After Motherhood, Model Opens Agency For Pregnant Women
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Liza Elliott, busy sending out packages to potential clients, knows a lot about deliveries. The mother of a 2-year-old boy, Elliott is also the founder of a modeling agency for pregnant women.
“The women are listed in order of due date for your convenience,” she explains to one client.
Elliott is a model herself. She hatched the idea after she got pregnant and wanted to keep working, but wasn't sure where or how.
“I did quite a bit of research,” she says. “I ended up working for a lot of these clients, and after I had my baby I thought, ÎGosh, what am I going to do with this great information.’”
Sensing an untapped labor market, Elliot decided to launch Expecting Models nine months ago. Between 60 and 80 models, some of whom earn $$5,000 a day, work for the agency. And yes, they often work through morning sickness.
“I had one girl walk in and she looked like she had been going through it that morning,” says Elliott. “The great thing about working with professional models is that they rise to the occasion.”
Some models still use padding to simulate pregnancy, but Elliott says clients are drawn to her agency because, she says, you can't bluff a belly.
“Maternity designers are now becoming more racy in their attire,” says Elliott, “so women are exposing their bellies. A lot of the fashions are about short cropped tops with low-rise jeans.”
Elliott has since created other modeling divisions, including nursing moms and expecting dads. In fact, both Elliott's son and husband model for the agency. Elliott's theory: keeping it real keeps costs lower.
“The minute you put an infant in a fake mom's arms, it just doesn't work,” she says.
Meanwhile, Elliott says she's glad to dispel certain myths about pregnancy and beauty, such as, “You're not supposed to get big. You're not supposed to gain weight.”
“We are advertisers, we are the marketers, we are the casting directors, and we're tired of it,” Elliott says. “We're loving the fact that we're using a pregnant woman.”
Elliott hopes to expand her agency throughout the United States. She also hopes to expand her family. Once again, Liza Elliott is thinking big.
- Elizabeth Gerst