Antonio Tarrell creates stronger connections in the business world through his experience with Heartland Forward and the Builders & Backers’ Idea Accelerator program.
The entrepreneur uses his knowledge and experience in business management and filmmaking to help professionals be more accessible to a wider audience.
From the start, it seemed like Tarrell had an idea of what his future would be like. He started a hairdressing and cosmetology business as a child and this business would soon grow and grow for the next 30 years.
“I was a self-taught hairdresser. I started cutting around the age of 10 and got good at it,” Tarrell said. “My grandmother opened a little corner behind the house and I opened my first unofficial hair salon when I was 11.”
Although he initially wanted to go to barber school, Tarrell was convinced to go into cosmetology instead due to the availability of courses.
“I knew I was at a disadvantage because I didn’t know anything about women’s haircuts,” he said. “So I worked extremely hard… If I knew how to cut hair really well, everything else would fall into place.”
Perhaps not the direction he thought he was going, Tarrell built a name and brand for himself in the cosmetology industry. He went from working at a beauty salon to traveling and teaching for barbershops and finally owning his own business with a patented curved comb and line of cutting shears.
While working behind the chair for years and traveling, the businessman committed to earning a film degree for 40 hours a week at Full Sail University.
“It had been about 20 years since I had been to school,” Tarrell said. “It was my first time going to college and the nine yards.”
But his ignorance didn’t stop Tarrell from finishing at the top of his class and becoming an acclaimed filmmaker who contributed to productions such as contributions to Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers (2017-18) for Oxygen TV , Stories Under the Rainbow (2018) and LGBTQ+ Community Fights for Parade After City Trys to Ban Pride (2018) for NowThis News and many others.
After years of learning and perfecting her craft, that drive and determination is now channeled into helping others achieve their goals. Tarrell seeks to make businesses more accessible to their customers or clients.
“Because of COVID, many people have had to find creative ways to deliver content for their business, for churches or organizations,” Tarrell said. “I wanted to help them create a live broadcast using a multi-camera production system.”
The limitations caused by the virus have created a need that many entrepreneurs and business owners have had to learn to meet.
“For the beauty industry, it was about helping them stay in touch with their customers, sharing product knowledge, and trying to monetize through hands-on training and one-on-one training with hairstylists and barbers,” he said. “For organizations, it can help them stay in touch with the community and the public and spread information.”
The benefits of social media and digital marketing are that you can reach out to anyone you might never have been in contact with in person.
Professionals who need Tarrell’s services can either hire him to create the content they need or he can teach them how to film, edit and produce their own content.
For Tarrell, executing an idea like this without the help of Builders & Backers would have been extremely difficult, but access to resources and funding through the program helped immensely. Participants in the Idea Accelerator program receive $5,000 in Pebble Grant funds for their experience, plus workshops and a network to tap into.
“They give you enough resources in the program – and I mean a tonne resources,” he said. “It’s a little demanding…but at the same time I get it because they set you up for success in a short amount of time.”
Tarrell has yet to put his idea to the test, but he hopes to get started very soon.
“I’ve got a guy from Atlanta, we’re going to set up a multi-camera production and we’re going live on Facebook, Instagram and Vimeo,” Tarrell said.
The videos and streams will focus on teaching hairdressing and cutting techniques, he said. The content will serve as a model for other companies and organizations that may be interested in what Tarrell has to offer.
To learn more about Antonio Tarrell, visit his website at www.AntonioTarrellFilms.com or his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AntonioTarrell.