As we told you in our introduction we will bring to you the best of the best. Women who are not only beautiful but also have a strong passion for their careers and purpose in life. We are lucky to be surrounded by so many bad ass women and we want to share their stories with you because how they got there is just as important as their successes.
When we launched our website you probably noticed the gorgeous blonde front and center. She is none other than our own Miss Maryland. Katie lives our mission; she is a driven, hardworking and a confident girl boss.
We wanted to introduce our original S&F Babe to you.
The road to Miss Maryland may seem glamorous, however, it is a full-time job that takes an ambitious woman to conquer. Sit back, pour a glass of wine and enjoy Katie’s story.
Katie tell us about growing up and what shaped your experience.
“I’m a daughter to an amazing mother, sister to three inspiring women, aunt to six precious and intelligent nieces and nephews, and a friend to so many loyal souls! Both of my parents were in the military, but they separated when I was very young. My mother went on to serve our great country for 20 years in the Navy. As a military child, I experienced moving around 8 times before I graduated high school. Moving consistently is very emotionally challenging for military children so I choose to give back with my Miss Maryland platform, Supporting Military Families. Not only did both of my parents serve in the Navy, but two out of three of my sisters served and are serving, and all three of my sister’s husbands are all in the Navy. I’ve had the opportunity to give back to Patuxent River, where I lived in southern Maryland as a small child, which is so near and dear to my heart. As I moved around, I grew adaptable to all cultures and circumstances, and most importantly grew substantially as a young woman. Through high school I always dreamed of being a model, I worked very hard to stay in shape and work hard at my studies as well as my part-time job that I started at 14 years old. I worked at an Irish pub at the start of my freshman year in high school and continued that through my senior year. On top of that, I coached cheerleading at a private school for elementary age children and received my CNA certification my senior year in high school.
Where did your inspiration to represent our great state come from?
"At that same time, I followed an elementary school friend during her reign as Miss Kentucky Teen USA 2011. I was so inspired and so excited to begin my journey to becoming a titleholder as well. As this is a very long story, very in-depth, and one of my favorite stories to tell about hard-work, I will keep it short and sweet. I competed in pageants for the Miss USA Organization as a Teen then a Miss for about five years until I was convinced to compete for my first local title in the Miss America Organization. I won the title of Miss White Oak in November 2016. Mind you, I didn’t feel as though I had talent. I had not danced since I was six years old. So as a 22-year-old, I was not classically trained in dance. But with a lot of hard work and dedication, I learned choreography in five days in the days leading up to my local pageant. I won on my first try and continued my journey to Miss Maryland. This time around, I had a lot more time to prepare even though it felt like such little time. Once again it was a lot of hard work and dedication put behind practicing my dance, I was in the studio for hours on end, 4-5 days a week. I went onto when Miss Maryland, prepare for Miss America in just a couple of months and compete for Miss America at Boardwalk Hall. It was the most amazing experience, we were treated like royalty the entire time, however, I didn’t care if I won or placed or nothing at all, in which I did neither. All I cared about was my experience and how far I had already gotten in my journey. It was one for the books and one to never be forgotten. I hope to one day tell my children and grandchildren all that it took to get there. I was blessed to have had an amazing support system, they had my back from day one. Following Miss America, I left five days later for a Mediterranean cruise through Italy and Greece and it was as dreamy as you can imagine. If there’s one thing about me that anyone knows, I love food and diverse food at that! Naturally, with 13 days in Europe, I gained a little bit of weight, but for a good cause. (LOL) I continued my travels a month later to the Bahamas, also just as dreamy. I love being by the water and being in the water! I hope to continue inspiring others to travel through an upcoming travel blog of my own! My boyfriend and I love to travel and go on adventures. I plan to capture the beauty of them and share them with all who choose to indulge."
What’s your favorite thing about being Miss MD?
“Representing my state and community has to be the best part about being Miss Maryland. I have the opportunity to support and give back to my platform, as well as Children’s Miracle Network. I have worked with many different organizations, related and unrelated to either of these platforms. As Miss Maryland, you have to be diverse and adaptable to any situation! I choose to take on any opportunity that comes my way, as Miss Maryland is only one year and you only have one opportunity to truly make an impact!”
Best kept beauty secret?
“At my appearances, I choose to wear a little bit more make up for photo purposes. However, when I feel as though I want to wear a more natural look when I am not in crown and sash, I will use my bronzer on my cheeks as well as my eyes for eyeshadow. I have green eyes, so any shade of brown will enhance the color of my eyes!"
Best kept health secret?
"Honestly, preparing for a pageant is grueling in terms of watching what you eat. But it’s so important to keep your body healthy and this has trained me to do so. One thing that truly works for me and works for a lot of people when you’re trying to slim down, is cardio as well as HIIT training. In addition to that type of work out, drinking a lot of water and including more vegetables than protein in your meals. I would also drink a glass of lemon water in the morning before I eat anything at all and cut out most dairy. I’m certainly not a nutritionist, however, I have learned what my body likes and what it reacts to!"
As Miss Maryland you are front and center all the time, do you ever get nervous?
“ALL THE OF TIME. I’ve never been one for public speaking but honestly, that is one of the reasons I got into pageantry and continued to pursue my dream of being a titleholder. It has held me to a higher standard and has helped me with my weaknesses. One of them is public speaking. I pushed myself to grow and to learn through this process. If what you’re doing in life isn’t making you a stronger and better person or benefiting you in any way there’s no point in doing it. I kept this motto in my head as I continued through pageantry and became aware of the obstacles that came at me through my journey.”
Best tip for public speaking?
“Breathe. And, just think in your head that you’re just having a conversation with the audience and remember to stay pleasant and happy. It’s important to have diction as well as personality through your speech. If you mess up and laugh, keep going. Don’t take yourself too seriously, it won’t be as much fun!”
Presentation is very important for Miss Maryland; do you have any style tips?
"Service, scholarship, style, and success. Each point on the crown has a meaning and naturally, Miss Maryland must present herself well styled and in a professional manner. My best tip is to stay current on styles that are coming and going. And to also be a little conservative. It’s important to know that you are covered everywhere, should you see a small child and need to get down to their level to say hello and give them a great big hug! There are no limitations on what you can and can’t do as a titleholder I choose to stay neutral, I love prints and patterns, and switching it up from high-waisted dress pants to skirts and dresses!"
Advice on confidence for young women?
"Instead of spending so much time scrolling, liking, and dreaming about things that are posted on Instagram or any social media, put your phone down and improve your own life. Not only will you have a higher quality of life, but you will gain confidence in yourself when you put yourself first. Of course, as Miss Maryland, I am required to follow up on social media daily or weekly. However, I also love to stay present in my own personal life. It’s important to take time for yourself and not drown yourself in what everyone else has going for them. Take time to plan your future, set goals, and keep your body healthy and beautiful! Your confidence will be through the roof as you love yourself more than ever!"
Follow Katie below!
@missamericamd & @kathleenmasek
Katie is an inspiration to women who see a goal, go after it, and succeed. One trait we admire in Katie and the other women we will feature is their willingness to extend a hand to another woman. That is the trait of a confident and secure woman and we love that! We so passionately believe in women supporting women.
We hope you enjoyed this interview with our sweet Katie!
Kick ass this week! Go for your dreams!
Do you have an inspiring story you want to share? Email us at Hello@simpleandfeminine.com