Antoinetta Marie Hairston lives by the famous Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, “Do not go where the path may lead, instead go where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Born and raised alongside her twin brother in Flint, Michigan, Antoinetta left home in 2001 to pursue her degree in Radio, Television and Film from Howard University in Washington, DC. She was involved in many activities and organizations on campus and in the District, including membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. While at Howard, she launched her television and film career early on, with consecutive summer internships at CBS in Hollywood, CA.
After graduating with honors from Howard University, Antoinetta decided to begin her career in entertainment in Los Angeles, CA. She packed up all her belongings and headed west with little more than $800, undying passion and her faithful vision of success. Her first job in Hollywood was as a receptionist for A. Smith & Co. Productions. Shortly after, she began working as a Talent Production Assistant on Nick Cannon’s Wild N Out series for two seasons. She also did freelance work as a production coordinator for music videos and award shows and gained experienced in television commercials.
In 2007, Antoinetta worked with Cossette Productions to produce the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards show and subsequently met Stephen Hill, then Vice President of Music Programming for the African-American focused network. He immediately became a mentor, offering invaluable professional advice and an industry network. Antoinetta relocated to New York City and served as Stephen’s assistant for three years. Some of her notable achievements at BET were co-producing the 30-minute special “Crank That Vote” prior to the historic 2008 Presidential Election and writing and producing an on-air promotional voting campaign. She has also served as an Associate Producer on BET specials “Rising Icons” and, most recently, “Black Girls Rock.”
Post BET, Antoinetta moved on to become a freelance producer for film and TV and founded Girls with Gifts non-profit organization. Currently, Antoinetta owns and operates Eye Create Productions, which produces compelling documentaries and digital content for online and broadcast platforms. Antoinetta also oversees the Girls with Gifts Reach Back, Pull Forward mentorship program in Los Angeles, Houston and Flint, Michigan.