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About Holly

Holly began her pageant career at the age of 16 and has competed as a Teen, Miss, and Mrs contestant in ALL major pageant systems.  In fact, she is one of only two women to have held all of the "Big 3" Mrs pageant titles in Minnesota.  Holly is a proven winner who has "been there" and knows what it takes to capture the crown.  Her motto is "You don't have to 100% better than your competition, but you DO need to be better in 100 ways."

A quintessential tomboy from a small town in northern Wisconsin, Holly Ernst entered her first pageant at the age of 16 where she placed as 2nd runner-up.  Not one to give up easily, Holly continued her quest for the crown and entered the following year, placing as 1st runner-up.  On her third try, Holly enlisted the help of a since-retired pageant coach who helped lead Holly to her first “win” (Miss Junior Wisconsin 1989).  This was a great lesson to learn at an early age---that hard work and perseverance DO pay off, and hiring a pageant coach is KEY to a contestant’s success.


Soon after her first state win, Holly placed in the Top 10 at the national Miss Junior America pageant, one of the premier Teen pageants in its’ day.  Holly went on to win the title of Miss Wisconsin U.S. Teen 1990, again placing in the Top 10 nationally and winning the coveted National Poise & Personality Award at the Miss U. S. Teen national pageant. 




While attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Holly competed in the Miss USA and Miss America (MAO) systems, placing as 1st runner-up to Miss Wisconsin USA 1991 and as 3rd runner-up to Miss Wisconsin (MAO) 1994. In 1993, Holly entered and won the Miss Wisconsin World America pageant, leading to the nationally televised Miss World America pageant produced by the “queenmaker” team of GuyRex Productions. Holly also was named Miss Wisconsin of the Year 1991. 


After earning her B.A. degree in Political Science, Holly began a successful career in office equipment and pharmaceutical sales.  Upon getting married to her husband Matt, Holly realized she still had the desire to compete and decided to try her hand at “Mrs” pageants. She was named Mrs. Minnesota United States 2002 & placed in the Top 12 at the national Mrs. United States pageant in Las Vegas. The following year, Holly emerged from a field of 26 contestants to be crowned Mrs. Minnesota International 2003, and also took home the coveted “Best in Interview” and “Best in Evening Gown” awards.  Traveling across the state promoting her child-safety and abduction prevention platform “Keeping Our Children Safe,” Holly has spoken to over 20,000 people on this important issue.  A senior-level member of the Jacob Wetterling Resouce Center Speaker's Bureau, she also served on the JWRC Board of Directors from 2006 to 2009.

Holly's first big "win" (Miss Junior Wisconsin 1989)
Top 10 at National Pageant
Top 10 at National Talent Show
Miss 1993 Wisconsin World America
Miss Wisconsin U.S. Teen 1990
Top 10 at National Pageant
National "Poise & Personality" Award


After taking some time off to start a family, Holly decided to throw her hat back into the ring by entering the Mrs. Minnesota America pageant in 2006.  In addition to winning the title, she also won the “Best in Evening Gown” award and was named “Mrs. Photogenic.”  At the time, this win gave Holly the distinction of being the only woman in Minnesota to have held all of the “Big Three” Mrs. pageant titles.  Holly continued on to the nationally televised Mrs. America pageant, where she placed in the Top 12.  Starting her own coaching/consulting business has been a lifelong dream for Holly and she strives to empower ALL women to be at their personal best.  Holly philosophy is “you don’t need to be 100% better than your competition, but you DO need to be better in 100 ways.”  Call Holly today and let her show you those “100 ways” and much, much more!

Mrs. Minnesota International 2003
Best in Interview
Best in Evening Gown
Mrs. MN United States 2002/2009
Top 12 at Mrs. United States 2002
Mrs. Minnesota America 2006
Best in Evening Gown & Most Photogenic
Top 12 at Mrs. America 2006

“Would you compete in the Olympics without a coach? Of course not...and pageantry is no different. The truth behind the crown is that very few contestants find success without guidance. A good pageant coach is vital in today's highly competitive pageant world. When you are ready to "go for the gold," call me to learn the secrets of my success!"

Holly Ernst

Sparkle! with Holly Ernst

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