Sarah, a sweet but strong young woman from Iowa, served as a forerunner for Models Inc. by appearing in a brief story line on Melrose Place. During her time on the former series, she spent a good deal of time with photographer Jo Reynolds and Jo's friend Jake, who beat up Sarah's abusive ex-boyfriend, Hank, after he'd attacked the women. After saying goodbye to Jake and Jo, Sarah departed for her new job at Models Inc. in the third series' first episode, pursuing her goals of becoming a successful model.
Shortly after she'd begun working, Sarah became romantically involved with David Michaels, the company's Vice President. The two were eventually engaged, but Sarah called the wedding off after learning that David had slept with Julie while he and Sarah were separated.
Sarah then began a blossoming friendship with Brian Peterson, which didn't sit well with David. Sarah and Brian kissed one time, but Sarah didn't want to ruin their friendship with more. David, after a blowup with his mom and reconciling with Julie, left town to start his own agency.
After getting over David, Sarah later became an alcoholic, which found her crashing her car in the middle of the night in a drunken stupor. Mark Warriner, a stranger, found her and brought her home. For a while, Sarah eased up on the drinking as she fell for Mark. However, Mark was a step away from the priesthood and Sarah felt guilt at being the reason he walked away, breaking up with him and letting him follow his path into the priesthood.
Sarah later started drinking even heavier than before, which caused problems with her work. Her ego started growing as well, knowing that the floundering agency was near bankruptcy and that they needed her more than she needed them. She also insulted Julie on national TV after Craig Bodi's book came out, exposing all of their secrets. By the time of the series finale, however, she'd made steps toward recovery, largely through the help of her father, Tom Owens, who saw that she was given professional assistance.