Did you face any moment of disappointment with yourself during the pageant journey, and how did you overcome it?
Failure is the path to success and it's the only way to learn. My most memorable disappointments were issues with not being able to perform the way that I wanted because I was too nervous. After years of public speaking and practice, I finally can hold a mic without trembling, but I still get nervous every time I'm about to go on camera or on stage.
You are an influencer, entrepreneur, marketer and pageant queen. What are you most proud of ?
I am most proud that people (boys, girls, men, and women) reach out to me regularly to say how inspired they are by my actions, and they therefore do something positive in their life in some way. The versatility of what I do speaks to larger audiences, and I am honored that people want to connect with me for those reasons.
You are the founder of Abke Collection. How did you get your start?
I started out creating clothes for GUESS Jeans, but I always knew I wanted to do formal wear. What drove me to finally doing it was my boredom with the same styles year after year by popular designers. I wanted to create something unique and exciting, while never up-charging, and while promoting models who don't fit the standard "fashion model" norm. Now I'm interested in doing more couture one-of-a-kind pieces for other girls who compete. In 2018 I'll be launching a new line of something exciting ;) !
A day in Erica Abke’s life…. How does it go from dawn to dusk?
If I'm not on some spontaneous adventure, then you'll find me working, working, (and more) working. I hit the gym as often as I can, and manage two businesses on my own. Some days I get this feeling that I just need to travel, and I'll pick a place and just go! Most recent adventures include South Lake Tahoe and Laguna Beach.
Did you plan to compete in another pageant ?
I'm competing for Miss Universal Petite in September representing USA Petite Miss! I designed my whole wardrobe (AbkeCollection!). Plus, we're going to Miami and Cozumel - YES! I thought this would be my last pageant, but then I got a message from an old friend and fellow designer who asked me to represent the USA at Miss Progress International this October - so Italy here I come!
How do you imagine your life in ten years?
I imagine I will be on a beach somewhere with my hubby and a kid or two. Plus, business will have grown to the point where I can hire and help others, with a focus on helping and empowering female entrepreneurs!
Who is your favorite beauty queen and why?
Eva Longoria. She competed a few times and look at her now - she's a total boss babe! I love how she is a perfect example that you don't have to win in order to be successful or feel validated. Plus, she's as tall as I am ;) !
Thanks to the beautiful Erica for the interview. Pageants News wishes you all the very best for Miss USA Petite Miss pageant.