Ladies We Love | Meet Era Agency Founder Chelse Schipper
Posted: Mar 01 2016
Ladies We Love is an inspirational interview series with amazing women from across the globe.
This week we had the pleasure of interviewing entrepreneur Chelse Schipper...
WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHERE DO YOU CALL HOME NOW?
I'm from a small town in Michigan and grew up near the big lake and lots of other small towns. I currently reside in a few areas! Michigan with my roots and love mixed with a little adventure in Southern California! To say the least I am bi-coastal. I will be spending a lot of time in Florida this coming year too - will that make me ti-coastal?! LOL.
YOU OWN A MODELING AGENCY! THAT IS SO COOL! PLEASE TELL US ABOUT IT.
The Era Agency is a full-service model management firm. We book models on a variety of jobs including promotional, print, runway and spokes modeling engagements. Our goal is to set a new standard within the industry by providing our models with individual strategy for their careers and by delivering each of our clients a structured seamless approach to bookings. The company is based out of Michigan but is pretty much virtual at this point as we hire girls all over the country. I got started as I saw a need for a more boutique approach to serving clients. I feel I can couture each booking to their specific needs and try my best to make sure the girls get work and are happy with the opportunities!
WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT OWNING A MODELING AGENCY?
The best part of owning the agency is definitely when I get to help young women further their careers in the direction they want them to go. I feel modeling can be used to teach confidence, work ethic and the ability to adapt to different people/places/situations. It takes a lot of hard work and is a competitive industry so when girls can rise above the criticism and persevere, they will be able to take that anywhere in life.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT OWNING A MODELING AGENCY?
I am a small agency so that doesn't mean there will always be consistent work for each of the girls that I book. It's non-exclusive so they have the opportunity to work free-lance or with other agencies too but it's hard to keep everyone happy. I am a one-man-band so that is hard to see from the outside when I don't post photos sitting at my desk submitting photos of models or on the phone with clients for the majority of my work days. Working on the road is also hard sometimes so my office hours aren't always during the day time.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COMPANY(S) YOU'VE WORKED FOR AND WHY?
Working with start-ups and small brands are always my favorite bookings. People that are truly passionate towards their new business/brand and working hard to be successful. It's inspiring and always makes me put in extra effort to help them get what they want out of the models and I try to work with every budget's needs.
FAVORITE SHOOT OR SHOOT LOCATION?
My favorite shoot I've ever been on was at random on my little sisters spring break of her senior year. We were in Puerto Vallarta and met a nice guy who took us to the most beautiful beach and waterfalls to shoot. It was an adventure to say the least but so beautiful and fun.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR GIRLS TRYING TO BREAK INTO THE MODELING?
Modeling is a job not a career. As painful as that sounds it's what I believe and what I tell all of the girls I work with. If you have passion in fashion, or for photography, marketing, whatever it may be - always put it out there and build relationships on bookings that give potential to opportunities that can enhance your real career. You get to shake hands with so many people on jobs that have the ability to hire internally or have connections to the right people with the brands you work with. You get what you ask for in life.
YOU RECENTLY LAUNCHED AURAAVENUE.COM - WHAT IS THE SITE ABOUT AND WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH?
Aura Avenue is my newest venture I've created with a dear friend of mine. We are both young entrepreneurs and want to build a platform to showcase other women like ourselves and help empower youth and uncover opportunities they have in the professional world. We also want it to highlight healthy lifestyles so there's a lot of advice on style, nutrition, fitness and of course adventure. :)
WHAT IS YOUR WORST VICE AND YOUR BIGGEST PET PEVE?
My worst vice is definitely food. I love to eat and it isn't necessarily a bad thing but is for sure where all of my money goes!!! My biggest pet peeve is a negative attitude. Positivity is a must and if you want to be my friend personally or professionally, you must have a good outlook on life! We are on this earth for so little time, it never makes sense to me when others can't seem to be happy with what they have and where they are at.
PLEASE TELL US ONE SILLY FACT ABOUT YOU MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW.
I still sleep with my baby blanket. It has Whinnie the Pooh on it.
ANY ADVICE FOR WOMEN WHO WANT TO START THIER OWN COMPANY AND BE THEIR OWN BOSS?
Persevere. Be ready for a lot of hard work.... BUT - balance your life. If you skip out on family, friends and love you will be missing out on the best parts of life! Balance is key.
Live in the sunshine. Swim in the Sea. Drink the wild air. -Emerson