The Heart of Fashion
We've all heard of Top Model, but did you know that there is a Top Model Hawaii?
Meet Keikilani Ho, Mrs. Hawaii International 2013 and the
CEO of Top Model Hawaii. A dynamic leader in this fast-paced
industry, she has built a career based on her strong faith in God
and has proven that she has a "Heart for Fashion."
A Hawaii born native of Kaneohe, Oahu, Keikilani candidly shares an invaluable lesson that she learned from her mother as a youth.
"I grew up in a strict household and, honestly, that's where my work ethic comes from. I was always taught that nothing is ever handed to you, but you have to work hard for it. I begin each day with that in mind," says Keikilani.
When she was in high school, she began modeling and joined World Talent Agency for acting. After several years, Keikilani found herself at a crossroad.
"I had gone through a lot of trials in my family and marriage, so I guess you could say that I hit a point in my life where I was struggling to find my purpose. Not only was I trying to get back to pre-baby weight, having just given birth to my baby, but I also realized that I no longer wanted to go back to a 9-5 job where I would have to do the same thing every day," Keikilani told F.A.M.E... Magazine.
Uncertain of her future and faced with the challenge of caring for her newborn baby and completing the publishing of her book, "The Little Big Miracle," which was written about her son, Jordan, who suffers from blindness, Keikilani decided to pray and ask God to give her direction. Three confirmations later, she found herself running for Mrs. Hawaii International 2013, which she won!
She recalls that during the pageant in Chicago, she was asked a question regarding her platform, which was about children with disabilities. Her mind went completely blank. "It was one of those instances when someone asks you a question in the moment and even though the answer is on the 'tip-of-your-tongue', you just can't quite remember it. I was at a loss, so I just started talking about God,? she said laughing. "In the end, that's what people remembered, complimenting on my courage to speak about God openly!?
"Never stop learning and whatever your job may be, do it to the best of your abilities. You never know when the knowledge you obtain will come in handy." ~Keikilani Ho
People would stop me in elevators saying that they wished
their mothers could hear what I had to share. This really meant
a lot to me."
Keikilani was able to build many relationships with the other
contestants during her time at the pageant. One individual that
she befriended was Mrs. New Zealand, who later introduced
Keiki to the Executive Producer of Top Model Worldwide. A year
later, in May 2014, Keikilani's dream of being a business owner
would become a reality when she was offered an opportunity
to be the CEO of Top Model Hawaii.
Don't be fooled by this pageant queens' stunning beauty, she is a sharp and savvy business woman with a wealth of experience and knowledge in fashion. She learned retail and visual merchandising while employed at Wet Seal and Cookie's Clothing. She developed her skills and techniques in hair styling while managing Trade Secret Salon. Keikilani also worked at M.A.C. as a freelance makeup artist, which taught her about the evolving styles of makeup artistry.
Keikilani started working for Celebrity Makeup Artist, Toni P. Farley and also attended Susan Page Makeup Artistry Classes led by World Renowned Makeup Artist, Jessica Hoffman or sometimes led by her substitute for Hoffman was Celebrity Makeup Artist, Crystal Pancipanci.
Besides taking courses, Keikilani volunteered her services for three consecutive years doing hair, makeup and fashion styling behind the scenes of various runway shows and photoshoots. All of the skills that she has obtained throughout the years, all of the courses that she took, all of the volunteer work she has performed and her participation in competitive pageantry, has contributed to Keikilani?s success in becoming the incredible industry leader that she is today.
When I asked Keikilani to talk about her company she said, "In truth, the Fashion Industry can be brutal. Vanity is evident in this business, so it can be very vain, but my goal is to bring a fresh side of fashion to the industry, where an individual is more respected for their 'inside beauty' rather than their 'outward appearance'. This generation needs leaders that are not only beautiful but who have a heart for humanity."
"At Top Model Hawaii, we strive to prepare our models for the reality of this industry, but are careful not to break their spirit in the process. We want to help these individuals to be strong and to take on anything that comes their way, regardless of what their goals or dreams in life are. That's my 'Heart', and the people I work with share that vision."
We at F.A.M.E... Magazine are expecting great things from Keikilani Ho. After having the privilege of interviewing her, we have discovered that she is an extraordinary woman with, an amazing 'Heart' and she is someone who genuinely cares about every person she encounters.
"Being the CEO of a company is hard whether you work in an office or at home. I not only have a company and staff that I am accountable for, but I also spend time with my loving husband and have children to raise. My contestants are also like my children. In everything, I need to find a balance and it can be so exhausting at times. There are moments when I feel so discouraged, but I can't give up and I can't back down from the challenges because people are counting on me. That's why, no matter what I do, I work hard. If I have any advice to give, it's that you should never give up and don't ever stop trying. And no matter what you do, give it your all, you're 100%, so that you can go to sleep at night knowing you've given it your best!"