Do you believe you need a perfect plan on how to run a business before you start? News flash, you do not. In business and life, you need to take chances and do what you feel can work. It is no guarantee it will succeed, but how will you ever find out its fate if you don’t leap by faith?

That is the inspirational story of Val Emanuel and Anne Therese, the founders of Role Model Management. The two manage the first-ever ethical modeling agency that believes in empowering models to be their best selves, have a voice and bring positive change into the industry.

The Genesis

In the beginning, Anne and Val probably had no idea their modeling agency would amass* the success and popularity it currently has. All they had was a mission to bring forth a positive change into the modeling agency, regardless of what the outcome may be.

Anne Therese grew up in Sweden spending most of her time in the wild. In no time, she had fallen in love with the environment. Her appreciation for nature led her to seek innovative ways to live a sustainable and eco-conscious life, even in a megacity like New York.

She chose to be an eco-warrior, and modeling was one of the platforms she wanted to use to come out as a climate optimist and make people choose a more sustainable life. To her displeasure, she soon discovered that modeling agencies did not give models a voice. That fueled her desire to start something different.

On the other hand, Val Emanuel grew up in the limelight. She joined modeling when she was still little. Later on in life, she also went into talent and business management, and photo production. Being in the industry for two decades made her see and experience what was lacking in modeling agencies.

The model rights activist wanted a positive change. She tried to amend how models are managed and perceived. She saw there was more to it than just a beautiful face for a brand. The mother believed that models should have a voice and a purpose. She understood the change she dearly yearns for begins from within.

When Anne and Val were finally introduced, they knew both of them could bring forth the change they needed if they work together for a mission. They decided to jump into the deep end and launch the first modeling agency of its kind. While they had no idea how it will work, it was apparent it had to happen. That is how the couple created Role Model Management in 2017.

The Foundation of Role Model Management

Unlike many modeling agencies, RMM was an ethical kind with a mission. The founders made it to be a solution to problems that the industry had. Their foundation lies in transparency, sustainability, and empowerment of models. To their surprise they’ve learned that much of their success has come through simply by being different, and it turns out that not knowing how things work can actually be your greatest advantage. Chances then are that you do things differently than others in the field, which can come as a breath of fresh air – which is exactly the feedback the two founders have received from models and casting directors alike!

The two models and social activists put ethics, environmental, and social justice at their business’s core. To their advantage, the #metoo movement took the world by storm right after they started RMM. Because the values needed were what they offer, the agency was ahead of the game and became its success.

The Success of Role Model Management

For a modeling agency of its kind, RMM is indeed a success story. While operating for about four years now, Anne Therese and Val have recruited over 200 models. They have also partnered with organizations like UN, Remake Fashion, and Plus1vote.

Due to their superior advantage of being a one-of-a-kind ethical agency, many high-ranking brands have become clients. Some of them include Timberland, Nike, Elle USA, Sorel, Amazon, eBay, Epson, Thrive Market, T-Mobile, etcetera. While the Role Models team is small,, they have made great strides in the right direction, both socially and financially.


Role Model Management is an example of how not knowing how the business works can be a recipe for success. Even though they did not have a master plan when they began in 2017, Anne and Val had a mission that they have accomplished significantly.

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