Lorraine Downes is a woman of substance, founder and director of successful Wellington based model agency formerly known as Care of Lorraine, author of two books, and winner of Dancing with the Stars. She works closely with charities and has raised millions of dollars during the last eight years including for Child Cancer New Zealand, NZ Breast Cancer Foundation and most recently joined Mercy Hospice.
You won Miss Universe at the young age of 19. Would you say that played a major role in setting your life path pretty steadily in any certain direction?
It absolutely did set my life to travel on the path of having a public profile. I went from being pretty much an unknown person to be known by many especially here in NZ. The impact of that opened the pathway for me to use my face and voice in many different areas. Over the years, I have realised that my life path has been to help encourage others to believe in themselves and connect with their inner-being as that is where it all begins as far as truly living your own authentic life.
Are you happy with the direction you were taken in?
Yes, I believe I won Miss Universe for the above reason and I have been blessed with many amazing life experiences. The only downside is sometimes you have experiences you don’t want to share with everyone and keep it within your private world of close family and friends, and having a public profile doesn’t allow this. But that is just part of the reality.
You have achieved so much, from winning Miss Universe NZ and Miss Universe, Dancing With the Stars and even writing two books (REAL, The Truth about Fashion, Beauty and Image, co-authored with Frances Jones (1997), and Life, Loss, Love (2018). So, what is your next career goal?
I am looking forward to developing The Gift, which is a concept I started sharing in 2014 with my followers. It is about sharing those wonderfully gifted people who have helped me on my life path. It’s a project that got put on hold when my husband, Marty, became ill.
How have you managed to stay positive and grounded over the years?
Having a faith in a higher force than myself and for me I call it God. This faith is about knowing I am always loved, never alone and I am always guided along my path of life. And of course, having amazing family and friends that I have heartfelt connections to.
You seem to have gone through a great healing process since the passing of your husband, Martin. What has been the biggest contributor to your healing?
My faith, and a few close friends that have been there for me 24/7. And also trusting myself to do my healing in my own way.
How have you managed to maintain some sense of normalcy and privacy, having been in the spotlight for so long?
Part of my life is having a public profile which involves my work and charity work and the other part of my life is very normal. It’s about balance, and I do enjoy being private. I must admit, I love travelling overseas and having total anonymity.
What takes up most of your time nowadays?
Being connected to family and friends, working with my clients consulting on personal image and wellbeing, working with MitoQ as an ambassador, working with Mercy Hospice as an ambassador, keeping fit with spin classes, yoga, walking, and dancing Argentinean tango.
You recently partnered with MitoQ. What was it about this product that made you want to be an ambassador?
MitoQ offers both supplements and skincare, including oral skincare. I was introduced to MitoQ supplements several years ago, when I was my husband’s caregiver. Throughout that period, I was never ill and I managed to maintain my energy through this very challenging period of my life. At some stage after Marty passed, I stopped taking it and then several months later, I resumed and I instantly noticed my energy levels increase. I do credit MitoQ for making me wake up every morning and feel ready to go. I also take the oral skincare supplements and what I have noticed is my sunspots have faded and my hair and nails are in the best condition ever. As I have decided to age naturally, I know the benefits of taking a powerful antioxidant. We sometimes forget that not only is the outer body ageing but our internal organs are as well. Taking MitoQ helps me to have optimum cell function, which is vital in having energy and helping the aging process internally.
Since you are in the spotlight, what do you hope others can learn from you?
Live your life authentically to your truth. Have faith, we all have a higher power within us and know coming from a place of heartfelt love is all you need to navigate most things, and practise love always. The power of now, the moment that you are in is all that matters. Watch your thoughts as they create your existence.