KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There's something about the sparkle, stage and sash for a pageant.
Kennedy, Libby and Mariah know all too well. The three girls are pageant queens turned publishers for their new digital magazine, Nationally Known.
In honor of their first edition, released on Thursday, the girls got an exclusive interview with Miss Kansas USA Gracie Hunt.
"I think that this is really what pageantry is all about," Hunt said. "It's about having discussions and learning from each other and really building those friendships."
For an hour, the queens talked about everything from Hunt's passions and community service to advice for them and a fun story from the night of her crowning.
"It was so amazing," Mariah told 41 Action News. "I've met a lot of Miss USAs. Well, I met the Miss USA and the Missouri USA and Missouri Teen USA, but I've never gotten to interview any of them."
Libby felt inspired by Hunt's service.
"She helps a lot of people, especially through her platform," Libby said, "and she even helps kids with autism, and I just thought that was amazing."
Gracie's mother, Tavia Hunt, was Miss Kansas USA in 1993. Donning the signature crown in 2021, is a full circle moment.
"The night I was crowned, the slippery little sucker fell off and hit the floor," Gracie Hunt said. "Tragically, the center stone falls out. We tried to glue it back in with eyelash glue and then some more efficient glue. I think it was Gorilla Glue, it didn't work. But my mom has her crown from Miss Kansas USA 1993. Hasn't changed a bit.
"It meant everything to me. I could see her in the audience and the look on her face and my little sister's face and even my dad, I think he shed a few tears."
This was a moment and an experience the girls will never forget.
"She inspired me by saying that you can be anything you want to be and there's only one you," Kennedy said.
After all the pictures, smiles and hugs, Hunt left the girls with this advice – "You have a crown, but it's there so you can shine a light on everybody around you and you can lift up other people."
Their interview will be in the inaugural issue of Nationally Known magazine on July 15.