5 May 2020

Bucking the Trends - Victoria’s Models

| Sophia Brady
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Victoria Schnabl. Images supplied.

Established in 1995, Victoria’s Models is Canberra’s longest running modelling agency. Managed by a friendly, dynamic team under the direction of owner Victoria Schnabl, they have over the years coordinated hundreds of local models, actors, extras, and voice over talent for a plethora of events, TV and print advertisements. In the process they have established a large, loyal client base but more importantly to Victoria, they have built a supportive community for local models.

With over 26 years of industry experience under her very stylish belt, Victoria started her career straight out of high school. After completing a modelling course, she was offered a position in the agency’s office and got to see first hand the intricacies of running a business.

“I got to know the behind-the-scenes of running an agency, I was responsible for all the model bookings and running their modelling courses and being the face of the agency. I got to know all the clients and models and really really loved it. It was, of course, a huge learning curve as it was my first full-time job but I loved it and I instantly loved the industry,” she said.

In 1995, with a dream of working for herself and encouragement from the models she had established deep-rooted relationships with, Victoria’s Models was launched. “I loved the industry and the idea of working for myself and I could see different ways of doing things. I really wanted to have a positive relationship with the models, look after them, get them as much work as possible, make sure they were paid properly and that their interests were taken care of,” Victoria said.

Her business mantra of putting models first has been one of the keys to the business’s longevity. Some of the original talent who joined the agency in the early days are now still on Victoria’s Models books, with Victoria revealing, “They were teenagers when they joined, and they are now married with kids still doing work for us. Because the market in Canberra is so diverse, you don’t stop modelling when you are 25. In fact, because of the assortment of work, we need all ages, shapes, sizes and cultures. You don’t get to a point where you have to retire in Canberra, our oldest actor is 88.”

In a career that has spanned decades, Victoria says that “We have done some tremendous campaigns and photo shoots but my fondest memories are definitely the off-duty ones, getting to know the community we have developed with our models. We have about four to five social catch-ups each year. We go out to dinner and go out dancing. It is during this time when we are off duty, hanging out, having fun with the models, you realise the genuine friendships everyone has made with each other.”

“When the agency turned 20, our Christmas party that year was very special. We had a coach pick everyone up and deliver them to a surprise winery destination, an hour out of Canberra. We had a three-course meal and a whole bunch of activities planned. There was a professional photographer with a full set up so we could take great photos of everyone. There were slideshows, awards given out and it was an evening full of fun and laughter. We had 70 people there, no clients, just models who made beautiful, impromptu speeches. It was very special.”

For more information, contact Victoria’s Models via the website.

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