Welcome to Face Time. DFW Style Daily’s exclusive series goes beyond the runways to get to know top Dallas models on a personal level. Why? Because there’s so much more to making it in one of fashion’s most competitive fields than just a fit figure and a nice smile. Case in point: Pam Skaggs Frank.
So far, we’ve met models who maintain double lives as tech gurus, marketing mavens, and rock stars. We’ve chatted with a muse of Yves Saint Laurent, and we even relived a close encounter with a shotgun-toting farmer.
Today, we’ll meet a multi-faceted model with a resume that spans the globe. Pam Skaggs Frank’s career has taken her around the world and back again, with her passion for culture and beauty informing two original companies launched right here in Big D. Read on for Pam’s fascinating interview, including her business back story and cause close to her heart.
DFW Style Daily: At what age did you begin modeling? Were you scouted or did you pursue modeling as a career?
Pam Skaggs Frank: “I started modeling the summer after high school. A friend from my church took photos of me for a project. The photos turned out pretty well, and he encouraged me to move forward with modeling.
“Not long after that, Johnny Casablanca came to Dallas, and scouted me to go to New York City and list with Elite Model Management. I am still thrilled that my parents let me go! From that point on, I never stopped working. That was over 33 years ago.”
What do you think is the biggest misconception about the modeling industry?
“I think that modeling is often portrayed as a vehicle for promoting a model. In reality, our true job, our only job, is to sell the merchandise. This fact is often forgotten.”
Your background includes both editorial and commercial modeling. Which side of the business do you prefer?
“My career has been dominated by my favorite category: catalog modeling. While in New York City, my agency required all new models to go to Europe for ‘experience.’ They explained to me that I could go to Paris or Milan and try to get editorial work, or I could go to Germany and start working in catalogs immediately.
“I went straight to Germany and cut my teeth on German catalogs. I maintained many of those clients for years and years. This catalog career has allowed me to travel the world, from Hawaii to Europe, as well as Mexico, Australia, Fiji, Bali, the Caribbean, and even Africa.”
As with many of our Face Time interview subjects, you are also an entrepreneur. Tell us about your companies, Gloss Interiors and Gloss Luxury Rentals.
“Gloss Luxury Rentals is a company which rents furniture and décor items for events. I was inspired to start this business by my sister, Stacey Murdoch, who owns The Wildflower (a floral and event company). Several years back, she was looking for items for an event that were hard to come by; I bought the desired items, and she rented them. That was the beginning.
“Since then, Gloss has grown substantially, and has rented furniture to the best event planners in Dallas. The forte of my company is high-end, well-maintained, modern décor – and great service, of course! Gloss Interiors is a natural progression of Gloss Luxury Rentals. I am able to effectively set up event spaces, and this translates to home interiors, as well.”
How did you first become interested in the interior design field?
“I have always had an interest in beautifying interiors. My mom has always loved to decorate, and the fashion world and my travels have also inspired me. I bought my first property at age 20, and redecorated the house. I realized that I had a bit of talent, and since then I have always maintained interior design as a touch point.”
Tell us three facts about yourself that might surprise us.
“First, I had two small speaking roles on the original Dallas series. I still receive tiny residual checks. Second, my first dream was to go into politics. Third, my two best girlfriends and I gave the artist, Prince, a ride to his hotel back in 1979.
“As for that ride, we were too young to enter a nightclub, but we had heard that Prince would be visiting a certain club in town. Sure enough, Prince and his manager were standing outside of the club when we arrived to check out the scene, and a crowd was gathering around him. We saw him and started yelling his name, and his manager approached our little Honda and asked if we would take him to his hotel. We said ‘yes,’ and he jumped in the back seat – sitting on the hump! It was so fun, even though he really didn’t say a word, and no one believed us when we told them what had happened.”
You are known to be an active supporter of several charitable organizations here in the Metroplex. Is there a certain organization that is especially close to your heart?
“Yes, I am a passionate supporter of the Foundation for Fighting Blindness. My daughter is affected by a genetic retinal disorder, and thus, we are firm believers in the work of FFB and their motto, ‘A cure is in sight.’ Also, I am very proud of the fact that my daughter is serving as Youth Chair for the 2015 Dallas Vision Walk.”
What was the last book you read that made a big impact on you?
“I’m a fan of political history books, especially the work of political historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Her book, Team of Rivals, illustrates the drama and corruption that existed in the presidential race of 1860. I love political drama. My dad is a World History major, and instilled the love of history and politics in me. I think he was hoping that I might be a Supreme Court judge!”
When you’re not working, how might you spend a free afternoon or evening?
“This year, I will celebrate my 25th anniversary with my husband, David. He was my high school sweetheart. On a free afternoon, I love going to a leisurely lunch with my sweet husband, then a stroll through a couple of resale décor shops. My entire family also lives here in Dallas, and we are very close. I love spending time with my parents and my two younger sisters and their families.”
All images, courtesy of Pam Skaggs Frank.