Saturday, December 28, 2013

Cassidy Wolf, Miss Teen USA

--Wendy Lindberg, America's SUPER Queen

 Stephanie McGrane took a moment to interview Cassidy Wolf, Miss Teen USA.

 The Crowning Moment

Stephanie asked Cassidy about her crowning moment and what it felt like to become Miss Teen USA. "First of all, I couldn't breathe. ... My first thought when they called my name was, 'okay, take a deep breath, take a deep breath,' and I couldn't and all I could think in my head was, 'oh my gosh, oh my gosh, it's me!' ... it was a whole whirlwind of crazy emotions." Cassidy shared with excitement and smiles, "All I wanted to do was hug my family because they were just so amazing the whole time I was up there."

Cassidy credits a lot of her successes to her support team who helped her feel confident going into the Miss Teen USA competition. "Without them, I wouldn't be where I am today."

A Nightmare Extortion Case

Unknowingly, Cassidy found herself in a scary case of cyber hacking and extortion when an anonymous email arrived to her asking her to send inappropriate photographs to the emailer, or he would release photographs of her undressing in her bedroom: something she did not know he had done.  The investigation revealed that Jared James Abraham, a former high school classmate, had hacked the webcam built into her laptop and had been turning it on remotely to watch her and over a dozen other women.

I found this news article and interview with NBC exploring the case a bit more.

"One of my biggest tips is to change passwords every couple of months and always keep track (of your password) on a piece of paper, not on your phone. ... Change them (passwords) as often as possible. ... When you are not Skyping somebody that you are friends with, cover your webcam. If I would have known that, I probably wouldn't have had what happened to me happen." Cassidy shared, "It happened to me and it could really happen to anybody."

A Year as Miss Teen USA

"I've been focusing a lot on school." Cassidy told Stephanie. "I got to do New York Fashion Week, which was absolutely amazing. I did Project Sunshine visits and I look forward to doing those in the future. ... When you go to a Project Sunshine visit, it touches the kids, but I feel like it touches us even more. ... When you leave a Project Sunshine visit it makes you feel so good. That has definitely been my favorite part."

When asked about her highlights and challenges, Cassidy told Stephanie that the company and the time balances have been some of her highlights and challenges. "Getting to work with Miss USA and Miss Universe (has been great). They are so sweet and I love working with them. Getting to meet new people everyday (is a highlight). This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so blessed to have this opportunity." Cassidy said. Speaking on her challenges, Cassidy also shared the challenges of balancing school and the Miss Teen USA title. "I am a full time student and I go to school five days a week. When I am not in school, I am Miss Teen USA. .. but I am learning a lot about myself, so I am loving it."

The final recipient of Chinese Laundry Tippy Top Shoes (an official sponsor of the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageant) is also announced in this episode, so you want to be sure to watch all the way through to see who it is!

To see more on the Cassidy Wolf interview, you can view it below. 

Be sure you follow PageantLIVE and Ask the Crown on Youtube so you never miss an episode!


Friday, December 27, 2013

Erin Brady-- Miss USA 2013

-- Wendy Lindberg, America's SUPER Queen 2013-14

Stephanie McGrane met online with Erin Brady earlier this week to talk about being Miss USA.

Time at Miss Universe

Erin talked a bit about her experiences at the Miss Universe Pageant finals. "Honestly, it's a very mental process because you are there for such a long period of time and it's exhausting." Erin shared, "you need to go there and enjoy your experience, which is exactly what I did...I just loved every moment of it. You are only onstage and on camera for a very short period of time so you have to make sure you that you absolutely live it up because you never get a second chance to go back."

National Costume

When working on finding her national costume for the competition, Erin thought steering away from the "traditional" costume was part of what she wanted to do. "I had done my research and looked at years previous... I am a bit out of the box and an abstract thinker so I said, 'You know something, why don't we do something very modern, very over the top, like a transformer?' And I loved it because I obviously was about eight feet tall so you had this essence of this beautiful, strong, empowered woman which is really what I feel this whole position is about, being Miss USA."  Erin shared." I got good feedback and bad feedback, but any feedback is good feedback in my eyes."

