Our interview with gorgeous Florida born model Alison Pelletier. Alison career started with Wilhelmina and then she joined Mark Willingham (CEO) on the release Agent Inc.
Agent Inc. is a new app recently featured in Fast Company that has already signed up over 5,000 models sharing gig experiences with designers and photographers, reviewing the conditions they encounter during photo shoots, and fighting back against many forms of misconduct and abuse. The app, for example, conducts criminal background and sex offender checks on all of its users. Featured in Fast Company, Life&Style, Bloomberg, Entertainment Tonight and People Magazine, Alison and Mark are re-imagining model bookings.
Hi Alison, please tell us a little about you?
I grew up in Key West FL. I enjoyed scuba diving, water skiing, and deep sea fishing. In high school I was a huge athlete; I was on the Track team, Varsity Soccer, Gymnastics, Cheerleading, Swimming and Cross Country. I attended Florida State University where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a minor in Communications. After graduating I was approached by a model scout and moved to Miami Florida where I signed with a boutique modeling agency. During my time in Miami I landed acting roles on Burn Notice. After that I pursued acting and landed speaking roles in Old Dogs, Surrogates, And Sex Drive. From Miami I moved to Los Angeles and continued with commercial and modeling work. I then was scouted by Wilhelmina Models New York where I had a 10 year run modeling. In between that I accomplished my most successful goal and that was having my amazing son Jackson. I was lucky enough to model throughout my pregnancy (which pays double!).
Just recently I left my agency to pursue an even bigger dream . . . making the modeling industry safer! For the last couple of years I have had multiple phone calls with two of the Agent founders, Dustin Diaz and Ashley St. Clair, and really liked their vision for what could be done to improve the modeling industry. A few months ago Mark Willingham, the CEO of Agent, asked me to join the team and I was ready to get this rolling! I’m very passionate about safety and I love the modeling industry but, as everyone has recently heard in the media, it can have a dark side and I am committed to helping eradicate as much of this darkness as possible. My goal is to help affect positive change in the modeling industry and to make it safer and more transparent for models!
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Passionate, Caring, Happy
What’s your background?
Italian, Austrian, Irish, French Canadian, Cherokee Indian
Who is your biggest supporter?
When did you start in modeling?
When I was 12 years old I booked my first modeling job. I really enjoyed it but my mother wanted me to focus on school instead. I started modeling again while I was attending Florida state University and, after I graduated, I signed with Wilhelmina New York and pursued my modeling career full-time.
When and why did you join Agent Inc.?
Two years ago I was introduced to the founders and provided my personal insight to the modeling world and what I believed was wrong with it. Three months ago they hired me full-time to spearhead initiatives associated with educating models on safety, empowerment and how to grow their careers. I am thrilled to be part of a team of professionals where our goal is to re-imagine the modeling industry and make it more efficient and safer for everyone.
What are the benefits for models or clients of joining Agent Inc.?
There are such amazing benefits to both models and clients and we are working in uncharted territory so I’ll break them down for you.
The benefits to models are:
Lower cost: only a 10% service charge when model is paid for a completed job,
Empowered to manage and grow their careers,
Scheduling, booking and job tracking features,
Safer environment- criminal and sex offender checks on every person/company which books models,
Free to download app and apply to be listed on the platform,
Full transparency… nothing hidden, set own rates,
Non-exclusive . . . no “exclusive agency contracts”
Reviews ratings of clients,
Automated and immediate cashless payments upon job completion,
24/7 live customer assistance (“Agent Assist”)
The benefits to clients are:
Quickly find the perfect model for every job using granular filters,
Scheduling, booking and job tracking features,
Artificial intelligence to perfectly match models with brands/jobs,
Free to download app and search the database,
Lower cost: only a 5% service charge when model is paid,
Reviews ratings of models,
100% satisfaction guarantee,
24/7 live customer assistance (“Agent Assist”)
There is absolutely nothing to lose for either models or clients to download the free Agent iOS app from the App Store here so I highly encourage everyone do so! If you are an aspiring model, this is the perfect place to give it a shot. If you think you have the “look” and that companies will want to book you, go ahead and submit an application! Who knows, you may be approved and be one step closer to achieving your dreams!
