Monday, June 17, 2013

Today's American Queen of Queens 2013 Kim Poulin's

Kim Poulin, the reigning Today's American Woman Queen of Queens 2013, joined Stephanie to discuss the challenges she has had to overcome, and how pageantry provided her the inspiration to become the woman she is today.

Kim is a wife, mother, teacher and founder of “TA-DA” Totally Accepting Different Abilities. She lives her platform and uses it to teach others to never stop reaching for their goals. At the age of two, Kim fell into a lawnmower leaving her with serve injuries  For the next three years she lived at the Shriner’s Hospital where she had her left arm reattached (it was mostly pins and plastic under her skin) and her left leg fused straight...causing the left side of her body to grow 1.5 inches shorter than her right side. To this day, she walks with a limp and lives with scaring on both knees and hips from all the painful surgeries and skin grafts.

Skin graft on Kim's left knee
 Even with what Kim went through as a small child things even become more challenging.  When she began school the outside scaring also became inside scaring. Kim was abused by her peers on a daily bases, it went was pushed further than your typical name calling bullying.  Kim remembers one event during Christmas, a few of the bullies started a lawnmower in her front yard and sang “Kimmy got ran over by a lawnmower”. She was called “peg leg”, “gimp”, and “lamer”.  Kim even had a gym teacher who told her not to even bother to dress down if she was not going to run right!!

To complicate matters more, when she was entering middle school at the tender age of 12,  her mother forced her to have reconstructive surgery to her knees. For the next four months she would have to go to school with tissue expander's that looked like breast implants on her knees.The physical pain was nothing compared to the abuse from her peers who would tease her about the “boobs that should be put where she really needed them”.

Kim today scars from the colostomy bag

The challenges did not stop there, at age 14 Kim had two bowel obstructions and a colostomy bag for a period of time.  Just another thing for her peers to tease her about. People would hold their nose and move away from her as if she were a germ.  

One day a new girl at school was talking about different pageants she had won. Hoping to find a friend , Kim attempted to talk to her to hear more about pageants. Instead the girl said “Why do you ask? You could never do a pageant…. You limp”.  Those words went straight to Kim's soul filled with so many other things she had endured. 

Telling her father the story, he decided to put her in the Massachusetts Most Beautiful Teen pageant.  Guess what, Dad was right - Kim finished 1st runner up.  He was the diamond in the rough and was going to polish it!!  An amazing accomplishment for anyone, and with that, Kim caught the pageant bug.  She FINALLY found a positive outlet that would allow her to go and flourish as a young woman. The more crowns she won, the less the words of her bullies hurt her.  She was finally surround by accepting, caring group of people where age who had the smarts and heart to know real beauty is on the inside not out.

As Kim matured she realized she had to give back.  Pageantry had changed her life and she wanted to help other who are being bullied or have been bullied like her.  At that time, she developed and founded “TA-DA”, Totally Accepting Different Abilities. 

To get her story out, Kim started speaking at schools, hospitals, and support groups about her experiences.  Her platform has now been adopted into part of the Community of Caring lesson as a months worth of anti-bullying lesson every October. October is also Anti-Bullying Awareness Month.  

One person can make the difference and so can you!  If you would like to have Kim make an appearance as a titleholder at your function or be a speaker guest at your event to discuss Anti-Bullying, please contact her:

Kim on Facebook search AllieMay PageantPower or email at or  

Questions for Kim?  Post them in the comments section of this blog and she will answer them! 

The successful and beautiful, Kim Poulin
Today's American Woman Queen of Queens 2013

Watch the entire interview!


Paige Clark Behind the Scenes at Miss USA

PageantLIVE founder Paige Clark went behind the scenes in a Google Hangout at the Miss USA pageant with Style Network’s Jeannie Mai, Miss Louisiana and Miss North Carolina. Paige was able to talk about confidence, makeup ~ is it appropriate to wear a bold lip color for evening gown? What is a better shoe for onstage a platform heel or regular heels.

Jeannie took questions live for the ladies to answer about competition, the Miss USA pageant and secret pageant tips! You MUST check out this interview to see what tips you may be missing when you compete.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Need a Sponsor?

Do you need help finding sponsors? Here are a few tips on how YOU can be successful finding sponsors.

1.       We all know that our family and friends always want to help! Make a list and then ask your family and friends if they will be able to do a $20.00 sponsorship to help you. Let’s say you have a list of 30, it is safe to say that half of them will be able to help. You have now raised $300.00 by just asking the people you know.

