Lipstick Ready highlights Rachel Hornbuckle for the “Girls with Gloss series.
Written by: Mariska Sackey
This week, Lipstick Ready’s “Girls with Gloss Series” highlights Rachel Hornbuckle, law clerk at Wright Connatser PLLC and Miss Arlington USA 2018. In 2011, Rachel also started “The Bell of The Ball Foundation,” a nonprofit organization focused on "making prom dreams come true" by providing dresses free of charge to ensure that everyone feels special on their special night.
In 2014, Rachel graduated Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelor's degree in Marketing from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She is a recent graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, Class of 2017.Rachel previously represented the city of Arlington as Miss Arlington USA 2018 and Miss Colleyville USA 2017 at the Miss Texas USA 2018 and 2019 Pageant, during which she was selected as a Top 15 finalist both years. During her pageant career, she initiated her platform, R.I.S.E (Resilience Inspiring Social Empowerment), which shines light on the social, psychological, and emotional long-term effects that occur from experiencing childhood adversities.
Read on to learn how this Girl with Gloss leads with love and power!
Has it been a smooth journey getting into your industry? If not, what obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
I don't think I've quite had my "big break," and the path to where you want to be never truly ends and it won’t be smooth. I know for me, I've had a long, winding road to be comfortable with who I am and to truly believe in myself and my dreams. There have been so many highs and lows along the journey, but I appreciate the fact that I had to work to be the person I am today.
What is the biggest misconception about your line of work?
For Lawyers, it would have to be that we are all liars and don't really care about our clients. For Pageantry, it's that we are just pretty and dumb. I've met so many amazing women who are doctors, lawyers, engineer, nurses, etc., and we are all just trying to make a difference in the world around us and redefine what beauty is. For ministry (being a pastor's kid), it's that we are perfect and judgmental. Those of us in ministry are people just like everyone else, we struggle in all aspects of our lives, and we are just trying to live transparently so that people will see that a relationship with Christ is not about perfection. It’s about pursuit and surrender. We aren't as judgmental as people think; we are loving and welcoming of all people because that is exactly how Chris was and how we are all supposed to be.
How old were you when you discovered your gift? When did you get comfortable sharing that gift with other people and how did they react?
I'm still discovering my gift and career. I always had a heart to help people, but I never really knew how I could do that outside of the normal community service opportunities that are generally given to young people. I'm not sure if it’s a "gift,” but I decided during my last year of law school that I needed to be transparent and talk about my life experiences for my mental, emotional, and spiritual health. I honestly was just trying to face my own demands, and in doing so I was able to help others speak their truth and faces theirs too. In sharing my journey of healing, I realized that I wasn't alone and that people all around me were facing or had faced some type of adversity, and by sharing mine I was giving them the courage to come forward as well.
What was your childhood like? Describe your environment from your house to your neighborhood to your school. How did these experiences shape you and your future success?
For the most part I had an amazing childhood: two loving parents, two amazing brothers, and pretty much any and everything I could ever want. But, a lot changed when my father was sent to prison. The household dynamic completely changed, and things were very tense. My older brother and I had to really step up and help my mom out with things around the house and with our little brother. The community I grew up in was amazing! Everyone in it was like family and they had our back through the most difficult time in my families' life. I absolutely loved both schools I went to: Faith Christian School & Colleyville Heritage High school. Most people talk about how they had this horrible educational/social experience, but that wasn't the case for me. I loved going to school to see my teachers, coaches, and friends. I literally grew up with all the kids at my school, so that family atmosphere was always present. We pushed each other to be great as students, athletes, and most importantly as people.
Describe the moment when you knew you were on the right path. How did that affirmation encourage you to keep pursuing your dreams?
I think the moment I knew I was walking in my purpose was when everything started falling into place effortlessly. My job, connections in the pageant and nonprofit world, and so many other things. It wasn't quite affirmation, but it was the fruits of my labor and it was a reminder that if I continue to give God my all and depend on him he will provide everything I've ever wanted or needed.