If you are a company that books models in New York, Los Angeles, I highly encourage you to give Agent a try. There is zero risk and nothing but upside!
What has been the reviews or what do your modeling friends think about this project?
Our reviews have been Great! The feedback from both models and clients has been amazing. I guess, from their perspective, “what isn’t there to love about an improved industry that is safer, more transparent, and saves more for everyone?” This is why I love what I am doing and why I joined Agent. All of my modeling friends think it is a brilliant idea and love using it. All the feedback we’ve received so far has been wonderful!!
Is it available only in the US?
Initially, it’s only available for booking models in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and Las Vegas but, during 2018, we plan on expanding to Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta and across the entire U.S. Then, we will broaden our scope to include Europe and Asia.
Do you still model or are you 100% in the new business now?
I’m still modeling for a few big companies with whom I have worked for years but the majority of my time and energy is focused on Agent. I am extremely passionate and excited about it. We will always only be 80% done, meaning we will never stop making our product better.
What exciting news can you share with us for 2018?
Well, even though we are already growing at a rate that is much greater than we could have ever predicted, we still in a public beta and have not officially launched the Agent platform. Our official launch will be in early 2018!
Who are some of your favorite models and designers, and why?
My Favorite models would be Soojoo Park, Gisele Bundchen and Jordan Dunn. My favorite designers are Garethpugh, Tom Ford and CoCo Chanel. Coco Chanel and Tom Ford are both innovators of the fashion industry. And Garethpugh is just fearless!
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is about expressing your identity, showing someone who you are through what you choose to wear . . . using clothes to tell someone about your personality. You can express it all without saying a word!
What is your own definition of happiness?
My son’s laughter
Who is your biggest beauty inspiration?
Gisele Bundchen. Just look at what she has accomplished and for how long she has been at the top of her game. Simply amazing.
Who was your role model as a child?
Mia Hamm and Michael Jackson
What are your makeup bag staples when traveling?
Oxygen mask & Evian Water mist spray
How do you stay fit?
I like to mix it up. I love taking classes. My favorite classes right now are OrangeTheory, 30/60/90, Barry’s Boot Camp and SoulCycle. When I’m not taking classes I like to run and do weight training.
What is your favorite healthy food?
And your favorite cheat food?
In five years from now, where do you see yourself and your career? In regards to Agent Inc.?
Wow, five years seems so far off! Well, I see myself continuing on a journey which will allow me to empower models to pursue their dreams in the safest manner possible. I am super excited about an ongoing series of educational seminars I am spearheading at Agent that will provide knowledge and tools to models, from newcomers to seasoned pros, and ensure that they can reach their full potential; both professionally and personally. The first of the online series will begin during the first quarter of 2018 and anyone who is registered on the Agent platform can attend online.
Regarding Agent in five years, I believe we will have a global footprint and will have played a major role in shifting the modeling industry from one that is agency-driven and non-transparent to one that is focused clients-needs and supports models’ careers and rights. We are currently integrating artificial intelligence into the Agent platform which will increase overall efficiencies and assist clients in quickly determining which models are the best fit for their job. I can only imagine how good this process will be within the next year, let along the next 5 years. Can’t wait to see how much we achieve at Agent over the next few years!
What music do you like?
All music – because it soothes the soul
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
There are a million deal breakers
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Nelson Mandela because he was always at peace.
Do you support any charity?
St Jude Children’s Hospital, Children’s Blood Foundation.
3 things you can’t leave home without?
There are at least 30.. But the 3 I would choose are phone (w/ phone charger!), lipstick, water
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Morning workout followed by Brunch on the lower east side on a sunny, windy New York day
What do you think of social media?
Where we can follow you?
Favorite food: Mexican-Taco
Song: Foals-My Number / All of the Lights- Kanye West
Travel destination: Bahamas Lifeford Cay
Celebrity Crush: Chris Hemsworth
Restaurant: Freemans in the East Village
Actor/Actress: Daniel Day Lewis & Scarlett Johansson
Quote: If you worry about every little tiny criticism, you won’t get up in the morning. -Anna Wintour
Sports Team: NY Knicks, Pittsburgh Steelers, NY Yankees, NY Rangers
Book: In The Company Of Heroes
Movie: The Devil Wears Prada
Drink: Almond Butter Milk Protein Shake