PAGEANT Talks Presents:
Miss West Virginia United States 2017 Katelyn Hollar
Introduction: Everyone say hello to your Miss West Virginia United States 2017 – Katelyn Hollar! She is 22 years old and hails from Clarksburg, WV. Katelyn is a Wardrobe Stylist and Certified Makeup Artist. She has received certifications from A-list celebrity makeup artists Victoria Duke and Scott Barnes. Katelyn has worked with numerous ladies across the country competing in multiple pageant systems including USA, International Junior Miss, and West Virginia Association of Fairs & Festivals. She finds fulfillment in helping women of all ages feel confident and beautiful in their own skin. Her passion is her platform which is advocating for Cancer Awareness and Prevention. She works closely role playing Disney’s Jasmine within The Princess Project, an organization that uplifts hospitalized children by sending their favorite princess to visit them. Katelyn enjoys spending time with her family, attending West Virginia University football games, fashion, dance, physical fitness, and meeting new people! She is excited to be returning to another United States National Pageant as she was Miss Teen West Virginia United States 2014.
How did you get involved in pageants?
My love for pageantry began my junior year of high school. With never competing in a beauty pageant before, I came across a small town pageant which benefited Toys for Tots, I decided to enter just for fun. I ended up winning the title Miss Snowflake along with photogenic. Since then, I’ve had pageant fever.
Why did you decide to compete for the title of Miss West Virginia United States?
I decided to compete for my state title about a year ago. I had been victim of an emotionally abusive relationship that left me feeling my lowest and I was determined to find what I had lost, which was myself. During my preparation for states, I became a better and healthier person overall. I had a goal I was working toward and I wasn’t going to let anything step in the way. I started working out regularly, watching my diet, staying informed on current events and building my confidence. Having not competed since 2014 when I held the Teen West Virginia United States title, breaking out my pageant heels and getting back on stage was the best decision I’ve made to date.
When you heard your name called and put on that sash what emotions or thoughts were going through your head?
All I could think about was how blessed and excited I was to be given this opportunity. As I was being crowned it was like every piece of me I thought I had lost or couldn’t find, finally made its way back and I was whole and finally myself again. A crown will not complete you but it gives you a sense of accomplishment.
What was the first thing you did after the pageant?
After photos were taken, I said my goodbyes to all of the lovely young women I met, and packed up my things, I had a meeting with my director, the new titleholders and their families. Then I went to dinner with all of my family who came and some of my closest friends and pageant family. I had an entire list of things I wanted to eat after the pageant was over but ended up still ordering a salad and being too excited to eat it all. But I did order a coke, which was amazing.
What are you looking forward to during your reign?
Competing at nationals is a chance of a lifetime so I’m very excited for that! But some of my favorite things about being a state titleholder are being able to travel those country roads, promoting the Miss West Virginia United States Organization, The United States National Pageants and all that this system has to offer for women. As Miss West Virginia United States I plan on raising awareness for my platform Cancer R&R, volunteering and giving back to communities as much as possible hoping to make a difference somewhere along the way.
Tell us about your platform?
My platform is Cancer R&R, which focuses on reducing and recognizing all types of cancer. My platform inspiration came from my aunt, who has MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and has had cancer in several different areas of her body. Her illness has left her completely bed-ridden, incapable of any normal daily activities that most of us take for granted, like going to the grocery store, driving a car or getting out of bed everyday and getting dressed. After all of the negative things she’s had to overcome and go through, she is honestly the most positive and radiant person I’ve ever met and I’m privileged to know such a strong woman.
Cancer is among the most common causes of death and morbidity. In 2012 alone, there were approximately 8.2 million deaths related to cancer and over 14 million new diagnoses. I really hope to raise the numbers for early screenings, which facilitates diagnosis and enhances the efficacy of treatment and overall awareness. Through increased awareness individuals can learn about lifestyle changes (i.e. Getting immunized for certain infections- which can help alleviate risk against certain cancers, and importance of healthy dieting and staying active) Awareness can also help eliminate certain misconceptions and stigma about certain cancers. The number one thing we can do ourselves is become aware, become educated on the disease, know the factors that can put us at risk and to understand anyone can become infected by this disease at any given time of their life… Cancer doesn’t discriminate.
I love traveling and exploring new cities across the country. If I were to visit your hometown where would you take me?
Well hopefully it’s football season so we can go to a WVU game! Game day at WVU is truly something to experience, and it’s something my family and I never miss. West Virginia is such a beautiful state with so many wonderful and historic places to explore, say there isn’t a game being played I’d take you hiking at Coopers Rock! It’s quiet, relaxing and the overlook is unforgettable – no matter the season.
What are you looking forward to the most at Miss United States?
Of course I’m super excited to head to Orlando in July, to compete for Miss United States (with hopes of bringing the crown home 😉) But walking across a national stage and hearing my name called after “West Virginia” will really be the cherry on top! I’m also very excited to meet the other title holders! Pageantry has been so beneficial in my life and the sisters and friendships I’ve gained within my years of competing are one thing that couldn’t be replaced.
What advice would you give to someone who was going to compete in their very first pageant?
I work with women competing in pageants every day of my life. The number one thing we have to remember is to not psych ourselves out! We, ourselves, are our biggest competition. It doesn’t matter what color Tina’s gown may be, how many times she’s competed, if she works with the best interview coach, whatever it is, you can’t change her or what she does, stop focusing on that! My advice is to just worry about how you can prepare and be the best you. If you’re your authentic self you have no competition. Positive energy attracts positive outcome.
Who are your heroes?
My parents of course! I was extremely blessed to be raised by two strong, hardworking individuals. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. I am forever thankful for all that they do and provide for my little sisters and I.
What should every woman try at least once in her life?
I definitely think you should try something that scares you whatever that may be. Like they say, great things never come from comfort zones.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I’m not sure if it would be labeled as advice per say, but growing up as the oldest child of four I was told that I would have three little girls looking up to me throughout life. Knowing that I am a role model for my younger sisters has really pushed me to do the very best for myself. I never want to disappoint them.
What’s your one biggest pet peeve?
My friends like to call me the grammar police! Nothing irks me more the misuse of “your” “you’re” “there” “their” and other words.
Describe yourself in two words?
What makes you laugh?
I’m the type of person who loves to have a good time and I believe laughter is contagious. So whenever I’m surrounded by friends or family I know there are several good laughs in store.
What item in your closet do you wear the most?
With West Virginia being a state that experiences all 4 seasons in a calendar year, there isn’t one clothing item in particular I wear the most.. But I do have a crown ring I wear everyday, with any outfit and that’s something I’d feel naked without!
What is one item you can’t live without?
Either my planner or as bad as I hate to say it, my cell phone. Living in today’s world I’d be lost without my iPhone. It’s how I stay connected not only with friends and family but also how I stay up to date with current events and things happening in our society. Although Apple offers so many planning apps, I still like to have an actual planner that I write things down in. It benefits me more in the long run.
Follow Katelyn on social media:
Instagram – @katekapowski
Twitter – @katekapowski
Facebook – https://m.facebook.com/Miss-West-Virginia-United-States-1073777829363584/