Michelle “MiMi” Sanchez is currently the owner and operator of Moda Modelos Agency, a Dallas-based agency which, with the help of her staff, their goal is to position itself as a leader in the Dallas Hispanic market. MiMi’s strong academic background from the University of Texas El Paso in the areas of Public Relations and Marketing as well as her prior work experience working out of Chanel headquarters in New York City has given her the unique ability to discover, develop and represent aspiring models and other talent such as singers and dancer. In addition to her busy schedule she manages to write the Fashion column as a freelance writer for several local magazines. Michelle’s background of being a performer herself as a singer/dancer for more the 10 years, has given her the edge of being a well rounded entrepreneur.
MODA Modelos was established back in May of 2005 and now is a full service Texas License talent agency representing and talent & models catering to fashion/commercial print, promotions and fashion show production. Some of MODA’s clients include: Telemundo, Univision, Metro PCS, AT&T, MTV3, Dieste Advertising, Heineken and The Texas Emmy Awards just to name a few.
We had a chance to catch up with Mimi and talk about her business, background, and music.
é: How did you become the CEO of Moda Modelos Agency and Events? Was it something you always planned or did it just happen?
Mimi: I became the founder of MODA 8 years ago in Dallas when the opportunity presented itself. And no, I did NOT plan on owning a modeling agency at all growing up when I was in college. It just happened! But it all started when I landed an internship for Chanel in NYC. I worked for the Ready to Wear department and to make it even more interesting I was there for 9/11.
So, to say the least, I had the opportunity to meet so many people in the fashion industry while working at Chanel. I was always assisting in trunk shows, fashion shows, market research, photo shoots for Vogue etc… And while in NYC I got the opportunity to take classes at the best dance studios, since I’ve been a dancer since I was 15. It was the best of both worlds.
When I was done with my internship I went back to school to graduate then my plans were to move back to NYC. However with the aftermath of 9/11 it was not a good time to move there so I settled for Dallas and gained some corporate experience there.
I started a modeling agency with a business partner and it didn’t work out with him so I decided to go on my own and call it MODA Modelos. We’re going on 8 years strong!!
é: Do you find it challenging catering to the Latino market in Dallas?
Mimi: YES, I did. Dallas is a small market for the “Modeling” world. However, I have seen it grow so much in the past years. For instance, JC Penny is now booking us for their ads and catalogs.
Mimi: My genre is Pop, for sure. However, I love to mix genres such as Reggeaton and R&B. Yes I do plan to launch my music career with Papi Papi ft. Gabyson. He is a recording reggeaton artist from Puerto Rico and he signed with Limitless Entertainment. I’m an independent artist in search for a management. I know I’m super close, and it’s only a matter of time now. So wish me luck 🙂
é: Why do you think your fans love the drama of your life?
Mimi: I think my fans are always intrigued of my crazy life cuz, well, I am far from having a normal life. I’m def not a 9-5pm girl that’s for sure. I create my own opportunities and wait for no one. I have famous friends and contacts and if I’m with them I’ll take pictures and make crazy comments on what we’re doing, and that’s what people love!!!!
Do you think your life is dramatic? YES, of course people esp love to know who I’m dating. Poor dudes, I feel sorry for the poor things cuz they get scrutinized and they just don’t like all the attention and end up running. So, lets just say I don’t date much. There is an interesting guy that I am currently getting to know and so far he seems to be an amazing guy. And yes, he is in the music industry that’s all I’m going to say 😉
é: Do you have any pastimes or hobbies that most people don’t know about?
Mimi: Yes I do. I dance ballet and pop. Since I was 15. I’ve been a dancer all my life, and it’s in my blood. The singing came later. But, I also used to teach and choreograph and I miss it sooooooooo much!! So, just recently did these doors of opportunities to get in the music biz starting opening up. I always wanted to be a recording artist, but realistically I chose to own my own business as a career. BUT, I sooo miss performing. You can’t compare the adrenaline rush of being on stage and making people happy with your performance. So, like I said earlier, I create my own opportunities and just making it happen. I have my first big gig coming up at the end of June. I’ll be opening for PitBull’s afterparty at a club in Dallas. I’m super excited, and I’m sure me and my performance team will do great!!!
é: What advice would you give to young Latinas who want to follow in your foot steps and become entrepreneurs?
Mimi: Well I get that question all the time. And I always say NEVER give up! Always believe in yourself, even when others don’t. Don’t seek validation from others all the time; you’ll drive yourself nuts. Seek gratification in your accomplishments and ALWAYS help others accomplish their goals and dreams. Cuz I’ve learned if you scratch their back people become loyal to you. And when its YOUR turn people will be there for YOU! And last but not least always put God first!