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Exploring Life & Business with Miranda Rayne

Today we’d like to introduce you to Miranda Rayne.

Hi Miranda, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Of course, when I was younger like 4 or 5 my Mother would look on Facebook for family fun events and activities I could participate in. She always thought it was important that I find something I enjoyed doing: dancing, cheerleading, sports, arts, and music.

So when I was about 6 1/2, she found a pageant in which a friend was competing in and asked if I’d like to try. Of course, I wanted to dress up, sparkly crowns and high heels. Pageants were new for us, so she did some research, asked about the optional competitions I wanted to participate in. We worked on getting the right wardrobe, had some headshots taken and we signed up for pageant prep.

My Mom found a local photographer for headshots, that photographer referred us to someone for pageant prep which was just someone to talk to about the wardrobe choices, have some talent practice and just chat with me since I was so young. I won 5 crowns and trophies at my first pageant, one of which was Most Beautiful, we had used one of the headshot taken that had been taken.  Within a month, I competed in my second pageant, which I also won.

The pageant system I’ve competed since that second pageant is a natural system, with no makeup, fake lashes, hair extensions, etc., for the younger contestants, and they promote volunteering in the community. They even have their platform, the Crown Cares – Creating a Respectable Environment in Schools anti-bullying education which is now the platform for multiple pageant system.

https://www.crowncares.org/

Once I won my first title with that system I started volunteering at fun family events my Mother would find. We’d take tickets at the bouncy house for maybe an hour, and then I got to play. Volunteering was fun, so whenever my Mother asked if I wanted to volunteer somewhere, I always said yes because I knew when it was done I’d get to play.

Shortly afterward, we started hearing from local photographers who wanted me to sit with them as a model. Sometimes they even submitted the images to magazines; I found out just 2 months after beginning to model that I would be on the cover of a magazine. Then I opened a fashion show for a local dress store, David’s Bridal. My modeling career had begun.

Because of everything I saw volunteering in my community, I wanted to give back, so at the age 7, I started a Facebook Page called Kids Speak. https://www.facebook.com/Kidsz.Speak is A place where kids can go to talk about anything that affects them. I wanted kids to know that they weren’t alone, that their choices, family circumstances, or mistakes didn’t define who they could be. That kids need to be there for each other. That being silent is giving their voice to someone else. Kids need to stand up for themselves and each other. That their voice matters and they can make a difference. Volunteer, give back, help each other.

For quite a while, I was always busy, by choice. Modeling, volunteering, competing in pageants, dancing, or cheerleading. I competed in my first national pageant when I was 8. I’d designed my casual wear outfit, which Pageant Planet recognized as one of the top casual wear outfits for the UNM Junior Division. My outfit came in 6th place out of 16. I also won a National Role Model Title, Presidential Volunteerism Award, was the Community Involvement Winner, and was a Junior Division Portfolio Finalist.

I started traveling to model at places like New York Fashion Week, St. Louis for a week to model, Chicago, Boston, and I model locally at home in Maine where I’ve been in a commercial and have been a Print model and Spokesmodel for the Crown Cares for 7+ years. I have been very blessed to have many images published throughout my 7-year modeling career, both nationally and internationally; I’ve been on the cover of several magazines, worked with some amazing designers, hair and makeup artists, and photographers.

