“The freedom to share information on a national platform in my own way has been transformative!”
Industry vet Tre Tailor was born and raised in NYC. She always had an interest in the arts, and she spent her early years singing in choirs and studying dance at the LaRocque Bey School. She was all set to attend Performing Arts in New York for high school when an unfortunate incident happened with her mother being mugged on the subway. This prompted a move to the Carolinas.
During college, she participated in theater and was a student at the Ophelia De Vore (1st African American model in the US) Charm School.
After the move, she decided to get into radio as an alternative to performing arts. Tre loves music, which she learned firsthand from her parents’ and brothers’ diverse music choices. Growing up in that household, she realized music had the power to connect people and their experiences.
She started off doing college radio at Hampton Institute; then she did middays at WHYZ, overnights at WWDM, then she switched to news at K 97.5 in Raleigh, NC, then moved to Power 98 in Charlotte and a few more stations after that in the NC and SC areas.
Tre has also been a freelance reporter for the Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage cruise and a content creator at the TJMS with the late legend Mitch Faulkner.
She has also done voice-over and TV commercials for hundreds of brands. Most recently, she worked on Presidential campaigns for Marianne Williamson and Tom Steyer. She now has a successful video podcast called Coping…with Tre’ Tailor.
What made you start Coping with … (formerly Coping with COVID)?
The year before, I left my job at a Radio Station to care for my son, who was diagnosed with cancer. My work with the two presidential campaigns was over, and like everyone, I was home beginning in March of 2019, with two toddlers and sheltered in place.
One Sunday, during the virtual church service, my pastor’s doctor spoke about the pandemic. My “news” sense was triggered, and I thought since I have a good social media following (from my time in Radio), I would ask her to go live and answer some questions.
That first broadcast went so well I asked Dr. Tarsha Boone, “How much info on COVID would there be? She said I could go live daily for a year and still have more topics to cover.
Surprised, I saw it as an opportunity to inform the public. So many people get their news and information from social media, a medium with so much misinformation, fiction, and innuendo. This was an opportunity to provide reliable info in a long form where people could get their questions answered from credible sources.
What is it like waking up each day and having control of your destiny?
It’s amazing..for several reasons. I am currently raising a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old, which is a story in itself. The flexibility of hosting my show from my 3rd-floor office is essential during this season in my life because with Julius and Isabelle comes basketball, ballet, soccer, karate, gymnastics, and more!
I am a creative. I have always been interested in telling stories and spotlighting people and initiatives.
Radio is music-intensive, so there were very few opportunities to share the community jewels in the way I wanted to. The freedom to share information on a national platform in my own way has been transformative!
On the flip side…controlling your destiny also means you control your paycheck. If you don’t work ..you don’t eat! So you are it… you are the breadwinner and the bread finder.
There have been countless times in Radio when I was unsure of my destiny. Radio people know that at any point, whether it’s ratings or new ownership, your career can be over at that station. So I’m used to it, and at least this way, I have a say.
I have control, and at this point in life, I have learned and choose to trust God and allow him to do his thing..and HE has!
Last year the show was recognized by the CDC for innovative programming for the Wellness Wednesday show, and we won both a Telly and a Communicator Award this year!
What exactly is the show about, and how did you create the concept?
Coping with COVID; Updates on the pandemic and info to help you thrive and survive Covid 19! That was the first tagline. The show was designed to provide updates and information about COVID from credible and reputable local, regional and national figures who could answer questions in real-time.
For the first nine months, the show aired live Mon-Sat at 2 pm. By late 2020, we moved to a 5-day-a-week format, and by 2022 we changed the show to air Wed-Friday.
I always knew I wanted to eventually move into Coping with…because we will always be Coping with Something. When the show logo was created, I also asked the artist (Tiffany J) to create the Coping logo so when transition time came, we would be ready.
Were you taking it one day at a time, or did you think you may have to change the name when you started having more diverse guests?
