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Kelsie Bodden, Miss World Cayman Islands: A Beauty With A Purpose

Kelsie Bodden is the current reigning Miss World Cayman Islands.  She is a true beauty with a purpose.  Kelsie has embarked on a journey that is inspiring to others.  She is proud to raise awareness about local environmental issues.  Since her return from competing in the Miss World Pageant 2018, held in China, Kelsie has been meeting with local environmental organizations to find out how she can contribute to educating the community about conservation and environmental issues.  Kelsie has participated in local beach cleanups with The Nation Trust of the Cayman Islands and Plastic Free Cayman.  She has taken Plastic Free Cayman’s 345 Pledge to reduce her use of single-use plastics.  Most recently, Kelsie volunteered with Eco Divers Reef Foundation to help with their coral nursery program.  As a means of raising awareness about environmental projects she is working on, Kelsie started her “Be Kind To The Environment” series on her blog.  Kelsie is looking forward to other environmental projects she will be working on later this year.  Stay tuned.    

Q&A with Kelsie Bodden: Looking Back On Her Trip To China

What was going through your mind when you were en route to China?

KB: When I left for China I was filled with mixed emotions! I was anxious, excited, for both the flight and competition. I knew I was about to represent Cayman and I wanted to do that the best that I could but still enjoy the experience.   

What was day one like?

KB: Day one was pretty chilled, I arrived in Sanya with other contestants and as we exited the airport the Miss World organization was there waiting which made being on the other side of the world in a country that doesn’t speak english much easier. 

As we got to the hotel our rooms were ready and we got to unpack, eat dinner and mingle with other girls. 

How were you able to share with others about your environmental platform?

KB: Prior to Miss World in China I made a short clip speaking about some the organizations that MWCI works with locally and some of my then future plans, such as my “Be Kind to the Environment” series on my blog and speaking with kids about little things they can do to help out. We often spoke about our platforms and I was able to share about mine and why it’s so important especially for Cayman and other Islands.  

What were your favorite eco-friendly items?

KB: Before I left for China I was sure to stock up on some eco-friendly must-haves such as my bamboo toothbrush, reusable water bottle/straws and a cute sustainably made swimsuit from Sage LaRock! 

Did you get time to do some sightseeing?

KB: We did! Many of our days were spent at rehearsals/filming but we did have days off to explore Sanya a bit. 

I was able to see a bit of Sanya and while I was there I did see beautiful beaches.  My favorite place was going to the night market where we got to try some of the street food in China.  There was this one ice cream that was very delicious!  We also got to see a park that was once a landfill. It was repurposed into a park where people can now go and ride their bikes, picnic, take runs and just take in the beautiful greenery of this new park. 


What lessons/tips did you learn from the other contestants?

KB: I  was able to learn a lot from my fellow contestants. We each shared information about our countries, culture and some other personal information like future aspirations. I think the best thing I learnt was that despite our being from different parts of the world, we all wanted to make a difference in our country and share our message to the world. 

How did it feel representing the Cayman Islands? What was your biggest takeaway from the whole experience?

KB: My biggest take away was how important it is to be 100% true to yourself. I was with 117 other women who were all different but not afraid to be themselves and that’s what made them all so beautiful. My favourite thing that Mrs. Julia Morley the Chairman of Miss World said was, “No two queens are alike” and that stuck with me through the competition and even now.  This is why my advice to my future successor would be to be unapologetically authentic to herself. I would like her to find her own passion and run with it because that is what makes a Miss World.  

What was your biggest struggle while being in the pageant?

KB: The food lol … there was nothing wrong with it but it did get a bit repetitive, but this was something we all bonded over. 

What advice would you give to girls thinking of entering Miss World Cayman Islands 2019 pageant? 

KB: I would say definitely do it!  You’ll learn so much about yourself, meet other girls, get exposed to loads of new things and experience something not many others get a chance to. 

Photo Credits: 

Miss World Cayman Islands

Kelsie Bodden

World Reading Day: 5 Inspiring Books You Should Be Reading

Happy World Reading Day!