Is there any type of mentally, physically, spiritually preparation needed to pursue your career?
Absolutely, there is preparation for all 3. I really struggled with anxiety and depression, primarily because I felt so much pressure to be perfect. I never took a moment to truly make sure I was okay. Yes, I had been successful throughout my athletic and educational career, but I wasn't happy. I didn't believe I deserved to be where I was, and I surely didn't believe I was good enough to succeed. You never would have known that though. I was amazing at "faking it to make it" which only contributed more to my mental, physical, and spiritual struggle. It took me hitting rock-bottom to realize that I needed help. Once that happened, I decided to focus on myself and my relationship with God. That decision led me to finally go to counseling, which absolutely saved my life, helped me get back into working out, and led me back to church. (Let’s be honest. I wasn't going ever. lol) I truly believe that if I hadn't taken those steps to make sure I was mentally, physically, and spiritual whole and healthy I wouldn't have competed for Miss Texas USA and I wouldn’t have taken the bar after committing 3 years of my life to law school.
Tell us about the night before your big break! What was it like? How did it feel? Did you see it coming? Did you know this was your moment?
I don't think there was a "night before" moment either, I had just got to a point in my life where I had hit rock bottom and I had no place to look but up to God for help, and in that moment, I just asked him to have his way and lead me. Since then, I've just continued to walk in faith in every endeavor I've sought. I was never nervous or in disbelief, I was simply just grateful that God saved me and was using me to shine his light for all to see.
Tell us about your inner circle (close friends, family, mentors, relationship). How does their support impact your success?
My circle is very small but full of so much love and support. Without them I wouldn't be the woman I am today, and I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish any amount of success without them. They are the backbone to who I am: they are honest, encouraging, and they believed in me when I didn't even believe in myself.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about yourself and others?
We are so much stronger than we've ever realized; we just must believe in ourselves and shut out all the noise around us.
What do you see yourself accomplishing in the next 3 years? What are you currently doing to prepare for this outcome?
I'm not sure, to be honest. Over the past few years I've had plans and goals to accomplish, but God always has a plan that is completely different from mine, so I've learned not to really have "set plans" for myself. I truly just do whatever God puts on my heart to accomplish. I would like to still be practicing law though and I'm praying that I will have won Miss Texas USA/USA/Universe. But, if I could do one thing in the next three years I really want to be working in the nonprofit world. I'm not exactly sure what sector of it, I just know I was put on this earth to help people and I want to be able to do that every single day.
Can you share a secret with us that you haven’t shared anywhere else?
I honestly don't have a secret that I haven't shared. I'm very transparent in all outlets of my life so there really isn't a rock that's gone unturned at this point.
If you could to talk to your 15-year-old self, what would you say?
I would tell 15-year-old Rachel to embrace the journey. Life isn't going to be easy; you're going to make mistakes and you aren't going to be able to fix everything and everyone. I would also tell her to give yourself a break; perfection doesn't exist, so don't work yourself to death trying to achieve it. Just be the best Rachel Renee Hornbuckle you can be because there is only one you and you are uniquely designed by God to be on this beautiful earth and shine his light.
Why is it important for the next generation of young women to see people like yourself? What message do you have for a Gen Z’er hoping to pursue a similar career?
I want the next generation to see me and be able to see themselves. They need to see people who haven't had a perfect, cookie-cutter life or who don't have this huge mountain moment story that makes them stand out. Sometimes they just need to see a normal person who has fought for themselves, for their peace, for their dreams. In seeing people like me, they'll know that working hard and fighting for yourself really pays off. They don't have to believe what others have spoken over their lives and they don't have to conform to who society says they must be. I want them to speak their truth and rise above everything they've faced and truly step into their purpose.
Finally, which of Lipstick Ready’s “Girls with Gloss” words resonates with you the most? (Gorgeous, Loving, Outspoken, Sophisticated and Smart)
Loving. I had to start believing in who God created me to be and stop worrying about other opinions of me.
Rachel Hornbuckle is a Girl with Gloss!
Wanna keep up with Rachel? Details below!