Joyce Marie Taylor
Kristen Danielle Hurst, 21, of Mayo was selected as one of the 12 winners in maurices Main Street Model Search, which was announced online April 23. Hurst was selected from over 1,500 contestants nationwide who participated in the online contest for the national women's clothing retailer.
“She is the only winner from the state of Florida,” said maurices spokesperson Rebecca Powell. “In fact, she is the only winner from the southeastern region of the U.S. She will be featured in catalogues, the stores, and online as a winner.”
Hurst is a 2008 graduate of Lafayette High School and holds an associate of arts degree from NFCC. She is currently a licensed massage therapist at Le Chateau in downtown Mayo.
Hurst's extensive campaign efforts paid off and helped get her into the finals, although, with over 1,500 girls competing she felt her chances of winning were slim.
On March 19, Hurst found out she was selected as one of the top 100 semi-finalists, which meant the next step was submitting a video explaining why she wanted to be a maurices Main Street Model. Two days after submitting the online video, Hurst was chosen as one of 20 finalists and on April 17 she and her mom flew to Minneapolis for the last portion of the competition.
“My trip to Minnesota was such an amazing experience,” said Hurst. “My mom and I flew there and we were back home within 24 hours, so needless to say, it was a pretty fast trip. My mom loved the plane ride. She said that was her favorite part and is ready to fly again.”
Hurst said she was really nervous about the interview in Minnesota, but it wound up being her favorite part of the entire process. The judging panel from maurices, included Christopher Straub from Lifetime Television’s popular show “Project Runway”.
“It was such an honor to sit and talk with him,” said Hurst.
Hurst said she enjoyed meeting and getting to know the other contestants.
“We were all vying for the same thing, but it really didn’t feel like a competition to me,” said Hurst. “It felt like I had all my best friends together and we were having a makeover and a photo shoot.”
Hurst now continues the rest of her journey to stardom with a professional photo shoot and national exposure at maurices locations, maurices.com, as well as through mailers and social media. She was awarded a $1,500 maurices gift card and a $7,500 charity donation for Relay for Life.
Her mother Donna Dennis said, “I had a very good feeling throughout this whole process. There is no greater feeling than watching your child achieve her dreams. I am one proud mama!”
Hurst’s 14 year-old brother Kayne said, “I had confidence in my sister, so I wasn’t that surprised when I heard she made the top 12.”
Hurst said the first thing her 17 year-old brother Kole said to her when she told him she made the top 12 was, “Really? Can I be your manager? When is our next flight? And, oh, congratulations sis!”
Hurst’s father Jamie Dennis commented, “I am a very proud daddy. I knew she could do it!”
When Hurst found out she was a winner she stated, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank my wonderful community for standing behind me 110 percent, my family, and above all, God for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity.” For more information about the contest you can log on to www.mauricesmainstreetmodel.com.