The Woman Behind The Campbell Agency
For a woman who works 45 to 55 hours per week as the president and owner of her own talent agency, Nancy Campbell is as active and luminous as any twenty-something, and twice as magnetic. She even hesitates on remembering her age, “I was born in September, 1959, so that makes me 49, right?” she answers with a joyous laugh.
Campbell isn’t the only one who would have a hard time believing that a woman possessing so much zest and enthusiasm towards life and her career is approaching the half-century mark. After all, she has operated her eponymous agency, now located on Oak Lawn in uptown Dallas, for the last 23 years, and still looks forward to helping it become an even more successful enterprise than it already is.
Campbell’s passion and love for tackling new challenges is what led her to start her business in the fall of 1989. Born in Kansas City, MO, to a district manager for Senco Southwest Staple Guns & Compressors, and a homemaker-turned-gift shop owner, the Campbell family moved to Dallas when Nancy was four years-old.
After graduating high school, Campbell attended Richland College while also working her first job as a receptionist at Legendary Wells, Rich, Greene Advertising Agency. Not one to remain content with mediocrity, she was soon promoted to Creative Secretary for the agency, which she states helped prepare her for her current profession. “It was an amazing experience,” Campbell said. “It taught me how to work with people no matter what type of business they’re in, but also introduced me to the world of acting.” Although the Wells agency eventually closed their Dallas office, Campbell continued to do commercial acting for the next eight-years, while supporting herself with various day jobs to help “make ends meet.”
But everything changed for the enterprising young woman when she met her husband Bob Campbell in 1988, who took note of her business savviness and knowledge of the industry and encouraged her to open her own agency. “The agency was actually my husband’s idea,” Campbell said. “We had only been married a few months when he asked me why I hadn’t opened my own agency. I was young and up for the challenge and thought, why not?” With a loan from her father and husband, the 28 year-old Nancy opened the doors to The Campbell Agency in a 400 square-foot Lemmon Avenue office space that October. Campbell describes the process as a “definite labor of love.” “It was hard because clients are one of the most difficult things to acquire; opening a business does not come with a client list or the talent to book them,” Campbell said.
Through exercising tenacity, Campbell’s agency grew from having only a few actors as clients, to becoming one of the most successful full-service agencies in Texas and the U.S.
When Campbell isn’t busy lending her hand and expertise to almost every department in the company, she and her husband are loving “parents” to their Springer Spaniel, George, and their Black Lab, Jeb. When not spending time with her family, Campbell can be found vacationing in the Bahamas, shopping or getting a massage to help her decompress from her hectic days.
Although she has had opportunities to move her business to more known markets, such as New York or L.A., she prefers to work and live in Dallas. “Dallas is a great market and a wonderful city to live and work in and we enjoy all of the great shopping, restaurants and attractions,” Campbell said. Campbell also hopes to be an inspiration to young women living in Dallas who dare to dream that they too can one day become a business owner. “I want female entrepreneurs to know that they can be anything they choose to be,” she says with her signature tone of determination. “You just have to believe, take action and be prepared to work, because no one ever said it was going to be easy.”
Hair & Make Up: Leslie Belcher
Assistant Photographers: Shandon Collins & Edwin Watson
Assistant Stylist: Courtney Clayton