This blog is 4 months in the making and I’m finally getting around to writing it and spitting out my months worth of thoughts.
I had this crazy idea almost a year ago to start my own pageant. I learned so much from competing that I wanted to give back to the world and help girls gain confidence and follow their dreams. Thus, Miss Spirit of New York was born. I had no idea what to expect going in. I was freaking out I would have to cancel because after two months of recruiting, I had 3 girls signed up. But alas, as with most pageants, people sign up close to the event and in the last month and a half leading up I secured a total of 18 girls, surpassing my goal of 15. I was shocked. I’ve been in pageants where there have been almost no contestants so I’ve learned the struggle in recruiting girls.
I learned a lot in my first pageant. I figured out what worked and what didn’t, but I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it did run. I had so much support from fellow pageant friends and my pageant family who helped it run well. I know some people left unhappy, only one girl can take the crown after all, but my hope was that every girl competing had a positive experience. Shoutout to the 20+ businesses that have donated to either the New York or USA pageant. I am blown away by the small business support I am receiving in the journey.
Maybe it’s because I was proud of my state success, or maybe because I didn’t want to wait a whole year to plan another event, but I challenged myself further and created Miss Spirit of the USA. Like the New York event, I struggled with getting contestants early on. My goal was 25 contestants (5 in each category) but going into November I only had about 10, which made me nervous because I booked a very large venue. But, like New York, I’ve gained many contestants in a short time and I am beyond excited to have 25 Spirit titleholders. Really, I would hold the pageant with 2 girls, but the fact so many have chosen to compete with me and believe in my pageant is what makes me happy.
Of course it hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows. Losing a New York titleholder almost immediately after the pageant, sash company sending me wrong sashes, crown company guaranteeing me crowns then not ordering them, drama with potential titleholders. Sponsor issues. Reaching out to girls to compete and being told flat out “no” because my pageant “isn’t legit.” Being a director is hard.
However, the positives completely outweigh the negatives. Having so many wonderful ladies compete with me is such a great feeling. The USA Spirit Pageant is my way of giving back to the world that has changed me. It is my gift to everyone to create a positive and fun experience for all involved. I don’t operate like a business. There are no hidden fees. No required ad fee. Tickets to come and watch are free. All contestants get a regional sash and crown to promote their area and their platform. We are having a big contestant party the night before complete with cookie decorating. People may say I’m not big or as good as others, but I will say that I absolutely have the biggest heart, and do this for the girls that compete for me, and not for myself. I am trying to change the world, one rhinestone at a time, and as long as there are girls that believe in me and my system, I will continue to do this.