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Published February 18, 2020
From managing chaos backstage to runway model, University of Wyoming student Georgia Wollert shined at the 28th annual Cheyenne Bridal Expo last month.
Wollert worked diligently at the Cheyenne Bridal Expo, from organizing dressing rooms for models and helping models get to hair and makeup, to 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 says she would feed horses and do chores before school, and she was still actively involved in school activities from sports to clubs.
Throughout high school, Wollert says she 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,” Wollert says. “But, after she suggested that, I really thought it was perfect. I didn’t really question it after that.”
Wollert, a senior in the UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, is majoring in design, merchandising and textiles with a minor in interior design. She will graduate this May, a year ahead of schedule.
When Wollert heard about the internship, she reached out to Erin Irick, an associate professor, and Jennifer Harmon, an assistant professor, both in the UW 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 has always been a great student, always on top of her schoolwork,” Irick says. “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,” Wollert says.
“And doing something like this might help me figure out what kind of career I want to do.”
Wollert met with Hime soon after and says she really liked her fun, friendly, easy-going personality.
Hime says 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 Kati took over the bigger things,” Wollert says.
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 such as 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,” Wollert says. “You’re busy, but you’re having fun doing it.”
Hime was especially impressed with Wollert’s ability to roll with unexpected changes.
She says 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, Hime says.
“Never did she complain. She was able to find a plan B, and that was really cool,” Hime says. “It kept the whole day on schedule even though there were unexpected things.”
Hime says 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 helped her roll with some of those punches,” Hime says. “Things happen when you are working in agriculture that you don’t always expect, and you have to make plans happen, A through Z.”
Wollert says she was impressed to see how Hime marketed her dresses.
“It wasn’t just ‘I have a dress, and I need to sell it,’” Wollert says. “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 garment bags is not as easy as it looks!” Wollert says.
Wollert says 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,” Wollert says.
Wollert will work with the Himes the rest of the semester by helping with other bridal shows, such as the recent Laramie Sweetheart Bridal Expo, and helping with the design and layout of the business’s new bridal and formal shop in Laramie.