If I had to choose one person who instinctively embodies the word “entrepreneur,” I would have to select none other than Brenda Skouras – founder, president, and promotional model expert of Victory Models & Event Staffing.
Born in the fashion capital of the world, this Filipino beauty fell among the chosen few whom dared to enter the cutthroat industry of modeling. From the age of sixteen to twenty-one Skouras, stood tall in shows and posed in front of cameras from the New York City to Milan. Having grown up with a love for the arts- singing and acting- the transition to modeling seemed only fitting, plus what girl doesn’t love clothes.
Returning to the Big Apple from George Mason University, Skouras, like many others, bartending and cocktail waitressed in between gigs to make ends meet. Not long after fate granted her, not the opportunity of a lifetime, but one that would change her life.
It is difficult to say how many people grow up knowing exactly who and what they want to be, although in a literal sense it seems that life experiences act as a blueprint.
The world of marketing & pr was a new encounter for Skouras, interfacing with the “whose-who” of the entertainment industry, working the room at hottest events in the city, unknowingly making a name for herself – the road to professional autonomy was being paved.
A life long hard worker, Skouras, with the help of a friend, saw an opportunity to bring innovation to life in her day-to-day work. If models can pose with seductive poise to sell a piece of clothing, a product or a lifestyle, how much more effective would it be to bring that proposed reality to life in an interactive fashion. Simply put, why should models only be utilized on the runway, showroom podiums or in front of a camera? What if she brought the showroom to life, the runway to the party – the showroom to the event?
Needless to say this was the beginning of Skouras’s careering in Promotional Staffing.
At the age of twenty-four Skouras had officially started her first company, “Poshability.” As she continued to build new relationships and foster old ones, news traveled fast around town and clients began rolling in.
They say “when life throws you lemons, make lemonade” and after three years of developing a successful and thriving business with her friend and business partner, their relationship came to an end as did her company. Like many, anxiety sets in when imagining that you would have to start over, but whether it was her small town spirit or big city nature, Skouras was determined to purse her dreams. With a new partner lined up and previous clients and models in her rolodex, SOZA Models was born and for the next four years she worked harder then ever.
As time pasted a sense of dissatisfaction set in. While she put in the work and the man-hours to create a company she that could be proud of something was missing.
“Victory is near,” the catch phrase at the three day Tony Robins seminar that help shape her future. In just a weekend Brenda found herself rejuvenated. Describing it as “as weekend you could never forget,” she was encouraged to better herself as a person and in turn as a business owner. Feeling empowered and ready to take on the world, the first thing she did was find a life coach, this would help prevent her from going back to old habits and the second thing she did, perhaps one of her most influential moves yet, was starting her own company, on her own, with no assistance and no partner – Victory Models & Event Staffing.
Looking back on things now Skouras has come to realize that she could have done this all along and that this idea of needing a partner or help was just that, an idea. It is often said “only you can stand in your own way,” but as victory neared, Skouras no longer saw reason to question her abilities.
Confidence often spews from the successful entrepreneur, but to Skouras, it’s all about family – loyalty and kindness. Taking the high road and “smiles always” are her personal mantras. With a considerate heart she treats her staff and models with care and respect, always keeping open lines of communication and earning their trust.
“The universe will evolve around you, but if you are putting in good, you get a good return.” For the past twelve years she has ridden a waves of success and with an earnest spirit and happy-go-lucky personality, like the shot heard ‘round the world,” Victory Models has spread across the globe. Skouras manages a staff of four in her New York office and 1200 models in the US, Canada and London.
To the prospective entrepreneur, Skouras has offered a few pros she lives by:
1. Try not to take short cuts.
2. Don’t be discouraged.
3. Be true to yourself and honest with your clients.
4. Don’t ever get cocky, always be grateful.
5. Never take no for an answer.
6. Do not sugarcoat! (That’s the New York in her!)
Adorned with the name Brenda, after the iconic comic book character Brenda Starr – a glamorous and adventurous female reporter, there is no question as to why Mrs. Skouras fits the heels of the U Blush Woman. She is Bold in love and work, Luxurious with her classic collection of Louis Vuitton handbags, Unique, having funky fashion sense, Sophisticated in the way she treats others, and Haute with a stylish charm.
Living life to the fullest Skouras believes you can’t be too serious and that having fun is a must. Spending quality time with her Husband, jet-setting here and there are amongst the few things she like to do for fun, but like any dedicated contemporary professional stylista who loves her job, working definitely is at the top of her list!