2.       Local businesses, think small medium and big. Some ideas would be; Banks, accountants, doctors, dentist, attorneys, insurance agents and don’t forget about places you may not want to visit like a funeral home!

3.       If your pageant is a community based pageant think of the organizations out in the community that do a lot of services in your area. IE: Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Woman’s Century Club, Kiwanis Club, Optimist, American Legions ETC…

Now that you have a list of who you are going to ask, GET OUT THERE AND ASK!!!
You can send letters or make phone calls, but the best way to get sponsors is to go out and ask in person. Be sure to dress the part of a queen. You may even want to call ahead of time to make an appointment. Make sure you take a letter with you that outlines what it is exactly you are asking for. You can have a letter drafted up that talks a bit about you, your platform or community service, the pageant system you are competing in and how much you are asking for. If you do not want to have a set amount you can always offer a GOLD, SILVER and BRONZE level of sponsorships. That way the company can decide on the amount they would like to donate to you.

Be sure you let them know what they will be getting in return for their sponsorship. If you have a GOLD sponsorship set at $500.00, be sure they will get $500.00 worth from you. It could be an ad page or a half a page, the company logo on a web site or blog, tickets to the pageant, or even appearances made by you at the place of business. Be sure you have these items listed on the sponsor letter to them.

Remember when going to places of business you think of it as a job interview. Be sure to dress professional, ask for the person in charge (if you have not made an appointment), be sure to talk to them with confidence. Look them in the eyes and be sure to smile.  

So what is the worst that can happen? They can say NO! If they do say no, at least you had the opportunity to share a bit about yourself, your platform and the pageant with them. You just gained valuable interview practice!

What is next after you receive the sponsorship? Be sure to follow through on all you have promised the business. Also be sure to send them a thank you card. A thank you card is a MUST, make it personal. Be sure to thank the person you spoke with and the company by name. Leave contact info in case they need to reach you for an appearance.
Now was that so hard to do? I hope this has helped, now get out there and find sponsors!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ask the Crown with Nana Meriwether

The reigning Miss USA, Nana Meriwether took time out from her busy schedule to visit with our own Stephanie McGrane on the first episode of Ask the Crown. Nana is currently at the 2013 Miss USA pageant rehearsals at the fabulous Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Having just completed her bathing suit shoot, Nana shared bits of information with Stephanie on what is going on in her glamorous life, what live is like living in Trump Towers, her Non-Profit, her memories as Miss USA and what she plans to do after she crowns Miss USA 2013.

The daughter of a physician and an attorney, Nana was born and grew up in South Africa. As Nana puts it, she was a total nerd as a kid and could not speak in front of people.  She started competing in pageants in her mid 20’s where she attempted to capture the title of Miss California USA on six different occasions while attending UCLA, where she was named All-American in volleyball TWICE!!! She then went on and graduated from UCLA returning to Maryland.

As a true competitor, Nana was going to give pageants one shot.  She won the title of Miss Maryland USA 2012. That journey took her to the Miss USA pageant where she was 1st runner up. As fate would have it, Olivia Culpo, Miss USA 2012 won Miss Universe, Nana’s life was changed forever and her journey was not over.  As the 1strunner up Nani became the new Miss USA. This was the first time in 15 years that Miss USA went on to win Miss Universe. Nana became the oldest contestant to ever capture the crown of Miss USA.

Nana said that pageants are a great way to build character and confidence; she said she is a completely different person.

So now what do people think of this talented, successful beauty queen who once could not speak in front of people? Well, for me, she gives me hope and has proven not to give up!
What’s next for Nana? Well she has graduated with a degree in Political Science, and Pre-Med. She has also taken both the MCAT’s and LSAT’s, so will she be a Doctor like her dad or a Lawyer like her mom? Nana says she is keeping her options open!  No matter what path Nana choices to take…she is clearly a winner.

Check out the interview, and while you are there be sure to subscribe to PageantLIVE on YouTube.



Welcome to the PageantLIVE ask the CROWN blog, I am so excited to have the opportunity to share this blog with you. This is my take on the interviews, shows and just all around pageant life.

I need to start with a warning**** I may not always be “Politically Correct” or give you a pageant answer.  With this blog I plan to give you the full story. Some stories are happy, some are sad. Not every story will leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling, you may still have questions about the show, and I hope to answer those questions here for you.

A little bit about me, well I have played about EVERY role in pageant life that you can play. I have been a contestant, a director, a judge, a pageant producer. I have done pageant marketing, recruitment, and found pageant sponsors. I do this because I am a pageant advocate. I know the great and amazing accomplishments that pageants can provide. That is why I do this!

I hope you enjoy and keep reading!


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