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Monday, August 14, 2017
Patricia May P. Catan
IT TAKES confidence to wear the crown but perseverance to hold the title. These two words are the basic building blocks that make up a beauty queen and Jamie Herrell possesses more than just confidence and perseverance—she’s got the Filipino heart and “sole.”
Almost three years have passed since Jamie Herrell was crowned Miss Earth 2014 and like any other beauty pageant title holder after her coronation, the pageant positively shaped her into the person she is today.
“It made me more aware of my surroundings and what is going on in the world because Miss Earth is not just a typical beauty pageant but also considered an environmental event,” shared Herrell as she explained how Miss Earth changed her life.
The beauty queen later added that to love yourself as a person was the main thing she learned during her reign as Miss Earth 2014. After a few years, Herrell has been traveling to different countries to widen her perspective of life—a huge step not just to show love for herself, but later to show love for the earth.
Stepping out of her role as Miss Earth 2014, Herrell has also been studying business and will be studying in Integra Institute for the next term. Aside from being popularly known as a well-respected beauty queen, she now adds another title under her belt as an entrepreneur.
“I always wanted to continue my advocacy to promote eco-tourism in the Philippines, but I needed to find a way to continue my passion and make sure I sustain my living,” Herrell started as she introduced her first business venture.
“Luckily, I was able to meet my business partner during an event and she was able to influence me to get into the footwear industry since she’s been in the business for 27 years,” Herrell continued. Living in a tropical country, Herrell found the importance of a pair of slippers which led to the birth of their flip-flop line, Isla 7107.
Starting a business out of their passion and love for the country, Isla 7107’s whole core is to promote Philippine tourism. As its name suggests, 7107 represents the different islands found in the Philippines which is beautifully represented through the slippers’ design.
“When people look at our flip-flop line we want them to feel like they are stepping into our beautiful country and experience traveling with Isla 7107,” Herrell added. Apart from the promise to help spread awareness of Philippine tourism, Isla 7107 also guarantees the durability of its products.
As former Miss Earth 2014, Herrell still continues to stand by her advocacy of building a better and healthier earth with Isla 7107’s slippers bank project wherein they collect old rubber slippers and give them to a beneficiary to recycle and reuse the slippers. “We are also currently working on another project for the holidays in December which we hope will make an environmental impact to society,” she said.
Presently talking to some countries, Herrell is planning to expand their business and even sees herself still doing business and of course, traveling the world in the next 10 years while continuing to dream for the Philippines.
“I want to see the Philippines being the most visited country in Asia. In terms of statistics, we still have a long way to go, but I think it is very much possible. Building tourism in our country would help indigenous people and communities to have a sustainable source of income and this is what I want for our people,” added the former beauty queen turned entrepreneur.
Sun Star, Cebu, Philippines, 2017, August 14
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