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Inspiring Conversations with Noelle Manica of The Model Board

Today we’d like to introduce you to Noelle Manica.

Hi Noelle, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I was so fortunate to have had formal training from my very first agency in Texas when I was first signed as a model more than 20 years ago. I knew at the time that it was valuable, but until I moved up to Kansas City, I didn’t fully realize just how vital that training was to my career and longevity in the industry. As my modeling career has transitioned over the years, I wanted to help the talent in Kansas City maximize their opportunities and realize their potential; and I wanted to become a resource for the local agencies as well. I wanted to be a referral for those in the local industry who recognized potential in others and knew they could blossom with guidance from me. It’s incredibly fulfilling to be able to pass on hard-earned knowledge and experience, and to guide others who have potential and motivation.

So after a year of friends encouraging me to formalize my expertise, I officially launched The Model Board in May 2018. I started out offering workshops for models, actors, and people who wanted to learn about the industry – and invited industry professionals to headline the workshops with me. I used that as a barometer to see how interested people really were to this kind of training and education, and to see what kind of format and pricing would work for the market. Once people were able to see and hear about what I was offering, they started to realize the value I was bringing to the KC market and that I wanted to help others. I also offered private coaching sessions, which are completely tailored and personalized to each student. During these past three years, I was also named the Director of Model Development for Kansas City Fashion Council, Inc. and the Model Director for Kansas City Fashion Week, LLC, which put me in a great position to further educate the models and talent in Kansas City, and to promote The Model Board. And it added additional visibility and credibility in the eyes of others who may not know of me and my 20+ year-modeling career.

I always knew that I didn’t want to be a one-woman show, as evident in the name of The Model Board. And in the fall of 2020, I was able to introduce eight Board Members – local fashion professionals that I felt had something valuable to offer and who would be a great addition with their varied experience and expertise. I love being able to offer a platform that helps others shine, not just for the students but also for the coaches and the industry professionals we partner with.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I am so grateful for the encouragement and support I’ve received, but it definitely took most of the first year and a half to establish myself and The Model Board as the reputable and reliable service that it is, and that I had always intended it to be. My biggest challenge was trying to determine the right price point for the services offered (private coaching sessions; on-set styling and coaching; workshops, etc.)On one-hand, you want to price services according to the value you are offering and providing, but on the other hand, you don’t want to price yourself out of your niche market if they can’t afford what you think you’re worth. And there have been times that I have volunteered my coaching services and valuable time in order to be in front of my target audience so that they realize my value and can see for themselves that I’m legitimate and the real deal.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about The Model Board?
Our primary purpose is to EDUCATE + ELEVATE. The Model Board is a coalition of agency-represented models and established fashion professionals united in our mission to offer reputable and reliable model development, mentoring, and coaching. The fantastic group of individuals I’ve assembled all share the same goal and love for helping others to succeed, to grow and realize their full potential.
 
What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
You can’t do it all yourself, and that’s okay! Collaboration and sharing responsibility are keys to growth and longevity.
 

Pricing:

  • $75 for private, 1-hour personalized coaching session
  • $100 for private, 1.5-hour personalized coaching session

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Cameron Story Anh Phan & Amani Skalacki

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