SLentrepreneur Profile: Patty Cortes, Creator of Glance International Agency

January 6th, 2010  |  Published in SL Entrepreneur Profiles  |  10 Comments

Patty Cortes was nominated for our SLentrepreneur of the Year Award by several Second Life residents. All of them cited her keen business skills and high-level of professionalism as the reasons they felt she embodied the qualities of a Second Life entrepreneur. We’re pleased to count her among our nominees for the 2009 award.

She was generous enough to answer some questions for our readers.

How long have you been in SL? Why did you come?
I joined Second Life on February 11, 2007. I heard about it through close friends who were really enthusiastic about this online world and its endless possibilities for fun and successful fields. The first months as a newbie were amazing and I soon wanted to upgrade both my looks and my goals in this game. Once you are bitten by the SL virus, you definitely can’t go back!

What Second Life business activities do you engage in?
I am the Founder and CEO of GLANCE International Agency, an SL-focused fashion public relations agency that promotes fashion designers and offers a variety of services including a top model training academy, premier model management, branding, marketing and publicity services, style consulting, a monthly fashion magazine, as well as a very active blog and other services geared toward fashion industry businesses and individuals. From the top model to the growing fashion designer, we have the network and the experience to leverage one’s popularity and style exposure. I am also very involved in charity organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the International Red Cross. At any given time, but especially with the current recession, one must learn how to share.

(Glance Fashion Center in Second Life)

What is your RL profession?
I am a freelance journalist and write occasionally for fashion-related blogs. I am a total amateur in terms of graphics and design but since I get great feedback about my layout designing skills (regarding GLANCE Magazine), I’m considering starting a fashion magazine as one of my next biggest real life projects. Basically I’m all about fashion edition!

Discuss your SL Business, business model, profit margin, who are your primary clients, monthly expenses, etc.
SL Business: GLANCE International Agency is here to spread the word about the latest releases and the most innovative creations. We are here to  introduce industry’s freshest faces (the models) and new blood (the designers) by building and strengthening their reputations through memorable fashion events and unique, fun editorials. Our goal is to help fashion-conscious customers to recognize the difference between our clients’ brands and others. Why do you think a customer would rather go to the brand A rather than the brand B ? Does participation in hunts, fashion shows, features in quality, fashion-focused magazine count? We answer those questions with a resounding Yes! And we are here to make it happen, to make our designers’ clients stand out from the crowd.

Business model: Regarding our business model, we are first and foremost brand consultants. Not just a model agency that branched out into something different – we are fashion PR consultants first; then magazine editors and model trainers. By standing next to the designers and training models, we feel that we are at the alpha and the omega of the SL fashion industry. What would the fashion market be without creative minds? It wouldn’t be there!  And what would designers be without all the promotional tools that fashion PR agencies bring in (fashion shows, magazines, blog posts, etc.)? It would be  nothing but a jungle where young designers couldn’t survive or step up. Our goal is to bring impactful and thoughtful solutions to all the marketing questions a young or lesser-known designer may have. Without forgetting to provide original promotion tools and never-seen-before concepts to assert the identity of well-known content creators – who are usually looking out to join professional and one-of-a-kind projects that their bigger budgets allow them.

Profits margin: In this industry, it’s really about who you are in the game and where you want to be, and GIA shoots for the moon! Actually, the agency is on auto-pilot, which means that our expenses meet our income and everything leftover and typically considered as profit is utilized for bigger projects that will foster creativity within the industry.

Primary clients: Fashion is a highly competitive market, that’s why we have aspiring models, supermodels and all levels of designers as our primary clients. They’re all looking for an agency that will help them create a unique identity and spread the word about their latest news, their future projects, etc.  Basically, they are hiring us as Public Relations consultants who have the network and the experience to bring them to the next level on the popularity scale.

Monthly expenses: Of course, providing exclusive, hands-on services has got a cost – especially with our choice to run our events on a full sim named after the agency (Glance). Our monthly expenses reach several hundreds of thousands of L$!  The reasons are many: the multi-talented, international team that is carefully selected among hundreds of applications (the staff as well as the models); the cost of the sim that has no other lands nearby so we can really manage the lag and the aesthetic of the environment the way we want to; and many other costs related to the agency administration. With these kinds of quality requirements, you can be certain that any person you are interacting with that comes from GIA has got real life background in their activity (bloggers, show producers, magazine editors, marketing directors, etc.)

