The Hippo


Jul 22, 2019








Trish Tidd

 What are you into right now?

I have eclectic musical tastes, but country music is what I’ve been listening to the most lately. The radio station in my car has been on country for a while.

Trish Tidd
Costume/Dancewear Designer


 Trish Tidd is executive director of the Miss Exeter Scholarship Program and founder of Togatae Designs in Kingston. She designs costumes for pageants, recitals and more. Visit 


Can you explain what your current job is?
I do custom costumes and dancewear, mostly for Miss America contestants. I’ve worked with girls from Hawaii, Washington state, Utah and, of course, right here in New Hampshire. To get ready for their pageant, they need a costume for their talent. Miss America also has a “Show us Your Shoes” Parade for the boardwalk, and I do designs for that as well. When they get in touch with me, they let me know what they’re looking for, and I draw up sketches for them. We go back and forth over Skype or FaceTime and fine-tune the details and measurements. Everything is made start to finish right here in New Hampshire. 
How long have you worked there?
I started doing this around 2011, which is about the same time I started my company.  
How did you get interested in this field?
I’ve lived in New Hampshire all my life, and I competed in Miss New Hampshire when I was younger in 1998 and 1999. I eventually became a local director, and I’m now working as the executive director of the Miss Exeter Scholarship Program. As time went on, I found a need for custom costume designs. The girls who were competing as dancers would buy their dresses and costumes from a dance catalog, but they were made for groups of girls. They wanted something special and different that specifically fit with them and their performance, and the options in these catalogs just didn’t have the sparkle they needed. Plus this was around the time Dancing with the Stars became popular too, so the flash and quality of costumes people wanted changed as well. I started doing this by trial and error, and other people liked what I was doing. 
What kind of education or training did you need for this job?
I’m mostly self-taught. I took some sewing classes at a local sewing store. Originally, I went to Saint Anselm College [in Manchester] and majored in biology, and then I went to the New England College of Optometry [in Boston] and got my doctorate. I’m also an adjunct faculty member at Manchester Community College, where I teach anatomy and physiology. 
How did you find your current job?
It started kind of slow. There were some people locally who had interest in me making stuff for them. The pageant community is a niche market, and since it’s a little bit of smaller community, people tend to know each other more. My customers wore my designs to their pageants and other people saw what I had designed. As interest grew, I needed a name and face for my business. At Saint Anselm, I took Latin classes as part of my classics minor. I picked “Togatae” because it means “well-dressed” in Latin. 
What’s the best piece of work-related advice anyone’s ever given you?
Don’t be afraid of trying new things. You have to put yourself out there and see what happens so that you don’t stay stagnant. 
What do you wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?
Maybe having more confidence in myself and knowing where I could go. I might have pushed myself at the beginning to go further faster. 
What is your typical at-work uniform?
Comfy clothes, usually yoga pants. I work on glamorous things, but it’s not a glamorous job. 
What was the first job you ever had?
I worked for a photographer. He did prom pictures, so I helped line up kids going to prom and fixed guys’ boutonnières. 
— Scott Murphy 

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