Annie Tyrell, owner of Annie’s Beauty Supply, feels it’s important to support local entrepreneurs. Her business is located at 920 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg.
BY INDHIRA SUERO ACOSTA, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG – When Annie Tyrell moved her business from 34th Street South to the Deuces (historic 22nd Avenue Corridor), her visibility went through the roof.
“People can’t pass by now and say they don’t notice Annie’s Beauty Supply because it’s more noticeable over here,” Tyrell said.
When you walk into Annie’s Beauty Supply store, you hear gospel music playing, putting customers in a relaxed mood. Tyrell feels it turns her small shop into a sanctuary as if God blesses each customer who walks through her doors.
Like many small businesses in south St. Pete, finances pose a challenge. Despite using most of her savings to grow her business, she trusts that God will continue to open doors for things to happen.
Tyrell loves her business model so much that if she fell into a lot of money—let’s say if she won the lottery—she wouldn’t retire; she’d go global!
“That’s exactly what I would do,” she affirmed. “I would open Annie’s Beauty Supply throughout the world, but they will all be within the black community.”
As a way of introducing new features to the business, Tyrell supports local entrepreneurs. She conducts product launches for local businesspersons.
“If we–small business owners–all support each other, we all grow together,” she said.
As an entrepreneur, networking is critical to her business, and she teaches other small business owners its necessity. Once she helps launches a local business owner’s products, she asks that person to go back and support the next launching.
“When they get to know each other, and they’re supporting each other, again, we all grow together. I love doing that,” Tyrell said.
For black women wanting to go into business for themselves, she suggests they stop with the excuses and believe in themselves. “When my baby gets older,” “When my baby graduates,” or “When my baby gets out of college,” is some of the excuses she’s heard. They may be legitimate reasons, she said, but at the end, they stop women from growing.
Not one for excuses, Tyrell did have something to overcome—limiting herself. Not believing in oneself is as harmful as not having your finances in order.
“If you’re not a strong individual and believe in yourself, you can be stopped from growth at any point from initiation,” she said.
Tyrell works on staying focused and positive to help navigate the world of business and her personal life.
“I don’t even listen to the news because it’s negative. What you feed to your subconscious mind is there,” she said, explaining that if you go to bed with something positive on your mind, the next day you will feel less angry and more optimistic.
Tyrell doesn’t let grass grow under her feet. Not only does she own a beauty supply store, but she’s also a registered nurse. Excuses be damned, this entrepreneur believes in hard work, lifting up other business owners and the power of God.
This story is part of a 50-article series honoring black women in the Tampa Bay area.