March 8 is International Women's Day! This gives TopVintage the ultimate opportunity to pay tribute to a number of power women throughout the month. This week it's Natascha's turn: a strong single mother who owns her own successful modelling agency. Want to know more about how she made this happen? Let yourself be inspired, gorgeous!

Women Rock 
For this edition of our power women blog, I had the privilege of interviewing my friend, power woman and above all mother of two wonderful kids, Natascha Scheffers, 49 years old and born in Kerkrade in the southern part of the Netherlands. She started modelling at a young age and from 1997 to 2003, Natascha was a member of the girl band “Close II You”. They had a number of hits and the album Closer was sold so many times that it achieved gold status. This adventure came to an end in 2003, but Natascha has definitely kept busy since then. One of the things she has done since then was move abroad for love. After that relationship ended, she returned to her parents in Kerkrade as a single mother living on benefits. Natascha is a real go-getter and made her own dreams come true when she started her own modelling agency, Models Rock Agency, in 2011.  

What inspired you to start your own modelling agency?
“I basically had this idea 25 years ago. When I started modelling myself, I really missed having someone around that was familiar with the fashion industry and could show me the ropes. And there wasn’t even a high-fashion modelling agency based in the southern part of the Netherlands. Younger models originating from the province of Limburg had no choice but to go to Amsterdam, which is quite a big step at such a young age. That was the reason behind the founding of Models Rock Agency. It started with an office based in Roermond, but we’ve actually been based in Heerlen for quite a while now. I want to guide young girls and boys and give them honest information about what the job entails. It was my goal to become the first high-fashion modelling agency in Limburg. And I succeeded but it was an uphill battle. When I first started, people just thought it was strange that my agency was located in Heerlen. But by now I’ve really put Heerlen and Models Rock Agency on the map. Of course my highlight has been the international breakthrough of my first model resulting in campaigns for Louis Vuitton and Prada. One of my models also walked a Victoria’s Secret Show, something that I will never forget!” 

As a single mom, how do you combine motherhood and running your own company?   
“It is very hard and to be honest even though I’ve been doing this for 10 years now it’s only recently that I feel like I’m able to maintain some sort of balance. I have two children, a seventeen-year- old son and an eight-year-old daughter, with two different fathers. When I was pregnant with my daughter, Models Rock Agency was in its start-up stage. That’s why I had an agreement with my then partner that he would be the primary carer, so I could focus on Models Rock Agency. That initial stage of setting up your own company requires a lot of effort and energy. You want your business venture to succeed and you don’t want to fail. It often made me feel guilty, feeling like I was so focused on my career that I couldn’t give my children enough attention. When my daughter was 2 years old, her father and I broke up. That was the start of a very dark period in my life. It was just impossible to take care of both children, run my own company and cope with the break-up. Luckily my parents really helped me out a lot. Now that my company is thriving, I’m so much more at ease and my children are my number one priority. A few years ago I bought a beautiful house with an office space. That has really brought me peace and calm because it has made it so much easier for me to juggle work and home life. I can be doing my job while in between I have the opportunity to take care of household chores and the kids. The best decision ever! Of course, running your own company still is a lot of hard work, especially as a single mom. And two years ago when the Corona virus upended all of our lives, I definitely felt that pressure again. The modelling world had come to a total standstill, but the expenses still needed to be paid, which was quite a frightening prospect.”  

What advice would you like to give other single moms with a dream 
“Never let go of your dreams, in the end it will all work out even if it’s a long and rocky road. Be sure to listen to your heart, not your head. People often said to me: “Do you think it wise to buy that property, it’s such a great risk”, but deep inside I knew it was the right choice. Don’t let others lead you down a different path than the one you wish to travel.” 

What career dreams are you still hoping to achieve?   
“For now I hope that when it comes to assignments and campaigns things will continue like this and that I can keep taking good care of the models that I’m currently managing. But I do hope that throughout this year I will have the opportunity to do a bit of scouting and hopefully discover some new top models. I also have a dream that one day I can employ somebody to work alongside me. Because my work never stops, I need to be available 24/7, also during vacations. It would be wonderful if I could find somebody that I can rely on and that I can trust 100% to look after my business while I’m away.”

Who do you consider a power woman and why?     
"I consider women who follow their intuition and dare to follow their dreams real power women! It doesn’t matter if they are hardworking moms, women who choose to be full-time mothers and run the household or my models who work very hard and fly all over the world. I’ve been blessed with many powerful women in my life. I think there is a power woman in every woman as long as she has the courage to listen to her heart and make her own choices!”