Camden resident Mary Elizabeth Long was recently named the national winner of Belk’s Kidfest model search after winning the local title.
Mary Elizabeth’s mother, Lisa Long, says she took Mary Elizabeth to the Springdale Shopping Center Belk to participate in Kidfest's model search last summer.
About 20 local children participated in the contest and winners were selected by three local judges.
Kidfest model search winners from Belk stores throughout the Southeast were submitted into the national contest, which Mary Elizabeth would end up winning.
"They flew us to Dallas and we went to the modeling agency. They did her hair and makeup," Long said.
After a three-hour photo shoot, the family got a chance to explore Dallas.
"It was an experience and it was nice to get an all expense paid trip to Texas," Long said.
Mary Elizabeth and her sister, Anna, said their favorite part of the experience was the airplane ride.
Mary Elizabeth’s photo appeared in national advertisements for Belk department stores.
Long said the experience might lead to both Mary Elizabeth and Anna getting involved in modeling.
"When Mary Elizabeth won the modeling contest, a scout from Gage Model/Talent was there. Later they asked for her information," Long said.
Long says she will see what the future holds for her daughters in modeling and that she never expected things to develop as they have.
"This (entering the contest) was just something to do ... something we dropped in on ... I wasn’t expecting it to turn into this."