Leawood 9-year-old takes world by storm with international modeling career

LEAWOOD, Kan. -- A local 9-year-old is taking the world by storm, and you may have seen her in action.

Murphy Brassell is just another happy third grader at Brookwood Elementary in Leawood until she's on set in New York City and hears this: "Action, action!" Murphy said.

She found her place in front of the camera at just 8 years old after she was spotted at her mom's salon.

She's represented by an agency. The past year and a half, she's booked commercials, a movie and several ads, including the latest one for GAP.

"My GAP campaigns were in Saudi Arabia, India and Japan," Murphy said. "It's crazy that people around the world see my face."

Her favorite job so far has been walking in New York Fashion Week.

"I've probably been there three times," Murphy said. "I just love to rock the runway a lot."

"I love just seeing her confidence," said Murphy's mom, Jayme Brassell.

Brassell and Murphy actually moved to New York City last summer to be immersed in the industry.

"Do your research!" Brassell said.

At first, Brassell was leery this could be a scam, but realized it was actually the real deal. All the money Murphy earns goes directly into her own trust account to be saved for college.

"I love that she's already at age 9 paid for, you know, a couple classes at least," Brassell said.

As for classes now, third-grade teacher Karen Knabe said her straight-A student Murphy balances it all beautifully.

"Whether it's modeling, photography, or something completely different," Knabe said smiling at Murphy. "She'll be very successful."

Murphy plans to continue modeling as a career because it's her dream, and she urges others to do the same.

"If you really have a passion for it, go for it!" Murphy said.

As the school year winds down, Brassell said she and Murphy are thinking about moving to New York again for the summer.

Within the last year, Murphy's mom has faced some medical challenges. She said Murphy's success, positive spirit and bright light has brought their family so much joy.

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