Time as Miss Bermuda taught Rochelle anything is possible
Miss Bermuda Rochelle Minors was in for the ride of her life last year when days after winning the local pageant, she was whisked off to China to take part in the Miss World competition.
Those first few weeks were the most memorable during her reign, which will come to end with a new contestant being crowned Miss Bermuda on Sunday.
Miss Minors, 23, said she was sad to see the journey end, but admittedly has grown leaps and bounds since the competition started for her last summer.
She has learned that you have to be disciplined and motivated to get what you want in life.
She is also feeling more mature than ever and coming into her own as a young woman, she said.
“I had a lot of responsibility, especially being in Miss World, I was there to have a good time, but I also had the responsibility to uphold my country’s pride and honour and make sure that I represented the Island to the best of my ability.
“I didn’t expect to do as well as I did because of the time I had to prepare, just ten days since I won the crown of Miss Bermuda.”
She described the international pageant as a once-in-a-lifetime experience and said she was “honoured” to be one of a small minority to take part.
One of the best parts of taking part in Miss World was building a lasting friendship with her room-mate Miss Bahamas. People probably thought they were sisters because they supported each other so much, she said.
Miss Minors also had a host of other fun opportunities this year, starting with an appearance at global tourism fair The London Travel Market in November.
“I linked up with the Department of Tourism and got to advertise the beauty of the Island and let people know Bermuda is a great place to relax and to go to escape,” she said.
“The Gombeys were there too, so while they were performing, I was walking around to the different stalls to tell people about the vibrancy of our culture and people.”
The hazel-eyed beauty queen was also on hand at the Bermuda Day Parade, the recent father-daughter event “Princess For A Day” and a Project Action Tea fundraiser.
She even made it into an international magazine, published by the Salvation Army last April.
But the aspiring fashion designer said she wasn’t able to accomplish as much as she originally hoped, due to school commitments.
Miss Minors is currently studying at the University for the Creative Arts in Rochester, England.
She said it’s been her passion to create her own clothing line, called ‘Rochelle Nicole’, ever since she was a young child making dresses for her paper dolls with her mom.
Her next goal during last year of university study in the fall, is to be chosen to show her clothing at Graduate Fashion Week.
She said it would be an “emotional” and “proud” moment to see her pieces on a runway and get one step closer to fulfilling her dream.
After her studies are done she hopes to work for an apparel company and get work experience in a big city like London, New York, Paris and Milan.
She also eventually wants to open up her own arts institution on the Island that can teach young people about area like fashion, architecture, landscape and interior design.
Miss Minors said she wouldn’t have made it through this experience without her faith in God and support from family and friends.
Her friends held a back sale to raise money for her parents, Marshall and Rosalyn Minors, to venture to Ordos, China in time for the live airing of the Miss World contest.
She said seeing her parents at that time meant the world to her.
“To see them in the lobby after not seeing them for four weeks it was the best feeling,” she explained. “I felt so much joy and I was so excited to see them, even though it was only for brief moment before the pageant, it was worth it.”
She also received support from sponsors, her Salvation Army church family and the Butterfield Bank staff.
But wanted to send a big ‘thank you’ to the local public for rallying behind her during the past year.
She said: “I have never felt love from the public like that before. People in the community would come up to me randomly on the streets and thank me.
“It feels good to know you have impacted someone’s life positively.
“If I leave people with anything I just want them to see anything is possible. They are able to accomplish their dreams and goals if they set their mind to it,” she added.
Miss Minors will be passing the torch to one of seven contestant vying for the title of Miss Bermuda on Sunday. The pageant will take place at the Fairmont Southampton, with tickets available through www.bdatix.bm.
There’s no better person to get advice from than someone who was once in your shoes.
As Miss Bermuda Rochelle Minors gears up to hand the title over to a new beauty this weekend, she wanted to pass on some words of encouragement.
“Whenever you wear your sash and crown remember the significance of what this title represents — the hopes and dreams of Bermuda.
“Wear it with pride, dignity, grace and modesty and don’t ever forget that it’s your inner beauty that is of the most importance and will help you to fulfil your purposes in Miss World and beyond.
“Be of strong mind, spirit and confidence and just enjoy every moment.”