A&Pmodels is a small, young modeling agency in the Netherlands. Since I was curious about how this modeling agency came to exist and how it grew, I interviewed Patricia van Meulenaarsgraf, the CEO of A&Pmodels. Patricia tells us about how she came up with the idea of starting a modeling agency and her experiences working as CEO.
Where did your inspiration to start a modeling agency come from?
“I was inspired in my younger years. I always wanted to be a makeup artist, but styling captured my attention as well. When my daughter was scouted as a model at the age of twelve and I started to arrange portfolio shoots, I developed a big passion for these sorts of things.
Then I provided portfolio work for more girls which bigger agencies started to use. Which then led to this hobby growing into an actual modeling agency.”
How did A&Pmodels start out?
“After helping the girls with their portfolio materials, I also guided them during their modeling work.
More girls started to ask for my help, and I helped them find good, well-balanced modeling agency and told them all of my tips and tricks that they needed to find their way in the modeling business.
People just started to remember the name of A&Pmodels. They found me and asked why I didn’t start an agency for myself because I was doing such a good job. That’s why two years ago I started my own agency after 10 years of doing it as a hobby.”
What can your agency offer models?
“A trustworthy modeling agency. We can offer a variety of jobs. It differs from little jobs to bigger ones, photo shoots, fashion shows, commercial work, anything! I just want them to be confident at what they’re doing. That is what is most important.”
How do you guide your models?
“We want our models to keep their portfolio updated. So of course we are there to look at what could be better and what a model needs. We teach our models to walk on a catwalk, and we try to give them all the advice they may need.
Every step we take is talked through with the models. Contact between the two parties is really important. Once per year we have a meeting with all our models, so they can also meet each other and create bonds with one another, you do work together after all.”
How do you distinguish your agency from others?
“We are a small modelling agency and we want to stay small. That way we have enough time for all of our models and give them the individual support they need.
Personal contact I believe is most important for a successful modeling agency. I don’t want any of my models to feel like a number.
We also don’t put our girls on a diet. We see each girl as how we originally saw her when we scouted her. In other words we believe she doesn’t need to lose weight or change herself in any way.”
I don’t want any of my models to feel like a number.
What do you think is most important for a model?
“That she stays how she is. A model should always feel confident, and she needs to feel safe and enjoy everything she does with her modeling agency. Her own vision is very important to us as well. “
What do you think should be the most important aspect of a modeling agency?
“Proper support for the models, good contact between the agency and the client, and of course the model. You should also be willing to be flexible.”
How would you describe the perfect model? Both in character and appearance.
“I think a good model should have the right looks, the right size and height, but above all else should have a good personality. She should definitely take her job seriously, just like every other co-worker at a regular job.”
A model should always feel confident
How do you want people to see A&Pmodels?
“As a serious fashion agency, upcoming and growing fast. As a modeling agency that’s on the right track!”
What is the best advice you give models?
“Stay yourself and enjoy everything that’s coming your way. You’re beautiful and amazing. We wouldn’t have been hired by an agency otherwise.”
And the best advice for upcoming modeling agencies?
“It’s hard to make it in the fashion industry, not only as a model, but also as a modeling agency. By working hard, you have a big chance of making it.
If you need any advice you can contact me, I would be happy to answer all of your questions. Only by helping each other we can grow.”
What are you scared of as the CEO of a modeling agency?
“I’m not scared of anything actually, not as the CEO at least. But to be honest, I’m kind of scared to go on an airplane when I’m taking my models abroad, haha!”
Does the modeling agency get you a lot of positive reactions?
“Fortunately I get more positive reactions then negative ones. There are so many people that have something nice to say about A&Pmodels. For example, that we do such a good job as a small agency. Those reactions are the ones you work so hard for, even when it’s not going so well.”
Are you also getting negative reactions as the CEO of a modeling agency? And how do you react to those?
“Well as you can read above, people always have something to say about you. And let’s be honest, every person is different and thinks differently. I appreciate it now and then when people admit they think differently about you. We can learn a great deal from that sort of feedback.
And sometimes I think ‘if I had worried about everything, I probably would have quit already’. Just think about all the positive reactions, then the negative ones won’t seem as bad.”
You can find A&Pmodels on http://aenpmodels.com/
Photo’s by HRoss, Heinhuismedia and Nadja Geskus