Leiela Focus Interview Karen Gee of Mrs Australia


Leiela have a proud history of supporting charity events – and in years of late have chosen to get behind the Mrs Australia Pageant. Far from being a ‘Toddlers in Tiaras’ or ‘Miss Universe’ style event, Mrs Australia rewards participants who have a strong bent towards charity and community participation. The Mrs Australia organisation supports W.I.N. (Women In Need International) who are committed to enhancing women’s emotional health, self esteem and the promotion of a healthy body image. Mrs Australia’s state finalists support W.I.N.’s goals which include running the ‘Raise Your Standards’ program for students throughout Australia.

Today Leiela are proud to feature the current Mrs Australia, Karen Gee. In her interview, Karen focuses on her charity of choice – The Butterfly Foundation, as well as her journey to becoming Mrs Australia. Read on!

1. How did you first hear about the Mrs Australia pageant, and had you ever participated in a pageant event before?

The first I heard about the Mrs Australia Pageant was when my amazing 13 year old son Oscar noticed it advertised. It wasn’t something I ever imaged myself entering! When I investigated the pageant and realised great emphasis was placed on inner beauty and being the best you can be, I decided to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone, to be a part of Women In Need Australia –  a truly wonderful charity founded by Dr Tracy Kemble in 1996.

2. Tell us about the Butterfly Foundation. What attract you towards this charity?

The Butterfly Foundation is Australia’s largest national charity supporting those with eating disorders and their carers.  It is an absolute priority to me to emphasise the importance of loving who you are – to live in a world that celebrates, health, well being and diversity.  Mrs Australia Globe promotes women discovering their inner beauty and focusing on the importance of oneself.

3. You’ve worn your fair share of beautiful gowns – which is your favourite style from Leiela’s collections?

I feel fortunate to have worn some amazing gowns! Although it is always wonderful to do so, what I wear certainly does not define who I am or the message I deliver of intrinsic beauty. Every woman feels incredible when they wear a lovely gown, and I always embrace  and am grateful to those who are generous enough to allow me to showcase their vision of design.  The Leiela collection is just so beautiful! One thing that certainly stood out at the finals for Mrs Australia Globe were the variety of gowns supplied by Leiela – they were just incredibly elegant. Every lady looked and felt beautiful –  and they were proud to wear such a designer.
4. What kind of qualities do you need to be a ‘Mrs Australia’ pageant competitor?

I really believe you have to be yourself.  When I entered this competition I promised myself not to compare myself to others, not to feel intimidated by others, to be myself and to enjoy the journey. The moment you start trying to be a second rate version of someone else – it is no longer genuine. Stay true to yourself and allow those around you  to love your beautiful qualities. In today’s society so much emphasis is placed on being perfect and looking a certain way. This is not achievable – certainly not when you are trying to compare yourself with those in magazines. Pictures are airbrushed, the lighting is right, the angles are precise – I proudly promote that I am wonderfully imperfect and would not have it any other way.
5. Tell us more about your role with W.I.N Australia. How does this organisation assist women?

I am honoured to be the official spokesperson and ambassador for Women In Need Australia. Women In Need Australia was launched in 2010 and is an outreach of Women In Need International, which was founded by Dr Tracey Kemble in 1996 after she escaped a life of domestic abuse. Women In Need is committed to the emotional health, personal self esteem, empowerment and promotion of a healthy body image for all women. Women In Need offers programmes free of charge to women focusing on self esteem. I am currently building relationships which enable me to introduce Women In Need to new communities. I am very proud to be a part of this, and know that I can dramatically help with the growth of this wonderful charity with the support of my networks.
6. As Mrs Australia, tell us one thing you’d like to say to women to encourage them to try new things.

The experience of being Mrs Australia has literally been life changing. Not just because I won the title, but because I proved to myself that by stepping out of my comfort zone I was able to achieve and accomplish goals I never thought possible. I decided from the beginning of my journey that I would do my all to promote being the best you can be, focussing on the qualities of building confidence, meeting new people and taking the emphasis off outer beauty. I know one thing for sure – if you shine from the inside by being loyal, generous and willing, outer beauty will come without trying. It will be a result of passion within!

7. How would you describe the Mrs Australia experience in one word?

Life-changing (that is two but I put them together)!

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Leiela gowns are made from rich, elegant fabrics and dresses are finished with unique intricate hand-made finishings. Leiela's bridal gowns have been featured in several magazines such as Cosmo Bride, Studio Brides, Melbourne Bride and more. Dresses are available in Head Office (Ascot Vale) or at stockists across Australia.

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