PAGEANT Talks Presents:
International Ms. 2018 Lisa Van Orden
Lisa is a New England based entrepreneur. She is the founder of the award winning skincare and makeup boutique “Studio LAVO”. She is also an award-winning, agency represented makeup artist who’s clients include Patriots cheerleaders, Miss America’s OT, Hasbro, FYI Network, HGTV, Boston Fashion Week, and Jet Blue. Lisa gives her time as Co-director for the Miss Merrimack/Greater Hooksett scholarship programs and she and her business are very involved in the community! She has worked with local charities and nonprofits for the past 15 years. She has been involved in the pageant industry in a multitude of ways, judging choreographing, directing and competing. She was a competitor in the Miss America organization, Miss USA, top 15 at Miss United States, top 8 at Elite Miss Earth, and the winner of International Ms 2018!
How did you get involved in pageants?
When I was eight years old, I looked up to my camp counselor who took me to my first Miss America Local competition. I was taking dance classes at the time and loved the performing arts. I was so enamored by the amazing, intelligent and talented women that I saw on the stage that night. I continued to attend local pageants and finally went to our state pageant and was able to meet Miss America 1994! She sang “Hero” from Mariah Carey that night, and really made an impact on me which made me want to embody the qualities that she represented. I knew that I wanted to have that same impact on a young girl someday.
Why did you decide to compete for the title of International Ms.?
I was referred to the International Ms pageant while competing at Elite Miss Earth this past August! I was excited when I researched the organization and found that it was a program developed for female entrepreneurs and community leaders. It is very difficult to find available grants for New business owners or to expand a current business. I loved that the pageant afforded women from all over the world the opportunity to network with like-minded women during competition weekend. More importantly I wanted the opportunity to win a $5000 grant to use towards my business or community service project of choice.
Name a charity you are passionate about and explain why it matters to you.
I have always been passionate about empowering our youth and mentorship. I have aligned myself with numerous nonprofit organizations that help to improve and enrich the lives of young girls and youth. Organizations that I have worked with include Girls Inc, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Water Project, SNHU Women’s Center and many more. I am very passionate about what pageantry has done for me in my life. I wanted to become a director to give back to the pageant community and work with young women and girls to help them to achieve their professional/scholastic goals.
Do you feel you have much impact on the lives of the people you meet.
I believe that everything that a person does has an impact in some way, shape or form. As a professional make up artist and aesthetician I certainly come into contact with many different people. It is my goal to have a positive impact on all of my clients and the many interesting people that I meet as a titleholder. So often people come to see me at my salon and might be feeling a little down, I hope to put a smile on their faces or to inspire them in some way.
Do you believe that beauty pageants make a difference in young women’s lives?
I can attest to it! I was so incredibly impacted and inspired by the amazing women that I was able to meet at a very early and impressionable age. I truly believe that I am the woman that I am today because of it. The life learning skills that are learned through pageantry are transferable into our personal lives and careers. I was able to receive thousands of dollars in scholarships to use towards my college degree which I was financing myself, and was able to complete my degree!
What brings you the greatest joy?
My faith, family, and friends! I have to say that I feel so fortunate to also do what I love each day! I am very passionate about my business, and never wake up feeling like I don’t want to go to work. I’m so blessed!
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
One of my college professors told me to always act with integrity, honesty, and kindness. He advised us to consider whether or not we would want our actions to be on the front page of tomorrow’s paper. I definitely keep that piece of advice in the back of my mind when making decisions in my personal life and in my business life.
What does “success” mean to you? Have you achieved it?
The actual definition of success is the accomplishment of an aim or a purpose. Whenever I do public speaking engagements I discuss this topic quite often. In my life I had set three major goals for myself. I wanted to receive my college degree, as I was the first female of my family to do so, start my own business, and win a National/International pageant title! I have as of this year achieved all three of those goals! However, I still feel that I have so much more to do in my personal life, business life, and community. Nonetheless I’m so proud to have achieved the three major life goals but I still have the desire to do so much more!
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I solely planned and financed over ten trips to Europe by the age of 24. I was fascinated by Different cultures, cuisines, art politics and religious beliefs!
What item in your closet do you wear the most?
An oversized Boston Celtics sweatshirt! It is so comfy!
What is one item you can’t live without?
I would honestly have to say that I could not live without my iPhone. I am a one woman show and handle all of my social media, bookings, scheduling, marketing, communications and so much more by myself. I don’t believe that I would be able to manage as many things as I currently do without having the ease and accessibility from my iPhone.