Each month Sonsi will feature one of YOU in our YourStyle article, highlighting some of your favorites in Fashion, Life and Home. This lucky lady will not only be featured on SonsiLiving but also get to showcase their very own, hand-picked clothing collection on Sonsi … Shop Makela’s YourStyle Collection here!
Tell us about Makela, in your own words:
Genuine, kind, intelligent and hardworking are just a few of the adjectives that have been used to describe me. Hello, my name is Makela Shavonne Steward and I am a 31 year old bundle of joy and energy. I come from a huge, incredibly loving family. Currently I am an independent Educational Consultant and a full time English teacher for an inner city, alternative high school in Seattle, WA. . I enjoy working with people and helping them realize their full potential. In my spare time I like to read, travel, dance, spend time with family, joke and above all else sing karaoke. I have always been a hard worker and have spent a lot of time pushing others toward their dreams. Entering the Washington Plus America was an incredible opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone, take center stage and start making my own dreams realities. I feel blessed and honored to have been able to represent Washington state as their Ms. Queen and now represent women across the United States of America as their Miss Plus America Elite 2012.
What type of wardrobe does a pageant queen look for?
I now own more dresses, large sparkly accessories and high heels than ever before in my life. At any given moment I have to be ready to be on television, speak to a group or sit for a photo so I want to make sure that I look presentable and classy at the same time.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Obtaining my first college degree was one of the proudest moments of my life. I was told at the age of 13 that I had a learning disability that impacted my reading and it would be really hard for me to enter post-secondary school. I worked so hard to not only get in school but graduated on time and was a double major. Through my educational experiences I am able to be a better role model for my family, friends and all the young people I work with.
What is your go-to outfit for running out the door?
It depends where I am going. If I am just running some errands it will be jeans, a dressy t-shirt or my favorite college t-shirt, and flip flops or tennis shoes. Otherwise it would still be jeans (a bit more fitted), a cute dressy top and flats or a pump.
Favorite nail polish shade?
I am a French manicure type of woman. It is very neutral, yet classy at the same time. If I am feeling spunky I change the color on my toes to something bright like neon pink, or spicy orange.
Tell us about your dream date … outfit included!
This date would start off doing something fun like jet skiing followed by a nice walk on the beach. Then I would love to have an outfit change at some point in the date going before dinner from more of a casual look to an evening sexier look including a little black dress and a hot pair of heels.
Best vacation you’ve ever taken?
I love the ocean so I would have to say it was my trip to Jamaica last year. I stayed at an amazing resort, was with over 20 close friends and had a blast. What’s better than waking up to the sound of the ocean and looking out your window to clear, blue skies and an amazing view of the water?
Favorite trend you’re carrying from summer into fall?
Black/white clothing and large, bold accessories. This look is timeless and I’m now learning how to accessorize.
What is your favorite style of swimsuit and how do you accessorize it?
I love one piece, bold color suits. I also love big straw hats, sun glasses and a cute pair of sandals to accessorize.
Favorite meal – that you can make!
I really enjoy cooking but my favorite meal that I like to make is homemade pizza. I love to experiment with different veggies and meats to make the perfect pizza combination. My favorite combo is spinach, grilled chicken, pesto sauce, mushrooms and peppers. I promise it is the best pizza on earth.
Favorite outfit to catch some zzz’s in:
I love curling up in a big, comfortable t-shirt and really thick socks. I do have a favorite night shirt that seems to give me the best night sleep when I wear it as well.
Tell us about the Miss Plus America Elite 2012 process, pageant, etc:
The Miss Plus America Pageant System is an organization devoted to celebrating the essence of the full-figured woman and giving her an avenue in which to pursue recognition for those causes. My road to Miss Plus America came through entering my state pageant in Washington. I was very hesitant at first to enter a pageant because it was so far from anything I had ever done and I thought I was way out of my league. I went to Lane Bryant in October 2011, I had no intention on entering the pageant. I put my name down to get more info (after some taking into) and a few days later was presented with an opportunity of a lifetime. I spoke with my family and they were totally on board. I was not an easy sell but I thought “why not” and entered the pageant. From there my mindset changed into competition mode and I wanted to present the best possible representation of me at the pageant. I contacted one of my sorority sisters who is an ex-pageant queen, now owns a pageant consulting business (Simply Stunning LLC) and she helped me focus on a plan. The process itself was not easy but well worth it in the end.
February 20th 2012 I was crowned Ms. Washington Plus America. After a short resting period it was time to start preparing for Nationals. With a lot of guidance from my Washington director Latasha Raines, I picked a new gown, practiced my interview skills, practiced modeling and so much more. In June 2012, myself and team Washington (Mrs, Miss, Teen Washington plus America and families) traveled to Memphis, TN to compete for the National title of Miss Plus America. All four of us did wonderful and all finished in the top 5 of our division. I was very blessed and walked away as the 2012 Miss Plus America Elite. The Elite title is giving to the individual who is the highest overall score in the pageant.
What is your platform and why is it important to you?
My platform is quality education for all youth. I’m focusing specifically on youth from disadvantaged backgrounds such as foster care, homeless and from areas of low socio-economic backgrounds. I believe it is important help build an educational ethos that fosters and bolsters high levels of academic achievement, curriculum connectivity, high levels of moral connectivity and an acute since of community in all children regardless of economic status. I believe in the old saying “It takes a village to raise a child” and my lifelong commitment is to make every adult apart of the “village” in some way.
What can we expect next from Makela Steward?
Being a national title holder has already opened many doors for me. What I’m looking forward to most is traveling the country meeting new people, spreading the message about body acceptance for women of all sizes, promoting the mission and goals of the Miss Plus America pageant system, and being a local and national advocate for quality educational access for all students regardless of economic status.
Sounds amazing Makela! Thanks for being our September YourStyle & a fabulous role model. Don’t forget to shop Makela’s curated YourStyle collection at Sonsi.com all month long!