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UT Junior Helps Family Craft Crown Jewels

Published: January 10, 2013
Susan Israel ’14 helps her family make the crowns for the Miss American Organization.
Susan Israel ’14 helps her family make the crowns for the Miss American Organization.
When the 2013 Miss America Competition airs on Jan. 12, Susan Israel ’14 will be watching in anticipation with her family, as they do every year, from their New York living room.

And every year they have some skin in the game though it’s always a sure win. The Israels are owners of K.A. Concepts, the official licensed manufacturer of the crowns for the Miss America Organization. When the newest Miss America is named, she’ll be wearing a crown Susan Israel helped craft.

“It’s exciting to see our crown, our product, on TV,” said Isarel, a sport management major.

When Kaitlin Monte ’08 was named second runner-up in the 2012 Miss America pageant, Israel said her family cheered even harder.

“Knowing she was a UT grad, we were rooting for her, and it made it even more exciting,” Israel said.

During breaks from school, including this winter break, Israel spends her time working as a manufacturing assistant. Every crown is divided into sections, and each section must have the Swarovski Austrian crystal stones laid out in a pattern, then soldered together. Israel helps lay out the crystals.

“I grew up watching my parents do it,” she said. Her three siblings – including UT alum Kathy Israel ’11 – have all helped out in one fashion or another. “It’s the epitome of a family business.”

Started by Israel’s grandparents who were in the costume jewelry business, Israel’s parents, William and Joan, took over in 1985. Susan would like to work in the sport industry, however she is also considering law school after UT. She also considers growing K. A. Concepts with her older brother.

For more on UT’s pageant ties, read about title holders like Monte in the latest issue of the UT Journal .

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