Mandelyn in her formal dress in Filthy Rich of Seattle (Ballard Jewelry shop) wearing jewelry that they loaned her for the event
Whittier student competes for Seattle Miss Teen title
11-year-old Mandelyn Risley-Smyth did not need her mother's help in preparing for the 2012 Seattle Miss Teen pageant. She just needed her mother's permission.
Risley-Smyth, a Whittier Elementary student who dreams of being a model, participated in her first pageant last month. She placed in the top ten of approximately 40 girls in her age group.
"She had a great experience," said Renelle Risley, Risley-Smyth's mother.
After receiving an invitation to the pageant in the mail, Risley-Smyth did her own research prior to asking her mother. Though Risley approved, she was not about to spoil her daughter.
"I told her that this was her adventure, not mine, and that I'd support her and help her, but that I would not do the work of getting sponsorships for her," Risley said.
Risley-Smyth did not disappoint. She approached several Ballard businesses to help her reach a sponsorship goal of $650. India Bistro, Childish Things and Salon Cool all contributed.
Filthy Rich, a retail boutique which offers authentic replicas of jewelry worn by celebrities, loaned her jewelry to wear during the formal wear modeling phase.
According to Risley, Risley-Smyth gained confidence in asking business owners for sponsorship.
"That takes a lot of guts. I'm very proud of her."
At the pageant, Risley-Smyth competed in casual and formal wear modeling routines and was interviewed by a judging panel. Throughout the competition, contestants were judged mainly on personality.
The 2012 Miss Teen Seattle pageant is focused on "inner beauty" and giving contestants the ability to gain self-confidence, self-esteem and the opportunity to make new friends, according to the website.