As an avid reader, I love finding new books to read.  From time to time I share on my Instagram books that I am currently reading.  I am always looking through the latest online book club reading list to find out what is the latest must-read.  I must admit, I am a big fan of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine I can’t begin to tell you how many great reads I found from their reading list. Always eagerly anticipating each month’s new reveal.  My besties and I have our own little book club.  Basically, swapping books we think are worth a read and then donating them to a local book loft that supports our local Humane Society.  As much as I love general fiction or a good thriller, I like to branch out a little…  

Reading books that inspire me, help me grow, expand my perspective and encourage me to think more critically are always a treasure to find.  Books that encourage a conversation, critical thinking, examining the world around us and reflection can be powerful reads.  The selection of books listed below is a combination of books on my current reading list and some I have already read.  My hope is that these books will both empower and inspire you.  Happy Reading! 

1. Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life by Gisele Bündchen

“In this book, I’ve laid out the lessons that have helped me live a more conscious and joyful life, inspired me to overcome challenges I’ve faced over the years, and given me a deeper understanding of myself and the world. I hope they will help you, too.”-Gisele Bündchen

I read Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life by Gisele  December 2018.  It was my favorite read for the year.  It was one of those special moments when I read a book at the right time.  For me personally, I know I’ve read a really good book when I am sad to read the last page. I loved Lessons by Gisele! I could hardly put this book down—I read it in two nights.  I was engrossed by all the insightful and eye-opening lessons this book had to offer.  If you’re anything like me, there are some books you find yourself taking notes and highlighting passages.  This was definitely one of those books.  There is so much enlightenment each chapter has to offer that you want to absorb and reflect on later, so I definitely highlighted a plethora of passages on my iPad.  This book has made such a positive impact on me.  I didn’t realize how much I needed the words in this book until I read them— it was perfect timing.  This book was a beautiful way to end 2018.  Equally, it has been a wonderful start to 2019, as I find myself re-reading it and still finding myself positively impacted by this book.  

2. Whiskey in a Tea Cup by Reese Witherspoon

“My grandmother Dorothea always said that it was a combination of beauty and strength that made Southern women ‘whiskey in a teacup.’  We may be delicate and ornamental on the outside, she said, but inside we’re strong and fiery.”-Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon has always been one of my personal heroes.  Of course, I couldn’t wait to read her book, Whiskey in a Tea Cup.  Thank you to my sister for getting me Whiskey in a Tea Cup for Christmas!  I read it that very night and finished it in one sitting.   It was a fun and enjoyable read.  I absolutely loved Reese’s tips on hosting dinner parties.  I love her grandmother’s Sweet Tea recipe!  There are recipes I still need to try out.  My favorite part of the book was simply what “Whiskey in a Tea Cup” represents.  The notion that you can be delicate yet strong.  This really resonated with me.  I think it applies to so many of us, the combination of beauty and strength.  The ability to always compose yourself with grace no matter the situation.  “Whiskey in a Tea Cup” serves as a source of strength and inspiration for me.  It reminds me that no matter what, you can handle anything that comes your way.  You are both strong and delicate.   

3. Wardrobe Crisis by Clare Press

“Who makes your clothes? This used to be an easy question to answer: it was the seamstress next door, or the tailor on the high street – or you made them yourself. Today we rarely know the origins of the clothes hanging in our closets. The local shoemaker, dressmaker, and milliner are long gone, replaced by a globalized fashion industry worth $1.5 trillion a year.

In Wardrobe Crisis, fashion journalist Clare Press explores the history and ethics behind what we wear. Putting her insider status to good use, Press examines the entire fashion ecosystem, from sweatshops to haute couture, unearthing the roots of today’s buy-and-discard culture. She traces the origins of icons like Chanel, Dior, and Hermès; charts the rise and fall of the department store; and follows the thread that led us from Marie Antoinette to Carrie Bradshaw.” – 

This book is at the top of my must-read list for 2019! Clare Press is truly an inspiration.  She is making waves, drawing attention to the importance of sustainable fashion.  Clare Press is Australian VOGUE’s Sustainability Editor-at-Large and presenter of the Wardrobe Crisis podcast.  If you love fashion and enjoy listening to podcasts then you will quickly become a fan of her work!  For the last couple of years, I have been interested in learning as much as I can about sustainable fashion.  I am curious to learn more about the fashion industry, the story behind the making of our clothes, fashion icons, and the evolution of sustainable fashion.  Following Clare’s work on social media has opened my eyes to so much about the fashion industry.  I am thankful for her dedication to raising awareness about sustainable fashion.  

