Sadie Robertson, of 'Duck Dynasty,' talks about life in front of the camera

Sadie Robertson of Duck Dynasty joins the Winter Jam 2017 show at Amalie Arena on Jan. 14.
Sadie Robertson of Duck Dynasty joins the Winter Jam 2017 show at Amalie Arena on Jan. 14.
Published Dec. 21, 2016

At 5 years old, Sadie Robertson, of Duck Dynasty fame, made a decision.

No matter the circumstances, she wanted to stay true to herself and to God.

When the first season of her family's television show aired in 2012, Robertson, the daughter of Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson and his wife, Korie, turned 15 on camera. Her teenage years played out in the public eye. From high school basketball to dances and broken hearts, Sadie Robertson experienced it all before an audience.

Determined not to stray the path, Robertson focused on Scriptures and embraced opportunities to share her faith. In 2014, she competed on Dancing with the Stars. She published her first book, Live Original: How the Duck Commander Teen Keeps it Real and Stays True to Her Values.

Robertson, 19, now travels the country ministering to young people.

In January, she will join the Winter Jam 2017 concert tour, which hits Amalie Arena at 7 p.m. Jan. 14., as a featured speaker.

I spoke to her by phone from her hometown, West Monroe, La.

What message will you share at Winter Jam?

God put it on my heart to share the story of David and Goliath in modern-day terms. It's exciting to relate a Bible story to people in new ways. Without giving it away, it's going to be about how even weakness, God can turn it into a weapon of strength.

You carry the label of Christian teen reality star. How do you differ from your image?

One way I differ is that I'm not really tech savvy at all. People see me on Facebook and Twitter, but social media is so hard for me. It's not really a priority in my life, but people see me as that. Really, though, I try to be the same all the time as I am on television. If you met me and I was different, that would be weird.

Was it difficult growing up in the public eye?

Everyone goes through difficult things. I don't think I went through more or less. It's just different because everything is magnified. Like everyone has breakups, but mine trend on Twitter.

What advice do you offer teen girls?

To be your original self. I really try to pour that into girls. Now days, there is so much we can compare ourselves to. It's important not to do that, to be confident in who you are.

What inspired your fashion line?

One of the things I talk about is dressing with respect — respect for yourself so others can respect you. That is what inspired my prom dress line with Sherri Hill, which led to my line with rue21, that you can look beautiful, not just sexy. It's very much a God thing, definitely not something I could have done or thought of on my own.

You have authored three books, including the 2016 novel Life Just Got Real and Live Original Devotional. What book do you love right now?

I'm doing this Armor of God study. It's a life changer.

Do you plan to pursue a full-time ministry career?

I just graduated high school in May, and I've been touring. So I haven't started any type of college yet. I'm thinking about some type of seminary school. Ministry is what I really want to do. It is my joy in life.

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Do you see yourself settling down young and starting a family?

I think my grandpa said something one time about people in our family getting married young. I'm in no rush. I like what I'm doing right now.

What 'Duck Dynasty' fan experiences stand out most to you?

We've had a lot of crazy things happen with fans. In Michigan, a guy proposed to me. I love it when fans get super fun and creative. I really do remember it. They make this life super fun, and I appreciate it.

Do you have a favorite reality show?

Survivor. People make fun of me for it. But I really like it. It would be a dream for me to be on that show.

Are you a fan of any acts on the Winter Jam tour?

Crowder. I love, love Crowder. And Britt Nicole. Its going to be awesome.