As young alumni, Emily Hart, faces two life changing experiences: competing for the national title of Miss USA and opening Two-EE's Winery, with her fiance, Eric Harris. We had the pleasure of chatting with Emily while she is in Las Vegas for the Miss USA Pageant. We discussed how she became the first IPFW alumna to be crowned Miss Indiana USA and how her studies at IPFW helped her design the winery. Spend a few minutes with IPFW Mastodon, Emily Hart!
Vote for Emily for a chance to become the next Miss USA.
Vote Now! You can vote up to 10x a day until June 15. Then tune-in on Sunday, June 16, at 9 PM ET to NBC to see if Emily takes the crown!
Q: How did you become interested in interior design and wine making?
A: Interior Design: I've always been interested in design. I remember asking my dad for graph paper at 5 years old so I could draw a floor plan and re-arrange the furniture in my room. Wine Making: For over a decade, wine making has been apart of my family. My dad started making wine in our basement and after Eric and I started dating in high school, he would come over to help my dad make wine, not see me...
Q: How has your IPFW degree in interior design been beneficial to you?
A: My studies at IPFW, in addition to real-life experience, have built the foundation for my career. I worked as an intern for an interior designer prior to, and during, college so I was able to practically apply what I was studying in the classroom to what I was doing in "real life". I also designed the winery for my senior project, and though it looks completely different now, that experience helped me create and grow the original concept: a unique winery experience. I specifically chose very cool, modern colors and themes and not the typical brown wood and grapevine concept. I think the result is wonderful, come by and see for yourself. (Shameless plug!)
Q: How has IPFW impacted your pageant career?
A: Without IPFW, I wouldn't have become involved with pageants at all! My first pageant was Miss IPFW in 2006. I signed-up to compete because of a flyer I saw on campus offering scholarship money. My mom and I made my interview outfit and evening gown and I performed a piano piece I played in high school. I WON! I was so excited for the scholarship money, I didn't realize I was going to compete at Miss Indiana later that year. It was one of the most amazing experiences, I knew I had to continue. Thanks to pageants, I graduated from IPFW debt-free! Read More ...
Q: What is the best career and/or pageant advice you were given?
A: To be true to yourself. Whether is be in a pageant or professionally, the best advice I've received was to just be who I am and not let other people try to sway or change that.
Q: What course(s) have you found to be most valuable in your professional life?
A: Lighting. The success or failure of any interior design is the lighting; it sets the mood and in retail heavily influences consumer behavior. I found my lighting course to be a huge benefit when designing the winery.
Q: What would be your advice to someone who is considering IPFW?
A: IPFW was wonderful for me, it was affordable and offered valuable information which I was able to use in real life. I was able to work part-time in the field I was studying and I graduated debt-free. What more can you ask for?
Q: What advice would you give to a current IPFW student?
A: Take advantage of the opportunities on campus. My career in pageants began because I saw a poster on campus offering scholarship money and I entered. That experience as Miss IPFW taught me about both the campus and my community, who I was as a person, and what I wanted to become. If it wasn't for Miss IPFW, I wouldn't be in Las Vegas right now competing for the national title of Miss USA! Also, use your advisers! They are there to help you succeed.
Q: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
A: I have two! 1. Taking a business idea and design and bringing it to life and 2. Winning the title of Miss Indiana USA after almost a decade of hardwork and determination. But, I'm still young and I hope to accomplish much more.
Q: Where do you hope to be in 10 years?
A: I hope to have a family and successful winery.
Q: How would you like to be remembered?
A: As a compassionate person who is a good friend and mother. ...and hopefully, Miss USA!
Follow Emily and her progress as Miss Indiana USA by following her on Facebook, Twitter, and www.missuniverse.com/missusa. Follow the progress of Two-EE's Winery by following them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and at www.twoees.com.