Saturday, June 8, 2013

I didn't win, but I didn't lose either...

In less than 24 hours, you guys moved me into the Top 5, which was where I needed to be!

On Friday night at midnight, the voting closed for the Guess Girl competition.  For the last few hours of the competition, my photo kept moving in and out of the Top 5 position, swapping places each time with DJ. S from Miami (see photo below).  She ran a hard campaign!  Way to go girl, you were doing something right, because I know everyone here in Minnesota was doing everything they could to keep you on your toes!  All my Twitter fans, local radio stations, media outlets and friends spread the word across every social media platform for one big push on Friday to keep me into the Top 5.  I hadn't been there previously until that day, so it was amazing how much buzz was generated in one day. Needless to say, I spent my Friday night glued to my computer!

After my Skype interview with Guess on Thursday, I felt like I really had a chance to win.  My only problem was that I hadn't yet made it into the Top Five and had less than 24 hours to do it.  After the interview,
I really stepped up my campaign.  So what did I do?  I emailed one of the most popular radio stations in Minneapolis,  KDWB, telling them my story hoping they would respond.  I waited. No response.  I emailed again offering to bring them cupcakes/coffee/treats if they could get me on the air the next morning.  That worked!  Once KDWB had me in their studio, the boys over at KFAN offered to have me on, which then led to being on the K102 morning show as well.  It doesn't hurt to ask, and I am glad I did.

In less than 24 hours, over 3,200 of you responded and came to read my blog- thank you!  My radio publicity helped generate over 450 new Twitter friends and Facebook Subscribers who connected with me and shared my story.  I was into the Top 5 by noon on Friday.  My story was then broadcast on a Twin Cities Live segment for our local news station and I had some pretty awesome tweet mentions all day and night by my new radio DJ friends! Vita.MN wrote a very nice little article which actually became the 'most read' Friday earning a front page spot in the Twin Cities' Star Tribune! It was also picked up by various other media outlets, including WCCO.  I connected with my community of Minnesota supporters in a way I never thought possible in one day.  How seriously cool is that??

To clear up the confusion, the photos posted on the Guess site were completely randomized and do not reflect any actual "placings".  Confusing, I know.  The Top 5 girls the girls did have the highest votes, but were still in random order.  But,  D.J. S was a fighter!  We were back and fourth in the Top 5 for the last hour, which is how I know we were neck to neck. Way to go, girl!

It was apparent that Miss DJ. S from Miami must have also been running quite the campaign on her end. By 12:00 midnight (eastern) when it ended, she was the one who ended up staying in her spot in the Top 5.  I just missed it, but it was a great battle, I must say!

Of course, it was a tough loss, but still a wonderful opportunity to get to meet the people at GUESS and tell them my story.  How many girls get to do that?!  I feel pretty lucky.  Now, Paul Marciano knows who I am.   Elle Magazine knows who I am.   They all know that I am an artist and a girl who has a little more to me than just the three photos you all saw online.  I interviewed over Skype, and answered some personal questions via email and had a chance to show them who I am.   That's ultimately a great feeling and I am grateful to have even had this opportunity.   While I missed the Top 5 by public votes, I still realize that GUESS, Elle and Ford agency picked me to be in the Top 25 out of over 33,000... which makes me pretty darn lucky.  There were a LOT of beautiful girls in this competition and I am beyond excited that I made it this far.

The hardest and best part of all of this is how everyone around me invested so much energy, hope and effort into this.  I know you all wanted it as bad as I did. I cannot thank you all enough for everything you did for me to generate votes, and I hope you'll forgive me for bombarding everyone's social media space wayyyy more than I usually do.   I feel humbled and gracious to have support from all of you.  I will still be modeling and making art, and who knows, maybe I'll get to model for Guess one day the traditional way models are hired... booked through an agency when the time is right.

Thank you, everyone.  I truly love all of your support and hope to keep staying connected!  Big hugs to you all.  Congrats to the girls who did make it into the Top 5, and I will be curious to see who Paul Marciano picks as the new Guess Girl!  I wish her the best in what lies next.

Vita.MN article!

Special thanks: 

Dave, Steve and Falen from the KDWB Dave Ryan in the Morning Show- You guys were the first to take a chance on me!  It was a pleasure to meet you all and thank you for the immediate post on the website and the great buzz you generated on-air! Your tweets were much appreciated.  Did we find out who won our photo-shoot-off?

Donna and Muss from the K102 Wakeup Crew- thank you for your tweets and kind support.  I loved meeting you both and was grateful for you guys tweeting and sharing my story.

All the The Power Trip boys at KFan-  You guys have too much fun at work, especially that early in the morning!!!  :)  You're a lively bunch and we had good laughs! Thank you for promoting me on your website here and here as well!

Susan Wehmann, Julia Wolfe and Megan Tadewald at the Wehmann Agency- My Minneapolis agency who shared, supported, voted and blogged for me every day! They're the best in town and stand behind me 100%!

Jahna Peloquin, thank you for writing such an accurate and quick article for Vita.Mn.  It was the original buzz generator!

My Twitter friends- new and old. You literally sent out hundreds of tweets and retweets... awesome! Twitter is a powerful connector and I experienced it firsthand!

Chris Egert from Twin Cities Live- Thank you for for the mention on television!  I know this isn't something you usually talk about on your show, so thank you!

My Facebook friends- Wow!  I'm very happy to have the support of friends I haven't seen in years, family I haven't seen and those who didn't know me but voted anyways because someone told you to!  I was truly impressed by your ability to support and write all the KIND things you did about me.  I tried to respond to all your posts/messages, but I do apologize if I didn't.  I read EVERY one of them and am so full of your love and support. Thank you ALL.

Thank you to my fellow model friends from East to West coast who voted for me.  True beauty comes from the inside and nothing is more important.    


  1. you gave it a shot Val it's there loss not yours. Remember we are there for you anytime we are needed. You will always be our family and friends top model. Bombard my media anytime!!!!! Jim

  2. I was just wondering if you knew that the winner Effy Harvard is and has been a Ford model? I don't get it and feel it is unfair to all the contestants and probably goes against the contest rules since they were part of judging. Wish you the best!!


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