From Attorneys to Agency Owners: A Q&A with SMITH&SAINT

SMITH&SAINT
Photo Courtesy: SMITH&SAINT

By: SMITH&SAINT

Traditional pathways of career progression are increasingly intersecting with the digital era’s boundless opportunities. No one else knows this better than Madison Smith and Britt St. George, the dynamic sister duo behind SMITH&SAINT. They have carved a unique niche in the talent management industry since launching their agency in 2018. With backgrounds as attorneys and a shared passion for influencer marketing, they have turned SMITH&SAINT into a powerhouse, recognized for its innovative approach to managing athletes, influencers, and digital entrepreneurs. Their 360-degree methodology and commitment to building personal relationships have set them apart in a competitive field, earning them a spot on Business Insider’s 2024 list of key players in athlete media career development. 

Madison and Britt’s journey from attorneys to the pioneering founders of SMITH&SAINT is a compelling narrative of innovation, ambition, and strategic reinvention. In this interview, they share insights into their entrepreneurial spirit, the distinctive approach of SMITH&SAINT, and their vision for navigating and shaping the future of talent management.

Q: From attorneys to talent managers—what sparked the switch?

Madison: Entrepreneurship was in my blood! Growing up, I witnessed my parents navigate the challenges and rewards of building their own businesses. While earning my JD/MBA, I saw the potential for a new approach to talent management through influencer marketing. It felt like a natural evolution from my passion for creativity, strategic thinking, and helping people achieve their goals.

Britt: Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being an agent. Movies like Jerry Maguire ignited this passion in me. Law school honed my analytical and negotiation skills, while my experience in influencer marketing provided valuable insights into the digital landscape. Combining these elements with Madison’s vision, launching SMITH&SAINT felt like the perfect culmination of our aspirations and skillsets.

Q: How does SMITH&SAINT stand out in a crowded field?

Both: We prioritize a small, tightly-knit roster, allowing us to offer personalized attention and build genuine relationships with our clients. It’s not just about business—we genuinely care about their success and aspirations. Our team is comprised of business-savvy agents with diverse backgrounds and expertise. They provide a 360-degree approach, encompassing everything from strategy and negotiation to crafting creative campaigns and securing impactful deals. Ultimately, it’s our genuine care, strategic thinking, and ability to connect with clients on a deeper level that sets us apart.

Q: Navigating a male-dominated industry can be challenging. How do you overcome those obstacles?

Both: We certainly face challenges, but we persevere with kindness, strategic thinking, and unwavering advocacy for our clients and team. We believe in leading by example, demonstrating our expertise and value while always advocating for fair and equitable treatment. This dedication earned us the “2023 Boutique Talent Agency of the Year,” a testament to our steadfast commitment and ability to thrive in any environment.

Q: You champion female talent. What advice do you have for aspiring female CEOs?

Madison: Believe in yourself, and don’t be afraid to take risks! It might sound simple, but owning your strengths and weaknesses is crucial. Surround yourself with a supportive network and mentors who empower you. Whether leading a team or starting your own venture, confidence and self-awareness are your powerhouses. Remember, your voice and ideas matter, so don’t be afraid to share them and pave your own path.

Britt: Don’t be above anything! Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Understanding every aspect of your business from the ground up fosters appreciation and empowers your team. This allows you to delegate confidently and build a strong foundation for success. Remember, leadership isn’t just about giving orders—it’s about creating an environment where everyone feels valued, heard, and empowered to contribute their best.

Q: What’s your proudest accomplishment?

Madison: Despite challenges and changes within the industry, we’ve stayed true to our mission of providing in-house-level service and prioritizing relationships. Earning the “2023 Boutique Talent Agency of the Year” award validates our steadfast approach and shows that what we do truly works. It’s a testament to our team’s dedication and the trust our clients place in us.

Britt: I’m most proud of staying true to our mission, even through periods of growth. We haven’t lost sight of the importance of building genuine connections with our clients and keeping their needs at the heart of everything we do. The “2023 Boutique Talent Agency of the Year” award reflects that commitment. We’ve shown that a boutique agency with a heart can achieve great things while fostering a positive and rewarding work environment for our team.

Q: What’s next for SMITH&SAINT in 2024?

Both: We’re excited to expand our team and roster, bringing on new talent and crafting impactful deals for our clients. We’re also committed to fostering a positive and rewarding work environment for our team, nurturing their talents, and creating a space where they can thrive. We believe in the power of collaboration and innovation, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds as we continue to empower our clients and push the boundaries of the talent management industry.

Final Thoughts

Madison and Britt’s story is not just about the transformation from legal professionals to avant-garde leaders in the talent management industry; it’s a testament to the power of vision, adaptability, and genuine passion for nurturing talent in the digital realm. Their agency, SMITH&SAINT, stands as a beacon of innovation and personalized care in a crowded and competitive field, demonstrating that with the right mix of skills, empathy, and strategic foresight, it’s possible to forge new paths and achieve remarkable success. As they look towards the future, their commitment to expansion, client empowerment, and fostering a positive work environment promises to further cement their place in the talent management industry. Their journey is a vivid reminder that the blend of traditional expertise with modern digital savvy is not just the future of business—it’s a vibrant present that’s already unfolding.

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