For our May Inventor Spotlight, we’re highlighting Patricia Herzog-Mesrobian! Patricia has been a member of the Edison Nation community since early 2008 and is an active Insider!
We wanted to get to know Patricia a bit better to learn about her background and her inventing journey…
Where is your home town?
Syracuse, New York. Home of great college basketball, football, lacrosse and the legendary Heid’s of Liverpool.
Where do you currently reside?
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, situated on the western shores of beautiful Lake Michigan – famous for its beer, delicious brats, awesome cheese and “The World’s Largest Music Festival.”
What is your professional background?
Most of my learning has been a result of layers of personal and professional experiences, ranging from retail, entrepreneurial, design and management, but the bulk of my professional career was spent in healthcare and education in some way, shape or form. Years later, this transitioned easily into ‘Mom on call’ for my two amazing sons while growing up and then blossomed into a passion for creativity, ideation and innovation.
How did you initially hear about Edison Nation?
Soon after the last season of “The American Inventor” aired, I was determined to find an alternative and happened to find “Everyday Edisons” online. Totally intrigued, I immediately went fast to work and participated in two amazing casting calls held in Chicago. The rest is history!
Have you ever collaborated with another inventor(s) on a project? If so, how was that experience for you?
Yes, talk about fun! It is truly the way to go and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The team members were not only perfect, but the combination of expertise, determination and passion created an unstoppable force. I will always be thankful for their wisdom, competitive nature and friendship.
What are some general industry trends you have noticed recently?
I love the “Think Big Phenomenon.” This is where we get to watch as luminaries continue to change and influence how we see tomorrow, especially in green and mobile technology, robotics, health care, pet products, pharmaceuticals, entertainment and the toy industry. There seems to be a lot of movement in sports apparel, especially fashionable athletic stretch wear and celebrity branding.
Do you find that invention ideas come to you or do you have to go after them?
Some of my best ideas come when I least expect them, mostly prompted by a problem or spin-off from a conversation or robust brainstorming session. I will confess, I am definitely a “lightbulb chaser.”
Forced ideation is more of a test of true grit, so during these times I dig into my creative arsenal, plow through a magazine rack or look outside the box and discover something new. If I am batting zero, I walk away, let my thoughts simmer and steep for a day or so. I find clarity comes when you least expect it.
What advice would you tell newcomers to the innovation scene?
Knowing exactly what you want and what’s best for you and the longevity of your product is not particularly easy to figure out even for the most seasoned professional. It’s extremely complex and especially difficult if you’re emotionally attached, or if your financial livelihood is total depending on its success.
If you’re definitely determined to go it alone, then I would say knowledge is power and patience is a virtue. Shop around, do your due diligence, be prepared, have a backup plan, line up your support team, then jump in, hang on tight and enjoy the ride.
What are some other fun facts about yourself that you’d like to share with the EN community?
I’ll choose silly over serious in a minute.
I’m determined to perfect singing the ‘Fight Song.’
I want to someday give a TED talk.
Years ago, I had read an ad in my local newspaper about a construction company recruiting for flag workers. I thought, “How cool,” so I took the summer off from my job as a nurse and stood in line with the rest. I am sure I shocked the general manager when I told him I would take anything but the flag position. Hesitantly, he put me in the gravel pit, driving a backhoe loading gravel into dump trucks and warned me not to let the boom ‘touch’ the top back of the trucks. I’m not sure if he had hoped I would quit – but you can be sure I was not screaming “Uncle!”
After a bit of a bumpy start and more than enough instructions, I was filling trucks. Although I wasn’t breaking any time records and, ahem, barely touching the back of the trucks, the job was getting done. It was not long after that when I asked to be taken out of the pit and do something else. I had had it with not only the diesel odor, but the stagnant cloud of fumes floating around my head was making me light-headed. When I climbed up and onto my next conquest, a double-barreled roller, I was not sure who was amused more, the boss or the crew. Over the next nine weeks, I managed not to run anyone over, totally tip the backhoe or cause unnecessary bodily harm to anyone so I felt quite accomplished.
As my escapades were coming to an end, the last day working with the surveyor proved to be icing on the cake. Totally awed, hard hat and all, I walked away on that day knowing I was leaving with far more than I came.
What inspired you to start inventing?
I love this question…My family!
Growing up I was surrounded by amazing parents and siblings who lived out every definition of the words “creative thinking” and “problem solving.” After all, it took a lot of ingenuity to come up with different ways to be the first to dive into the gigantic bowl of mashed potatoes perfectly centered on our kitchen table each time and successfully nab the giant dab of melting butter on the top of the steamy heap.
My dad, an engineer/inventor, was brilliant and extremely humble. He turned our basement into a gigantic treasure chest full of all kinds of tools, gadgetry and machinery. He would spend hours totally immersed in projects, either making things, fixing things, recycling odds and ends, looking for ways to save money and creating easier, new ways to do something.
My mom, fun-loving and clever, always had a craft in hand, and loved collaborating with friends on projects. Their talents, dedication and passion left an indelible mark on all of us and now has trickled down into the hearts and spirit of our own children, each now living out every definition of those same words.
When did you come up with your first great idea?
I was always doing some crazy little thing but what seems to stick in my mind happened when I was around 10ish. I loaded a small stool-type chair with plastic bags, ropes, containers and all kinds of gadgets and put it in the tub, convinced it would revolutionize showering. It kept tipping over, bags would fill and fall and testing definitely became a safety hazard! 😉
You have been an EN member since 2008, can you provide us with some details around your experiences and journey to date?
Where do I begin? I could never have imagined or known just how my life would be impacted by Edison Nation, their ongoing commitment to the community and dedication to making a difference for inventors everywhere. From the quality, variety and challenging searches to in-depth articles, array of posts and knowledgeable blogs, there is always more to learn, more to take away and build on.
Lastly, I have to comment about this amazing community, the lovely, generous and fun people from all over the globe, who day by day bring their genuine enthusiasm, warmth and talents to the forums. It has also been through their generous support, never-ending determination and spirit that has spurred me and so many others along this narrow track when there seemed no track in sight. You are truly a special group and I am truly grateful.
Thank you EN!