Having your young baby working in the industry modelling for catalogues and TV work can be fun, challenging and at times a bit of a whirlwind.
Little Miika joined us when she was just 4 months old, and has been a little star from the beginning. Clients were captivated by her gorgeous eyes and flawless temperament, and her work has been plastered across in-store billboards and online campaigns. We spoke with Miika’s mum recently about her experience working with her baby in the industry, and why she decided to join the industry in the first place.
Clients: Pure Baby, Britax, Australian Country Spinners
Why did you decide to join Miika up to an agency?
She always received a lot of attention as a newborn. So we thought why not? Let’s see if she gets any work and just for a bit of fun
What made you choose Bettina Management?
From sending through Miika’s application to the really informative interview process, the service was really amazing, very friendly and thorough.
What was it like taking her to her first casting?
It was quite nerve-wracking as we weren’t sure what to expect, but she loved it so it was overall a great experience.
What is it like seeing Miika in print?
It makes me very proud to see her face out there!
What is your favourite job that Miika has done?
Her latest job which was the Pure Baby summer campaign, they were gorgeous images.
Do you have any advice for parents with young babies wanting to get into the industry?
Give it a go! You never know what might happen so it is worth a shot
Here at Bettina Management, we recently celebrated our 25th birthday! We sat down with our director, Bettina Petrone, to find out more about her journey and what her goals are now for the agency.
How did you start out in the industry?
I started in the industry when I was 17 and I entered a beauty quest. I won the competition and one of the prizes was a modelling course with Suzanne Johnston, from there I joined an agency and started my career as a professional model.
How did Bettina Management start?
As well as being a professional model myself, I was also a dancing teacher. A lot of my students would always be asking me things about modelling, like how to walk, how to put on make-up and generally just wanting advice. So I decided to run modelling classes as well, which grew and grew and turned into Bettina Modelling and Deportment School.
While I was working as a model, my clients found out about my modelling school and asked if any of my kids would be interested in doing some work. So it started by helping out some of my clients with their campaigns, and like anything else, it just grew so I decided to start the agency.
In the beginning, I was interviewing new talent and working from my home office in Moonee Ponds, as we got bigger we moved to the Docklands and a few girls came on board to help me with the bookings and running the agency. And well, the rest, as they say, is history!
What were the first years like starting a brand new agency?
Every job we got was exciting, they were all firsts for us so it was a very enjoyable time for the kids and the agency. Our first campaign was for Run Scotty Run, a kids clothing label, so to see one of our kids in print was a fantastic moment.
The agency grew very quickly and we eventually opened up agencies interstate to keep up with the demand over there. We also started booking a whole new range of jobs, not just catalogues and print but TV commercials, feature films, TV series and all kinds of work. It was wonderful to see our kids were now not just models but mini-actors too.
What were your goals with the agency?
When we first set out it was just to keep up with client demand, I enjoyed helping out my clients and providing them with quality child talent. But once we really got going, our goals were also to help our kids grow as little professionals and find more new talent. We loved helping kids break into the industry and see their skills and confidence grow.
I loved working in the industry as a model myself, so getting to share that experience with young talent was a real joy for me and I love to see how we have continued that today.
How do you think the industry has changed since you started the agency?
The industry has changed a lot with the introduction of technology. We started out with printed comp cards for each child, which could take weeks to create (and become outdated quite quickly, as kids grow so fast!). When a client would request a child, we would have to pack the comp cards into the post and wait for the client to receive them and send them back before they could be sent to another client.
We now have a sophisticated online database for our talent and access to all the industry casting platforms, which means we can submit each child to multiple clients every day (and no more trips to the post office!). The whole process has become a lot smoother and opened up so many more opportunities, as jobs can now turn over a lot quicker.
What has been a highlight for you since the agency began?
It has all been a great experience. I have loved seeing the agency go from strength to strength and continue to grow.
We have worked on some amazing campaigns from iconic TV commercials to Hollywood blockbusters and our kids have flown all over the world to work on campaigns. All of these moments have been highlights for us so it is hard to pick just one!
Ultimately, seeing the great team that we have built across Australia and the continued success of our talent is something I take great joy in.
What are your goals for the agency now?
Our goals for the agency now are to maintain our status as Australia’s top children’s talent agency. We want to continue to build and maintain our client relationships so we can attract the best talent. We will also continue to be the industry leader in educating and informing parents on how the industry really works.
Kellie is the mother of two lovely twin girls, Chelsea and Chloe, who have been with us for 6 years! She has spent years driving them to and from castings and jobs, helping them in and out of wardrobe changes, coordinating school, extra curricular activities and bookings for Target, Kmart and many more!
We sat down with her recently to have a chat about her perspective on having her kids working in the industry and any tips she has for parents who are just starting out!
What did you look for when deciding on an agency for the girls?
We were looking for somewhere that was trustworthy and somewhere where the children could have fun and be respected.
How long have the girls been working in the industry? Why have you have kept for this length of time?
The girls have been working for about 6 years, we kept going because they’ve had constant jobs and work along the way so while that’s happening and they’re having fun we thought why not keep going and enjoy the ride.
What do you find challenging about having your children working in the industry?
Sometimes it’s a little bit difficult having twins, especially because they’re not identical. Sometimes one twin might get more work than the other, so it is a juggling act that we deal with. But we’re pretty realistic with that, and we understand that its the client who’s picking the talent.
What is it like seeing your children on TV and in print?
It definitely makes me proud to see my girls in campaigns on TV or in print. But the fact that they’re enjoying it and having fun is the best part.
In what ways has working in the industry impacted Chelsea and Chloe in their life?
Working in the industry has had a positive impact on their lives, its helped them become more confident, everywhere they go they have a smile!
Do you have any tips for new parents entering the industry?
Keep it simple! Be on time, listen to instructions and most of all have fun.
It’s not every day that you get to fly to another city and shoot along side an international model. But our Achok was lucky enough to have this experience of a life time!
They casted across three cities to find the perfect girl for this role, and they found that perfect girl in Achok! Achok was cast to play the role of a young Yaya Deng in the Westfield ‘Own Your Story’ campaign. Achok and her mum were flown to Sydney for the shoot and Achok’s images were plastered on billboards across Australia.
We sat down with Achok and her mum recently to have a chat about their experience.
How long have you been with the agency?
I have been with the agency since November last year
What was your first job?
My first job was for the Westfield ‘Own Your Story’ TV commercial
What was it like going to your first casting?
I was excited for my first casting, it was a lot of fun.
How did you feel when you were told that you booked the job?
I was happy – and excited that I also got to go to Sydney with my mum.
What was the best part of working on set?
The best part about working on set was getting to meet everyone, especially Yaya Deng, she gave me a lot of advice and motivated me not to be nervous or shy.
What things did you find difficult or challenging on set?
It was a long day but it was fun so it wasn’t too bad.
Why did you decide to join Achok up to an agency?
She always wanted to model, so last year we decided to give it a go.
What was it like taking her to her first casting?
I was nervous but I was very excited for her.
What is the best part of seeing Achok working on set?
I always thought she was a shy girl, but when she got on set she wasn’t shy at all. So that was the best part, seeing a side in her I hadn’t seen before.