The Edmond Sun
With the opening of Brink Model Management in December of 2009, Oklahoma models put their best foot forward and began influencing the fashion world with local talent.
In 2006 model Heather Rouba put her full-time modeling schedule aside and began working as a part-time model partnering with Anthony David to form the Anthony David Agency in 2006. Three years later she purchased David’s interest and took over the business, changing the name to Brink Model Management LLC.
Located on Santa Fe off Second Street, Heather, president of the company, and her husband Yury Rouba are co-owners of Brink Model Management with each focusing on the area where they are best suited. Yury has been an adjunct professor in the College of Business for the past six years at the University of Central Oklahoma.
“My husband handles the finances, which he absolutely loves doing, and I handle the models,” Heather said. “I definitely have his input. He has much more of a business background, and I have one in art. He keeps me in check. He is wonderful at that.”
Heather started the company during her reign as Mrs. Oklahoma USA 2009.
“I wanted to have an outlet focused on families so I focused on the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative and Calm Waters for children who have lost a parent,” Heather said.
Since that time she has had her hands full with her focus on the responsibilities of the business and now, five years later, she and her husband’s two children.
“I work from home a lot,” Heather said. “I am a lot like my dad I guess; I have always been driven. Like him, I enjoy challenges, and I thrive on stress. I enjoy doing everything.”
Brink has close to 150 models who Heather handles, the youngest at age 14.
“We don’t contract children but do have a few we use when needed,” Heather said.
Heather’s interest in modeling started when she was 5.
“My mom was 5 ft. 4 in., but I had an innate desire to model,” Heather said.
The second oldest of six children growing up in Mustang, modeling was not something her mother could help her pursue.
Heather’s modeling career started in a remote school that has long since disappeared and competed in the High School Teen Oklahoma USA when she was a senior.
From there she learned from Pattye Gers with Harrison-Gers who worked out of her home in Nichols Hills then went to Tulsa for a while before coming back to the metro area.
At 18, Heather competed at the International Model and Talent Association convention in New York City, where she placed as first runner-up in both the “Most Sought After Model” and “Model of the Year” categories. Heather signed with Karin Models (now MC2 Models) in New York and Miami.
After working as a full-time model, Heather committed to missionary work in Fresno, Calif.
Heather moved to Edmond upon receiving the UCO Presidential Leadership Scholarship.
“I love Edmond, loved the university and enjoyed working on campus for President Roger Webb,” Heather said.
Rouba earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Central Oklahoma in Interior Design with a minor in Art History in 2007 and was awarded the Presidential Leadership Scholarship and the Award of Excellence in Design. She worked for JHBR Architects and the UCO Architectural and Engineering Services Department as an interior designer.
“When I came back to Edmond I felt there was a need for a modeling business,” Rouba said. “We have beautiful people in Oklahoma. A lot of people didn’t know how to book a model. It is a market that is developing and growing.”
Brink models’ faces can be seen on the covers of local magazines and models from Brink are in Singapore and Tokyo as well as New York, Dallas and Los Angeles.
There is an Open Call each Wednesday where anyone can come by and literally walk in with no make up, hair pulled back and dressed in something fitted, Heather said. “Let us look at your potential. I wouldn’t waste money on school. I wouldn’t invest in anything, not even a portfolio.
“We look for teens that are lanky and maybe awkward, and really, really tall, and really, really lean. For placement outside of Oklahoma we look for girls 5 foot 9 inches to 5 foot 11 inches and wear a zero or a 2 and are 14 to 25 years of age. For Oklahoma we look for girls a little curvier and little shorter 5 foot 9 inches to 5 foot 10 inches and wear a size 4 and are in their early 20s.”
“The guys should be at least 6 foot to 6 foot 2 inches and from 16 to 30 years of age. Models should be in good shape, with a lean build. If you are interested in becoming a model with us, please submit yourself on the Be Discovered page.”
To be able to choose a model, Rouba said she thinks it has to do with having a trained eye.
“My experience in design has helped me,” she said. “I have been in the industry and seen models all of my life. I look for the structure of their face, symmetry, eyes, no rules, but at the same time I look at all the angles of the face.
Now 33, Rouba sets a goal each year for her business. Her goal this year is placement of her models in other markets at home and abroad.
“We have grown 150 percent and we are just getting started,” Rouba said. “Oklahoma is full of beautiful women.”
Brink Model is at 521 S. Santa Fe. For more information call 285-6150.