And how tall were those boots she wore? "They were sixteen inches. So they gave me a good foot and then some."

The Evening Gown 

Erin was able to work with Sherri Hill to find the perfect gown for her competition at Miss USA. "Red is my color. I love red. So I knew that I wanted to go with a red gown. ... I put this gown on in black first and I said, 'can you make this gown in red?' and she said, 'absolutely'. The liquid beading is something that when you are on stage and the lights hit it, it makes you look so elongated and it really just fits my body. ... I  just fell in love with it. I think picking the gown is one of those things that you just put it on and know that this is what you want to compete in."

Photo Sessions With Fadil Berisha

Erin had the pleasure of working with Fadil Berisha for the "Ice Princess" contestant photo session.  "He is so good." Erin said, "Every year (he) comes in with this amazing concept, so he wanted to embrace Russia and his concept of what he thought would be a great really, really unique photo shoot. So he said, 'why not ice princess?'. ...They had two mirrors that were kind of fogged with the blue lighting and the make-up was different shades of blues and silvers to make it look really icy." 

"It is great to see somebody work with him for the first time and to see how they embrace his creativity." Erin recalled. 

Preparing for Miss Universe

Stephanie asked Erin what some of the preparations she took to get ready for Miss Universe. "A lot of it is mental. ... Really just making sure you can keep in the best fit shape that you can."

The Top 5

What did Erin think of the top five at Miss Universe? "Honestly, I was so excited. All of the girls that made it into the top 5, I had the opportunity to speak with personally. Obviously with so many girls, it gets a bit tricky especially with the language barrier. I thought that they were all deserving and had a great performance. You never know, when you get into the top five, before the questions are asked, it could go either way. I would have been happy with anybody. It's a unique situation for me because the winner gets to move to New York City and be my roommate, so of course, I am sitting there going, 'oh please be nice.' ... And Miss Venezuela (the new Miss Universe) is fantastic and extremely smart."

Tippy Tops and Chinese Laundry

Erin wore a pair under her evening gown. As an official sponsor of the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants.  Ask the Crown was able to team up with Chinese Laundry to give away three pairs to our viewers. To find out who the winners are, you need to WATCH the show! ;)

A big thank you to Chinese Laundry for the sponsorship of this prize!

To hear more of the interview and see what else Erin has to share and what she thinks was the secret to becoming Miss USA, you can watch the show here:


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

LeTecia Cunningham
Ms United America Woman

Wendy Lindberg -- America's SUPER Queen

They are chilling statistics:
according to
  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
  • Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during 
  • Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
  • Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
  • Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.
  • Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused.
So LeTecia Cunningham, has decided her mission in platform pageantry should be to share her experience with a violent relationship, and as a domestic violence survivor, to help change these statistics.

"At one point in my life it seemed like I got every loser, bad-boy." LeTecia said. "I got with a guy who was fine and had great money. At first he treated me like I have always wanted to be treated.. (but) as we got more into the relationship, it started off with the insults and put downs, and then it went into the pushing and shaking," she continues. "We had been together for about five years and I had been slapped and punched and beaten and bruised enough that I started to actually get that I wanted to get out of this. That it wasn't what I wanted in life. So I made my decision to get out."

When LeTecia was leaving, she met her partner at the stair well. The confrontation ended with him shooting her and beating her to near death. 

Working the Platform

Now LeTecia works with her platform of domestic violence awareness and working with survivors. LeTecia has actually been brought to many undisclosed areas where shelters are located to talk to women who have left their mates to survive. "I tell them my story and I let them know (not to) give up. Keep going. Even if you leave everything behind, you still have your life. And as long as you have your life, you an get all that materialistic stuff back."

