Name: Tricia Frigo
Where did you grow up:
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Chicago was such a great place to grow up. There’s diversity and culture, and most people possess “Midwestern values.” I went to Northwestern University and worked at an investment bank in downtown Chicago until I was 25. Then I moved to Florida when I got married.
Town you live in now:
Why you love living there:
I love the small-town aspect of Jupiter. Chicago is very crowded with lots of traffic. It’s a wonderful town, full of culture, great food and the nicest people! But, the small town lifestyle of Jupiter makes life and getting around town easier- things to do and seeing friends are all accessible. And then there’s the OCEAN. Growing up in Chicago, we were lucky to have beaches on Lake Michigan… but it’s no OCEAN. I would dream of the ocean and whenever I’d be privileged enough to stay near it- I’d leave my doors and windows open just to smell and hear it. Today- it’s my happy place. It calls to me… I spend a couple hours a weekend at the beach with my music and my journal.
Tell me about your kids:
I have four teenage boys. I don’t even know where to start. They are crazy and amazing! My oldest son just turned 20 and is a sophomore at University of Chicago. My second son is a senior in high school, which breaks my heart. He’ll be heading off to college next year and is hoping to play football at an Ivy League School (fingers crossed). My third son is 15 and a sophomore and my youngest is in 7th grade. The five of us are super close, which is something I’ve tried very hard to instill in my boys. My heart skips a beat when I hear them say, “I love you” to each other as they hang up the phone. The boys and I went through a very challenging time before and after my divorce. It was very difficult on all of us, but it brought us closer together.
The older three boys are entrepreneurs who invest in cryptocurrency and stocks, and all have a wicked sense of humor. Dinner at our house is always a blast- we laugh so hard that usually someone is spitting their food or drink out!
Favorite things to do with the kids locally:
We spend a lot of time with friends. We also go to the beach and love seeing movies.
What’s your ‘day job’? How did you get started with it?
I have my MBA and have been the Director of Marketing and an Entrepreneurship/Design Thinking teacher at my boys’ school for the last five years. Prior to my divorce, I was running two startups and traveling internationally to meet with my suppliers. It was crazy and super-busy, but I LOVED the work. Developing new products/brands and marketing them is my passion. I use design thinking and a proprietary research methodology to interview customers in a focus group setting, using their input to drive innovation and development.
I became a full-time, single mom when I got divorced and I decided to shut down the start ups to raise my boys. We went through a very difficult situation and we needed time to process and heal. My boys were 7, 9, 11, and 14 at the time. It’s been a lot of work, but my boys are all doing well now. I’ve done a lot in my life, but I have to say that my boys are my greatest accomplishment. I’m so proud of them.
What is your best parenting advice. Lay it on us.
Wow. This is a tough question!
I’ve always believed that my boys are capable of more than they can imagine. I tell them that I believe that they can achieve anything with hard work and determination. I’m a super positive person, almost to a fault. If I see a problem or an opportunity, I immediately think, “I can solve that,” or “I can do that!” I rarely think about what would hold me back. I guess that’s the entrepreneur’s mindset. I’ve tried to instill this mindset in my boys since they were very young. Once when my two older boys were 9 and 11, they were complaining about cleaning their guinea pig cage. I told them to stop complaining and to create a better way to clean it. They sat down with paper and pencils and actually did! They received a utility patent for this design when they were 14 and 12.
We also talk a lot about our challenges… and how they can define us by making us either bitter or better. We need to decide, with intention, how our difficulties will impact our lives in the long term. Gratitude is something we discuss all the time and embrace, to help with perspective when times are very difficult. I have tried to teach my boys that living with an open heart, even during the darkest of times, allows miracles to flow to us when we need them most. I can’t tell you how many miracles I’ve experienced in my most difficult of times!
Finally, I’ve tried really, really hard to make sure my boys know they have each other’s backs and to teach them how to be leaders and role models to everyone they meet. When one of my boys was getting bullied at school, his oldest brother who was in college, took it upon himself to call the Assistant Principal at his younger brother’s school (without me knowing) to inform him about what was going on and to ask what was being done and how it was being handled. This made me so proud.
What do you do for self care?
Self-care is an elusive topic for many women.
After my divorce, I was diagnosed with a common autoimmune disease. It’s onset was caused from the stress related to our family situation and my divorce. I also wasn’t taking care of myself so I gained alot of weight. Right before the pandemic, I started go to the gym again. I was a Division I, NCAA volleyball player at Northwestern. The gym used to be my happy place. I found myself again in the gym two years ago, and haven’t stopped going since. I love it for so many reasons. I felt like I was regaining the power I lost- metaphorically and literally. I feel confident in the gym. It’s like meditation to me- it clears my mind. I literally count down the hours/minutes until I can go every day.
The other thing I do for self-care now is SLEEP. Rest was never an option in my family growing up. Work, work, work was our family motto. I always felt guilty about resting because there’s always something that needs to get done. Towards the end of my marriage, times were really, really difficult and I never really slept at all, mostly because of the stress. The years after my divorce were also very difficult. Thank God- things are finally better now- it’s been five years. I think we process extremely difficult situations years after they occur because it takes an enormous amount of energy just to get through them. My body is finally beginning to process what we went through. Now, when I feel exhausted, I take a nap. I rest. I honor what my body is trying to tell me. Self-care is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.
Karaoke – what are you singing?
I guess “The Tide is High” by ABBA, but I can’t remember the last time I sang karaoke!
Anything else you want to share?
Thank you so much for allowing me to share on this website. I firmly believe in the power of women sharing with one another and lifting each other up. I don’t know where I’d be without my close circle of girlfriends. They are soul sisters to me. Every time I’m with other women, I realize that we have so much to share and learn from one another. My heart always fills with so much love and gratitude for the time and the experience.