The Matthew Agency: Modeling In the Heart of Downtown West Michigan

Are you Grand Rapids next top model?

The Matthew Agency, founded nine years ago by photographer Jerrad Matthew, has prevailed as the go-to talent and modeling agency in Grand Rapids. Throughout the years, the agency has increased its clientele base to include some of Grand Rapids’ top international businesses.

In a recent turn of events, the agency was acquired by local businesswoman Kelly Koning. When the opportunity presented itself, Koning could not pass up the opportunity. The acquisition will be a marked shift from her previous venture, a logistics company, where she ran the business with her husband.

“My previous experiences mesh with the needs of the Matthew Agency, alongside with my degree in international business and past work in Barcelona for global fashion brand Desigual, allow me a solid working foundation in the industry,” says Koning.

The Matthew Agency represents talent from Grand Rapids, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

“We take great pride in assisting our vendors with professionally scouted, diverse talent of age, ethnicity, and body size of today's communities. We seek to always represent ourselves well within this community and on all job sites,” adds Koning when asked about what the agency stands to uphold moving onward.

Since the acquisition was official at the beginning of June, Koning has had time at the reigns to analyze and set goals for the near future.

“We are scouting more models to join our agency and our open call will be next month, July 12, at our office in McKay Towers Suite 422.”

Koning says that on her list of objectives is to “ be on the forefront of celebrating diversity, non-discrimination, and body positivity…a place that radiates positivity and celebrates everyone!” She adds, “We celebrate all types of beauty at The Matthew Agency and I hope that shows in our diverse base of models and talents currently signed.”

According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, U.S.-based women business owners generate $1.4 trillion in sales and employ nearly 7.9 million people.Also, more than 9.1 million firms are owned by women.

We ask Koning what, if any, obstacles present themselves for a woman business owner in West Michigan. “Owning and running a small local business takes a lot of fortitude and there are always hurdles that present themselves in growing and expanding. I am confident that by nurturing existing relationships [and] building new lasting relationships while continuing to be a leader in local talent, we can contribute to the vibrant and exciting growth in West Michigan. I believe so strongly in our Grand Rapids community and the power that lies in supporting local,” answers Koning.

You can follow The Matthew Agency on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with their handle @matthewagency.

Ken Miguel-Cipriano is Rapid Growth’s innovation and jobs editor. To reach Ken, you can email [email protected] or follow him on Twitter and Instagram.