"(Domestic Violence) is a thing that goes through every community. It's in the roughest of neighborhoods out into the neighborhoods with the best and prettiest houses. This is something that knows no color, no creed, no financial background. If a woman is getting hurt, you have to get help." LeTecia shared. "You Have got to tell somebody (if you are being abused)."

I checked out this TED talk that shared another woman's story and her thoughts on why women don't leave these situations. You can see this video HERE

Author and Work

LeTecia is also in talks with a publishing company to get her book out on the shelves in the 2014 spring. The title is Love Can Break a Thug. "I can't tell you (too much of what happens) because you won't get the book." LeTecia Joke.

In addition to the book, LeTecia is an ordained minister. "Everything is grounded with God... I knew him, then I went through that phase where I went out into the streets. I had to get shot and get my head busted a couple times. But then you come home... You always want to come back. I am thankful that I serve a God that when I was ready to come home, he was there with  open arms to welcome me back." She says. Working at 247 Praise Radio also gives her the chance to share her love for God. 

LeTecia also talked a bit about working for Tyler Perry as the project development coordinator for Perry Studios. Stephanie asked LeTecia to tell the audience a bit about that. "(When we are together) it is a lot of work related things. But I can truthfully say that he is humble. He is very down-to-earth," she said. "(He) does so many things for people in his film studios (and the community). He has programs where he actually trains individuals at the film studios and gives them skills so they can get out of the streets and get a career. ... I wish more people who had big businesses would see we all make mistakes in life, but if no one is willing to give you a second chance, we're just going to have communities of people filled with mistakes."

Ms United America Woman

LeTecia also talked about her title with the United America System and being a plus sized individual. "I really believe as a plus sized woman, we shine too. We just got more to do it with. I enjoy it, and I love our pageant system, United America. I love our sisters in the system. ... The beauty pageant system was something I was scared of. It's really starting to open their arms and embrace plus sized women." 

To see the interview, please check out the video below along with additional links to information about domestic violence. 

Some links about domestic violence:

National Domestic Violence Hotline


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Interview with Cherie Wimberly
- Author of the Ultimate Pageant Notebook

 --Wendy Linderg, America's SUPER Queen

Many girls dream of being a model or pageant queen. On November 9th, Cherie Wimberly took some time to meet with Stephanie McGrane and PageantLIVE's Ask the Crown to talk a bit about her career in modeling, her work with The LA Examiner, her experience with Pageantry, and her book, The Ultimate Pageant Notebook. 

Being Discovered

Cherie told Stephanie that she started out her modeling career as a teenager modeling in a department store that is now Macy's. She was discovered there by Scott Teitler. "I really didn't start working professionally until I was in my early twenties  in South Beach. My very first job was a photoshoot for Elle Magazine... I was very lucky to start off the bat with such a great job." Cherie Said.

Along with being in Elle, Italian Vogue and Cosmo, her acting took off and she was placed in films like "Bad Boys" and television opportunities like "General Hospital" and "Frasier".

"I have had a lot of good luck and being in the right place at the right time.. Sometimes I have to pinch my self and say, 'did this really happen?' But I have been very, very lucky.

You can find a lot of information on Cherie's Career in modeling, acting and writing at .

Writing Career

Cherie has also had a lot of opportunities to share her knowledge and experiences in acting, modeling and pageantry in books, and through her job as an article writer for the website.  She gets the opportunity to write abut casting calls, pageants, celebrity news, modeling contests and, recently, the Miss Universe Pageant. 

According to her website, she also has authored a few children's books: Bumble Learns to Fly and Two Babies Called Twins

One the articles she wrote for the Examiner was about safety tips for models. "You always hear stories on the news about models getting into trouble, getting taken. It really is a reality, and it's something that everybody should be aware of in the business. And I really felt compelled, as one of my first articles, to do an article about safety tips." Cherie told Stephanie, "The more aware you are of your surroundings and what's going on , the better for you. You can be an easy target." 

