Born in a part of the United States still dominated by Cajuns and its French roots, their style and grit serve as their family recipe for success.
Meet the Trosclair’s from Louisiana: Todd, Amy and Todd, Jr.
Todd Trosclair is an uber successful entrepreneur. His wife Amy is an interior designer to a who’s who of clients. And son Todd, Jr.: an upcoming fashion designer in New York.
Over the last decade, their state has been put to an economic test. First Hurricane Katrina, then Hurricane Rita and finally the BP Oil spill.
“Katrina devastated several areas along the Gulf Coast, especially the Greater New Orleans area, but the spirit of our great city was shown by the way we rolled up our sleeves and went to work” says Todd Trosclair, Sr.. “The city has nearly been completely rebuilt.”
Hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster in the United States. At least 1,245 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods, making it the deadliest in the United States since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane. Total property damage was estimated at $108 billion. Many of the storm’s victims were businesses and workers, who then made claims, and collected a combined tens of millions of dollars that would be pumped back into the economy.
Trosclair’s company, All Star Electric, alone had a hand in rebuilding 6000 houses, 30 schools and dozens of hotels and motels, handles all the street light repairs in the city, in addition to overhauling the electrical system at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
His company is a large one, which at one time may juggle 400 electricians on forty plus jobs at one time. All Star Electric has grown from just five employees to one of the largest and most respected electrical contractors on the Gulf Coast. All Star hires the best electricians, enhances their skills, and provides endless growth opportunities.
“I run a big crew but I know how to manage that big crew,” says Trosclair.
He does work in five states: Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia.
Like most successful people in business, the work takes its toll. He says he officially works 12 hours a day, and is always on call—nights, weekends and holidays included.
That work includes ownership of several New Orleans restaurant, including Galatoires, world-renowned for its fine dining with its original location on the famed Bourbon Street. And ownership in the Joy Theater, once of four original movie theaters to grace downtown New Orleans which today is an historic landmark and has been resurrected as a state of the art venue for live music, theatrical performances and special events.
Even the night before the recent inauguration of Donald Trump, where Trosclair and his wife were special guests, the duo was in restaurant bar of The Ritz Hotel in Pentagon City. Over cocktails and apps, they had a business meeting.
As she sits in a Pentagon City hotel restaurant across from her husband and discusses her exclusive, referral-only interior design business, Amy Bergeron Trosclair looks radiant and invigorated, even though the clock has ticked well past 10pm.
Unlike her husband, when Katrina hit New Orleans and to the east of city with vengeance, Amy Trosclair says her business was unaffected as the vast majority of work that she does is actually southwest of New Orleans. But as the economy in New Orleans and the region thrived in the years since Katrina, so has business.
“People have benefitted economically from Katrina,” says Amy Trosclair. “The economy has thrived since Katrina.”
Interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interiors to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing environment for the end user. A typical interior designer is someone who plans, researches, coordinates, and manages such projects. Amy Trosclair does the conceptual development, space planning, site inspections, programming, research, communicating with the stakeholders of a project, construction management, and execution of the design.
In other words, she’s proud to say, she does it all.
A former beauty pageant winner, she met Todd on a job. He was so ready to hire an interior designer that he came to table with architectural blueprints in hand. But that’s not how she works. So he tossed them in the circular file.
The house they collaborated on is impeccable and sits on a golf course, Todd currently co owns.
While she didn’t see the relationship coming, Todd Trosclair knew it from the moment he met her. And after a courtship, they married.
Todd Trosclair, Jr. grew up in southeastern Louisiana and watched his father build a business from the ground up, and start many others along the way. He grew up with a serial entrepreneur.
But unlike his dad, the younger Trosclair did not have much interest in any of those businesses.
“Even as a really young kid I remember him sketching,” says the elder Todd. “He could sketch a dress in minutes.”
He says it was not a surprise that his son would grew up to be a clothing designer and make the move to New York City, the fashion capital of the United States.
The younger Todd says he got his start after meeting a beauty pageant contestant (not his stepmom). He told her that while she was beautiful, her dress didn’t do her justice.
He then designed one for her when she won the Miss New York Pageant.
“We worked together on the dress. It’s about building trust and proving yourself trustworthy,” says Todd Trosclair, Jr. “What I do with my clients is a team effort and collaboration.”
Today he makes high end gowns: dresses, wedding gowns and costumes. He will, in the spring, be the costume designer for an upcoming film.
“I design it, pick the fabric for it, direct sewers and cutters,” says the younger Todd. “It’s such a creative process!”