Lindsay Nead calls it her Home Alone house. The Parker Management founder’s stately residence in a gated community in West Linn shares uncanny aesthetic similarities to the iconic brick Georgian mansion from the 1990 comedy. But Nead and her family moved in so recently that some of the photos flanking the fireplace are the ones that came in the frames.
A decade ago, Nead was living on her sister’s couch in a North Portland apartment, newly arrived from San Diego and trying to find her way professionally. Now, at 36, she runs a multimillion-dollar, 20-employee entertainment company headquartered in Lake Oswego. Her whole business—and the money for her new home—is built on representing social media influencers. But you won’t find Nead shilling Athletic Greens on the ’Gram.
“Knowing all I know, would I want to be an influencer? No,” she says. “I would get eaten alive because I’m so sensitive.”
Luckily, Nead’s 85 clients feel otherwise. Her talent roster is a who’s-who of people in Bachelor Nation (as alums of the ABC reality dating show are called) and others in the home, lifestyle, DIY, and wellness spaces. There’s Bekah Martinez from season 22 of The Bachelor and Jason Tartick from season 14 of The Bachelorette; celebrity hairstylist Justin Anderson, also famous for his friendship with reality-TV star Kristin Cavallari; and Angela Rose Home, a single mom who does DIY home projects and empowers other women to do the same.
Her clients have worked with companies like Nike, Nordstrom, Dolce & Gabbana, Lego, Pottery Barn Kids, Disney, and Ray-Ban. And a percentage of those earnings go to Nead. One Instagram story goes for about $20,000, though it varies depending on the following and engagement metrics.
Nead started as an entry-level coordinator at a local modeling agency in Lake Oswego. There, she worked her way up to booking agent and along the way met one of the agency’s top talents, Tyson Nead.
“We were not supposed to date the models,” she says, laughing. “He was everyone’s favorite. Super nerdy and not at all the norm.”
Their first date was at the iconic Blue Moon Tavern. Lindsay was annoyed that Tyson didn’t pick her up for the date—she lived six blocks away. It turned out that he was just embarrassed by his 1998 Nissan, which only endeared him to her more.
They married in 2014. When their son, Parker, was born the next year, money was so tight that they needed financial assistance to pay the hospital bill.
But around 2016 came Nead’s ah-hah moment. She noticed that when companies like Nike and Nordstrom booked models, they specified that they wanted people with a certain number of Instagram followers.
“I thought, ‘Wait, this is so interesting—they don’t just want a model anymore. They want to see if they have a platform,’” Nead says. “I saw this shift.”
She took her hunch to Google and looked up “managers for influencers” to see if it was even a job. It was, but just barely. After a short stint at an agency in San Diego, she started her own company and named it after her son.
One of her first clients was Chelsea Yamase, known on Instagram as Chelsea Kauai, after her home island. Yamase’s account has 1.1 million followers and features sun-soaked AcroYoga sessions and free-diving—not to mention partnerships with brands from Canon to Roxy to Hyundai.
“What I’ve loved is how much Lindsay has encouraged balance and longevity in my career,” Yamase says. “She is never pushy about what jobs to take or if I wanted to pass on something or take breaks from social. That means so much.”
The good vibes go both ways. Nead purposefully reps people who use their platforms for good in some way. “Be a good influence,” she says, is the company motto.
“I want anyone to go to our website and feel like they have a place here,” Nead says. “Anyone. I don’t care how old you are, your ethnicity, your body size. I want you to be a 70-year-old grandmother and think, ‘Oh, maybe they can represent me?’”
New clients are often shocked that Nead’s company is based in Oregon and not the entertainment-industry hubs of New York or California.
“I used to be almost nervous to tell people, but then it helped us stand out,” Nead says.
“We’re just so much more down-to-earth. People found it refreshing.”
Parker Management used to be based in Portland, but Nead’s accountant convinced her that the taxes were “killing her business,” so they decamped to Clackamas County. (He tried to convince her to move to Camas, Washington, but she refused.)
Nead’s sister-in-law handles the invoicing, and Tyson is the director of finance. He credits his wife’s tenacity for her professional growth from the coordinator who handled his modeling portfolio to the founder of a multimillion-dollar company.
“The core person and the joy she gets out of life and friends and family has not changed,” he says. “She’s the same person at heart but with different responsibilities.”
Two of those responsibilities—a Labrador named Trooper and the Neads’ 2-year-old daughter, Chloe, wearing ruffled pajamas and carrying a sippy cup—pop in and out of the living room of the Home Alone house to snuggle their mom on the couch.
“I believe you can have a high quality of life and lots of success,” Nead says. “I don’t think you have to compromise either one.”
A who’s who of Parker Management
Taryn Newton @tarynnewton
What began as a personal blog to document “mom life chaos”—Newton has five kids—has evolved into a lifestyle brand with 761,000 Instagram fans and clients from Target to Pottery Barn Kids.
Michelle Nhu @nhutella_
Coordinated family fits fill Nguyen’s Instagram account, where more than three-quarters of a million people keep up with her family of five.
Karl Ndieli @karl_shakur
Stylized pics of the travel influencer in locales from Zanzibar to Bangkok are enough to earn Ndieli 600,000 IG followers and sponsorships with the likes of Veuve Clicquot and Visit Saudi.
Lightning Round with Lindsay Nead
Funniest follow: @fullmhouse, Kelsi and Caleb Fullmer and their five children in Idaho
Empowering follow: @arielleestoria, an actor, poet, author, and model
The client that got away: A Selling Sunset star
Percentage of contestants that Nead estimates go on The Bachelor mostly to make money afterwards: 80
Best part of influencer life: Life-changing amounts of money that allow people to quit jobs they hate
Worst part of influencer life: Cruel comments and never getting to unplug
Next Instagram trend prediction: A return to higher-quality, artistic photos
Where her clients make the most money, in order: Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, blogs, and websites
Up next for the agency: A Parker membership community for aspiring influencers