Tex Keith (left) Oscar Perez (right) standing together on Nov. 28, outside of The Speakeasy Hair Lounge. | Photo courtesy of Oscar Perez

They mean business

Two former Humboldt State students run their own companies

Two former Humboldt State students run their own companies

Over the past year, two former Humboldt State University students Oscar Perez and Tex Keith created and manage their own Humboldt County based companies at the ages of just 23 and 21.

Perez and Keith started off as football players for the HSU Lumberjacks but then decided earlier in the year to take a break from enrolling in classes in order to pursue their careers. Though both men’s companies are vastly different, they both enjoyed the idea of being their own boss.

“Seeing the way my old boss ran his shop looked really fun, but I’ve never liked authority,” Perez said.

Oscar Perez story.jpg
Oscar Perez, owner of The Speakeasy Hair Lounge on K street in Arcata gives client a haircut on Nov. 29. Photo by Amanda Schultz

Since freshman year of high school, Perez had always had a passion for cutting hair as a barber. He knew he wanted to one day open his own barber shop. It wasn’t until just a couple of months ago when Perez spontaneously decided to take a chance as he found a storefront available in a popular location in the middle of Arcata on K street. A month and a half later, The Speakeasy Hair Lounge opened up on Oct. 2.

“I’ve always dreamed of opening my own shop,” Perez said. “The opportunity came up quick. I saw the shop and just ran with it.”

As CEO of Inertial Media, Keith also manages a corporation within Humboldt. This business maven and marketing agency provides expert consulting, brand strategy, and social media management to help their clients. As Inertial Media grew larger Keith became more successful. Keith was awarded top 10 entrepreneurs and had his company featured in Entrepreneur Magazine.

“I’m using this as momentum to keep on growing and helping out other people,” Keith said.

As a college athlete, Keith had hopes of starting a career in the NFL. It wasn’t until after buying two laptops with extra financial aid money and discovering digital marketing did he make the decision to commit most of his time toward business.

Former HSU student Tex Keith is the new CEO of Inertial Media. Photo courtesy by Tex Keith

As Keith learned more about marketing, he was sought out by one of the most successful self-made entrepreneurs in America, Tai Lopez.Keith continued to learn and grow in Lopez’s program which ultimately landed him a spot in Tai Lopez’s Exclusive 300 Group which consists of his best students. Keith is also planning to teach in one of Lopez’s upcoming courses.

“Going from seeing his YouTube videos in 2015, to being in them is pretty cool,” Keith said.

Keith has strengthened his team at Inertial Media by hiring other young like-minded marketers and brokers to keep things running smoothly. Perez also hired like minded barbers with similar hair cutting styles.

“I have a barber from Florida, Central California, and Riverside,”Perez said. “I never actually met any of them. I hired them through Instagram and gave them my pitch.”

Efrain Rosario is one of The Speakeasy’s barbers. Perez first saw Rosario’s barber skills as he posted pictures of his work on social media. After a few conversations, Rosario was convinced to stay in Humboldt County for a fresh start in the industry after moving from Florida.

“My experience working here so far has been pretty fruitful,” Rosario said.

Both companies have plans to expand and further their business along in the future. Perez and Keith have put in countless hours and given up many nights of sleep to get these companies to where they are today. The grit and determination of these two men have started to inspire others to also follow their dreams of starting up a business.

“Don’t hesitate,” Perez said. “Ride with the momentum and just go for it.”

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