Cornell Jermaine is a shining example for Black men of creativity
Cornell Jermaine | Entrepreneur | Hair Stylist | Author
Did you always know that you wanted to become an entrepreneur or was it a learned pathway?
I actually did not know. I always had people in my family who were in business for themselves, but I didn’t think too much about it. I know my dad was a carpenter and he had his own business along with my grandfather and my uncles, but I never associated it with being an entrepreneur until later in my life. I only got into entrepreneurship because I was eager to work, but I wasn’t old enough yet. My cousin, who was a hairstylist, invited me in to help her with her business. I ended up staying there for many years and that experience helped guide my career as an entrepreneur.
As a 20-year licensed hair stylist, explain how you were introduced to the hair industry because typically men don’t think of women’s hair as a viable avenue.
It started with my cousin who owned the salon. One day while cleaning up, one of the stylists was overbooked and needed help, so she showed me a few things and I helped her out for the remainder of the day. Her clients thought I did hair, so they were tipping me and complimenting me on my work. After the clients left, she talked to me and told me that I had a gift and I should consider becoming a hair stylist. From there, I went to school, got my license and I’ve been working in the industry for over 20 years now.
You’ve wrote two books (Life Abundantly and Let’s Talk Hair) and you have a podcast (Build On Beauty Podcast) which deals with numerous aspects of society. In what ways does the media you create drive the narrative of your life?
It really helps me to stay on track and consider the things that are necessary for me to be who I am. That’s always the approach when I create a book or do an episode for my podcast. I always think about what inspires me about the media I create. Honestly, with the two books that I’ve wrote and podcast episodes that I’ve recorded, it’s usually something that I’m curious about and that curiosity helps me to translate the message to the reader or the listener. As much I’ve done, I still think there’s so much more I can learn and be exposed to.
International Mensday was an event that you created and hosted in November of 2018. Explain the idea behind International Mensday and some of the principles you wanted to highlight. Also, talk about your project, Black, Tall and Talented.
This is new for me because I’m always focused on the female market because that’s my target audience. But in my career, I knew it was going to be necessary to empower the men in our society. I pulled together some amazing gentleman (Rah Mosley, Bert Mosley, Michael Anthony) that are extremely talented for International Mensday. I knew that I dealt with certain stereotypes because I’m black, 6'4 and I’m a creative, so I wanted to create a new narrative for men who were like me. Rah, Bert, Michael and I also launched a project called Black, Tall and Talented on International Mensday. With this project, we wanted to proclaim who we are and allow people to see that just because your black and of a certain stature, doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself. All these gentlemen are creative, so they all represent this person that I wanted the world to see. We truly want to help other young boys and men discover who they are and inspire them to become their greatest selves.
Rah Mosley is the creative behind the TaLL Men’s Lifestyle site rahmosley.com. A graduate of Morehouse College who stands 6’10, Mosley started transitioning from a career in healthcare to explore his passion and interest in clothing and personal style in 2017. After years of dressing his own tall frame and even earning the title of “best dressed” in his teen years, Mosley hopes to showcase his own unique style while advising, inspiring, and empowering other tall men to be confident in their stature and sure in their style. Since 2017, Mosley has become one of the top XL Models/Male Bloggers in the game. Multiple features on several different lists over the past year proves that Rah Mosley is here to stay and will only continue to grow his brand.
Bert Mosley has served as a licensed hair stylist for 12 years. He specializes in natural hair and unique color applications. He is best known for treating damaged hair and improving the overall health of the hair and scalp. In addition to being a hair stylist, Bert also is a certified personal trainer. He works at West Bloomfield as a strength & conditioning coach, and is the head coach for the Varsity girls basketball team. Bert has knowledge and passion that inspires the kids to reach their full potential.
Born in Bronx, New York and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Michael‐Anthony Spearman has always had a keen sense of style and a sophisticated eye for detail, since an early age. As a teen, his mother, out of frustration challenged him to create his own namesake brand. She wanted for him to have a way to save money and distinguish himself from his peers, in which he rose to the occasion.
He graduated from Wayne State University in 2012 with a Degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising. Currently he is pursuing a Master’s degree at The Academy of Art University, in Product Development. And now, taking his skill set and knowledge of the fashion industry, he seeks to inspire and motivate men of all sizes. He uses his own lifestyle and highly followed fashion blog and other social media platforms, as the outlets for which he showcases his take on men’s fashion, to encourage others to always dress their best. To him, fashion and style have nothing to do with size. His aesthetic derives from the lack of fine gentlemen’s apparel for the big & tall man in the industry, and a self-declared obligation, as a “husky” gentleman himself, to fill that void in the market.
Michael-Anthony provides his clients with fashion styling, personal shopping, and tips on how to be the best big gent you can possible be. His motto: “Live Big, Dress Big, & Leave a Big Impression.” On a consistent basis he shares his strategies for grooming, health & fitness.
As noted by top brands in the plus fashion industry, his fashion sense is “sharp and dapper”. An advocate for the larger male, he describes his style as urban-preppy. Much of his fashion inspiration comes from his surroundings and other like-minded trendsetters. He’s not afraid to play with a pop of color, and knows how to mix vintage and modern fashion pieces to make a statement when he steps out. He proves that adding the right pocket square, floral accent or other accessory can be the finishing touch to a well-defined look. Often asked the advice he would give to his social media followers, “Go with what makes you feel amazing. Don’t worry about what others say or think. It’s about you.”