Meet your Houston semi-finalists – Biguita Hernandez-Smith, Stephie Flournoy and Zanchelle Shaw. On March 16th, hundreds of women in the Houston area lined up to compete to be the next Ashley Stewart. These three neighborhood girls outcompeted the rest, earning them a regional semi-finalists spot to compete in the grand finale this September.
Ashley Stewart, the leading lifestyle and social commerce brand empowering women globally, is searching nationwide for the neighborhood girl to be its next brand ambassador. The ‘Finding Ashley Stewart 2019’ event was held at the Ashley Stewart store in Houston, TX and was the second stop that the tour made across the country before its grand finale event in New York City on September 14th. The event included an audition process, in-store Sip & Shop, fashion show and more.
Three semi-finalists were selected at the end of the Houston event, Biguita Hernandez-Smith, Stephie Flournoy and Zanchelle Shaw, and entered for a chance to be flown to New York City for the contest’s Finale, where they will compete for the grand prize and title of Ashley Stewart 2019. Ms. Hernandez-Smith is from Staten Island, NY, while Ms. Flournoy and Ms. Shaw are from Houston, Texas.
The award will ultimately be given to a woman who distinctively embodies and exudes the confidence, strength and fierceness that has become synonymous with the Ashley Stewart name. In addition to the coveted title, the winner will also receive $10,000, a new Ashley Stewart wardrobe, and features in AshleyTV segments and photoshoots for a year.
Biguita Hernandez-Smith was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. She later moved to Houston, Texas with her then sixteen-year-old son, and shares that the decision to move was one of her greatest hardships. She would one day learn that making the move to Houston was surely one of the best decisions she could make. As she was shopping at the Ashley Stewart store on Kirby Drive, a woman approached and encouraged Biguita to try out for the ‘Finding Ashley Stewart’ competition. Describing the brand as diverse in mind, body and soul, Biguita was determined to take her shot at a semi-finalist spot in the nationwide search to find the next Ashley Stewart. Biguita believes that if she were to win the competition, it would give her the opportunity to lend a voice to women worldwide and help them identify their gifts. In her spare time, Biguita enjoys dancing to salsa music with her friends and family, and her life motto is simply, “Be You.”
Stephie Flournoy was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She credits her hometown in shaping her into the strong and confident woman she is today. When she lost her businesses to the devastating Hurricane Harvey, she felt overwhelmed and inspired by the support that came from friends and family. The confident mindset was definitely in full effect, and Stephie decided to try out for the ‘Finding Ashley Stewart’ competition. She supports the Ashley Stewart brand for offering flattering styles to curvy women at a price that is affordable and speaks to the demographic of Houston. Strongly believing that curvy women have been overlooked and undervalued, Stephie embodies the neighborhood girl by proving that there are no barriers that you cannot overcome. In her spare time, it is no surprise that Stephie enjoys modeling, and her life motto is, “positivity is key.”
Zanchelle Shaw was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Growing up with tough skin, Zanchelle believes that Houston helped show her that hard work truly does pay off. That is why after longing to be a part of the ‘Finding Ashley Stewart’ competition, she tried out in hopes of being a “part of the movement,” and was then chosen as one of Houston’s three semi-finalists. There was a time when Zanchelle was battling with depression, which led to her missing out on life experiences. Today, Zanchelle is sharing her newly embraced positive attitude with the world, and if she were to win, hopes that she can share this with curvy women in her hometown and around the world. In her spare time, Zanchelle loves to dance and her life motto is that of a true survivor, “keep fighting.”