Whitney Hopkins knows how to chase her dreams and make them a reality! Her reign as Miss Silver Spurs may be ending this week but just as it ends, she jumps right into her next dream to be a fashion designer creating and selling her own clothing line. The first step is to open her online Boutique, Dream Gypsies which should launch any day. Whitney is the daughter of Christopher and Andrea Hopkins of St. Cloud, Florida. She has a passion for fashion, equestrian riding and rodeo. She’s spent the last year representing the Silver Spurs Rodeo and working towards her goals.
Whitney, I was beyond impressed to learn that you have accomplished so much. I know first hand that launching an online store is a huge undertaking. Wishing you huge success and can’t wait to see what you do next!
135th Silver Spurs Rodeo
June 5th & 6th
Silver Spurs Arena – 1875 Silver Spur Lane, Kissimmee
School’s Out Blowout activities start at 5pm – Free!
Rodeo begins at 7:30pm – Tickets are $15 and kids 10 and under are free!
Buy tickets here: http://www.silverspursrodeo.com/tickets-for-the-silver-spurs-rodeo/
Sponsor Shout Out:
Rick and Joe at Victor Russell
Kevin and Debora Whaley at Whaley Cattle Co.
Auto Sound Factory
My dad Chris Hopkins
Boots or sneakers? Boots
Jeans or dress? Jeans (It’s not very comfortable riding in dresses
Beach or pool? Beach
What’s your favorite inspirational quote? “People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” -Maya Angelou
Favorite beauty product? My Victor Russell hydrating lip balms and lipsticks. Seriously, the best! Your lips always feel so healthy plus gorgeous colors perfect for any occasion. http://www.victorrussell.com/index.html
Interview with Whitney Hopkins:
You have an impressive college background… graduate of Sanford Brown College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Honors include the President’s Award-five times and the Dean’s List-three times. Well done! To what do you attribute your success?
I attribute my success to hard work and dedication. I was raised to believe that if I worked hard enough for what I wanted I could achieve my goals and aspire to do great things. My goal was to receive my degree within 3 years of graduating high school. I took advantage of any and all opportunities given to me by my school and professors.
You’ve had a great year as Miss Silver Spurs… Looking back on your crowning moment… Paint a picture for us and tell us how you felt. I always imagine that being a flood of emotions and think many people love to watch that moment as it unfolds.
In that moment of hearing my name announced as the new Miss Silver Spurs I felt a flood of emotions, my heart and mind racing. It all happens so fast, yet things seem to suddenly stand still as the reality quickly sets in. I’d hoped to some day be Miss Silver Spurs since I competed in the pageant for Little Miss when I was 9 and again when I was 10. So I definitely felt the joy of having a dream come true in that moment. I also felt shock, anticipation of all that was to come, proud that my hard work had paid off, and excited to jump into the role.
What piece of sage advice would you offer to the next woman that holds your crown?
My advice to the 2015 MSS and all those who follow would be to make the most of every moment and cherish the experiences. When they say it goes by fast they aren’t kidding. It is a privilege and an honor to wear this crown. You will enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences, gain new friends and “family”, and take part in some truly inspiring events. I would say to just saddle up and enjoy the ride.
You’ve shown horses for 12 years, how did you get started? And why did it interest you?
I started riding when I was 8. Like every little girl I wanted a horse, so my mom took my sister and me to riding lessons. I immediately wanted to learn as much as I could about horses and riding. It wasn’t long before I had my own horse, was riding in drill team, taking Pony Club courses, and showing.
I saw you are a member of the Central Florida Dressage. What has been the number 1 benefit to being a member?
As my love for horses continued, I started falling in love with different styles of riding. Along with riding western, I also, compete and show in the equestrian sport of dressage. I have had the opportunity to travel to different shows and competing and placing at regional level showing. One club that I am a part of, on behalf of dressage, is Central Florida Dressage. This past year, I was blessed to have worked towards being their 2nd level champion for the 2014 season. In being with this club I am able to attend different shows and clinics all over Central Florida aiding in my horsemanship and the bond and hard work between my horse and I. I believe the best part of being a part of this group is the networking opportunities. I have met so many wonderful people that share the same love and passion that I have for riding.
