GALION — At age 20, Sarah Campbell is already making a mark for herself, finding success as a pageant contestant and entrepreneur.
Campbell, an alumnus of Colonel Crawford High School and North Central State College, is the reigning United States of America’s Miss Ohio and just returned from the 2021 national United States of America pageant in San Antonio, Texas. She began her pageant career while she was still in high school.
“I did my first pageant when I was 17. It was actually the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival,” Campbell said. “I met some other girls from different cities that competed in a few larger (pageant) systems and it got me into the United States of America Miss Ohio pageant.”
Campbell was crowned United States of America’s Miss Ohio in November 2020, setting the stage for her trip to the national pageant the weekend of Feb. 11-15 at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio/Riverwalk Lila Cockrell Theatre. She said she enjoyed her experience despite being nervous competing on a national stage.
“It was really nerve-wracking,” Campbell said. “Of course, you’re excited. In the weeks and months leading up to it, you’re practicing interview questions, you’re practicing your walks, you’re picking out your wardrobe. The competition consists of interview, patriotic wear, swimwear, evening gown, and on-stage question. … I had a great time. My favorite part about it was interview. Even though it’s the highest section of the score, I wasn’t really nervous about it. I practiced a lot with my mom. She’s my biggest supporter.
“I loved my wardrobe. The other contestants were amazing. It’s just all around a good system.”
Texas was hit by a major winter storm while the pageant was in progress, stranding the contestants and their families in San Antonio and leaving them among the millions of people in the Lone Star State without electricity and other utilities. Campbell and her party didn’t make it back to Ohio until Feb. 19.
“I was one of the lucky ones that was able to get out on one of the five flights that happened in four days,” Campbell said. “The pageant activities were Thursday through Sunday (Feb. 11-14) and then Monday (Feb. 15), the water shut off. The Grand Hyatt had power the first couple of days. We were very lucky.”
For now, Campbell said, she is retiring from competing in pageants, but wants to become a pageant director in the United States of America system.
Back safe and sound in Galion, Campbell immediately went back to work at the business she created, Galion Shampooch pet grooming salon, located at 905 Portland Way North. Campbell, who earned a degree in business management from North Central State, opened the pet grooming salon in August 2019.
“I always knew I wanted to be my own boss and have my own business, but I just wasn’t sure at the time what I wanted to do,” Campbell said. “So after I graduated with my degree in May 2019, I was volunteering a lot over at the Humane Society in Richland County and I saw the need that the animals had to be cleaned up. I started doing research and found out that some of the groomers here in Galion were looking to retire. I figured it was a good time to try it, so I took my shot, and it worked out.”
Campbell said business at Galion Shampooch is going “wonderful.”
“I’m overwhelmed at the amount of support I’ve gotten from the community and my clients,” she said. “I couldn’t be more thankful for how understanding they were about the situation (being stranded in Texas due to the storm). I am really happy with how my business is going right now.”
Campbell said she enjoys the pet grooming business and plans to continue doing it for the foreseeable future, but also has aspirations beyond that.
“I do want to try different career fields,” she said. “I’m young. I’m only 20 years old. For now, I love grooming and I can see myself doing it for a while, but I think my next step would be in real estate.”
For information about Galion Shampooch, visit its Facebook page, call 419-775-6035, or email [email protected]
Follow @GalonInquirer on Twitter.