Women at Work: Andrea Hutchinson

Georgia Mackay

Wife, mum and co-founder of a flourishing modelling business.

This is just a day in the life of Andrea Hutchinson, Managing Director of HAUS Models.

“I grew up in Switzerland, speaking German, French and English. I started a linguistics and psychology degree at the University of Bern,” explains Andrea.

“During my first semester break I travelled to Australia for three months, where I met Clint, my husband. I returned to Switzerland, transferred to the University of Canberra and moved here in 2009. The rest is history,” says Andrea.

When Andrea moved to Canberra, she noticed that there was a creative scene bubbling away under the surface.

“I knew it wouldn’t stay there for long. There is too much talent here in the capital and it was just a matter of time before it all came to show. When I first moved here, there were hardly any boutique clothing shops, hardly any fashion events and not many big projects happening, but look at it now! Today, Canberra is so different and has truly made its creative mark on the nation’s landscape. I am proud of that,” says Andrea.

In addition to co-founding HAUS Models, Andrea co-founded FASHFEST with Clint. HAUS was created after the initial FASHFEST, as Andrea saw an opportunity to mentor and teach young models who were hungry to gain more experience and grow in the industry.

“After the first FASHFEST, we had quite a few models who were keen to stay in touch and gain more experience,” says Andrea. “I started modelling in Switzerland when I was 16 and modelled for five years before moving to Australia. So with my modelling background, I knew what the potential was.”

andrea women at work

Photo: Charlie White

Andrea and Clint have two young children. When asked how it is being a business women and mother of two children under three she says, honestly, that it isn’t easy, but that she never expected it to be.

“Mornings are hectic – from the minute the kids open their eyes. It’s non-stop, getting them ready, fed and settled into the day. I am lucky that they are both pretty easy going but it is a world of constant demands. As with most working mums, adrenaline helps keep me going. I love my kids more than anything and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

You can imagine that with two young children staying driven and passionate could be difficult, however Andrea believes she is fortunate to be working in an industry that she loves.

“The creative industry makes the world go round in my view. I love the world of modelling. I love fashion. I love the possibilities. I am fortunate that my husband is in the creative industry also, so there is much more to explore.”

And on advice Andrea has for other working mums?

“I would tell other working mums to not be too hard on themselves. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I am a big believer in ‘to do’ lists, they are my saviour, but also building in flexibility where you can, especially with a job like mine which requires me to be a master juggler.”

So what does a day as the Managing Director of a super busy modelling agency look like?

“I deal with so many different people and activities throughout each day for HAUS Models – clients, booking models, job schedules and all the admin that is inevitably part of running a busy business. So while on some levels every day has common elements, the reality is that every day is remarkably different. I don’t beat myself up if my day doesn’t run perfectly to plan though. What’s the point?” she says.

When asked what her favourite thing about running HAUS is, Andrea couldn’t pick just one.

“I am a people person and I get a real buzz out of seeing the models get quality work and participate in amazing shoots. I also get a buzz out of educating the models in how the industry works, and introducing them to the many creatives involved in any given project, like fashion designers, photographers and hair and makeup artists. It goes unsaid that I feel 110% satisfied when we have met a client brief to a tee.”

Andrea aspires to be a big contributor in the Canberra creative scene, and it’s obvious that she’s already left a mark.

“I want to try support the creative industry here to make it the best it can be and I want to be part of growing Canberra as a major tourism attraction. These are the things that really drive me to be a part of the creative scene here,” says Andrea. “Also, the amazing people and their desire and willingness to collaborate on great and inspiring projects. In many cities it is taboo to collaborate, some creative are too protective, but in Canberra we are better at sharing and I think the results speak for themselves!”

For more information on HAUS Models visit www.hausmodels.com.au.

Photography: Charlie White

Georgia Mackay

Georgia has just completed her degree in Communications and is excited to have the opportunity to intern with HerCanberra. Georgia was born and bred in Canberra and has a passion for all things fashion, beauty and lifestyle. She also, like many of the HerCanberra girls, enjoys great food and coffee and loves discovering new places to eat and drink in Canberra! Georgia is a true Canberra advocate and is excited about, among other things, the development of the creative scene in our capital. She believes Canberra is an exciting place for people of all ages to be at the moment and thinks it is only getting better. More about the Author