By Biko Rading
At the age of 24, most ladies are busy thinking about their fiancés or studying to graduate from campus and perhaps getting a well paying job, but model Erica Muthoni is moving to the top of the modeling scale with one impressive booking after another.
Erica a graduate from Chuka University and former Miss Campus Chuka University was involved in organizing for the Mr Miss Campus TharakaNithi County.
She was born and raised in Nairobi and now Erica is the Director Finest 254 Model Management.
A company that helps young aspiring models to make it in the beauty world that is associated with class in the society.
Etaarifa.co.ke correspondent took time to know her more:
Tell me more about your journey in the world of modeling and your company
I started the company back in 2015. I was solely driven by passion. I had people who supported me and mentored me to become a good manager and business lady. I however learnt alot through experience. We deal with High Fashion Models,commercial,lingerie and fitness modelling. We also do Event Organizing and ushering and model trainings.
How did you start and raise your capital?
I started from the bottom. That’s what made it who I am. I invested a lot of time into the company. I remember I used to write a list of companies that I would visit. Then I would knock on every door. Sometimes I would even forget if I had taken lunch or not.
During this time I met good partners but I also met people who were out there to exploit me and my models. Like I said experience taught me.
What drives you bearing in mind that the model industry is full of corruption and exploitation?
I am a strong woman. Truth be told every time you starting up something people never believe in you. You get so many setbacks from them. Some just want to use you. I was inspired to make a difference. Modelling was something that I loved and I intended to make a difference even if it’s in one models life. All I knew is my models have to go international and they still will.
One year down the line how can you evaluate your business?
It has not been a year yet. But the modelling company has really grown. I have gotten very good partners.
The company has now become fully functional with two Directors, Marketing Manager and very good Assistants.The seeds that I sowed then am beginning to reap them now.
A great deal of patience was required. I got to sign very important international contracts in the beginning of 2016. That was a milestone for me. My top models will be marketing Kenya to North of Europe.
We successfully launched the Mr&MissGhetto Kenya a charity initiative with MYAP KENYA and IPCC in Thika, its is set to run every year. Soon we are doing the 2016/2017 edition and the charity works have already began. We also did the Mr&Miss High School Kenya an initiative that sets to promote talent in high schools. I will also be organizing the Miss K a competition taking part in 5 countries in Africa. Those among others are the projects that we are involved in.
You must be making a lot of returns
The company gets 20%commission on the jobs we source for models. You get a good profit if you increase the number of bookings for the models. People think it’s easy but it’s not. You have to work hard just to get a very small commission. Mostly in a business you start getting profit after a few years. You just have to be patient.
How many people are getting their daily bread from your company?
We have a little over 25 models. We are however working on focusing on the models capability as an individual and identifying the models that we want to represent our brand.
Every business has its own challenges,what have you experienced?
Well the greatest challenge is that that everyone expects so much from some thing that is just beginning. In event organizing the great challenge is finding good sponsors that fit for the event. We ended up losing a lot of money in an event just because the sponsor pulled out last minute. We also have the challenge of the perception that a modelling company is making more money than the models. If only they knew. You get what you work for. We strictly work with a contract as we all know we have the challenge of working and not getting paid your full amount. This is the reason why you should have a businesslawyer.
The other challenge is the how clients view the industry they are not willing to pay enough to satisfy the model. Clients should start seeing modelling as a professional work.
Is there impact associated with being a catwalk model in the society?
Yeah, actually you are viewed as an ambassador.Those models who joined Finest 254 Management have really taken a great step into becoming better models in one way or the other. I have some top models who are really getting good prospects in the future and they deserve it. They have really been patient. May God increase them.
Under Mr Miss ghetto we also get to some charity works that make a us fee for the numbers of complete.
Our county Ambassador are going to make a big difference in the ghetto.
We have an event FASHION FOR HEALTH that will take place at the clarion hotel on 25th march. All are invited it will be a fun filled event.
Your future as an entrepreneur?
I intend to receive more entrepreneur training together with the Management team and establish the Company.
We believe in touch of professionalism and we will work very hard to achieve that.
On top of everything I believe in God since He increases you from one glory to another.
We are a big team that is driven by talent and passion. We are here to make a difference and we are here to stay.