Everyday Models: James Brookner and Matt Garcia
The Everyday Models founders on their new advertising concept
Company name: Everyday Models
Founders: James Brookner & Matt Garcia
Age: James (22), Matt (35)
Staff Numbers: 6 Fulltime with a network of 100 field reps throughout the UK
Date started: 2008
Tell us what your business does
Everyday Models is the world's first agency to create a business model around brokering everyday people's possessions as ad space. We invite anyone to get paid to rent out aspects of their daily life to advertisers: whether it's their clothes, car, house or online profile.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
We originally took our inspiration from an article we read about a guy in Nebraska who had auctioned off his forehead as advertising space on Ebay. What excited us most about the idea was the notion of empowering consumers to become ‘sellsumers', providing them with new and exciting ways to earn money for themselves, while offering brands a cost-effective ways of reaching their target audience.
How did you know there was a market for it?
In today's financial climate, where most of us at best are earning just enough to get by, we spent a great deal of time thinking of new and innovative ways for people to earn themselves some extra money without it encroaching on their everyday lives.
As we are pioneers in this field we had no competition to model this business on. Therefore we had to rely on a combination of research, instinct and sheer guts. We felt confident that if we were able to find enough people willing to take part, we would find enough keen advertisers looking for innovative and cost-effective advertising methods to find people work.
What were you doing before starting up?
I (James) had just come out of university when Matt and I started up together. I had always dreamed of running my own business and had immersed myself in all the ‘start-up' literature I could get my hands on during my final year of university.
As a media professional for many years, I knew Matt had extensive experience running his own businesses, so I approached him to discuss the feasibility of me passing up a job opportunity at a Monaco-based investment bank!
The rest, as they say, is history…
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
If you think you have a really great idea, talk to as many experienced industry people who are willing to listen and ask them to pick your idea to pieces. You should not take any of their questions or criticisms personally. That said, you do not necessarily have to agree with all their advice. If you feel your idea still stands up, then – with enthusiasm, ambition, passion and energy – your idea can become a viable business very quickly.
Where do you want to be in five years' time? Do you have an exit plan?
Our long term plan is to franchise Everyday Models to every country and region throughout the world. We want to provide everyday people all over the planet with the chance to earn money while living their everyday lives.