 So see her article with her tips, you can see it HERE

Along with her experience modeling, Cherie has tried her hand at competing and judging pageants and during that time, she developed the Ultimate Pageant Notebook, available on Amazon. "I wrote the (Ultimate) Pageant Notebook while I was preparing for a pageant myself. What is does it help you to get organized. It helps you to prepare everything from start to finish. From the rules of your pageant, to getting sponsors, writing your platform, writing a speech if you have to do an introductory speech. It's also really good for beginners. It has a lot of tips in there, things that you may not know about pageants." Cherie said, "It basically gives you an outline of everything you have to do for your pageant."  Ther are also many different versions of the book for various types of pageant contestants from kids to Mrs. contestants. 

Called It!

Cherie also talked a bit about her prediction as to who would win Miss Universe... and for the record... she called it! :)

To see the full interview, check it out below!

Here are a few other photos to share of Cherie throughout her years of modeling!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Interview with Miss Alabama Teen USA

Lorin Holcombe

-- Wendy Lindberg, America's SUPER Queen 

Stephanie McGrane met with Lorin Holcombe this past week to discuss her year as Miss Alabama Teen USA.


When asked what she thought the secret was to capturing the crown, Lorin told her that she thought it was "pure determination".

"I had no pageant experience. I just wanted it so much that I was willing to work hard and give up a lot of time to get into shape. I actually lost 20 pounds." Lorin shared, "So, I think determination is the secret. And a lot of prayers and a lot of focus."

A Whirl-wind 

Lorin went on to talk a bit about her title. As she prepares to give up her crown on November 16th, she is reflecting on some of the things that have happened over the past year.  "It was a whirl-wind. At first there was so much to learn," she noted. "I didn't know how to do photo shoots, and social media... learning how to handle all of that was difficult, but once I got the hang of it, it turned out to be one of the most amazing years of my life."

Lorin also highlighted some of her favorite parts of her reign. "There has been so many great things (about my year). Probably the best thing is that my platform was about self-esteem. So I got to go to speak to girls in a lot of low income areas. ... The impact you get to make on those little ones and getting to experience being a role model is certainly a highlight of (my year)." She continued, "I think when you are crowned you are put into a certain position of power. You have the ability to influence others. I think that it is every titleholders' responsibility to use that in a positive way."

At Miss Teen USA

"It is so much fun. Meeting all the girls is great." Lorin shared her experience on the national stage, "It really brought me to tears almost every night just because it was such an amazing, humbling experience." 

The pageant week was filled, and Lorin said to expect a lack of sleep if you are fortunate enough to be a part of the national experience. "You can definitely expect not to get much sleep... It is morning to night and you are constantly going."

The Next Miss Alabama Teen USA and Beyond

Lorin will be giving the crown to the next Miss Alabama Teen USA this coming weekend. When Stephanie asked her for her advice to those thinking about competing, Lorin said, "You should go for it.... You walk away with confidence, you walk away with great friends. You should do it, no matter what." 

"(Practicing your public speaking and confidence) are very important and the interview skills as well. In a competitive job market ... you have to be able to communicate well with others."

Lorin is starting her path to her future as a dentist or orthodontist. She is beginning her major as a bio-medical student. "I hope to go to UAB for dental school and maybe start my own practice."

"I've (also) been dabbling in some petite modeling recently and I had never been really open to that world before until pageantry. I have been enjoying it." She added, "I am also in a sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, so I would like to become one of the officers in that sorority as well." 

Beauty and Brains

Lorin was asked to share a little bit about what she would like to share with others who think that pageants are just beauty without the brains.  "Of the many girls that I have met, you have talented musicians, you have girls who are interested in the sciences and mathematics like I am. Many that graduated high school two and three years early out of merit." Lorin added, "I graduated high school with a 4.2, and I am making straight A's in my first year of college in a very hard major. So I think if you really paid attention, you'd realize that pageants draw the most determined and driven girls, and typically determined and driven girls do very well in academics."

Whatever her next moves may be, I am sure they will be amazing ones. 

You can see the interview in the video below. 