Is there one person you admire and look up to in the Equestrian Industry and Why?
Honestly, I’ve had so many inspirational trainers and coaches during my riding career that I couldn’t possibly pick anyone in particular. I appreciate and admire anyone who helps me to further my knowledge and understanding of horses and riding. There is always something new and exciting to learn.
I love your goal to own and operate a western wear boutique along with creating and selling your own clothing and accessories. Have you made any steps towards this goal? Have you set a time frame for launching your new business?
I am very excited to make the big announcement that I will officially be running and operating my own online boutique, Dream Gypsies. You will be able to find it up and running any day now! This has been a dream of mine for many years and with finishing my Bachelors degree in Fashion design and merchandising, I know that I have the tools to succeed in this dream. My goal is to eventually design my own line of equestrian clothing, making it the perfect wear for any event whether it be out riding or watching from the stands. This has been a very long road to make this dream a reality, but I’m proud to say that I’ve made it, and I look forward to all the future has to offer. You will soon be able to check us out at www.dreamgypsies.com, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter! I hope everyone will love it just as much as I do. I can’t wait to watch Dream Gypsies grow!
Is there something in particular that sets the Silver Spurs Pageant apart from other pageants?
The Silver Spurs Pageant holds a very special place in my heart. There is truly no other pageant like it, at this level. I am beyond blessed to have been raised right here in Osceola County and to know just how lucky I am to have been involved in such a successful pageant. We ARE the largest rodeo east of the Mississippi. This year alone I have been blessed to come across so many opportunities such as being a part of the RNCFR and the Wrangler’s Champions Challenge. The opportunity is right here in my back yard! The Silver Spurs Pageant truly prepares you for the rest of your life. This is a 55 year old tradition that is stronger than ever! We stick to our traditions but know the importance of keeping up with the times. For example, just last year we crowned the very first Junior Miss Silver Spurs. This gives more girls at different ages the chance to grow into the queen and person they desire to become. I have so much pride in the Silver Spurs.
If you had more time as Miss Silver Spurs, what would you love to accomplish?
When people say that your year will go by fast, I swear I’ll believe it now. Seems like yesterday, I was just in the contestants shoes. It has been a truly life changing, unforgettable year. If I had more time, I would have loved to accomplish finding the time to design and make all of my own garments. Last year, I made my pageant dress and I felt like I truly stood out and felt more pride and beauty simply because there was so much passion and hard work put into the dress. If I could have made more garments and outfit ideas come alive, I can’t imagine where I may be now regarding designing my own line and already making a statement to promote myself even more.
We all have things that make us stumble or set us back in life (ex: Amberley Snyder) … tragedies, illness, excessively busy schedule, etc. Was there a specific event or time frame during your time as Miss Silver Spurs that really challenged you? If so, how did you get through it and what advice would you offer to anyone that may be experiencing that same difficulty?
Everyone faces obstacles and has the chance to let them dictate you or be overcome. This year not only had some of my most treasured and blessed memories but also some of the most challenging times as well. My days consist of being a full time Miss Silver Spurs queen, Full time assistant manager at the retail store Tillys, starting up my own boutique, and continuing to make time for my riding and horses. I must say I had A LOT of days where I felt completely overwhelmed, exhausted, and drained, but at the end of the day this is what I signed up for and what makes me happy. The feeling of fulfillment far outweighs the rest. No one ever said being an adult was easy, ha! I learned that I had to keep my mind set on my goals and all that I hoped to accomplish, and to remember to make the most of every opportunity given to me. The key for me was to learn balance, to keep journals and lists to stay on track, and to keep a positive and encouraging support system around me. This year was full of so many unforgettable memories that I will cherish for as long as I live. I feel so blessed and grateful just thinking about it…
Heather Cannon is the Founder of Country Girl Glitz & Women In Rodeo… Fashion Writer & Blogger- Specializing in Western Wear Fashion and host for the upcoming Women in Rodeo Show. Heather Cannon shows women how to add Western Glitz to their wardrobes and brings Women In Rodeo together for education and motivation. From Western Fashion, to Rodeo Queens or Barrel Racers Heather brings you Fashion, Motivation, Education and the latest in Women’s Rodeo.