I run into so many women that have a desire for entering a pageant, but fear the cost. So here is how I competed on a budget:
When you're entering a pageant, it's important to prioritize, save where you can, and spend only where you HAVE to...You must have a plan! I have a large family, and on top of that we were spending $1200.00/month feeding the kids in our community... So it was imperative that we budget and really prioritize.
First of all, you need to find sponsors! This wasn't easy for me coming from a very small town, population 3,500. So if I could do it, then so can you!
If you can find one or two "good" sponsors it helps tremendously!
Mrs. International was the first time I used a pageant coach, and it made all the difference in the world. I really wanted to use Suzy Bootz, but I couldn't exactly afford her, sooooo.. I found a sponsor! Thank you again Sweet Country Suites, in Newcastle, WY!! I know I couldn't have won without Suzy, so thank you both, Suzy and Sweet Country Suites.
Secondly, YOU are more talented than you think, I had to learn this the hard way. I save by doing my own hair, I don't color, I cut it myself (I don't recommend this unless you know what you're doing) I do my own nails, and toes. And I do my own make up during pageant week although, I used Dunn and Dunn for the competition days...And in doing this, I've saved a ton of money!
I invested in gel nail kit, light, and polishes and it's paid for itself time and time again.
I make my own face cream, by buying collagen powder, vitamin E oil, castor oil, vitamin C powder (on Amazon), and using fresh lemon juice...I make the best face cream at a fraction of the cost, and the ingredients last for about a year. Plus it's anti-aging, removes skin's-spots and really rejuvenates my skin! I'm 35 years old, I don't do botox, or any other "help" this (homemade face cream) is all I use.
For my pageant week clothing- I used Tasha Furman, who could literally turn any of my crazy (fashion) ideas into a reality. And she is affordable, a win, win!
Now after winning, I've been so blessed with our sponsors at the Competitive Image where I was blessed with all these gorgeous dresses and appearance outfits...They have the most beautiful selections!!
I also use Renttherunway.com and I pay about $130.00 monthly subscription, which allows me to rent unlimited outfits a month. I get three outfits at a time, it includes all shipping, and dry cleaning fees. This has been my "saving grace" because being Mrs. International and a TV co-host, I can't exactly wear the same outfits again and again. $130 sounds like a lot of money, but in my case, it saves me money!
When looking for my pageant evening gown, I used The Competitive Image.. Joey was amazing! I told him my budget, I was very strict...And he worked so hard to help fulfill all my wishes, while on a budget.
You don't have to spend a fortune! You CAN win a pageant without having to "break" the bank. Plus my dress won Best In Evening Gown at Mrs International AND it was recently named top 5 in Pageant Planet's Best Evening Gowns for Mrs Pageants!
For my headshots, (I was really on a budget here) I asked a photographer friend of mine, I showed him examples of what I wanted... I did my own hair and makeup, and the photos turned out great. They're not "Clay Spann" but they were good.
I must say, if you CAN go to Clay, he is worth every penny! This is a perfect example of prioritizing. The reason I didn't see this as one of my “priorities”...Was ONLY due to the fact that I have 17 years experience as a makeup artist, so I knew between me, and my photographer friend, we could do a decent job.
But I strongly recommend you invest in some great headshots. And Clay Spann is THE BEST!!
You want to have great photos on your platform page, and really take the time to get that done right. Suzy was such a great help with that. I also used Susan Botek to help with the designer and layout of the page. She was so helpful!
Lastly, ad pages...I think it's important to have something in the program book, but I don't see it necessary to spend a fortune. I just had a small, half page, black and white ad...That did the job!
Pageantry should be fun, enjoyable and empowering, it should never be a burden.
If you have any questions or would like some information on any of the people I mentioned please visit our website at MrsInternational.com. There you will find a list of all our sponsors and their contact info.
I'm your Mrs International reminding you-
TO CHOOSE LOVE,