Local toddlers chosen for national modeling gigs

| 15 Feb 2012 | 08:38

SPARTA — Elladia and Hunter Jones of Sparta are like any other toddlers. They have play dates, they attend pre-school and have lots of toys. But at the ages of three and four, this brother and sister team also has national modeling contracts with Toys R Us. For the past year, the children's mother Evelina Jones signed them with talent agencies Wilhelmina and FFT in New York City. Knowing it would be a lot of travel and auditions, Jones did not heavily pursue the jobs until the timing was right. "I used to model seven years ago doing print and television work mainly commercials and catalogues so I know what's involved. I wanted to make sure we had the time to commit to it," said Jones. She recognized a special energy in her daughter that would translate in advertisements: "Elladia is very expressive with her mannerisms and outgoing. She is a performer who is always looking to sing and dance." Evidently, companies think so also because Elladia Jones receives the most call backs and gets about four jobs a week. In addition, she has a contract with Toys R Us to be featured on four different toy boxes nationwide this holiday season including a dollhouse box for Christmas release and on promotional materials for the new Barbie movie. And Hunter will be on an upcoming Aug. 28 Toys R US mailer. "I didn't think my son would be as successful, but both siblings are being represented which is rare," said Jones. She attributes their success to getting the job done. "When it comes to auditioning, they talk to them one-on-one. The kids listen and are very friendly. And my daughter gets the shot right away and loves doing it." In the interim, Elladia loves going to pre-school at Kiddie Academy in Sparta. And presently her work doesn't interfere with her attendance. "When we are guaranteed the job, we go into New York City. There is not much advance notice, they call us the day before, and we don't go in for small stuff," said Evelina Jones. The children get paid an hourly rate for their time and for the usage of the photos for defined periods of time. Both kids auditioned and will be featured in an upcoming Halloween Toys R Us promotion. Hunter will be Captain America and Elladia will be Rapunzel. "Both my husband Glenn and I agree that if the kids show any signs of not being interested, we will pull them out. For now, it is helping with their future college fund, and they love it."