How to express your brand values online, with Stud Model Project CEO, Teresa Morcho

3 lessons you can learn from the Stud Model Project's website on how to incorporate your brand values into your customer experience

How to express your brand values online, with Stud Model Project CEO, Teresa Morcho
Teresa Morcho, CEO, Stud Model Project

Key Takeaways:

  • Emphasizing human connection in your business model 
  • Incorporating your values into the customer experience
  • Integrating empowerment and accessibility in your operations

As the founder and CEO of the Stud Model Project — a modeling and development agency that trains masc-presenting lesbians, queer women, and non-binary folks to excel in the fashion industry — Teresa Morcho has always held close to her heart the well-being and success of her clients. 

Unlike more “mainstream” modeling agencies, the Stud Model Project is aimed at a certain category of models, and presents itself as more than just a modeling agency. It also acts as a development agency providing various resources to their models, who often are ostracized from the mainstream fashion world.

In short, the Stud Model Project has a vision, a statement to make, and upholds a very specific set of values. During our interview in my podcast Transition of Style, Teresa explains in detail what these values are and how they’re upheld within the company. 

One of the key aspects of the question was the topic of digital presence. How do you translate online all of your companies’ core values in a way that is understandable and engaging with the audience? 

Through my discussion with Teresa and an in-depth look at the Stud Model Project website, I was able to identify several answers. So here are 3 lessons you can learn from Teresa Morcho about how to translate your values in your digital presence.

Emphasize human connection in your business model 

The Stud Model Project’s online presence doesn’t hinge only on headshots of models displayed on the company’s website. On the contrary, the Stud Model Project is careful to maintain an open line of communication with their audience, by diversifying their presence and using different platforms, most importantly Instagram. On their Instagram, the company promotes their work, their photoshoots, but they also engage in more direct conversation with the audience to keep them updated on the company.

For example, any time a new model is recruited by the Stud Model Project, an Instagram post introduces them to the audience, so they can keep up with the faces they see on screen, and find out more information about them.

By implementing this strategy, the Stud Model Project humanizes both the company and the model they work with, by presenting them as more than just a face or a body, but as fully fledged human beings. 

The Stud Model Project shows that models are real people with different personalities, interests, and stories. This makes it easier for people to connect with the models and see them as more than just pretty faces. It also helps to create a community where everyone feels valued and appreciated.

Incorporate Your Values Into the Customer Experience

Typically, on a “traditional” modeling agency’s site, the first thing you’ll see on a model’s profile page is a picture of them along with their measurements. Dwindling a person down to their size can be pretty dehumanizing. This is not just a representation of the agency’ values, but it’s also a user/customer experience decision.

The Stud Model Project decided to use a different strategy, in order to present their models as more than just bodies, but also as individuals. Instead of measurements, the available information on the website concerns the models’ skills, their qualifications. Some are actors, some have runway experience, some have editorial experience, etc. 

If you want to learn more about the models on, and specifically have information about their measurements, you have to make an account and speak to a representative; only then can you ask about these details. 

The strategic decision to shift the focus from physical measurements to the models' personalities and skills is in total agreement with the company’s core values, which advocates for a more inclusive and less objectifying representation of models––especially Black studs. This approach to user experience underscores the project's commitment to valuing individuals for who they are rather than their physical attributes, aligning with the broader goals of inclusivity and diversity. 

Integrate empowerment and accessibility in your operations

At the core of the Stud Model Project is the commitment to help Black studs find their well-deserved place within the fashion industry. 

The Stud Model Project isn’t “just” a modeling agency, but also a development agency. This means that the company doesn’t simply help models find bookings, but it also offers them training in different areas, specifically taking into account the stereotypes that studs have to overcome. 

Teresa Morcho

As Teresa Morcho puts it herself in our interview:

We give them coaching on the back, coaching for runway, how to walk, how to pose, how to do their makeup as a masculine presenting person. Different style techniques on how to put together color blockings and how to look at patterns and texture and things like that within fashion. How to not be scared to push the boundary. So, essentially we just give them a safe space to build, whether you’re a model, an actor, whatever. This is kind of like that first introduction to the industry that teaches you all those soft skills, help you build your portfolio.

The company actually offers resources to help models achieve their dreams. Studs are encouraged to join as a member of the Stud Model Project so they can be trained, have access to a network of industry professionals, and eventually thrive in the industry. And you can find calls to this action anywhere on their Instagram and website at 

For example, on the company’s website, the first information that is highlighted is the opportunity to have “unlimited photoshoot sessions to fit your modeling goals.” That way, the digital experience on the company’s website is directly tied to the company’s values, and constantly reminds the audience what type of agency the Stud Model Project is.

The Stud Model Project’s specific online strategy provides several lessons on how to translate your company’s values to your digital presence

The three main points to keep in mind are: emphasizing human connection in your business model, incorporating your values into the customer experience, and finally, integrating empowerment and accessibility in your operations.

In my interview with Teresa Morcho, the founder and CEO of The Stud Model Project, we discussed the topic of digital presence, but we also tackled many other issues during our conversation!  

If you want to learn more about the Stud Model Project’s story, listen to the episode on the Transition of Style website here.