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fashion Hero Website and Registration to Launch!
PageantLIVE Hosts a Special Presentation

--Wendy Lindberg, America's SUPER Queen   @SUPERqueenWendy

"It's practically universal. Girls discover their own beauty at a young age, and many dream of becoming models," says the official YouTube teaser, "but not every girl can be a super model."  

But that is the mission of The Fashion Hero, a new website and television project, launching November 14th, 2013. 

This is where Sheree' Walcher, Chelsea St.Pierre, Susan Hoover, and Ava St.Pierre Cogburn join PageantLIVE to talk about their big project and launch of:

Not the Usual Supermodel

"I think in a nutshell as well, it really opens an avenue to help everyone's dream come true, that may not have thought that they had an opportunity in the fashion industry," said Chelsea. 

"I think some new doors will be opening for people, especially like Susan and myself, who are short." Sheree' added. "I modeled as a child with my mom in fashion shows for JC Penny and large department stores. As I got older, I was told I was too short to model. So this will be a great opportunity for people of every race, color, or size. It doesn't matter. Everyone can participate and register for The Fashion Hero."

The Fashion Hero has an official teaser on YouTube that seems to sum it up pretty well. You can watch it below.

Roll the Cameras 

Some of the filming of the show has already begun, but the finale is preparing for next fall and will be shot at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa in Mexico, who is also a sponsor of the program. "A panel of judges will be picking who will be going on to the finale in Mexico," Ava shared. "There is (also) a panel of judges that will follow the website as well as the companies that will be also sponsoring and are a part of The Fashion Hero TV show and series. They will be following the website. Each and every person, male and female, that goes onto the website will have the opportunity to go ahead and have their own page on the website. Once they do that they will be able to have their bios, career goals, pictures..."

The excitement of The Fashion Hero grew as Chelsea shared that the events and program will be not just national, but international.

The Events and Website

"We will be posting all of our events on The Fashion Hero website," Ava told PageantLIVE interviewer, Stephanie McGrane.

"And we ask that you keep checking," Susan recommended, "because every time we go to an event, we are going to have the opportunity to meet so many fascinating new people and new friends. We will be updating the events. We will have all the events we can possibly have."

"We have a team busy working on the website launch.... so do please check back," Sheree' added.

You can also find The Fashion Hero on other social media sights. "you can find us on Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

You can see the website here as it prepares for its official launch November 14th:

The Fashion Hero Website

With Thanks

As the team begins work for the events and tours, there were a few people and brands (companies) they wanted to thanks for a lot of the initial work and sponsorship being put into the program.

The Founder and CEO, Caroline Bernier "(She) brought this concept to all of us to see and have a vision of what fashion and beauty should really be about." Ava Shared. "I also want to thank everyone (on the team in Canada) for bringing us in on this side to help out."

    Some of the sponsors being added to the program are: 

Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa in Mexico


Planet Beach

Tocara Canada

Style SO Original

Laboratoire Dr Renaud

and Elle Sunglasses

To see the full interview, and celebration of the launch (coming Novemeber 14th), check it out here!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Julie Lee Smith -- Ms. Missouri Classic Beauty

Ask the Crown (Ep 15)

--Wendy Lindberg, America's SUPER Queen 2013-14

What a great PageantLIVE/Ask the Crown program to be sharing in October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

PageantLIVE hosted the very energetic and wonderful Julie Lee Smith- Ms Missouri Classic Beauty on October 21st, 2013 as she joined Stephanie McGrane in a show featuring her journey as a breast cancer patient and survivor.

Many people who get their yearly exams and physicals don't anticipate the kind of whirl wind of events that happened when Julie made it to her July appointment. Only anticipating the usual hour or so in the doctor's office, she was surprised to find herself still in the doctor's office, 6 hours later, going through the gauntlet of tests for the abnormalities picked up in her usual testing.