In 2020 I was invited to speak about Kids Speak at a Youth Conference in Canada for over 18000 people. Unfortunately, the conference was cancelled due to Covid 19. Since I began volunteering I’ve volunteered over 1300 hours in my community, earned 7 Gold Presidential Volunteerism Awards, the David Loeser Service Award and scholarship, the Spirit of America Award from my hometown, and was nationally recognized as the Mid Level winner of the Maine 2021 Prudential Spirit of Community Award and scholarship. I’ve showcased my designs at a fashion show in Oklahoma, was featured with an ABC affiliate as a Community Champion with Steve Minich for outstanding community service, had a quite published in a book, and I continue to be a print and Spokesmodel for the Crown Cares, and recently started my own business Miranda Rayne – Uniquely Me, https://www.facebook.com/MirandaRayneUniquelyMe where I sell new, used, repurposed and original designs.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
No, it hasn’t been a smooth road. Any dream has setbacks. Most recently, Covid 19 changed everyone’s life for about 2 years and of course continues to do so. Although I was invited to Canada to speak to 18000 kids about my platform, Kids Speak, the event was canceled, and Kids Speak hasn’t taken off as I’d hoped. When Covid hit schools were closed which changed the face of how we interact with our friends and society.  Events were cancelled, close friendship faded, modeling and volunteering just about haunted and what didn’t had strict rules about face coverings, negatives tests and temperature checks. A movie I was cast in as the lead was canceled due to Covid; my Grandmother ended up in the hospital on Christmas Eve because she had Pneumonia and Covid. With the new struggles there are still the old ones where kids are bullied. I think Middle school is a rough time for most kids, add the extra struggle of a pandemic which impacts everyone.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Miranda Rayne, Uniquely Me is a new business; we’re still working on getting everything off the ground. I sell new, used, upcycled, and new designs.

My business started because when I was competing in pageants, I liked unique pieces. I would purchase a gown or something because I loved it, but instead of wanting to wear it as a gown, I wanted to make it a highlow. (dress where it was long or low in the back and high or short in the front), I’d order something with unique colors, add special pieces, and just somehow alter the garment so it was unique to my style and so there was no chance that someone else in the pageant was wearing the same thing. I guess I’m known for always having unique wardrobe pieces. A few years ago, I worked with a designer on a custom piece, a ‘lighted’ galaxy-inspired highlow piece for a runway competition. It truly was remarkable. I think that probably sets me apart from others; my pageant coach to this day calls me ‘MacGyver.’

I have had so many amazing opportunities; brand-wise depends. I think originally, I was the brand, and now that I started a business at age 13 it takes a new shape. As a brand, I am most proud of the 1300 hours of volunteering that I have completed in my community. All the people that those hours have been able to help or service are priceless. For Kids Speak, the platform I started when I was 7, I am very proud of the opportunity to showcase my designs at that Audacious Fashion Magazine Fashion Show in Oklahoma. The magazine’s owner helped Kids Speak by holding a photoshoot where all the T-Shirts that were sent for the fashion show were sold. The proceeds were donated to Crown Cares. For my business, Miranda Rayne – Uniquely Me, I am proud that I could start my own business at the age 13.

Miranda Rayne – Uniquely, as mentioned I sell new, used, up-cycled, and original designed wardrobe pieces. In addition, if you need help finding unique pieces that fit your style, please reach out. We would be happy to assist in locating amazing pieces or designing something that would fit your style perfectly.

What matters most to you?
Family and friends matter most to me. Relationships are what matter most. No matter how busy I’ve been, my Mother made sure there was always time to just be a kid. I’ve been so honored and blessed as a model to work with so many amazing photographers, designers, hair and makeup artists. As a designer myself the opportunity to showcase my designs at a fashion when I was 11, be on the Pageant Planets ‘best casual wear’ list when I was 7 and now to have started a business at 13 is insane. The many hours that I’ve spent volunteering in my community has taught me so much about myself and other people. The people and how I saw them struggle when I was volunteering was the catalyst to starting my platform Kids Speak. The awards, scholarships and recognition that I received for those volunteer hours, nor the titles that I’ve earned competing in pageants is why I do what I do. Life is about experiences. Each event, pageant, photographer, designer, etc. that I’ve worked with has been an experience and taught me so much. Coming off a stage after doing my very best, no one can take that feeling away. Winning a crown or award is not the goal. Growing, experiencing and helping others is. Having friends and family by your side as you walk through these experiences, good and bad. Is everything.

A huge thank you to my family, friends and every artist that has taken time to work with me. It truly is an honor.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
(images right to left) Tess J Photography, Images 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Liz Hallford, Image 12 Eric Burke, Genuine Burke Photography, Image 13 Mandy McQueen Photography, Image 14

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