Faces of the Executives’ Club: Natalie Sparrow

Written by: Brady Drake

Founded in 2015, The Executives’ Club of Fargo-Moorhead is a club designated exclusively for CEOs, Presidents, Founders, and serial entrepreneurs to have extraordinary conversations.

We were lucky enough to interview a number of those visionary leaders and are even luckier to get the chance to share them with you over our next few issues.

Want to join the club? Head to the100.online

Natalie Sparrow, Owner, Natalie Sparrow Mgmt/Ultimate Image LLC

Natalie Sparrow has over 20 years of experience developing and managing models, actors and singers, along with developing and branding influencers over the past few years. Ms. Sparrow started her career by receiving her Bachelor of Science degree at North Dakota State University in apparel and textiles, with an emphasis on design. Her minor in studies was in theatre with an emphasis on production. Before completing college, Sparrow started her own business as a wardrobe/image consultant and makeup artist, then later launched a model/talent agency, representing models and actors in the Upper Midwest. Successes of Sparrow include models working all over the USA, Italy, Paris, Greece, walking the runways of NYFW and LAFW, and numerous tv commercials (local and national), magazine publications/covers, short films and successful social media campaigns.

In 2000, Sparrow worked with Clothing & Connections, a nonprofit organization assisting low-income men/women transitioning into the workplace. She helped form the organization and get media attention by making appearances on television and radio, volunteering on the board and providing before/after make-overs for the participants attending the programs. Sparrow produced and choreographed fashion shows to help fundraise for local charities. Over the years, Sparrow created and produced numerous charitable fashion shows including Prom Fantasy, Downtown Holiday Extravaganza, Ultimate Shows, Fashionably Loud and Beyond Beauty Expo. She volunteered to produce fashion shows for The Christmas Gift Fashion Show, Trend Release and The Quota International Annual Fashion Show. All of these shows became very successful and raised over $10,000 in charitable funds. In 2006, Natalie received the honor of winning the YWCA Women of the Year Award for “Business That Empowers Women.”

Sparrow has been a member of many organizations within the community including Business Network International, the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce, Quota International and Clothing & Connections. On a wider level, she held membership, for one year, with the Association of Image Consultants International. Most recently, Natalie has assisted in the development of the National Association for Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and In October 2010, they chartered a local chapter, NAWBO-GRRV. This organization focuses on encouraging business networking, empowerment and development for working women. Sparrow is currently a member of the 100, The Executives Club of Fargo-Moorhead.

Take us through a typical day in your life.

Every day is different in the life of an Agent/Makeup artist. One day, I am working on a set as a makeup artist for TV commercials. The next day, I am shooting photos of new faces. Another day, I am hopping on an airplane taking models to New York, LA, Miami or wherever, to meet with agents, do photo shoots or walk fashion shows. Every day is an adventure.

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Get a real job/career/major and stop playing house.

What keeps you at night?

Wondering why someone didn’t respond to my text/email/phone call.

What would you give a Ted talk on?

You can make it to the top, even if you are a C or D average student!

How does the reality of your job differ from people’s perception of it?

It is not as glamorous as it seems. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears (more tears than anything) to keep going as an agent (especially in Fargo, ND).

What’s one thing the local business community could do to help you/your organization?

It would help if people see value in people/talent/models for their time to be in TV commercials, fashion shows and advertisements—and pay them for time and usage.

If you could thank one person who’s contributed to your success, who would it be and why?

I have so many people to thank, so many I could list. I am definitely grateful to be married to an accountant. My husband, Chad Sparrow, has been extremely patient and helpful in everything I do, especially the accounting side of my business. He also listens to my times of tears, my fears and supports all I do, even when I should have given up years ago.

What’s your “Why”?

The modeling and acting industries are difficult, so, so difficult. They are filled with untrustworthy people. It is an industry with misunderstandings and many unknowns for people not familiar with it. I want to be there to help lift people up, to help guide them to success and to offer coaching for people who want to know this industry. And, because I wanted to be the model/actor who experienced this unique industry, but didn’t have the right connections to get me where I needed to be and doubted my own capabilities.

What part of your job would you use an “Easy Button” on, If you could?

Booking models/actors for jobs and getting them signed in major markets. That would be awesome!

What’s one characteristic you believe every great leader should possess?

Every leader needs to listen and ask questions often.

What’s one way you foster creativity within your organization?

We offer tours to help talent and models experience the industry firsthand and hands-on.

What’s a local/satte resource your organization has utilized recently?

ND Women’s Business Center is a great resource for women-owned businesses.

Facebook: /nataliesparrowmgmt
Instagram: @nataliesparrowmgmt

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.