Guests started to get COVID fatigue; people started saying, ” My topic isn’t about COVID” (even though it was, Covid affected everything!) People were tired; masks were coming off, then the vaccine was created, so we started using “Coping” and the tagline: Giving you info and advice to help you thrive and survive in life because we’ll always be Coping with something.
The Wellness Wednesday show is sponsored by SC DHEC partners: In It Together SC and The Diabetes Action Council and that partnership were COVID-related, so we initially changed all shows except that one. Recently, all shows were changed to “Coping…with Tre’ Tailor.”
When was the moment you knew you were on to something big?
Very early on, I realized I was doing more than just going live. People were tuning in daily, the guests were becoming more prominent, and there was a buzz about the show!
I needed to focus, but school was still out, and I had two babies! During those early shows, you can see footballs flying thru the air, babies crying, and like clockwork, every time I hit the live button, the then 3-year-old had to do a number 2!!!
It was cute at the time because it was relatable, and people everywhere were dealing with the same thing, but I was unable to focus on the show and the interviews.
I made an arrangement with a former intern, who was a teacher, to keep the kids for a few hours per day so I could create, structure, and focus on the show. I inquired about support from my local city government, and when the Mayor came on the show, my goal was to ask him for some type of partnership.
He was scheduled to be on for 15 minutes, but the show was so engaging, and there was so much response; he ended up staying on the entire hour. Before I could ask him, he suggested that the City sponsor the show!
That show of support and acceptance was the door that opened additional opportunities for future sponsorships! I will always be grateful to then-Mayor Steve Benjamin for believing in the show and Michelle Harris at DHEC for seeing the potential in the online platform.
What were a couple of your most memorable shows?
Wow! We have had quite a few! All types of guests have been on Coping; local, national, regional, and national politicians, commentators like CNN’s Bakari Sellers and Antjuan Seawright from MSNBC, and newsmakers including Marianne Williamson (I worked on her presidential campaign), Sybil Wilkes, Myra J, Nelly Tiger Travis, Gerald Alston, Tamika Scott from Xscape, and so many more! Legendary comedians J Anthony Brown and George Wallace have been great supporters.
I knew J from my radio days, and he brought George on. Both ended up doing regular Fun Day Monday features, and those are always great… whether they are by themselves or together; they are hilarious!
A few memorable shows involved George! He is really into current events and politics and was very interested in the SC race for senate with Jaime Harrison.
During one of George’s appearances, I brought Jaime on to surprise him, and it was an amazing show. Another time, Majority Whip Congressman Jim Clyburn was on, and George popped in…to my surprise Congressman Clyburn was a huge fan of George and was so overwhelmed to see him!
On another show, Geroge was on with political commentator Jamilia Bey. Again I had no idea she was such a fan. She shared she was inspired by him to do comedy, and he asked her to open for him at his next DC Show!
TP Hearns was on twice, and both times, he was at his “other” job at a hospital. During the interview, he was checking in patients and talking to coworkers..he was doing his job! He happened to mention his respect and admiration for another comedian Nick Lewis…..and Nick was watching (that’s the power of a live show!) So I brought him in the stream to join the show! That was good TV!
Those “unexpected blessing” shows – are the good ones to me..but it doesn’t have to involve a big name! The shows that touch someone, those that help someone, and those that connect people to the resources, services, and information they need, are the memorable ones for sure!
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
I’ve always had a side hustle. As a broadcaster who knows the inconsistency that comes with the job, I always knew I needed additional forms of income. So I was and am doing VO’s, hosting events, handling promotions, marketing and Ad Buys for clients, you name it! I was also raised by hard-working parents (my father passed away when I was 4) who encouraged us to be resourceful and to take full advantage of all of our talents and gifts.
I remember people (family and friends) called me fickle and were critical of me for having various irons in the fire. Looking back, I now know I was developing and nurturing my entrepreneurial spirit!
