I am President of Wilhelmina Kids & Teens, the nations leading modeling and talent agency in the youth market and yes it is as exciting as it sounds. We want to raise funds for licensing our brand under the READY SET RUNWAY. I'm also a five-time published author, guest speaker, and educator, and provide young girls with the tools needed to be the best version of themselves. I have devoted myself to the empowerment of young girls to discover their inner beauty and self esteem through promoting a balanced lifestyle and staying true to my belief -"You don't have to be a model to FEEL like one.
What is your proudest accomplishment so far when it comes to your business? What helped you get there? Was this accomplishment a clear goal or did it happen by chance?
My proudest accomplishment is that I feel what I do and what Wilhelmina does is "we change lives". We do it everyday, in many ways, and is also something I did not realize would give me such pride. Whether it's a young person who gets to see "their" Target ad blown up the size of a building in Times Square or a child and their parents off to a shoot location in a European city, people who would otherwise never have the means for such travel, many of the young people we represent have experiences that last them a lifetime.
Who/What inspires you?
Every day I am inspired by the young people I represent and the amazing things they do. These children take on the role of sophisticated traveler on a seconds, notice sleep on the plane and head straight to the set for a day of shooting. They blow through one Go See after another and don't look back. They inspire me to be a better professional for them!
I don’t leave my house without… my iPhone/iPad charger!
People would say that I am... Intuitive, creative, interesting, interested and fun
The most important aspect of any business... The people!
How has being an entrepreneur affected your life? How did it change the way you think about life.
The word entrepreneur is a loanword from the French and I asked a Frenchman what his definition would be - "someone who is on the look out to do some new business everyday" he responded in his French accent. My personality lends itself to non routine activities so this - in business - was always what I always gravitated toward.
Do you believe that there is one specific formula for success? What does it mean to be a successful business owner?
Determination, persistence and creativity are what I think are the elements in the formula of success. You cannot be determined in a vacuum. Sitting in your apartment determined to persist is not going to work. You've got to get out there with all the creativity you can muster to get your idea to become a reality.
What does it mean to have competition/competitors? Do you compete/collaborate or just observe? What is the best practice to approach your competition?
First thing to do is to assess the competition. Figure out if they are "meaningful", and if you have some thing to learn from them. If so, the best approach is to be direct. Pick up, call them and say "Hi my name is so and so, the new kid in town and I think we have something to talk about". If you don't really have something to talk about – wait until you do to call.
Do you have hobbies? What are they? Is it important to take “time off” and focus on other things such as friends, family, hobbies etc.?
My outlet is painting - and part of what I love is that I am completely absorbed when I am doing it. It is a time to be out of my regular life. After I finished the first 6 or 7 pieces I was driven to be in a show - and I was. Family and friends came to the show - that's really what it's all about - the people who support you and fuel your ideas.
Is there one “rookie mistake” that new entrepreneurs keep on making? What is it? Did it happen to you?
Knowing the difference between perseverance and gusts vs over confidence and insanity. What is failure? Not getting out of bed in the morning.
Why do you think it is that women get less funding than men? What can we do to change that and close the gender gap?
Traditional thinking would have woman getting less funding than a man every time. The thing is, smart business people know a good idea when they see one - male or female.