I Won a Modeling Contest at 37 Years Old!

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I’m a Duluth Trading Company model. It’s still hard to believe that three years ago, at the age of 37, I become a model. And not really because of how I look (although I’m sure Duluth Trading Company wouldn’t hire me if I were butt-ugly). But the fact that I’m a model because of what I do: I’m a DIY do-it-yourself blogger.

There’s something about getting older.

The way it creeps up on you.

It’s that moment when you notice the hood of your eyes drooping a little too much and you’re starting to look like your Grandma Charlotte.

Or the moment when you snap a selfie and realize your face is starting to resemble a wrinkled, deflated balloon.

I’ve seen the changes creeping up on me. Albeit small, but they’re still there.

In a society where we place everything on how we look, we can’t help but to note these changes. We also realize that at nearly 40, there are no televised Miss America contests for the 30-Somethings and Beyond who rock fine lines and rough, DIY-calloused hands.

But wait.

There kinda is.

I’m proof of it.

Because I won a Duluth Trading Company modeling contest when I was 37!




In April 2015 I entered into their Duluth Trading Company’s 2015 model search contest at the ripe age of 37.

And I was one of the 9 winners!

It didn’t matter that my hair was undone in that pic.

My lips looked a little parched, too, like the dust from my garage had dried them out. LOL.

I wasn’t looking particularly “dolled up” while cutting tile for that cute tiled table top I was working on.

But they liked me. They saw my moxie.

In fact, they chose nine tough winners with moxie. Here are all of us that won:

Duluth Trading Company Model Contest 2015 Winners - ThriftDiving.com 2

Duluth Trading Company Model Contest 2015 Winners - ThriftDiving.com 2


Deep Down in Utah

For the prize, we got some cash and new clothes, but we also got to do a modeling test shoot, which took place in Utah.

We shoot on location at the farm where one of the winners lived with her family.

It was a family property that had been passed down to her from the 1800’s!


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Everything was old and soooooo awesome! I’m talking authentic homes, barns, and furniture handed down from generation to generation. It was such an honor to walk that property and see the original structures and stuff sitting around the land!


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One of the winners, Krista (there in the black), and her son, lived in the other home, but this home on her property was built by her great-great-grandfather. I loved its originality!

(That was Kyle, the photographer, on the left, with his assistant, Ron, on the right).

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And look what I found in the kitchen of that house! That fridge was awesome!!

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Krista, one of the model winners, is to the left, with her hubby. And Michele in the black jacket was the Art Director.


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I’m a suburban girl, but after this week in Utah, I have to admit that part of me yearned to have a piece of land like this.

I always thought I loved having people around, but seeing that solitude of their own land… ahhhh…..made me reconsider where I could see myself living.


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I had asked Krista’s awesome 8-year-old daughter what she liked best about living there on that land, and she gave me the best response: “I like being free.”

She was such a Taylor-Swift-loving sweetheart!

Almost made me wish for a daughter! LOL #donehavingkids

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And the fact that Little Miss Sylvia had climbed up on the roof of one of the old properties was proof that she, indeed, was quite free!

See her there on top of the house?! LOL

A couple of us glanced over to see her on top of the house and were like, “OMG!” for her safety, but of course, it wasn’t the first time she’s climbed on the roof. She was quite the farm girl pro ;).


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Although it was a beautiful property….


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…we couldn’t just hang out all day ogling the land. We had to get to work and do our photo shoot.

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This test shoot didn’t necessarily mean all the winners will end up in the Duluth Trading catalog. If they got some great shots they can use, we will. But it was to see how we did in front of the camera and if we’re photogenic, how the clothes fit us, etc. And hopefully, they’ll use our shots and want to work with us more on upcoming shots!

(That’s Mike, the media guy. And don’t forget Starsky, one of the dogs).

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I felt a little self-conscious at some points, I admit, because I don’t have that classic “Duluth” look. Plus, I’m not a hunter, farmer, or gardener, which is predominately what the Duluth models are.

But DIYers are working women, too, and hats off to Duluth for choosing me to not only represent a diverse look but also representin’ the power-tools-paint-brush-wielding women of the world!



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I got up early on the day I was leaving and watched the sunrise, which was magnificent! And so peaceful. No one else was nearby!


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(Same view during the day)

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I ended up having to leave later that day, which was a day earlier than everyone else, so I could get back in time for Open House at my kids’ schools.

But on the 2.5-hour drive back to the Utah International airport by myself, I kept stopping on the side of the road to take these amazing shots. I had never seen such mountainous beauty quite like this!

Every turn in the road unveiled another scene even more lovely than the first!!

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At one point, I found myself at a rest stop on the top of a mountain and not another person was in sight. It was the most peaceful thing ever, being truly alone on that breezy mountain!

I wonder if this is a sign of getting older and wiser? You know… appreciating solitude more than the hustle and bustle of city/suburban life? I’m not sure….

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Other Projects With Duluth Trading Company

I’ve since gone on to do more photo shoots with Duluth, and even did their “No Yank Tank” commercial in 2016, which has run from 2016 – 2018. September 2018 I’ll be shooting another commercial with them and amazingly, my youngest son will be in the commercial, too!

Duluth Trading Company has been a great company to work with and I’m impressed with not just the quality of their clothing, but the strong women models they use in their advertisements. I’m proud to be one of them!




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  1. What a cool and fun story to read!! Very inspiring. I think that we’re all works in progress… and the only time when we “done” is if we’re stuck. Or deceased! Keep your blob posts coming.
    I just might enter that 30-day make-over contest!

  2. Wow. What a wonderful opportunity. You do the best blogs and pictures. I read every bit and now I’m wondering if the city life is for me. Just came over to read as I was referred from your latest post about the contest you entered. I won’t spoil it for anyone though.

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