4. Blue Mind by Wallace J Nichols

“I wish you water.” ― Wallace J. Nichols,

Love the ocean? Wait till you read Blue Mind by Wallace J Nichols.  It was such a fascinating read!  Nichols discusses our deep connection to the ocean, to water and how that plays an important role in our lives.  Water is a powerful thing and a precious resource.  The book discusses research showing that water can have an incredibly positive impact on your mood, health, and wellbeing.  For me personally, I would agree that being near the water can have a profoundly positive effect on you.  I have always noticed that throughout my life I constantly gravitate towards the water.  I am always happiest in the ocean.  When traveling, I don’t like to be away from the water for too long.  Some of my favorite moments in life have been spent snorkeling or at the beach.  The wonderment of the ocean is something I will marvel at for life.  I never really thought about the relationship we have with water both on a cognitive and emotional level until reading Blue Mind.  After reading Blue Mind I have an even greater appreciation for our oceans.  For me, I think of the ocean as my sanctuary.  It is the one place where I feel most happy and a pure sense of calm.  The ocean has an incredible ability to wash away my worries, fears, and anxieties at that moment.  Time spent in the ocean is a time that my body can be rejuvenated and a sense of balance restored.   

Blue Mind is a book that will continue to fascinate me.  I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Wallace J Nichols give a keynote speech and to also interview him for a feature on my blog.  Click here to read the article. 

5. Braving The Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging by Brene Brown

“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” -Brene Brown 

Braving The Wilderness by Brene Brown was on Reese Witherspoon’s X Hello Sunshine Book Club reading list.  Naturally, I was intrigued and had to read it.  I was delighted when I found a copy at Ann Patchett’s bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee. (I could have stayed in that store for hours!)  This was a powerful book, with a lot of insightful quotes!  It was interesting to read her perspective about belonging.  What it means to belong and to be confident on your own.  I learned there is a bravery in being confident in your decisions and learning to stand alone in the wilderness so to speak.  This book started to change my perspective about life and the way we interact with one another.  It got me thinking about the way we communicate and perceive things.  It encouraged me to start reflecting more and examine the world around me.  

Happy World Reading Day, xo 

A Day in the Life of an Ocean Conservationist with GHOF’s Louisa Gibson

Louisa Gibson is a local ocean conservationist working at Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF).  Growing up in the Cayman Islands Louisa has great respect for marine life, coral reefs, and the ocean.  This great appreciation for the ocean has instilled in her a strong desire to protect it.  Her strong connection to the ocean inspired her to pursue a degree in Animal Biology and a Master’s in Environmental Protection and Management with a focus on marine systems.  Through working with the GHOF, Louisa has had incredible opportunities to dive all over the globe.  Notably, a trip to Mexico to swim with whale sharks.  While in Costa Rica, Louisa swam with spotted dolphins and pilot whales.  For many, this is an adventure of a lifetime, but for Louisa, it is just another day at the office.  

Interview with Louisa Gibson

1.  What is your role at the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation?

I am the Development Coordinator for the GHOF. My primary responsibility is to raise the funds necessary to support our research and educational initiatives here in the Cayman Islands. These funds are raised through corporate sponsorships, individual donations, and philanthropic giving, along with GHOF hosted events throughout the year. It is a difficult job and we are always grateful for additional support.

2.  What inspired you to become interested in ocean conservation?

I have an intrinsic love of nature. I really believe that I was put on this Earth to do what I am doing. Growing up I wanted to be a vet – whether it was small animals or exotics I wasn’t sure – but then when I moved away from Cayman to go to university, I realized how important just being in, on and around the ocean is for me. I wanted to protect it. So I did my undergraduate degree in Animal Biology and my masters in Environmental Protection and Management, focusing on marine systems.

