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Meet J.J. Anderson and Tito Molina of HRDWRKER in Inglewood

Today we’d like to introduce you to J.J. Anderson and Tito Molina.

J.J. and Tito, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In 2014, we found ourselves both working jobs that we weren’t exactly ecstatic to show up to. Tito had a background in fashion and was managing a clothing store on Melrose, while I was working at a sports television network. To help one another get through the work day, we’d exchange inspirational videos via text/email and on our off-days we’d watch documentaries about people we admired. After months of doing this, we began to run out of content to exchange. We realized that a lot of the popular video content circulating at the time was built on very materialistic or image based values.

So, one day- instead of sending an inspirational video, Tito sent a mockup of a tee shirt that had HRDWRKER spelled out in bold letters on the back and lettering on the front that read “Passion Before Profit”. He followed it up with a message that explained his wanting to create a clothing brand in support of the authentic and hardworking people we admired, as well as tell those peoples’ stories through short videos. I was immediately intrigued and quit my job later that month.

Slowly but surely, we worked together to interview local Los Angeles business owners, creatives, makers, and entrepreneurs about every aspect (good or bad) of their professional journeys. Our main goal in doing this was to not only provide budding go-getters with advice from their peers, but to also encourage people to follow their passion rather than settle for an easy paycheck at a job they hate.

Over the past three years, we have put together over fifty short documentaries. All of which highlight the trailblazers and risk-takers of today. We have also been fortunate enough to be able to transition into becoming a production company. This has afforded us the opportunity to collaborate with brands, digital platforms, publications, and other entities in creating content for their viewers that aligns with the HRDWRKER mission.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Rough is more like it. Neither of us had experience in personally filming or working with cameras. We also didn’t have the money to take classes or buy the top of the line equipment we wanted. We reached out to the few friends who did and asked for as much advice as possible. But in order to just get the job done- it really came down to us watching tutorials on YouTube, Lynda, and searching for inexpensive solutions to every production problem that popped up.

Video content was quickly evolving at the time and we realized that we had a huge learning curve to work with. In order to keep up or get better, we had to remain consistent and practice regularly. We did this by releasing 4 videos a month in the 1st year and took on an internship at FRANK151 to help challenge ourselves. Needless to say, we had so many sleepless nights and spent our days either shooting or sitting in front of a computer. It was rough, but it was challenging and we loved that aspect of it.

HRDWRKER – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Over the years, HRDWRKER has developed into a digital media and production company. We specialize in creating visual lifestyle and documentary content that highlights individuals who are risk-takers and trailblazers. We examine the ups and downs of each person’s journey, using methods that are authentic and inspirational. We spotlight these people on our own platform, as well as on other companies’ platforms.

We are great at connecting brands and media outlets to real people who do amazing things, as well as inspiring their consumers or viewership by introducing them to unique stories. This is something we will always be proud of.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Being paid to create video content was not initially part of the plan. When we first started, it was apparent to us that we really enjoyed making short inspirational documentaries. But we did it more for the adventure and the fulfillment it brought to our lives. We didn’t even understand that one could create a fun and exciting career around doing what we do.

Today, we have worked with brands and companies we’ve admired since childhood, individuals who we look up to, and have gone to places we wouldn’t have been able to if it weren’t for HRDWRKER. Looking back at our progression and looking forward to what the future holds is very satisfying for us.

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