The annual contest celebrates 10 people voted for by the public who follow their passions, excel in their careers and give back to others.
“(The contest) was more about the person’s heart and what they’re doing for other people than it is about appearance. They were looking for someone who had balance in their life,” said Vaughn, an image and pageant consultant and part-time model. Nominated for the contest by a client’s mother, Vaughn also holds the titles of Mrs. Georgia America (1995), Mrs. Georgia International (2003) and Ms. American Woman Over 30.
Through her consulting business, Vaughn pursues her passion of helping young women in high school and college be their personal best.
“I work with these girls to build their self-esteem. I teach them how to present themselves so that they feel comfortable in their own skin,” she said.
Kim also works with young people on different events at area high schools such as Pope, Sprayberry, North Gwinnett, Parkview and South Gwinnett. She has co-chaired Walton High School’s choral fashion show for three years and raised $10,000 annually.
Vaughn advocates for others. As a national spokesperson for the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation, she has spoken on Capitol Hill, testified before Congress, met with the Speaker of the House and appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in its Healthy Women segment. Sjögren’s Syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease that Vaughn has, along with as many as 4 million other Americans. Through her involvement as chair or host over the past six years in “Sips for Sjögren’s,” a fine water tasting, more than $125,000 has been raised for the Foundation.
“The secret to staying fabulous over 40 is to embrace the day you’re in and to make the absolute most of it and never, ever to take anything for granted because today is the only day that we know we have,” said the mother of two grown sons. “It’s all about attitude and having a positive attitude.”
Kim also believes taking care of oneself is key to balance. “There’s not a thing wrong with taking care of yourself first, not just physically but mentally and spiritually. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of all the other people in our lives that are important to us,” she said.
An important part of Kim’s success is her marriage of 34 years to corporate lawyer Charles Vaughn.
“This day and time marriage is something to be celebrated, too. I’m fabulous and over 40 because we have had that commitment and grown together,” she said.
“I was so surprised to win (the 2013 Over 40 & Fabulous contest). It was a vote from my family, my friends, my clients, my community and some people I didn’t even know. It was an incredible honor,” Kim said.