Sage Greenwood started off as a model with WINK Models some seven years ago while she navigated her way through university. WINK Models might be familiar to you through one of our bright talents, Taryn Williams, Wink’s founder and CEO, also a model turned savvy business woman and leading entrepreneur, determined to change the face of the industry.
When Sage joined WINK, in her early twenties, she didn’t know she might one day end up running the company. In fact, a self confessed academic and sportswoman, though she was studying law and commerce, the idea of an office job where you sit at your desk all day wasn’t particularly enticing to Sage. Fast forward to today as Sage transitions from employee to part owner and MD of WINK, Sage admits she has never been more passionate about a job.
I sat down with Sage to find out a little bit more about this determined model come business owner/Managing Director.
Sage, having grown up in Victoria, is the youngest of six with parents that encouraged broad learning experiences. She was never laboured with expectations to achieve, which ultimately set in motion her drive to find the things that motivated her most.
“I was very sporty growing up. I was an international high jumper and also very academic. I received a few scholarships when I was in school. I was always taught there was no limit to what I could achieve growing up. My mother is a chef and my father’s in wine, so my childhood was very explorative. From a young age and whilst I was studying I modelled, which later led to me taking a year off to model full time and live in Milan, London and Paris. When I came back to finish my degree, I decided to focus more on my studies than my modelling career, but I did enjoy the industry so looked for something that allowed me stay connected but in more of a business capacity. I had worked with Wink so I contacted Taryn and said, “Hey I love the agency and what it stands for, what do you think about me setting up a Melbourne office?”
Interestingly, WINK was Sage’s first ‘real’ job. While most of us start out as grads, or in entry level roles, Sage sought out passion over progression. She knew she could align with Taryn and WINK’s values, and with no expectations, applied herself fully to the task at hand.
“University, in part, sets you up for an unrealistic life. You don’t really get taught what it’s like in job land. When I was studying law, I had this glamorous idea of standing up in court and arguing cases. Towards the pointy end of the degree, I realised that it was a bit different in the real world! Also, the concept of going into an office job for me was very foreign.
“I never thought I’d be the kind of person that sits behind a desk, on my computer, taking calls and dealing with paperwork all day. Now I am in the office most days for about 10 hours a day and I really love it. It’s the realisation that it’s more what you’re doing than the act. It’s the bigger picture stuff.”
Having recently been given the opportunity to step up as MD of WINK Models, alongside becoming part owner, Sage admits many people tend to glamourise that type of transition. She says, “don’t ever forget how much work goes into that, before and after.”
“There’s a romantic ideal behind being your own boss. A lot of people don’t realise how hard it is to run a company. There’s a whole additional amount of work that happens that you don’t realise when you’re just an employee in a business. I thought I was quite hands on before, but since the transition, it’s like a continuous wave of work and responsibility. It’s something I’m more than happy to jump into and learn and I’m excited about that, but I often think people can feel entitled to something or think it’s easy, without wanting to do the extra work.”
“I’m not about that, I’m all about being proud of what I produce regardless of what I get out.”
Much like Taryn Williams, Sage has a huge vision for WINK Models. I can see it hasn’t taken her long to grab a hold of the reins.
“It would be great to see WINK Models as an internationally recognised brand. I’d like to see us with an office in every international city from Hong Kong, to London and New York. I’d like to see us having an impact on those markets the same way we do here in Australia and imparting positivity for the industry, which we are well known for at home.”
“We already have a huge point of difference in the Australian market, just through the way we perceive and project beauty. Our talent range from 13 to 79 in age and reflect the reality of a variety of shapes and sizes. There is such a demand now for realistic, authentic models and this is something we take great pride in providing.”
“WINK Models, from day one, has been an industry leader when it comes to the high standards we maintain for the treatment of our models and clients. Our models are paid within 7 days and we’re all about streamlining the process, whereas a lot of agencies around the world make that process quite difficult for everyone involved.”
“Work hard and expect nothing in return. Work hard because you want to, not because you want to be rewarded. Coming from being an employee and now being an employer – I can really see the difference between the two and how important it is for career projection to not just seek reward but rather be intrinsically passionate and driven.”
If you’re interested in developing your brand strategy or building awareness via public relations, please get in touch with me via email: email@example.com – Samantha Dybac, Founder, Sammway.