It’s not for everyone. As much flexibility as you do have, you are also always working, always thinking, planning, and developing your ideas and strategies to grow your business…You’re looking everywhere you are and in everything you do!
Networking is key, and you are doing it everywhere you go; church, school, the grocery store! Relationships are important as a business owner, a creative, and an entrepreneur. It’s essential to have the people around you that motivate, encourage and inspire you.
You need a partner ( spouse, mate) that understands the rigors of being your own boss. This is not a traditional job, so it doesn’t end at 5 pm!
How can a person make a living doing what you do?
According to Forbes, the creator economy is worth 100 billion dollars! The key is figuring out how to secure some of those billions, and there are several ways to do that!
We are in an age of content creators; people sharing information online, the information they know and have experience with.
From hair care to child care, parenting, dating, and even hurtful experiences like mental illness, abuse, and more. Lock in on what you know and love and can express freely.
Hop online, do the work, and the money will come. Many platforms, including Youtube, Facebook, and TikTok, pay very well if and when your content becomes popular!
Sponsorship is another way to earn a living with an online presence. Of course, many content creators have sponsors coming to them based on their reach and social media numbers. Don’t be discouraged If that’s not you…yet!
You can still secure sponsors. What company, group, or organization addresses and supports your mission and/or show topic? Do your research, create a good presentation, reach out to them…and keep going when and if you hear no! A Yes will come if you keep going.
Ads are another way to support your show financially. Contact businesses, individuals, and even places you support! Ask if they will run an ad on your platform. If it’s political season, pursue local and regional candidates in your area!
Many of these strategies have worked for Coping…with Tre Tailor ..and we are always pursuing more!
What are your greatest challenges doing the show at this time?
We launched the show in March of 2019, one month into COVID, so, in the beginning, we aired the show live at 2 pm. It was the pandemic, people were home, and they were watching!
As the environment changed, our live numbers decreased, and our replay numbers increased. While we are excited that the interest in the show remains, we are looking at ways to expand the show and the brand. I don’t know if that’s a challenge… but it is certainly an example of what will and has come up daily in business.
We are always looking at ways to evolve, grow, reinvent, increase interest and serve the audience better …you/we have to. Life evolves, and in business, you have to also!
We are looking at ways to expand the brand. We have good, solid, credible, and entertaining content that people need and want, and we are pursuing other entities to share that content.
There is a critical need for information online that people can believe and rely on, and It has to be presented not only in a way they can receive it but on a platform they already utilize, know and love!
That was the original purpose of the show, and our ongoing efforts are focused on continuing to give more people Info and Advice to help them thrive and survive in Life…cuz we’’ll always be Coping with something!
What are the tools to having a successful show like yours?
Interesting question. There are many ways to have a successful online presence. We see it all the time. Much of it is very organic..and that’s fine, and it does work!
Coping…is structured like a news magazine show. My background is broadcasting, so I couldn’t just pop up and do a random live.
I HAD to have a format, a logo, a script, and an outline. It was an intentional goal to make it as professional looking as possible. I wanted to take advantage of the fact that many of the national news shows were also virtual, so it didn’t look “odd” that this show was/is too!
We have a color scheme, consistent-looking graphics, a theme song, an open/close, and our staff (yes, I’m blessed to have three incredible sisters on the team). We meet at least weekly to talk about the week and upcoming shows.
Guests are contacted weeks in advance with requests for pics, bios, and visuals to add to the show. They are sent the login info to join the studio and graphics to post and share the week of their appearance. Now, everyone doesn’t have to do all that, but what you need to do is be consistent!
Do what you say…if you’re going to be on twice a week at 5 pm, do that…even if your guest doesn’t show up, or you feel bad! Your audience is looking for you; bring them something!
Do your research, and know about your topic and guests… and speaking of guests…contact them in advance with the request and login info. Consistency is key…in every area of life!
If you are a believer, like I am, Believe…in HIM and the Power HE gave and gives you, and remember: “You can do all things thru Christ! “