Miss North Carolina Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019 Winner: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Tonight, Miss North Carolina Cheslie Kryst took home the crown at Miss USA 2019.

The event took place in Reno, Nevada, at the Grand Sierra Resort, and started out with 51 delegates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. After narrowing down the competition to three finalists, Miss North Carolina won the crown. She will represent the United States at the Miss Universe pageant later this year.

Read on to learn more about Cheslie Kryst.


1. She Is an Attorney Specializing in Complex Civil Litigation

Cheslie graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law and Graduate School of Business. There, she earned both a Juris Doctor degree and a Master of Business Administration degree.

Cheslie tells ncbarblog.com that her work in the pageant world has informed her job as an attorney. “In order to be competitive in a pageant, you need to be ac­complished, well-rounded, and service-minded,” she says. “In order to win a pageant, you have to be likeable, approachable, and friendly. It’s really similar to the practice of law and attract­ing the clients and business that you want. It’s not just about being competent and being able to do the work — you have to go a step further. You need to be a person who is easy to work with, receptive and open to questions, and client-focused.”

Along with being a civil litigation attorney, Cheslie is a popular fashion blogger. Her blog, called White Collar Glam, is dedicated to helping career women dress professionally. In the words of Journal Now, “The blog posts, with photography by one of her younger brothers, range from frank advice and how-tos to posts about her favorite outfits and where to buy them. Visitors number in the thousands per month.”


2. She Graduated from the Honors College at the University of South Carolina

Before attending Wake Forest, Cheslie graduated cum laude from the Honors College at the University of South Carolina.

While she may seem like a natural when it comes to pageants, Cheslie failed to win the Miss North Carolina crown when she first attempted to do so in 2014. She did, however, manage to make it in the top 10 that year. In 2015, she was runner-up at the competition.

Then, in 2016, she competed in the Miss USA Organization’s pageant. She received the fourth runner-up and swimsuit award. One year later, she competed again, only to receive no award. Fortunately, Cheslie’s year was marked with a number of other accomplishments, such as a win at the AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition national championship.


3. She Was a Division 1 Athlete

Cheslie was a Division 1 athlete. She competed on her school’s track and field team and made the top ten record in the triple jump at South Carolina.

What lies ahead for the new Miss USA? According to the Charlotte Observer, Cheslie will put her law career on hold and move to New York City.

Interestingly enough, Cheslie never thought she was a shoo-in to win Miss USA. She tells the Charlotte Observer, “You could have your best night, and (a judge) could just like somebody else better. Somebody could just not like your hair or think your dress sucks.”

To prep for the big day, Cheslie gave up pasta, fried food, and dessert. She woke up at 4:45am each morning for an early workout, and even added a second workout in the days leading up to the competition. She writes on Instagram, “I hated every second of my workout and nutrition regimen. But I’m thrilled that I felt confident and proud to strut my hard work across the Miss USA stage this week. One more day ‘til finals!!”


4. She Is a Dress for Success Volunteer

In her spare time, according to Pageant Update, Cheslie enjoys playing piano, hiking, running 5Ks, and walking in fashion shows. She is also a volunteer at Dress for Success Charlotte.

To date, she has over 15k followers; a number that will certainly rise with her recent win.

Asked by ncbarblog.com how she balances her work, pageant life, and personal life, Cheslie explains, “I used to think my blog didn’t take much time to maintain and that my role as Miss North Carolina USA would only require a few appearances each week. When I took a hard look at the number of hours I spent each week on my blog and my title, I realized there just weren’t enough hours in a day to devote to each of them. I had to restructure my blog and figure out how I could continue to be Miss North Carolina USA while maintaining a full-time practice at work.”


5. Her Mother Was Mrs. North Carolina US 2002

Cheslie’s mother, April Simpkins, competed in pageants, too. In 1997, Simpkins won the Ms. Petite North Carolina Contest, which was intended for women 5-foot-5 and under.

She went on to become Mrs. North Carolina US in the Mrs. America US pageant system in 2002. Cheslie states, “I was inspired to compete in pageants by my mom, April Simp­kins, who was Mrs. North Carolina US 2002. I remember watching her win and going to appearances with her during her reign. She was involved in countless events because of her title — parades, speaking engagements, and I can’t even remember how many times I heard her sing the national anthem. Her title provided her with a platform to advocate for issues that were important to her and people listened.”

Next, Miss USA Cheslie Kryst will compete in the Miss Universe pageant, which will take place later this year.


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