3.  What has been your most memorable experience out in the field?

I have so many! I am so grateful for the experiences that Guy, and working for the Foundation has given me. I have been diving with Tiger sharks in the Bahamas; Whale Sharks in Mexico; Silky sharks, spotted dolphins, and pilot whales in Costa Rica; fishing in world-famous sport-fishing destinations including Tropic Star Lodge in Panama, and Isla Mujeres, Mexico; and I have been a part of educating thousands of people around the world from New York, to Florida, Bahamas, Cayman Islands and all over the Caribbean about the issues and importance of ocean conservation.

4.  What is a typical day like for you in the office and in the field?

I go to work just like everybody else – I answer emails, read documents and write marketing content. Some days I am lucky enough to spend my 8 hours on a boat, surrounded by blue. In the field, it can be exhausting. An example is during our biannual stingray census where we spend 3 days surveying the size and health of every Southern stingray that inhabits stingray city sandbar. There are approximately 100 of them and the majority weigh over 100lbs. It is hard work but extremely rewarding.

5. What is your favorite species of shark?

I think my favorite species of shark is the oceanic whitetip. Their populations have declined by up to 98% is some of their range, including the Caribbean, and so I always feel lucky to be able to interact with them in their natural environment. The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation tags and tracks these sharks with the aim of learning about their migrations to protect their key habitats.

6.  Where is your favorite place to dive in the world?

We are so lucky to call the Cayman Islands home! Our waters are warm, calm, crystal clear and diverse – I would have to say right here in Cayman, closely followed by the Bahamas which not only has all of these qualities but they also have a healthy population of large predatory sharks.

7.  What is the biggest threat you see our oceans facing today?

The easy answer is pollution and overfishing. Ocean plastic, ghost nets, and nutrient run-off are devastating for our oceans globally. Overfishing and by-catch are causing ecosystems to become unbalanced cascading the effects down trophic levels and causing fish stocks to crash affecting global economies, not to mention small coastal communities.

The more complex answer is climate change. Sea temperature rise is causing corals to bleach and atmospheric carbon dioxide is being absorbed by the ocean causing ocean acidification and the truth is, we don’t fully understand the long-term consequences to the ecosystem as a whole.

All of these threats, in addition to natural phenomenon, invasive species, habitat loss, and other human pressures are making it very difficult for the ocean to be resilient and rapidly decreasing its health.

 8.  What is the biggest takeaway you have gained from your experience working with Dr. Guy Harvey?

Guy is a huge inspiration for me. He doesn’t tire easily, he gives 110% of his effort all of the time, and he has really shown me what a big difference one person with a mission can make. Jessica Harvey has inherited his love of all ocean creatures and his drive to change the world, and I feel privileged to work alongside her to achieve the goals of GHOF.

Anyone can make a difference just by making small changes to our daily lives, contributing a small amount of time or money to the cause, or by simply having impactful conversations.

Ocean Conservation Month with Guy Harvey

“The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) conducts scientific research and hosts educational programs aimed at conserving the marine environment. The GHOF will help ensure that future generations can enjoy and benefit from a naturally balanced ocean ecosystem.”-Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.

This year GHOF has dedicated March as Ocean Conservation Month and it is in full swing. The heart of Ocean Conservation Month is to “educate and inspire generations across the Cayman Islands to actively support and participate in initiatives to protect our ocean” (Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation). Ocean Conservation month is filled with an array of ocean-inspired activities that encourage the community to take part and learn more about how we can all contribute to helping keep our oceans healthy. Recently, the GHOF teamed up with Plastic Free Cayman for a beach cleanup. Dr. Guy Harvey has taken the 345 Pledge committing to reducing his use of single-use plastics. An array of stellar events are already underway. Two major upcoming events to look forward to are the documentary screening of “Stingray Chronicles Part 2” and the GHOF annual Fundraising Cocktail Party.

Documentary Screening “Stingray Chronicles Part 2”


The Cayman Islands is a popular diving destination. In particular, Stingray City is one of the most beloved animal interaction sites in the world—an unforgettable experience. It is said to be a multi-million dollar tourist attraction.  People travel from all over the globe to get up-close and personal with our world famous Southern Stingrays that are known for their friendly demeanor. The experience is an absolute privilege. The Cayman Islands is a shark and rays sanctuary. Under the National Conservation Law, there is 100% protection of all shark and ray species within our coastal and offshore waters, here in the Cayman Islands. With this in mind, it is important to recognize the continued efforts in protecting our islands’ stingrays. The GHOF works hard to contribute to the study and protection of our islands’ beloved stingrays. In particular, they focus on tagging stingrays, monitoring the health of each ray and studying their patterns and behaviors.

Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation Annual Fundraising Cocktail Party.


“I thoroughly enjoy this fundraiser! It gives us a chance to catch up with friends, meet new people, share ideas, accomplishments and plans for the future over a nice glass of wine or a cold whitetip beer and delicious food. We can’t do what we do without local support.  We are grateful to those willing to attend, and those who choose to purchase something special through our live and silent auctions. Together, this supports our commitment to share knowledge about our ocean and the marine life that we cannot live without via essential scientific research and educational initiatives.”- Jessica Harvey

This year, GHOF is raising funds for their work in researching sharks and rays in the Cayman Islands and educating the public on the importance and meaning of a biodiverse and balanced marine ecosystem.  Specifically, research projects include Oceanic Whitetip tagging projects and the long-running biannual Southern Stingray census. Educational initiatives include Shark Talk, documentary screenings, interactive learning activities and a short educational documentary series Jessica Harvey’s Expedition Notebook.

Dr. Guy Harvey and his daughter Jessica Harvey will be giving the keynote speech at their fundraiser discussing the importance of generations in ocean conservation, reflecting on their goals as a father and daughter team in conservation.  The fundraising cocktail party will take place at Luca, SMB on Friday 5th April.  RSVP email by April 2nd. 

Learn more about the Foundation by visiting

International Women’s Day: Inspiring Women Helping The Planet

In celebration of International Women’s Day (8 March), I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the amazing work these inspiring women are doing to help the planet.  I am honored to know each of them. I am thankful for their friendship and the opportunities I’ve had to collaborate with them on various projects.  In their own way, they are making a positive impact for the betterment of the environment.  They inspire me daily.  I have great admiration for their strong work ethic and accomplishments.  In the spirit of sisterhood, we rise by lifting others up.  That being said, it is important that we recognize, celebrate and support the work of those who inspire us.  I am so proud of these ladies!  I  know that they will continue to do amazing things, inspiring others along the way.  I can’t wait to share the incredible work these women are doing around the world.

Ellen Cuylaerts

“Men and women are different! That does not mean they should be treated differently. Let’s focus on being good in what we do, following our passions not defined by gender, physical strength or limits. If we all think out of the box, we might focus on the positives of our differences instead of the negatives and combine our strength to be movers and shakers in a world that needs action!”- Ellen Cuylaerts

One of my personal heroes is Ellen Cuylaerts.  I am so grateful for her mentorship, support, and encouragement.  I am so proud of Ellen’s accomplishments.  Ellen is an award-winning photographer, explorer, diver, and conservationist.  Ellen combines her passion for photography with her dedication for conservation to educate communities globally about the importance of protecting fragile ecosystems and endangered wildlife.  

2. Taryn Larock    

Taryn Larock, is a sustainable luxury fashion designer and founder of Sage Larock.  SAGE LAROCK was founded in 2015 and is based in Los Angles, California.  Taryn is dedicated to creating fashion that is both stylish and sustainable.   As an ocean lover, Taryn is committed to using sustainable fashion as a platform to raise ocean awareness.  SAGE LAROCK’s sustainable luxury swimsuit line is made from ECONYL yarn, that is made from upcycled fishing lines and marine plastic debris.  A portion from their sales proceeds goes directly towards NGO’s,  Ghost Divers and NGO Canopy.

3. Kelsie Bodden

Someone asked me what goal I wanted to achieve using my platform. Simply put, I wish to get others to start thinking about how their everyday actions affect the environment. I would like to inspire others to act more consciously. To start thinking about whether that straw is necessary or what happens when you dispose of tires and batteries incorrectly. I would like to inspire others to live environmentally responsible with or without a law that says it is necessary.

