Inspiring young entrepreneur Daniela Costin has created and set up Miss Continental UK and at the young age of 18, showing that if you are dedicated and put your mind to it you can achieve your goals.
1) Thank you for taking the time to Interview with us. Tell us about yourself.
I currently doing my A levels in a sixth form located in North-West London. My hobby is ballroom dancing although for the past couple of months I had no time to practice but trying to get back into my normal competing lifestyle. I also work as an estate agent part-time and organise fashion events supporting Teenage Cancer Trust that includes my beauty pageant Miss Continental UK.
2) To our readers that are unfamiliar with your system tell us what is it about?
Miss Continental UK is different from other pageants as it looks not only at appearances but also intellectuality as well as personalities. I made my pageant accessible for everyone and have no size and height restrictions as well as it doesn’t have high entry fees as other pageants do. We provide hair, make-up and outfits for the girls so I made a pageant system that is not pricy but it is done to a really high standard. The prize for Miss Continental UK Is £2000 for Miss Sections and £1000 for Teen.
3) What inspired you to do your set up the pageant?
I was a beauty queen myself so I got my inspiration from there. I looked at the pros and contras of other pageants and made my one and included the best parts and excluding the parts that weren’t as good. Another inspiration was to try to get all the girls involved and break stereotypes giving a chance to everyone.
4) Please tell us about the Miss Continental UK platform.
Miss Continental UK is supporting women worldwide and promoting multiculturalism. For example last year we had the contestants wear Asian clothes on stage in one of the rounds. We connect models with fashion houses, photographers and artists. Due to the success of 2017 show, a number of contestants signed major contracts to kick start their careers.
Miss Continental UK has 2 parts the pre-final and the grand finale. The pre-final is more of a casting where girls chose their own outfits, it does not require any type of advance preparations and long gowns. Girls are interviewed, walk a catwalk and of course, they take a couple of pictures. I also have 2 sections competing one being Teen from 12 to 18 years old and Miss from 18 upwards.
7) What do you judge contestants on during the competition?
The contestants are judged by multiple criteria like posture, confidence, pleasantness, fluent of speech in the interview round at the pre-final. The Catwalk is also judged by the outfit
choice, abilities and of course style. The way they work with our team for example photographers and artists are also counted as their opinion matters at making the decision if the girl passes to the final or not.
At the Final, the girls are judged by their confidence and how unique and stylish they look in contrast with other girls. We look at thinks like creative patterns, posture and lots more. The girls are also responding to impromptu questions and their answers are of course taking into count so being genuine is a key thing.
8) Which part of the competition was your favourite?
I love the competition as a whole. It brings a special drive to my life. But I really like the part of announcing the winner when the girls are all worried and we see that on their faces and the audience support of their favourite is special. However, they might not understand that by that moment all the judges made their decision and the results are on their way.
9) Which part of the competition would you say is most difficult?
The most difficult I think is the interview as you never know what to expect. Most of the girls I notice get anxious before this section but I see a relief on their face when they are done and they manage to exchange jokes with the judges and have a lovely time as during the whole pageant experience.
10) What would you say contestants thinking the process for selecting the gown?
The contestants don’t choose their gowns as we provide them. Usually, me together with the designers are choosing the gowns and when we know the top 5 before they get changed we see which gown fits what girl.
11) What would you say the onstage strategy to win the judges over?
Being confident and being yourself is the key to win the judges. Usually, I tend to notice that most girls that are bubbly and just have fun on stage are most successful.
12) Behind the scenes, competition is a whirlwind. What is the most nerve-wracking moment during the competition?
I guess getting changed in between rounds is the crazy thing backstage that is happening and is never noticed on stage. I am always backstage, front stage and at the doors during my events and help girls get changed and assist them as well as the audience.
13) We want to hear in your own words – how do you feel when you hear the name of a winner.
I announce the winner myself so I am the first one to read the winners name. I am happy whenever I hear someone wins it is great and I am happy for every title during the event and the big titles won during the event as if I won them.
14) Whatdos the crown and sash symbolize to you?
The crown and sash are things really close to me as I see Miss Continental UK t as my child so the crown and sash being a part of it are important. I order the crowns and sashes long before the pageant and keep them in my room to see them and get into the spirit of Miss Continental UK.
15) How did competing in Miss Continental UK help the contestant’s life?
Miss continental UK helps the contestants get more confident and make new connections. Some of them get friends for life, others working modelling contracts and lots more. Their life becomes different as they feel more confident in their abilities, get experience walking catwalk ramps as well as being more sociable.
16) What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
I want every women to know that they are beautiful in their own way and nobody is perfect. I am pushing through the idea of breaking stereotypes and try to get as many different girls in the industry as possible.
17 You’re said to be on an “Inner Beauty Crusade” . Tell us more about this crusade and how we can cultivate inner beauty.
The inner beauty is cultivated by learning. I think reading is the key. Books help your inner self develop and helps you feels more confident and be able to respond to anything and know how to act in many more situations then you would be able to do If you don’t read. It also comes from inside. There are people beautiful inside and out because they don’t try to harm anyone and they try be respectful.
18 You do what few other Beauty Pageants are seen doing – in “walking the talk” and making a difference in the lives of others. What drives you to want to help the less privileged in society
I want to help the society become a better place and making the once that are less privileged happy and smile is the key for doing so. Aspiring others to do so is even more special as if more people help make the society a better place we have a better chance of changing lots of aspects that are currently getting promoted with the young generation.
19 Who are the people who inspire you to do what you do, and what are the most important principles/lessons you have learnt from them?
My mum is supporting me but I don’t have people inspiring me. I am learning on my own mistakes and try take the best out of every person I meet in life.
20 You’ve mentioned that you have created the pageant at a young age and is one of the best things that ever happened to you. Share with us why this is so. What would you say to your 15-year-old self, if you could?
At the age of 15 I was only started school in UK for the first year and couldn’t speak English too well and my confidence level was on a low note. I would say to me at that age to wipe my tears and not to put my hands down at any type of barrier and keep going.