Here, Bethany Mayer, owner and designer of Surf Bazaar, chats with her dear friend, model Leilani Bishop—about respect for the planet, about the stages in a woman’s life and about their shared passion project, natural beauty spot, Botanica Bazaar:
Bethany Mayer: When I met you, Leilani, the first thing I noticed was not just your outward beauty, but your incredible energy. What do you think were the biggest influences on you growing up, that shaped who you are today?
Leilani Bishop: Aww, blushing. I have to say, my parents and family (I am one of four kids) were my main influences. Early on, we were taught the concept of, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” which is helpful when dealing with siblings. We also moved a lot at a young age, which helps you learn to adapt easily and, now thinking about it, has helped me more than I realized with modeling and traveling and constantly meeting new people. Our family was very close-knit and we hung with other big families, so the idea that you have to pull your weight was heavily implemented. Now, when we are together, everyone helps with all aspects from cooking to cleaning etc. The notion of respect for the land, Earth and Indigenous cultures was heavily ingrained in us, as well, which was amplified by living in Hawaii. Life on the islands offers a big lesson in respect of Mother Nature. My parents also taught me about organic eating, farm-to-table meals and keeping toxins away from daily life. We were expected to have a spiritual life too, and it was up to us to figure out what our beliefs were—with guidance from our parents.
BM: You are known for your very successful career in modeling and, more recently, for your perfume line, Leilani Bishop Fragrance Oils. How did one career path lead to the other, and how do they influence each other?
LB: Having worked with a myriad of brands over the years, I always loved the idea of having my own company and creating my own brand. Swimsuits and resort would have been more expected from me, but I don't love the cycle of fashion and did not feel that was as true to who I am. Fragrance, for me, was the perfect answer, as natural scents have touched my soul in many ways—especially in my travels and memories. I also love to work with and empower women. While modeling, you reach an audience of women. I wanted to continue that conversation and have it reflect the many changes I have gone through in my own life, from child to woman to wife to mother and now as an entrepreneur.
BM: So, most recently you opened Botanica Bazaar with me. Besides being the best partner ever, what do you hope to accomplish with this next venture?
LB: So much fun! First of all, as we both know, it is so great to have a partner—yay! This venture fulfills so much: First, it is forcing me to grow in different ways, which I love. It makes me walk the walk and really educate myself in ways I have not before. Selfishly, I wanted to have the opportunity to test what was on the market and work with these amazing brand owners in realizing their dreams and helping them expand their audiences.
Being a small business owner myself, it is great to see both sides. Lastly, I think a big part of opening the store was to bring healthy living to our community on a whole other level; it has been so rewarding to watch the discovery process and have people try new things and change their habits. I would love to open Botanica Bazaar in great communities all over the country!
BM: What are the top beauty tips, wellness secrets and/or health regimens you have discovered since opening Botanica Bazaar?
LB: The brands themselves really bring so much knowledge, as a lot of them were born from owners who faced illnesses or went through life changes and couldn’t find the products to support their new lifestyles. I love being able to “detox digitally” with a Pursoma bath, or pump up my collagen while getting my probiotics from a yummy drink by The Beauty Chef, which focuses on beauty from the gut. I also learned how you can reintroduce minerals and amino acids into your system through your skincare regime: Immunocologie is a clay-based beauty line. The name reflects the fact that it is a skincare collection that supports your immune system. Honestly, I could go on and on…
BM: What does it mean to you to “Live the Process”?
LB: To me, “Live The Process” means that all of life is in the journey—never the destination. Life, friends, family all can change and fluctuate; it is important to take the time and honor all the stages, especially birth and death. Only you know where you are at in life and what you need, as hard as it can be at times. It is important to honor your process. It means, “live your truth,” which can also constantly change.
Thank you for you, Bethany xx