Growing technologies in breast cancer research

Julie had a 3D mammogram as a part of her diagnosis process. She talked to Stephanie and the viewers about the benefits this test had for her and the benefits it can have for women 50 and older. She says that she believes that this new technology is what has helped save her life. With only about 300 clinics in the US having the technology in their hospitals, Julie says it is very new and may be hard to get with your insurance etc, but is very worth looking into if you are faced with the need to have one done. 

As Julie had suggested, I looked up a little information on breast tomosynthesis. reported some of the benefits of a 3D mammogram include:

1)    More accurate detection 
2)    Earlier diagnosis 
3)    Better detection in dense breast tissue
4)    Less Anxiety
5)    Safe and Effective

Be your own advocate!
Julie highlighted the importance of being your own advocate for your own care and to know what your insurance policies cover before you head into treatment and surgery. 

"If they (the insurance companies) can get by without having to put you up in the hospital, they will do it. And so many things were running through my mind." Julie said, ".... so many questions, and I was so relieved to had thought to look all that up before I had gone into the hospital."  "Definitely look at your policies if you have to have surgery." 

Mutation of BRCA1 and BRCA2, AKA: the "cancer gene"
Julie had also found out in the process of her testing that she had the "cancer gene", a series of mutations of tumor suppressor proteins that gave her an estimate that with her genetic testing and family history, that she has a 87% chance of getting breast cancer. says, "About 12 percent of women in the general population will develop breast cancer sometime during their lives. By contrast, according to the most recent estimates, 55 to 65 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 mutation and around 45 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 mutation will develop breast cancer by age 70 years."

"I was just doomed to get it. ... Those are horrible Las Vegas odds!"  Julie joked, "My parents always said I was special!" 

But Julie also warned that when you are considering getting tested for the "cancer gene" you should be sure you already have a life insurance policy. "Once you get tested a lot of life insurance policies will not cover you or accept you once they know you have that (gene)," she warned.

The BIG message
Julie wanted to really stress the importance of getting your regular mammogram and your monthly self exam. "I know mammograms hurt, but it hurts worse to know that you have cancer and you couldn't have done something about it. ... If I had skipped it (the exam) I wouldn't be here now." Julie went on to say, "you can go (to get your test) on an event like your anniversary, or something like that, so it is easy to remember."

Pageantry with recovery

Her nurses often call her "Queen Chemo". Julie wears her crown and sash to many of her treatments. 

She has found that the camaraderie and friendships that she has found in her pageant sisters has lead her to the people that she leans on a lot to help encourage her through treatment. "I have never seen such a support system in my entire life," is what her doctor told her when he saw her Facebook page with all of her pageant friends helping and supporting her. 

"I am so glad to be a part of something that has a meaning and a cause and that will help others. I like doing those charity events, runs/walks and fashion shows. ... getting out there and helping others," Julie observed "... People seem to stop and listen when there is a title behind it."

You can follow Julie on Facebook at: 

See the interview here: 


Hello all and thank you to PageantLIVE!

---Wendy Lindberg, America's SUPER Queen 2013-14

Hello pageant friends! I am so thrilled to be joining you as a new blogger for Ask the Crown! This opportunity for me to be involved with this format of communication, to share the goings on in the pageant world and PageantLIVE's wonderful programs, and so more is such an exciting opportunity for me! 

I am a mother of three lovely daughters ages 4,8, and 10 and married to my husband of 11 years, David. He is the HR director for a local school district and an Iraqi war veteran. I am a stay-at-home mother, and self-proclaimed professional volunteer as an active member of the St Francis Area, Minnesota, and United States Women of Today. 

I am involved with many aspects of the pageant world from judging, assisting in productions, directorship and a current national titleholder.  I look forward to sharing my point of view and stories from the pageant world! I am the current reigning America's SUPER Queen. 


Thanks for joining me on this new adventure and following Ask the CROWN on PageantLIVE's website and YouTube channel. 


