This date, in 2016, I launched a blog called Raised In Glitter. It was an outlet for expressing creatively through interviews, and photoshoots with local brands, models, bands, and anyone creative.  I think I always knew it was going to be something more. As Instagram was slowly becoming the major social platform, I'd still scout models of Facebook and met with two models on seperate occasions, to shoot. Both glittery, fun and very 'on brand' and I had no idea that they would end up becoming my closest friends. They have been a part of this adventure since and totally need a shout out early on; Ashlee (@ashleemclernon) and Rello (@hotwaifumaterial).

Part of getting the word out and spreading the concept behind Raised In Glitter, we held out first casting call for a runway show and pop-up shop 'The Crush Club,' in October 2016. We teamed up with local brands, hair and makeup teams, DJ's, beer and gin and artists/photographers that showcased their work. It was the first moment that made me realise that there are so many people that want to be a part of what we are doing and included in this shift of the industry. 


It wasn't until January 6, 2017 that we launched the agency. A few models, and a completely different approach. I remember the people we represented were super niche and I wouldn't have thought that we would ever do commercial work. Looking at our team now, we have such a broad representation of the industry. 

March 10, 2016, we changed the name to Handshake Creative. Chloe Clem helped me with the logo and of course it was gold.


The last year has been a blur. I focused on the agency, launching the development workshop, a few public casting calls, and another event called 'DREAMLOOP.' A rebrand happened (thanks Ash for the help!) and here we are. We have changed our roster of models continuously and I have never learnt so much in a short amount of time. I've had the privilege of having some awesome interns and staff work with us. We have worked with some huge clients and are so lucky to have a huge team of supporters behind our back. We launched 'The Studio' doing full packages for brands, and facilitating mentoring programs for upcoming creatives.

By far the most challenging aspect has been the agency and working with so many different types of people. A lot of models that have come through our doors took advantage of the loose contracts and the optimistic nature I have had my whole life. I thought if people were on board with our mission and wanted to be apart of our culture, they would keep their end of the deal; That's not business sweetie!

But there have been a few people that have been whole-heartedly committed and supportive, to making this business happen in ways I couldn't imagine. 

I am so excited to see how the next few months go and with the awesome team of talent we have. 

This has been a bit of a ramble post, as I'm recovering from my wisdom teeth removal so it'll get edited when I'm feeling a bit better! 

Much love and thank you for your support!

Emily Friend

Emily Friend