Having worked in major fashion capitals around the world such as Tokyo, Milan, Paris to New York establishing a carrer as a high-fashion model under Elite Model Management, Amanda Dyer has stood head and shoulders with the best in the industry.
The Canadian beauty who started her modelling career at the young age of 12, won her first national modelling competition at 14 and was sent packing to Tokyo a year later where she worked with brands such as Issey Miyake, Commes des Garcon and Max Mara as well as gracing some of Japan's top magazine covers like Figaro, Spur, Frau, Marie Claire, Elle and Vogue.
Her years of experience in runway shows, fashion presentations, editorial campaigns to television commercials served her well and in 2008, Amanda decided to take the plunge and started her own modelling agency, Scout Models in Singapore.
4 years on, SENATUS speaks with the model, mother and entrepreneur to learn more about her life, her business and plans for the new year.
How did 2012 turn out for you?
2012 has been a fantastic year for me and my family. We have been fortunate to travel to all over Australia and India, where we discovered new places and spent time with family and friends, old and new.
In the same year, Scout Models signed some very big campaigns and I'm happy to share that all my models were constantly booked and made good money. We have some great plans for the business in 2013. We will be unveiling some international partnerships and expanding Scout into key cities around the region.
Let's talk about Scout Models, what made you start your own agency?
After years in the industry, it was clear that I had good contacts in the global fashion fraternity.
I found myself constantly bringing people and opportunities together – connecting models with jobs to different agencies all over the world.
So I thought it was time to formalize it into a business – and thus Scout was born. The whole thing felt really natural and organic.
Did your prior modelling experience help when you started the agency?
My early experience as a model certainly helped me as I understood what young models go through when they first enter the industry. I steer them in the right direction as well as mentor them through their maturation as a professional.
In fact, I am still modeling today and carry on the same discipline and professional attitude that were instilled early in my career by my own mentors.
How do you juggle your role as a mother and a business owner?
My role as a mother always comes first and always did. I'm lucky in the sense that my little one is now 5 years old and is very independent and easy child, so I now have more time to devote to my young models.
Managing the two (roles) was a little tougher when she was younger but now that she's in school full-time, it's a little easier.
What's the biggest challenge for you running a modelling agency?
That would have to be the global recession of 2009. It was only a year after I started the business and agencies were "dropping like flies". Clients weren't spending on campaigns and the short-term future of the industry looked grim.
I knew there and then that something drastic needed to be done for Scout to weather this storm – and the solution seems easy when I think about it now. I hit the roads and promoted a message of "value" for my clients and helped them work through their constraints with the understanding that when things got better (as they always do), we would increase price-points and frequency of bookings. This act of good faith went a long way...
Many of those clients are still with Scout today and continue to be good friends and supporters of our agency.
What's the most rewarding experience?
By far, it's grooming young hopeful models into confident professional models.
I have seen so many transitions over the years where young girls from all over the world come to me shy, timid and low in confidence with the dreams of stardom, and leave with multiple television commercials, covers and brand endorsements.
I absolutely love this part of my job!
As a model and an agency owner, what advice would you give to aspiring models?
A lot of models do not take modelling seriously. They have to understand it's a job just like anywhere else.
There are thousand of hopeful models out there, if you do not have a positive attitude, the industry will toss you to the curb very quickly.
Little things like having a "can-do" attitude and being on-time go a long way. You get exactly what you put into it... it's that simple.
What can we look forward to in 2013?
Personally, I would love to travel more and learn how to play the game of golf.
Professionally, I would like to finalise the expansion of Scout Models into several Tier 1 cities around the region.
Find out more about Scout Models at //www.scout-models.com