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chinese Laundry Grand Opening

Chinese Laundry Store Grand Opening                                          with Mabelynn Capeluj - Miss California USA 2013 

Chinese Laundry Grand Opening

The beautiful Miss California USA, Mabelynn Capeluj, attended the grand opening of a Chinese Laundry store in Westfield City Century Mall on October 19th.  Guests enjoyed cupcakes, fresh lemonade and complimentary gift bags. While there, Mabelynn took time to respond to Ask the Crown's questions.

What is it like being Miss California USA?

Being Miss California USA is such an honor.  I competed against more than 300 girls, so being crowned was unbelievable.

Mableynn Capeluj - Miss California USA &
Chloe Hope Hatfield - Miss California Teen USA

What has been the highlight of your year?

The traveling! I have been able to travel to Mexico for the Farouk Hair show and I will be going to the Bahamas in November.  I also had the opportunity to tour the Governor's office at my State Capitol of Sacramento.

What is your favorite style of Chinese Laundry shoe?  

My favorite is the Tippy Tops in Nude.  I have 4 pairs!  I wear them to all my castings and they go with everything!

Did you compete in Tippy Top shoes at Miss USA?  

We did not have the Tippy Tops at Miss USA but I wish we did!

What do you think of the Tippy Top shoe? 


What are the hot Chinese Laundry must have shoes for fall? 

Believe it or not, I love flat boots.  It is a great break from always being in heels.  I think any of the combat style boots with laces go great with leggings or skinny jeans.

Mableynn Capeluj - Miss California USA,
Chinese Laundry CEO - Bob Goldman & 

Chloe Hope Hatfield - Miss California Teen USA

How can you win a pair of Tippy Top shoes from Chinese Laundry?

Tell us why you want to win a pair of Tippy Top shoes or send a photo of yourself in your favorite pair of Chinese Laundry shoes to Miss USA and Miss Teen USA will be reviewing your responses & photos and choosing the new winners on Ask the Crown in November.

Shop, follow & like!

Chinese Laundry Website -
Tippy Top Shoes -
Twitter - @ChineseLaundry
Facebook -

Blog by Stephanie McGrane


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mabelynn Capeluj - Miss California USA 2013

Mabelynn Capeluj - Miss California USA 2013 

How did you capture the title of Miss California USA?

Mabelynn worked toward the goal of becoming Miss California USA for about a year.  She won Miss Greater San Diego USA, a prelim to Miss California USA.  During the year, she learned a lot about herself and grew as a person. Attending events and the real life experiences she encountered helped her feel quite prepared.

What has your year as Miss California USA been like?

Mabelynn describes her year as a "whirlwind". Right after winning the crown, photographers flocked her and her publicist came up to her and introduced herself. Mabelynn says, "there is always something going on."

She has been traveling and has partnered up with the National Psoriasis Foundation. At the age of 16, Mabelynn was diagnosed with this chronic skin condition and has since been able to speak out about it.

One of the highlights of her year was traveling to Miami, where she was able to watch Miss Florida USA (and good friend) give up her title.  While in Miami she also signed with a new modeling agency and walked for Beach Bunny during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

What is your advice to all of the girls who hope to become Miss California USA?

"Relax and have fun with it! At the end of the day only one girl wins, 20 girls place and over 300 girls compete.  I didn't win it my first try.  I actually competed for Miss California Teen USA about 4 years ago.  I didn't even place.  That was not the end of the world for me."

Mabelynn came back and won her local prelim title and went on to place in the top 10 her first year competing for Miss California USA.  "It really inspired me and I came back," she said. She won the title on her second try.  "For the girls who really want this and really want to work hard to hard toward this goal, keep trying and don't give up," advises Mabelynn.  "Every time I've competed I have learned something new about myself.  Overall, just relax!"

What is your secret pageant tip?

"Right before I compete, especially for swimsuit, I like to listen to really upbeat music, like party music and dance a little bit because it helps me loosen up and get rid of my nerves." Backstage at Miss CA USA and Miss USA, Mabelynn was dancing behind the curtains as she was waiting to go on stage. "My favorite is by Ellie Goulding, Anything Could Happen. It is really inspirational and upbeat. I love that song!"

