Meet Ashlyn Henson, Founder at More Than Models, a talent staffing agency that specializes in trade shows and live events.
Having worked as a model/brand ambassador herself for years, Ashlyn Henson is now helping new talents prosper. It happened when she discovered a gap in the industry. There was talent, but it was not getting recognized and supported. Also, there were problems related to the payment wherein agencies held payment from the talents for months altogether. As a former model, this issue was very close to Ashlyn’s heart, and she decided to do something about it. Hence, she founded More Than Models in 2016 and launched the website shortly after. The company works to staff the trade shows and events with quality talent. They mostly collaborate with gaming and technology-related brands. They also work with events like Coachella and music festivals. They staff the events with Product Specialists, Booth Hostesses, Game or Technology Demonstrators, Brand Ambassadors, and even costume customers.
She has lived in Nashville, Atlanta, and is now based in Los Angeles, from where she runs her company. Initially, Ashlyn took on acting and dance roles and also worked as a brand ambassador for several brands and events. She knows the talent industry and how it works, but the business aspect was quite new for her. It has been a long learning curve for Ashlyn, as she had no previous experience as an entrepreneur. However, she learned all facets of business over time and is still growing. The process of hiring the right people, leading a team, and managing the talent and client came with its own sets of challenges. However, she notes that this gave her a chance to recognize her skills and work on the areas that needed improvement. As a manager, she learned to adapt to the strengths and weaknesses of her team and put them to the right use. They hire employees that resonate with what the company believes in.
The company houses all women employees who, despite not having any corporate experience, turned out to be brilliant team players. Her team comprises people who want to learn and work hard to get things done. Together they figure out what kind of staff is required for a particular event, screen the talent, prepare them and stay in touch. They build relationships with the models and support them throughout the process.
Ashlyn’s organization has helped create a network of models who work together and interact with each other. They have certain protocols for the smooth functioning of the company and the events in which they stay clear about the expectation from the people they work with. But also her team goes out of the way to show that they genuinely care about the people they’re collaborating with. They ensure consistent communication with the models before and even after the project/event is completed. She is pleased to note that the pandemic has helped the team to become stronger and to communicate with each other. They got an opportunity to grow and bond together.
More Than Models stands for Integrity, Intelligence, and Character. They go beyond looking for just a ‘pretty face’ for the brands they collaborate with. The USP for the company is that they carefully recruit the best model for their clients, someone who has a strong personality, outstanding communication skills, and genuinely cares for the brand they represent. This sets her business apart from the other agencies. They always consider the unique circumstances of the people, recognize their work, give them an opportunity if something doesn’t fall in line with the company protocols. They are always trying to incorporate new talents into their network.
Ashlyn and her team have created a company based on trust and are assisting in the recognition of talents. They pay fair attention to the needs of the people who work with them, not just their clients. Every day, she unravels new ways to run the business as a leader. She wants to keep learning and as she feels that it is the only way we grow as an individual.