Christa Gray spends her time making sure others' voices are heard as an American Sign Language interpreter, working with students at Yukon High School who are deaf or hard of hearing, and as a deaf/blind interpreter with a new program, Sight Hearing Encouragement Program, or SHEP.
Gray's mother, who is deaf, was her inspiration for getting into the field she loves.
When not working to help others communicate, Gray is busy being a mother to her 10-year-old son, Tristan Duggan, and pursuing one of her passions — running.
She's in training for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, her first marathon.
She's an avid cyclist and met her boyfriend, Brady Schmiedeberg, when on a group race.
Her group had left her behind, and his group caught up. The two have been together since that day two years ago.
“I was always told to do what you love and love will find you,” she said.
From the top
Gray, 34, is a sporty mom who is always active and working hard. But taking care of her beauty and style is not big on her list of priorities.
That's why she entered the “Give Me Liberte” makeover contest, just in time to impress her boyfriend with a fabulous new look.
Because of her hard work to help others in her community, she was chosen to win the makeover.
“I feel like every woman really wants a makeover day,” said Danielle Keogh, owner of Liberte. “A day they spend taking care of themselves, investing in themselves. Sometimes women need a little nudge.”
Gray's makeover started at 8 a.m. Friday when she arrived at blo. in Classen Curve for a hair cut and color.
There, Ashley Kirby trimmed Gray's overgrown hair into a long bob with minimal texturizing.
Lexi Faught gave Gray a dimensional bright blond color with chocolate undertones.
Malorie Avaline, head stylist at blo., then styled Gray's hair using a rounded-edge straightening iron to form deconstructed loose curls.
What to wear
At Liberte, Keogh guided Gray through the store, which features international fashions she said are not found in any other Oklahoma boutique.
Keogh even has a line specifically designed for her shop.
“She tried on pieces that transition her from her early to late thirties. There's always this constant battle with yourself. You want to stay the same but also grow into your next level of style,” Keogh said.
“Your style evolves every two to three years, definitely every five years. As you're aging, you want your style to evolve, to be more sophisticated and classic, but still stay on trend.”
Gray settled on Lida Baday boiled wool asymmetric jacket in cerulean ($1,195), Habitual Licorice wax denim jeans ($245) and an Only Hearts black tank ($48).
Keogh surprised Gray by finishing her new look with a Judith Leiber Glitz Up cuff bracelet ($695), Crislu hoop earrings ($145) and a pressed leather handbag from her private collection.
After Gray had her hair cut, colored and styled, then chose her new outfit, it was time for Sharon Tabb, owner of The Makeup Room Agency, to apply the final touch — Gray's makeup.
She went for a naturally glamorous look, one that Gray could easily recreate on her own.
She added some individual lashes to fill out Gray's lash line and added a pop of coral on her cheeks and lips to brighten up her face.
“I feel just so blessed right now,” Gray said after her new look was complete.
“I feel like God puts people in my life and I find God in other people, and I'm just really touched.”
The grand reveal was planned for 7 p.m. at Red PrimeSteak, 504 N Broadway, in downtown Oklahoma City.
The restaurant donated dinner for Gray and Schmiedeberg.
Gray's sister, brother-in-law and son planned to attend the dinner also, but took a wrong turn somewhere along the way and ended up in Edmond.
So, for the initial reveal, it was only Schmiedeberg, Gray's boyfriend, to provide a reaction.
A man of few words, the Ada police academy cadet said she looked “Great.”
When asked if he liked her new look, his simple answer was, “Oh, yeah.”
But the big smile on his face and twinkle in his eye showed his true admiration for the woman he's dated for two years.
Later, the rest of the party arrived for dinner, and all were thrilled with Gray's new look.
Sharon Tabb, The Makeup Room Agency: sharontabb.com.
Red PrimeSteak: redprimesteak.com.