We are proud of the international feel that the agency conveys and this is what the agency is all about: showcasing the multicultural and diverse world represented through the art of fashion in Second Life.

Is your business growing?
Over one year and 4 months after opening the agency, I can say that yes, it is soaring! The beginnings were difficult and many designers would expect the agency to come up with serious background. There are the usual 3, 6 and 12 months milestones that need to be reached before getting contracts with bigger brands or convincing new brands to trust you for promotion. Since the first show of the agency, we have produced over 75 fashion shows not including store openings, product releases and similar events. We definitely have the experience to produce small to big, last-minute to months in advance, planned events. Thinking out of the box is the key to growing your business! For instance, we recently produced the International Fashion Day, an unusual fashion project of 24 fashion shows in 24 hours, whose actuality was covered and sponsored by the blog of a real-world fashion PR industry expert, Crosby Noricks (from  The agency, as well as all participating designers and top models, were featured on numerous blogs and media outlets. We are definitely moving forward and looking for expansion in coming months.

Does your SL business impact or influence your RL?
It sure does! I used to consider SL as a hobby and as a fun world, but now it is more like a business with set hours during the week and where I spend most of my time during week-ends and holidays. I am spending a lot of time here; it’s really like a second job! I am constantly building  plans, coordinating events, liaising with bloggers, fashion designers and models to make things happen in the community. It actually involves countless sleepless nights, some sacrifices on my leisure time in RL and a lot of moments of fun with my SL friends who also happen to be my staff!  I’m lucky to have the support of my boyfriend as well as friends and family who know of my virtual business.  So all in all, my two lives are pretty well-balanced.

Any RL skills translate into SL business?
When there is an event to plan, an anniversary, a bachelorette party, travels and such – I am the one to call and I totally love it. I’ve been playing the role of event planner for friends and family for years now and I think that it requires the same creativity and attention to details as the events I produce in SL. In both cases, you have to make the event memorable, the participants happy and it has to be produced with professionalism in mind.

What is the most promising industry for new business in SL?
I think there certainly are some businesses and business specialties that have promise.  Specifically, I think someone that made custom sculpties for RL manufacturing kinds of companies to test out new designs in SL might find a very nice little niche for themselves.  But ultimately, I think business applications for SL are probably limited only to imagination and creativity.

What types of businesses shouldn’t come into SL and why not?
Fast food restaurants?  The only thing worse than a Big Mac is a virtual Big Mac. (smiles)

What is your opinion on RL business in SL – how will it effect the community?
I believe RL business can only help the community as a whole.  The infusion of cash, the development of technologies (especially business-centric applications), the increases in population – all will contribute to a fuller, richer Second Life experience for everyone.

What are the biggest mistakes SL entrepreneurs make?
Having a “build it and they will come” attitude.  SL is a busy and diverse marketplace.  Marketing in SL is every bit as important as RL but both present unique challenges as well as great advantages.

Any predictions about the future for SL? New technology? ? Growth? New potential uses?
I think the ability to integrate more business applications, like something as simple as Microsoft Office, for document sharing – those sorts of business-centric collaborative types of technologies – will continue to expand. And I believe for many RL businesses the abilty to design and build prototypes in SL will continue to be a driving force in business additions.

What does having a second life give you?
It’s really about exploring the skills that I didn’t have the time or the interest to develop in first place in the real world. I meet worldwide personalities and develop relationships with customers and friends who live everywhere – from neighboring countries to the other side of the planet! Coming from France, I do notice that my English level has become better since I joined SL. And last but not least, I’m finding the management of a business in the virtual fashion industry totally fulfilling.

Is there an element of fantasy or escape?
Of course there is!  SL allows us to do things, like fly, that we can’t do in RL. And the ability to travel through time and space, to go from the 18th century to the 21st with a simple teleport is a great part of what makes SL so unique.  Where else can you set yourself up as a rocket-ship builder or any of  the thousands of things that would be impossible in most people’s first lives?

