicam, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Draft FCB.
Tricia is well respected in the industry as a high-profile brand builder with great creative instincts. She has successfully repositioned, defined, and launched new products for brands like Pepperidge Farm, Citibank (retail to consumer), General Mills cereals, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Kraft/Nabisco (Oreo, Double Stuf Oreo, Chips Ahoy!, 100 Calorie Packs, Fig Newtons, Gevalia Coffee), as well as continuous cause marketing efforts for organizations like the Ad Council, the Mayor’s Commission to Combat Family Violence, and the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation.
Tricia left the corporate world and created multiple streams of income by starting two businesses. The TMezz Creative Group is a boutique creative marketing agency lead by Tricia as CEO and creative director. The agency of six staff members builds brands for startups, fully established brands, and high-level personalities. There capabilities match all of what the big agencies have but at far more reasonable fees and personal attention in the areas of strategic development, big idea development, advertising campaigns, social media campaigns/management, digital marketing, photography, film, graphic design, and more. The TMezz Creative Group is the agency of record for nine prominent clients to date.
Tricia is globally recognized for her work as the visionary, creative director, and photographer for her brainchild, ToddleWood®, where she transforms everyday kids into superstar celebrities, iconic figures, and historic legends … all captured in breathtaking photographs. As creative director and senior photographer, Tricia leads a dynamic team of talented costume designers, gifted hair and makeup artists, and a diligent production crew – all of whom play an important role in bringing these photographs to life. Toddlewood® is recognized worldwide for its transformations of the annual award season’s red carpet, namely the Golden Globes, Grammy Awards, and the Oscars, and, most recently, her Toddlewood® Engineers of Equality project.
Tricia and Toddlewood® are regularly featured on Access Hollywood, The Today Show, The Insider, ABC News, Fox News, People Magazine, In Touch Magazine, The Huffington Post, Good Morning America, E! News, The View, The Tamron Hall Show, and Steve Harvey, to name a few.
Tricia has won prestigious awards, including Long Island Business News’ 50 Most Influential Women in Business 2012 and 2013; the Trailblazer Award for the Go Get It Conference; a trailblazer award from the men of Omega Psi Phi; and the Young, Gifted and Black Award. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and Jack and Jill of America.
Tricia has been happily married for 18 years and is the proud mother of two daughters, Skylar and Sunday.