Building confidence and celebrating uniqueness is the message being echoed through Whanganui's new modelling agency.

And it certainly showed on Sunday during the first Embrace Modelling Management workshop held at Nga Tai O Te Awa in Whanganui.

The seven young talents, aged between 14 to 24, who attended the workshop were the first group to be scouted by agency founder Carla Jayne Smith.

The fashion stylist, owner of a high-end clothing boutique and founder of an Australian modelling agency said the group chosen showed real diversity and complemented each other which was important.


"Embrace Modelling Management is more than just modelling, it's about grooming talent and helping them gain confidence."

She said among the group there was a make-up artist, a singer and a basketball player.

"Having that something extra is important and everyone has it, it's just about fostering that and giving the confidence to make their mark," Ms Smith said.

In the half-day session Ms Smith and guest mentor Amanda Betts taught the first lessons of industry: modelling etiquette.

"This is really important when it comes to getting jobs and can apply not just to modelling.

"You can have all the looks but without curiosity, confidence and communication it can be difficult to gain respect in the industry," Ms Smith said.

Ms Smith said she was really grateful to have Ms Betts because she had so many connections over the world.

"She has placed thousands of models into jobs and careers all over the world so it is an amazing opportunity to have her working alongside us."

Ms Betts said she was blown away by the creativity in the Whanganui community.

"I think Whanganui will gain a lot from this because in the last 48 hours I have seen so much talent and this is a platform to grow that talent.

"For example in this group we have an amazing singer that Whanganui doesn't even know about yet but she will... along with the many others out there," Ms Betts said.

Ms Betts said she decided to get behind Ms Smith because she could see the potential it had for Whanganui and that was because it was about more than just the modelling.

"I plan to come back every month from now on."