2 Minutes With ... Trixie Ferguson Gray of Brand Studio Charlotte
Trixie Ferguson Gray is senior vice president for Some Spider's in-house brand studio, Charlotte, leading a team that creates brand experiences through bespoke content, events and media partnerships.
Before joining Some Spider, Trixie was senior partner of branded content and experiences at MediaCom, an agency within WPP's GroupM division, where she led content strategy, custom program development and activation for clients across the business.
She has also held leadership positions at Maxus, a GroupM sister agency, where she led insights, creative strategy and media ideation for clients, and before that Universal McCann. Gray lives in Brooklyn with her family.
We spent two minutes with Trixie to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations, and recent work she's admired.
Trixie, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I was born in Battersea, London, raised in Jersey and now live in Brooklyn.
What you wanted to be when you grew up.
As a child of West Indian parents, my only options were lawyer, doctor or engineer, but I fell in love with advertising. I knew that I wanted to work on the creative side of business as a young teen.
How you discovered you were creative.
I didn't grow up with a television in the home, so I turned to books. In bed at night, inspired by the books I read, I created elaborate multi-character dialogue-rich stories in my head. Every evening, I was excited to catch up with my favorite characters.
A person you idolized creatively growing up.
Young Michael Jackson.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
Watching A Different World made me feel seen.
The first concert you saw, and your favorite band or musician today.
The first was Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam and Squeeze. Today, I love modern crooner Emily King. Though I'm not going to lie, I still love myself some Bon Jovi.
Your favorite visual artist.
Your favorite fictional character.
The best book you've read lately.
Your favorite movie.
Your favorite Instagram follow.
Scary Mommy, of course!
How the Covid-19 crisis has changed your life, personally or professionally.
I have more time for personal creative pursuits. I'm cooking more complex meals and baking every weekend. Thank you, NYT Cooking. I've adopted and am raising 10 plants. And I'm transferring the stories I've been carrying in my mind to paper.
Related to work, I've been reading books about entrepreneurs—Super Pumped about Uber founder Travis Kalanick, and Reed Hastings' No Rules Rules. Next up, Billion Dollar Loser about WeWork's Adam Neumann. I clearly need to add books about female founders. Send recommendations, please!
Your favorite creative project you've ever worked on.
The launch of Priceless Cities, an experiential rewards platform of money-can't-buy experiences for MasterCard cardholders. We recruited more than 25 iconic media partners to create over 100 original NYC experiences in the first year. The program is now connecting people to their passions in over 50 markets around the world.
Your favorite creative project from the past year.
Scary Mommy launched a late-night talk show for moms on Hulu this winter!
Someone else's creative project that inspired you years ago.
Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners promoting Snapple's new Mango Madness flavor by putting stickers on 30 million mangos nationwide in supermarkets. Genius. Made me want to work at K&B. And so I did!
Someone else's creative project that you've been impressed by lately.
Black Is King, a film by Beyoncé. Her often collaborator Melina Matsoukas of Pretty[ird's latest brand films—"You Love Me" For Beats by Dre and "The Show Must Go On" for Amazon.
Your main strength as a creative person.
I'm a force multiplier for ideas, transforming a germ of an idea into bigger and more impactful ones.
Your biggest weakness.
I'm never satisfied.
One thing that always makes you happy.
One thing that always makes you sad.
Remembering how divided we are as a country.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.
A textile designer.