The critical part of running a talent agency is to give clients options and Kelly Morison of Christchurch’s NZ Models & Talent has sorted out that issue with everything from babies to old age pensioners. With up to 70 models on her books, she is the South Island’s “go-to” person for talent, but it wasn’t her starting point. Christchurch born and bred, Kelly studied travel, tourism and business and spent many years in the UK where her early passion for sales and marketing saw her gain an international qualification at the Cambridge Institute of Marketing. Returning to Christchurch about nine years ago, she took a break from corporate marketing while her two children were young and when it was time for Morison to get back into the workforce, the opportunity to take over the agency came up.

“It wasn’t something I thought of, but it coincided with my love of advertising and marketing, and as a result, I have come to enjoy working with the models who are so passionately positive,” she said. Her early interest in stage and screen makeup has also contributed to the success of the agency, and it is an area she may well develop in the future.

Her broad sales, marketing and management training didn’t provide for the running of a model and talent agency where the training has definitely been on the job, and she admits to still learning. Morison spoke of being surrounded by photographers and advertising people where they work together on client campaigns and put professional programmes together.

“It’s great to have people like that around me to bounce ideas off, but it does mean my role is varied from accountant to booker, to business development to mentoring and training. I love that, we have been very successful in bringing some young people through to successful models,” she added.
Morison wants to work on more training for their younger talent who want to enter the industry. “Many of them now realise that modelling is just not standing around looking pretty and that adding value to promotional campaigns is important. And of course, the work we do often aids young people’s confidence.”