Antwanette McLaughlin, originally from Atlanta, is the CEO of The Spice Group, a media production specializing in music videos, commercials and films.
“Spice Group just about adds spice, we take your seed [and] we make it bloom… We create, develop and produce content for commercial music videos, short form content as well as experimental and immersive activations,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin knew she was creative even before it was a job title, getting her start in the industry years ago in artist development. She would choreograph for artists and, due to her familiarity with marketing and branding, might bring in stylists and videographers to put together a big production. As she continued to learn and grow as a producer, more and more people approached her with more projects, which inspired her to start The Spice Group.
“[My] the evolution dances from photo shoots to video productions,” said McLaughlin. “But then you get bigger customers, you get bigger demands, the customer ads get bigger and bigger and more money is at stake. So once you get into those conversations, you have to level up.
The Spice Group has worked on projects such as AT&T’s 404 campaign, where the production company produced content from 15 different influencers in Atlanta, including 21 Savage and former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
They also helped redesign Krystal’s on 14th Street and the Trap Museum.
“I did all the renderings and created a layout, the plan for the Trap Museum, and then we brought in several different departments to bring it to life, but from the idea, and kind of building it with TI and his team was me, the Spice Group,” McLaughlin said. “And then my company produced and developed the whole space.”
Despite a few sleepless nights, McLaughlin is proud of herself and her team for how far they have come.
“I always believed that if I got this far, it wasn’t made up,” McLaughlin said. “You have to trust the universe and trust the process.”
One of McLaughlin’s challenges is also one of his successes. His business keeps growing, which has been great, until the business begins to expand outside of his area of expertise. When presented with problems she herself didn’t have the answers either, McLaughlin hired people who did. It now manages around 35 to 50 people per project.
Going forward, McLaughlin would like The Spice Group to continue to grow so that he can take on several big-budget projects at once. She also wants to be able to publish her content.
“Even though I take these big brands like Puma, AT&T and Krystal and whoever it is, I take what they want, I take what they don’t even know what they want, and I create content so compelling for their brands, but I also have compelling content,” McLaughlin said. “Because I’m so busy doing on-demand work that I overlook what’s in my treasure chest, content amazing and cool, pushing culture forward [and] share different stories.