Herod on mentoring, development and 34 years of enterprise – The Oxford Eagle
Spark Sessions, a program founded by local entrepreneur Tammy Herod, hosted the closing event of the six-week course on Sunday, August 29th.
Spark Sessions is designed to develop and train aspiring entrepreneurs in the Oxford community and discussed everything from from pitching a business idea to founding an actual company. The topic of the event on Sunday was “Social Media Marketing Tips” with Emily Suber, owner of The Lucky Elephant and designer who led the talk.
Herod of Tammy’s Hair Gallery started their business 34 years ago and is still going strong. Herod has used all of her business and entrepreneurship experience and incorporated it into mentoring aspiring local entrepreneurs.
Herod started her business on September 1st at the age of 19. She had just graduated from high school and wanted to go to cosmetology school to study makeup. The cosmetics school, however, offered more classes on hairstyling than makeup, and Herod found a new love.
Both of Herod’s parents had experience in business and that background helped her get started. She initially worked from home for six months before moving to a salon.
“When I was 25, I made as much money as my mother or more,” said Herod. “I started slowly, worked at McDonald’s and did hair at the same time. It got better and better over time. “
Spark Sessions was Herod’s answer to the lack of resources and knowledge that talented people have in the community.
“People say they have a business, but they’re not really good at business,” she said. “But they are really good at their craft.”
Herod founded the Women of Worth and Excellence Market, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of young women in the community through targeted education, awareness, entrepreneurship, and community. WOWE started as a way to help and mentor young women in college who were looking for guidance.
It started as personal mentoring but expanded to flagship markets to help sell their products during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the market, Herod realized that there are many inexperienced entrepreneurs who need knowledge to advance their business.
“I had to learn to be better at business, not good at repairing hair, because anyone can repair hair,” she said. “Not everyone can run a business”
Herod soon began a forerunner of Spark Sessions with professional development courses for business owners to maximize their efficiency.
With the help and recommendation of Wayne Andrews, executive director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and an acquaintance at Toastmasters, Herod applied for a scholarship to the Heartland Forward Builders + Backers program and became one of five to receive a US $ 5,000 scholarship Dollars received.
“[Heartland Forward Builders + Backers] finance the program and give me everything I need to get it off the ground, ”said Herod. “I really want to try and create some equality for women here in Oxford.”
The first Spark Session event focused on presenting a business idea and subsequent sessions discussed topics such as leadership, business plans, business units, accounting, and personal vs. business credit.
With the help of her research partner Arnold Houston, women from WOWE and a secretary, Herod runs her program smoothly.
Guest speakers such as Alexandria White, Founder of Alexandria White Consulting LLC., And Lee Ingram, CEO and Founder of Collegiate Tutoring, have given presentations and provided attendees with the resources they need to become a better company.
Herod even has an agreement with BestBuy that allows them to hold free courses.
“Commitment is the most important thing,” said Herod. “It was because I was at BestBuy to buy a computer and talk to the right person about what I am doing. That’s what this whole business life is about. It’s about making the right connections with the right people and talking about your business all the time. You don’t know who is sitting in the room. “
Herod is continuing Spark Sessions in hopes of expanding its reach outside of the community and making more connections and making this a profitable business in the future.