Will SL change the landscape of business as we know it today? Will it change any landscape – cultural, social, etc?
I believe SL is already creating areas of social change.  We are a global community. The ability to work, play and interact with people of every continent, in almost every country, in this borderless community, changes the social landscape in the fact that it brings people together. Indeed, it enables the sharing of ideas and drives home that ultimately we are all just people – that regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or country of residence, we are all basically decent and wish to live our lives in peace and harmony.  That we are all very much the same regardless of whatever differences there may be.

As far as business, I do believe SL has a place for both RL business to collaborate within and for SL businesses to branch out into real-world businesses.  You are starting to see many more RL/SL businesses overlapping – just look at Peyton Media as one example of that.  But there are several others, like Exclusiva and DeeTaleZ, just in the fashion world alone!


  1. DarkStar Gothly says:

    January 7th, 2010at 12:31 pm(#)

    Great interview!! It really shows how much Patty and the entire Glance team have their finger on the pulse of not just the SL Fashion world, but on SL, business and technology. Melding RL & SL… growing and helping not just clients, but thousands of people around the globe with RL Charity benefits. You rock Patty!!

  2. Avarie Parker says:

    January 7th, 2010at 3:24 pm(#)

    Hi DarkStar,

    Thank you so much for the feedback. I’m thrilled you enjoyed the article.

    Be sure to vote for Patty for SLentrepreneur of the Year 2009 when the voting opens this month!

    Take Care,
    Avarie Parker

  3. Sanders Beaumont says:

    January 7th, 2010at 5:26 pm(#)

    I personally think SLentrepeneur did a good choice to nominate GLANCE as one of the best “fashion PR agencies” in Second Life. Those guys just do more than a common marketing. In my RL business we call this branding strategies & concepts as process.

    I have followed Patty Cortes now more than over a year, worked with her close on some smaller projects and realized there is a very sophisticated branding strategy behind all the work.

    Branding doesn’t mean the logo only. It’s a philosophy and the mutual way of bringing back authenticity by designer AND their audience. The difference you ask me?

    Most designers try to dominate the brand’s identity by spending lots of money for advertising. And there is nothing wrong about that. GLANCE has found a way how to initiate, elaborate and evaluate the process for designers AND the audience to develop an understanding, emotions, stories and lifestyle connected to individuals. An ability not everyone owns.

    GLANCE has learnt very fast how to establish “lovemarks” and not to astroturf trivial pictures of products or logos.

  4. Rhonda Pennell says:

    January 7th, 2010at 8:57 pm(#)

    yay Patty!! a great interview, I loved reading it and learning more about her. As a Glance fashion model myself, I am very proud to be a part of an agency run with the professionalism and vision that Patty brings to it. Amazing:)

  5. Tommy Saiman says:

    January 9th, 2010at 1:38 pm(#)

    Wow, what an amazing interview! Greatly inspirative and interesting in every meaning of the word. Thanks!

  6. SLENTRE.COM» SL Entrepreneur 2009: And the nominees are… says:

    January 27th, 2010at 2:39 pm(#)

    […] Firefly Patty Cores Honour McMillan Peter Stindberg Ayesha Lytton John Zelnik Steve Cropper Xion Hax Lissa Maertens […]

  7. Ambergris Baphomet says:

    January 28th, 2010at 3:33 pm(#)

    Great interview!
    Having utilized GLANCE’s services, and been a part of their fashion shows and events, I can say from experience, that Patty well deserves her place on this list of nominees.

    Its been a pleasure watching GIA grow and stretch its wings, and the drive and energy that comes from Patty has been a huge part of its success.


  8. Nefertiti Kimagawa says:

    January 28th, 2010at 5:34 pm(#)

    Awesome Patty!!!
    Glance is a great place and Patty really deserves this :D

    Good Luck Patty!

  9. Rawly Rousselot says:

    February 18th, 2010at 4:18 pm(#)

    Eh, she’s a hooker

  10. SLENTRE.COM» SLentrepreneur of the Year 2009: And The Winner Is… says:

    March 2nd, 2010at 5:04 pm(#)

    […] runners up included Honour McMillan in 3rd place and Patty Cortes in a close […]