Born from frustration due to working conditions and the ambition of one woman trying to make it in the harsh modeling industry, Velour Model Management offers a trusting environment where budding models can nurture and improve their talent.
01. When was this business founded and by whom?
➤ Velour Model Management was founded in May 2016 by one of Kenya’s top models, Miss Paynette Joan. Her experience in modelling especially in East Africa, being a model trainer for 3 years, and her desire to see more Kenyan models on international catwalks and better working conditions locally fueled her ambition to register a modelling agency.
02. How many models are you currently managing?
➤ We currently manage 20 fashion models; 15 female and 5 male.
03. How do you use social media?
➤ Social media has been our office for the past 3 years and has been a crucial tool in getting work to the agency. Having started the agency with no funding, and solely running the agency on her own, Miss Paynette had to find another way of solidifying the company’s credibility. We do our best to maintain a solid social media presence and do our best to rank first on Google. This has been a major source of work for the agency because many clients nowadays like to see your work before they meet you.
04. Why should people use your service over other modelling agencies?
➤ Firstly, we take every job personally. We believe that you should do unto others as you would want others to do unto you. If we hired someone we would want them to give us their 100%, and so that is what we give as well.
Secondly, we believe in trust. When you hire us, we will take that load off your back and you can focus on other things. The reason why we train all our models, 24 weeks, 6 months, a year, is so that you do not have to micromanage as a client. You can trust that we will get the job done perfectly.
Lastly, we have the most competitive rates and the best working conditions and plans for models. While trying to build her modelling career, Miss Paynette went through it all; no pay, poor working conditions, false promises, badly organized events, and one of the reasons she started the agency was to cushion upcoming models from all the hustle. So we are very picky about the clients that we work with and the kind of work that we do. All models have to seek advice before engaging in any type of work.
05. Your website mentions developing and educating models – could you tell us a bit about that?
➤ One of the greatest challenges that models face is ignorance. Many young people who want to get into the industry do not know what to do, and there isn’t enough information anywhere or anyone willing to share. Miss Paynette was a victim back in 2012 when she decided to actively pursue modelling. For all of 2012, from January to December, she went for every audition there was in Kenya, and that whole year she never booked a single job. The interesting thing is, there was always something to learn in each audition. Why should you take a whole year or more to learn simple basics, while feeling frustrated and discouraged, when you could learn in 3 months or less?
We decided to use this approach because modelling is a business and there is a lot to learn about building the right brand and strategically placing yourself to get more work. We want to build the right brands, models who can book work anywhere in the world because they have a solid character, vision, and talent.
06. What do you love most about doing business in Africa?
➤ We love seeing growth and Africa is a growing market. The fashion industry has really shifted its focus and there is a lot of publicity and celebration of Africa and what Africa has to offer. It is also easier to travel from one African country to the next and the fashion community in Africa has pretty much become a unit. Fashion influencers attending different fashion events all over Africa. This keeps us on toes because our services and range are challenged every day. It is an exciting time to be doing business in Africa.
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