From managing chaos backstage to a runway model, University of Wyoming student Georgia Wollert shined at Wyoming’s 28th Annual Cheyenne Bridal Expo last month.
Wollert worked diligently at the Cheyenne Bridal Expo, from organizing dressing rooms for models, helping models get to hair and makeup and organizing 35 gowns for the runway, all while walking the runway herself.
Wollert is no stranger to busy days, hard work and an active lifestyle. She grew up helping her parents on a Lingle-area farm and ranch. Wollert explained she would feed horses and do chores before school and was still actively involved in school activities from sports to clubs.
Throughout high school, Wollert loved planning events and became very involved with planning prom her junior year. One of her teachers pulled her aside to tell her how successful the prom was and how Wollert seemed to be in her element during the entire planning and decorating process. It was because of her teacher’s suggestion Wollert looked into a degree in design.
“At first, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up,” said Wollert. “But after she suggested that, I really thought it was perfect. I didn’t really question it after that.”
Wollert is a senior in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources majoring in design, merchandising and textiles with a minor in interior design. She will be graduating this May, a year ahead of schedule.
When Wollert heard about the internship, she reached out to Erin Irick, associate professor, and Jennifer Harmon, assistant professor, both in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, for an internship opportunity with Levi and Kati Hime, owners of Wyoming Weddings magazine, Wyoming Lifestyle magazine, LKH Bridal and Formal store of Laramie and organizers of the Cheyenne Bridal Expo.
“She [Wollert] has always been a great student, always on top of her schoolwork,” said Irick. “I had no doubts she could do great.”
Irick helped connect Wollert to Kati Hime to learn more about the internship.
“It wasn’t that I needed the internship credits, but it was something that sounded like fun,” said Wollert. “And doing something like this might help me figure out what kind of career I want to do.”
Wollert met with Kati Hime soon after and said she really liked her fun, friendly, easy-going personality.
Hime explained she needed an intern who was organized, responsible and capable of taking on the unexpected, and Wollert was just that.
“I took over and really felt in my element, while she [Hime] took over the bigger things,” said Wollert.
Wollert was in charge of finding models for the show and coordinating how the models would go through the show to best display the dresses. This included things like deciding what jewelry went best with each dress and how to style hair to fit the dress.
On the day of the show, Wollert was surprised by how quickly an hour would go by. She had an hour between each show and during that time she had to pull together many details to get everything ready.
“But it wasn’t stressful,” said Wollert. “You’re busy, but you’re having fun doing it.”
Hime was especially impressed with Wollert’s ability to roll with unexpected changes.
Hime explained they had anticipated a few brides watching the show would want to try on a dress or two, but they ended up having many more than expected wanting to try on gowns.
When brides came back to try on gowns, they took over the dressing room that was originally being used for the models, which really changed the whole flow of things, explained Hime.
“Never did she complain. She was able to find a plan B, and that was really cool,” said Hime. “It kept the whole day on schedule even though there were unexpected things.”
Hime said Wollert is a person who is flexible and can think on her feet.
“She mentioned she was from an ag background, and I think part of that background is what helps her roll with some of those punches,” said Hime. “Because things happen when you are working with agriculture that you don’t always expect and you have to make plans happen, A through Z.”
Wollert explained she was impressed to see how Hime marketed her dresses.
“It wasn’t just ‘I have a dress and I need to sell it,’” said Wollert. “But it was selling why the dress would work, why the dress would be for this person and during the show, Kati explained the finer details of each dress.”
Wollert helped brides try on dresses, helped models get out of their dresses and reorganized dresses by putting them back in garment bags when the show was over.
“Stuffing those dresses in a garment bag is not as easy as it looks!” said Wollert.
Wollert said she really enjoyed organizing and putting together the bridal shows, but she isn’t sure yet of her career path.
“Being in the wedding industry is not a piece of cake, no pun intended,” said Wollert.
Wollert will be working with the Himes the rest of this semester by helping with other bridal shows, like the recent Laramie Sweetheart Bridal Expo, and the design and layout of the business’ new bridal and formal shop in Laramie.