What is next for Mabelynn?

After giving up her title on January 4, 2014, Mabelynn will travel to Miami to continue her modeling.

You are attending a grand opening of a new Chinese Laundry store...what is your favorite type of shoe?

"The Tippy Tops - the perfect pageant heel!  As a model, I wear them to all of my castings. Especially for swimwear, they are absolutely perfect!  Chinese Laundry gifted me a new pair and they are actually my fourth pair of nude Tippy Tops!  They are the best!"

Be sure to see the following blog of Mabelynn attending the grand opening.

See Mabelynn's interview

Keeping up with Mabelynn...

Instagram - Mabelynn Capeluj
Twitter - @RealMissCAUSA (during her reign)
Facebook -

Blog by Stephanie McGrane

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tori Sizemore Miss SC Teen USA

Tori Sizemore
Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2013

Miss Teen USA

Tori was 1st runner-up at the 2013 Miss Teen USA Pageant.  As they were calling off the names of the runner-ups, Tori had an odd sense of calmness. She kept thinking, “Please don't call my name!”  Tori was taking to Cassidy Wolf (now, Miss Teen USA) as they were the last two standing on stage.  Tori then she hears the emcee say, “South Carolina”.  For a split second, Tori thought she had just been called as Miss Teen USA…. She then heard “California” and realized that it was Cassidy who had won.  Tori thought, “oh my goodness, I need to get out of her way!” She felt she may had taken a moment of Cassidy’s spotlight away from her and she didn't want that.

Previous Pageants

Tori competed in the Miss South Carolina Outstanding Teen Pageant before she competed at Miss South Carolina Teen USA. She placed 2nd runner-up to Rachel Wyatt, who later became Miss America's Outstanding Teen.  She challenged herself to compete in the Miss South Carolina's Outstanding Teen Pageant to overcome
her fear of singing.  She always said she wasn't going to compete in pageants, but learned so much that she wanted to keep competing. Competing gave her a new goal and something else to focus on besides academics.

Pageant Preparation

Tori went into the state competition as if she were competing for the national title. She had almost 10 months to prepare for Miss Teen USA after winning the Miss Teen South Carolina USA crown. Tori wanted to be completely prepared for the national pageant and not have to rush at the last moment. She took time off her regular fitness schedule during the holidays, but wanted to make sure she was staying true to herself. She did a lot of speaking engagements to prepare her for interview, took part in community service events and changed the way she ate. Tori wanted it to be a way of living and not just preparation for the pageant.

Memorable Moments

Tori's most memorable part of her year was her Princess for a Day event. A group of older foster care girls got their hair and makeup done, had a photo shoot and were given a day that was all about them. Many of the girls told her they never thought they could be so beautiful nor had they ever been given so much attention. It touched Tori because she worked very hard to put it together. Tori hopes to hold another Princess for a Day celebration soon in a different part of the state.

Tori’s platform is foster care and adoption awareness. She competed in a 5K and attended a conference in South Carolina where 81 families became foster parents. She has been bringing awareness to foster care and encouraging others to become involved.

Will Tori compete for the Miss South Carolina USA title?

Tori has been asked many times if she will go on to compete for Miss South Carolina USA or Miss South Carolina America. She is looking forward to taking a few years off to find out more about herself and to attend college. She is not going to make any decisions at this time on future pageant plans. She is definitely a girl we will be keeping an eye on in the future.

Tori's Advice to Pageant Girls

Tori's advice is to give it all you got! You are representing so many people and there are a lot of girls who would love to be in your shoes. Tori went off the mentality that there are probably a lot of other girls working harder.  This is a competition on who can present their best self. Think about what you can do can improve, but don’t lose who you are. Tori hated public speaking and working out but recommends finding areas to improve upon. Focus on the skills that will help you through life and not just as a competitor because you are only a titleholder for one year.  Work on improving your best true self. 

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