In the second edition of the Lifexury series, David Daxsen interviews Ernest Sturm from Runway Waiters.
Luxury means focusing on creating unique and unforgettable experiences and delivering exceptional personal service, and that’s what Ernest Sturm is committed to doing with Runway Waiters.
Yes: Waiters Direct From The Runway
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Runway Waiters only works with models signed by top modeling agencies, such as Elite Model Management, Ford Models, IMG Models and NEXT Management.
Aside from the strict selection process, Runway Waiters receive intensive training where they are provided extensive knowledge and experience in the catering and hospitality industry to tend to clients like Ralph Lauren
RL+1.32%+ Free Alerts, Tom Ford, Versace, YSL, Fendi, Armani, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bentley.
“We’re the first company in the world, and still the only staffing agency, that offers agency-signed high fashion models as catering staff, bartenders, promotional models and brand ambassadors for high-end clientele and top-tier event companies,” says Ernest Sturm, CEO and founder of Runway Waiters.
The topic is so interesting I feel the need to go deeply into the business model, challenges and experiences.
– What do you consider are some notable career highlights of Runway?
Runway Waiters has worked with companies that include but are not limited to notable events surrounding NYFW, Sundance Movie Festival, Miami Art Basel, Coachella Festival, Emmys, Grammys, Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, celebrity special occasions, luxury hotel openings, fundraisers in the Hamptons, car unveilings for brands such as Bentley, Rolls Royse, Maserati, Lamborghini, Ferrari, and multi-million dollar real estate listings (open houses, private viewings, client meetings), among others.
– What were the biggest challenges you’ve faced and how did you overcome them?
Challenges early onset were that model agencies were hesitant to have their models work for us as servers and bartenders. However, they quickly discovered that we did not take them away from their modeling careers, in fact, the opposite happened. Opportunities blossom by having their models immerse themselves in the world of high-end events where they would meet execs, photographers, brand owners, casting directors, etc.
They also learned our staff has very flexible hours that other employments would not be able to match. This allowed the models to also focus and prioritize their modeling careers while at the same time being able to create a supplemental source of income to support their living expenses.
– Ernest, definitely you are a visionary entrepreneur finding a unique way to tend to high-end clients with a new standard while at the same time being helpful to models who often struggle on the way to the top by covering expenses mostly in cities like Los Angeles and New York where I see you provide models, bartenders, and waiters for hire. Where do you see yourself/your brand in a few years? What are some of your dreams and aspirations?
We see our brand expanding worldwide and becoming the go-to company for all high-end events, a model staffing agency for any events requiring models.
Be it brand ambassadors, promotional models, model bartenders, model waiters or any model staffing, we see Runway Waiters as being the top choice and the best model staffing agency not only in Los Angeles, New York and Miami, but the rest of the USA and worldwide. Our aspiration is to become synonymous with model staffing, we want to be the only company that both models and event professionals think about when they need models for events.
– What wisdom would you want to share with others? What lessons can people learn from you?
Lessons never stop, we are always learning and coming up with ways to be better. Our hope is that when the models stop working events with us they will have learned how to be better than they were, both professionally and personally, in different areas of their life. We incorporate and indirectly teach customer service and common sense.
A High-End Future
Runway Models is a very interesting case because it is mixing luxury with technology. In an article published on Forbes, Ernest Sturm spoke about the advantages and challenges that technology will bring with AI.
The emergence of AI-based marketing by Facebook