OWNER – KATRELL MENDENHALL
After two years of Chicago being the flagship of KMT, Katrell Mendenhall takes KMT beyond the skyline of the Windy City; branching out to the DMV area in Maryland. She has been in the fashion industry since she was a teen, including modeling with EBONY Fashion Fair and developing talent for 8 years with another agency. In more recent years she was the lead makeup artist for the season of Chicagolicious on Style network in 2012, first runner up in the 2015 Miss Illinois Pageant, and is partnered with Pure Talent Management agency out of L.A. heading the Chicago division as talent manager. She has incredible credentials. With over 20 years of experience it’s safe to say Katrell knows the fashion and entertainment industry inside out. Therefore opening her own model and talent agency was the perfect way for Katrell to display her pristine passion.
Although expanding from Chicago to Maryland was a natural progression, especially since that’s where Katrell is originally from, Katrell initially fought against her intuition when she first started KMT and stuck with fitting in with New York and L.A ., trendsetters in the world of fashion and entertainment. It was too confining. Katrell knew she had to do something different to stand out and take the talent of KMT to another level. She decided to think outside the box and use herself as the blueprint for growing KMT in untapped and underrated markets.
“For 14 years I’ve been taking my talent to New York and LA and I finally had to do what my brand is supposed to do and not try to replicate what others have been doing for years,” Katrell says. Raw authenticity is precisely what sets KMT apart as a training facility and agency.
Katrell made her own footprints in the fashion industry by staying true to herself. This is the foundation she uses to draft a blueprint for each of her clients during an intense 6 week training course that leaves them ready to conquer the world, as long as they’re willing to do the work. “We all have a purpose,” Katrell says. “It makes me proud to be a part of my clients’ growth and see confidence levels change drastically; because confidence isn’t something that can be taught. The wisdom and guidance is what does it for these people.” As much as the fashion and entertainment industries can be cutthroat, Katrell’s knowledge, experience and most of all, transparency, crushes the myths and misconceptions about the industries…especially the fashion industry. “Now that curves are more accepted, we have full figured women in ads so any misconception about the fashion industry is more of a personal issue today,” Katrell says.
So for anyone who is passionate about their talents and dares to defy the myths, KMT is the way to go for training and management. As for Katrell, KMT has superseded her expectations. But that’s the reward of true passion and sheer drive. She loves living in her purpose, adding value to the lives of others, and seeing the growth in her clients. Although her clients give her praise, Katrell understands it’s all a team effort in the end. “It’s bigger than me,” Katrell says. “The more we make an impact on this industry the bigger we’ll be. I don’t know what’s next after KMT DMV and I won’t start predicting things now, I’ll just let God continue to do his thing and follow His path.”