With rebooting our blog section on our website, we thought we would expand and include interviews with girls around New Zealand.
To begin this section, we have invited Natasha along for a Q&A.
Natasha also handpicked her favourite pieces from our collection, and we shot her in them at our HQ
Natasha: "Hi! I’m Natasha Unkovich and I am a 24 year old Croatian Kiwi. I have huge passion for mentoring and educating young people, and that led me into my role as an Intermediate School teacher out in East Auckland. I love it…and sometimes it doesn’t even feel like a job. I’m also the current Miss Auckland and Miss International New Zealand."
1. What are your titles? (Current, or in the past)
Natasha: "Last year I competed in my first ever pageant which was Miss Auckland and I was very fortunate to take out the title as well. My most recent pageant, however, was Miss World NZ and I am very happy to share that I came second and received the title of Miss International NZ- I cannot wait to represent NZ in Tokyo on the world stage in November. Excitement levels are high!"
2. How did you get involved in competing in pageants?
Natasha: "Many years ago, my older sister took part in pageants, but if I’m completely honest, I never really had a passion to take part in them back then…. I was also a bit of a tomboy, ha! However, over the years I had heard more about Miss Auckland and what it was all about and very quickly it became something that I really liked the sound of. Auckland is the place that has provided me with endless opportunities growing up, so I thought what a fantastic way to be able to give back to my community, and an opportunity to be able to grow individually as a person."
3. Do you think competing in Pageants has shaped you to be who are now?
Natasha - "Absolutely- I’m all for this! Pageants have definitely reminded me how important it is to know who you are, to know your worth and to stand strong for what you believe in. Taking part in these pageants has given me so much. It’s allowed me to take part in so many opportunities that have challenged me, taught me new skills, and that have shown me just how much I can achieve if I put my mind to it; all really important skills moving forward in the future and ones that I hope I’ve role modelled to my students as well."
4. What advice would you give to girls around New Zealand, who are thinking about being involved with pageants?
Natasha - "That’s easy- GO FOR IT! Even if you are feeling nervous at the thought of entering, or if it’s something that you have never done before, just go for it. This opportunity is one that you are completely supported with and one that allows you to grow so much. Another piece of advice that I was given when I first started and one that I think is sooo important, is to not compare yourself to anyone but yourself. This is your journey, so just focus on you and YOU only."
5. From the outside world, it is still a common belief that pageants are solely based on looks, what are your thoughts about this?
Natasha - "Having competed in two pageants now, I’ve seen exactly what pageants are about and I’ve been so happy to have been able to share that with those around me when taking part in them… it’s not just about the glitz and the glam. Behind Miss Auckland and Miss World NZ is “Beauty with a Purpose”; raising awareness and money for charities in our communities and bringing people together to support one another. This has been one of my highlights taking part in pageants and throughout my recent Miss World NZ journey it was so incredible to see my own community get on board with my fundraising and for me to be able to show my students that I teach the importance of giving to others."
6. I know that you recently raised a lot of money for Annie’s Lifeline, congratulations about this! What a huge achievement! Can you tell us more about Annie’s Lifeline, and how you went about raising this capital.
Natasha - "Thank you so much! I still can’t believe I raised $15,000, it’s still such an exciting and rewarding feeling… it’s something I’ll remember for a very long time. Last year during Miss Auckland I did lots of little fundraisers throughout the journey, however this time I wanted to focus on a few bigger ones and I wanted to involve different audiences. I kickstarted the fundraising with some sausage sizzles over a few weekends at my local Warehouse store in Botany Town Centre and I loved being able to talk to the public about Annie’s Lifeline and being able to see how generous people were. I then held a movie night fundraiser and I certainly felt the love from family, friends, friends of friends, and work colleagues who all came along to support me. My final fundraiser was my charity auction that I worked with one of my sponsors on. This was my biggest fundraiser with most of the money being raised here and once again I was blown away by the support of the people who attended the auction and my sponsor Angela Rudling from Bayleys Real Estate."
7. How did you hear about Oh Rent Me?
Natasha - "I first heard about Oh Rent Me through social media and by word of mouth… I have a number of friends who rent from it and I am always blown away by literally every single garment. I felt so honoured to be able to model one of the garments on stage in our daywear section on the final night of Miss World NZ."
8. What are your favourite garments from our collection?
Natasha - "That’s hard, there’s so many favourites! But, if I had to name a few, I would definitely say the Meadow Print dress (I wore this one on the Miss World NZ final night), the Foilage dress, Be Mine Forever dress and the Hot on the Tiers dress."
9. Describe your fashion sense in 5 words
Natasha - "My fashion sense definitely changes all the time, especially with how I’m feeling that day, but I would say it’s a mix between edgy, classic and girly, and it’s definitely personal and unique at times. I love to express my personality through what I wear."
10. What is your honest opinion about the renting market? Pros and cons!
Natasha - "Although I’m obsessed with a number of different fashion brands, I’d like to think that I’m pretty sensible when it comes to my money too…so, often I just can’t justify spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on one single new garment. That’s why I love the renting market; you get the best of both worlds to be honest. I think Carolyn Keep nailed it in her latest fashion blog post when she said that you get to experience wearing a beautiful garment but that it also doesn’t run at the cost of having to live off noodles all for the price of getting that #outfitoftheday pic that we all love haha!"
11. What is your favourite quote?
Natasha - "I’m a bit of a quote freak haha, I always love finding new quotes and trying to stick by them, but one of my all time favourites would definitely have to be “a flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms”. I think this quote is one that we can all learn from and use in many different situations. It’s also one that I often share with my students because at the end of the day, there really is no use comparing ourselves to anyone else but ourselves; something I was definitely guilty of doing when I was younger. We need to learn to celebrate who and what we are as a person and absolutely own it."
You can check out how you too can have the opportunity to become the next Miss Auckland by visiting here