I am blessed to be from an island that I believe has beauty like no other but I am more blessed to live on a planet that has many treasures. 🌎 🌍 🌏 The earth is the one thing we all have in common and we should all be working together to sustain it.”- Kelsie Bodden

Kelsie Bodden is the current reigning Miss World Cayman Islands.  Kelsie is using her reign as Miss World Cayman Islands as a platform to work with local environmental non-profit organizations in the Cayman Islands to raise awareness about local environmental issues.  Recently, Kelsie took Plastic Free Cayman’s 345 Pledge to show her commitment to reducing her use of single-use plastic.  To further raise awareness, Kelsie shares her plastic-free journey on her blog, click here to read more.  Kelsie is dedicated to making a positive environmental impact.    

4. Sharron Eyers

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”- Sharron Eyers

Sharron Eyers (a self-confessed lover of skincare & make-up) is the creator/owner of one of Cayman’s most luxurious cosmetics & skincare boutique located in Camana Bay. The store opened in 2010 with only 2 brands and has now expanded to 22 brands. When selecting the brands Sharron does her very best to bring cruelty-free and high-end brands that are unique to her store. They pride themselves on excellent customer service and creating a unique shopping experience like nowhere else.

5. Brittany Balli

Brittany Balli is an ocean conservationist devoted to coral reef conservation and restoration in the Cayman Islands.  As a diver, Brittany has a tremendous love for the ocean, knowing first hand the beauty that resides in this magical underwater world.  Brittany is a co-founder of Eco Divers Reef Foundation and is dedicated to their Coral Nursery Program.  Cayman’s Coral Nursery Program has proven success in helping revitalize fragile and damaged local reefs.  Their coral reef restoration program welcomes volunteers and students passionate about preserving Cayman’s coral reefs. 

Le Visage: Sharron’s Travel Essentials

Today we are delighted to share a guest post by Sharron Eyers, founder of Le Visage.  When it comes to traveling you never want to leave home without a few of your favorite things.  You always want to look your best and feel great.  You don’t have to forgo your regular beauty and skincare routine just because you’re traveling.  Sharron will be sharing her travel essentials that keep her looking fabulous and feeling great.  All the products are animal cruelty-free and ethically made.  If you’re planning a weekend getaway and wondering what to pack, Sharron has some great recommendations.

Read below Sharron’s Guest Post


I travelled to Miami recently with my husband for a Valentines getaway 💋 and of course I had to make sure I took all my favourite things to keep me looking/feeling/smelling fabulous!

Here is a sneak peak of some of my essentials taken on my romantic getaway. Of course you can find all these items at Le Visage – where else darling 😏




Scout Travel Bag – Glam Squad: this is the perfect bag to carry all my skincare with different compartments for liquids etc.

Coola – Make-up Setting Spray: this is an absolute essential for my handbag. Even though the weather in Miami was a little rainy, I still needed to make sure my skin was protected from the environment. It also doubles as a make-up setting spray which is perfect as you know I love my make-up 😊

Penhaligon’s – Duchess Rose:  My love for Penhaligon’s has no limits and Duchess Rose is my absolute favourite fragrance right now!  It’s romantic, wistful and perfect for my Valentine’s weekend!

Elemis – Hydra-Gel Eye Masks: Nothing compares to these life savers. Late night? A few glasses of wine? Not a problem for these powerful eyes masks to fix.

Elemis – Pro-Collagen Overnight Matrix: How did I ever live without you?? This is an absolute essential in my skincare routine, especially while travelling. My skin is completely in love with this powerful anti-aging cream 😍

Make-up Eraser – The best and quickest way to remove make-up (including waterproof) without drying out the skin. Of course I had to take the print with kisses on for Valentines 💋💋

BECCA – Ultimate Love Lipstick (Red): You have to wear red at Valentines and finding the perfect red with BECCA cosmetics is easy. I picked the Crimson (warm) Bright Red shade 💋

Guest Writer: Sharron Eyers

Sharron Eyers

Owner of Le Visage Cosmetics & Skincare Boutique

Self-Confessed lover of skincare & make-up

Our boutique is a very unique modern style with a hint of vintage

We pride ourselves on first class customer service with highly trained/knowledgeable staff

Our brands are all high end exclusive to Le Visage