If you’ve been following my blog for more than a year, than you might remember that I  was in the very first Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant. I was so nervous about it and I almost talked myself out of doing it a few times because I was so intimidated and it was out of my comfort zone. I don’t consider myself to be extroverted or the ‘pageant’ girl, but I decided to do the pageant anyway to try something new. Through it all, I conquered a fear of mine, made lifelong bonds with the girls and the helpers and received the title of 2nd runner up! It was an amazing experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to do it with.

Fast Forward to this year’s pageant. I was so excited to see the girls, how much the pageant has grown and to experience the pageant from the other side. I went with my best friend and we got to say a few encouraging words to the girls before the show started. I sat with the other contestants who did the pageant with me last year as we all watched the girls do their thing on stage!

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Pageants are nerve-wrecking. Every time a girl walked up the mic I hoped that she wouldn’t trip over her dress or stumble over a question. Luckily, neither happened and everyone did wonderfully. This year, the pageant had a different twist as each contestant had to pitch a business proposal and open up the floor for questions by the judges. Talk about intimidating!

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The evening gown portion was beautiful and really helped me see the girls personality and overall feel they were going for for the pageant. With Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina, your hairstyle during the evening wear counts A LOT towards your score.

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I couldn’t help but get emotional as Chanelle did her final walk. There couldn’t have been a more perfect person to be the first EVER Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina, and I sincerely mean that! Chanelle is gorgeous, confident, humble and really put a lot into her reign this past year.

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Although it was anybody’s game, I had a goodfeeling about who the girls who would place, I just didn’t know which order they would and who would actually win!

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Congratulations to the NEW Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Tra’Shon Howard, 1st runner up Alexis Gilmore, and 2nd runner up Brittany Jackson, you all did amazingly!

Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina 2014 and 2015 contestants!

Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina 2014 and 2015 contestants!

I never would have thought going natural in 2012 would open up so many opportunities and friendships, but I’m so glad it did.

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(All photos are courtesy of Raw Demand Productions, photographed by Maurice Johnson!)