Tanja Stephan is the owner of Artist Management. Opened in 2002, this Miami-based company represents highly experienced and creative hair and make-up artists, manicurists, stylists, set designers and costume designers. They represent artists based in both the United States and Europe.
Production Paradise: Could you tell us more about your career path? How did you start, and what has been one of your biggest challenges?
Tanja Stephan: I have been working in the fashion industry for 30 + years. I started as an agent / booker for a model agency in Hamburg/ Germany. After 4 years, I got hired to build the inhouse artbuying and production division for a German Department store chain called “Peek & Cloppenburg.” I was in charge of producing and booking 12 photo shoots per year for locations worldwide. From there, I went to an international Advertising Agency to be the head of Artbuying & Production, where I was in charge for print advertising and TV commercials.
I always loved my hometown, Hamburg, but the weather made me consider moving to Miami which I did in 2002. I opened my own Agency, “Artist Management,” in South Beach and have never looked back. Through my connections in Germany, I started getting clients instantly. My biggest challenge was to break into the U.S. market, which took a while, since the U.S. clients did not know me.
Production Paradise: You work with some of the most famous brands, do you have a team that has been working with you since the beginning or do you select different teams based on the project itself?
Tanja Stephan: I run a small boutique agency and most of my artists have been with me from the beginning. I have artists who work together regularly and make a great team, but I select artists based on the job description and the client needs.
Production Paradise: Where do you draw your inspiration from, and what do you think makes your work stand out?
Tanja Stephan: I have been on the client side for so many years that I understand the challenges they face and the process they have to go through. I think that is one of my advantages.
I have had a home office for 20+ years now and I am convinced that is a plus as well for my clients and artists since I am more or less always reachable and can act on requests and emergencies right away. I try my very best to always have happy clients since I believe in repeat business. I rather stay away from a booking if I don’t have the perfect match for my clients.
Production Paradise: How do you keep up with the changing trends in the industry you work in?
Tanja Stephan: Back in the days, we would buy the leading magazines to see what is going on in the fashion world. Nowadays it is all digital. I look at the work of inspirational photographers, artists, and clients on Instagram or online.
Production Paradise: Can you tell us what you are working on right now?
Tanja Stephan: For most of our celebrity clients and advertising clients, we sign an NDA so I can’t talk about what will happen in the near future, sorry.
In the recent past we worked with clients like Yes St. Laurent, van Cleef & Arpels, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, and Tommy Bahama to name a few.
Production Paradise: How has Production Paradise been beneficial for your company?
Tanja Stephan: Out of town clients have found me and my artists through Production Paradise.
Production Paradise: Do you have any favourite projects from over the years that you would like to share with us? And what makes them special?
Tanja Stephan: There are so many projects that have been just amazing due to the clients and the work we have been doing with them. I would not know where to begin.
Production Paradise: How do you see your career in a few years? Do you have a clear goal you would like to reach?
Tanja Stephan: My goal is to keep the agency the way it is. Stay with my artists and the clients we have. I am a very blessed agent since I truly love and trust every single artist of mine and most of my clients are just amazing.
We would like to thank Tanja for taking the time to share her experience with us! If you would like to see more of Tanja’s work, you can visit Artist Management’s Production Paradise member page or website.