We all have passions, aims... goals., but how many of us can truly say we strive for them? How many of us can truly say that we did our best to get where we wanted to go at any one point in our lives... my guessing would be, not many. This month I sat down with an incredible woman, Merlyn Mantilla to talk about her extraordinary life, her accomplishments so far and how much further she wants to go.
Merlyn, You are an entrepreneur, body builder, PT, nutritionist, pageant contestant, cosmetologist & beautician amongst many more things, how do you find time to not only do these things but to also succeed at them?
Well, at the moment I am just focusing on my business and my competitions in bodybuilding and in the pageant. The other activities at the entrance are parked. I am also in the process of adjusting myself in US so barely I am having time to do all I would like to do but all is worth it.
Let's start with the business side of things, what made you want to own your own businesses?
Since i was kid, I have been always very independent and as a teenagers left driven so I think it was just a matter of time for me to become a entrepreneur. Hard work and dedication were the key of my today success.
What is the ultimate goal with the businesses?
I would like that the car company grows faster here in US. I would like to launch soon the next collection of my exclusive swimming LA PALMERA here in Miami along with my 1st fitness collection and by the end of this year have registered my first health business.
You have a huge passion for fitness, which like many in the industry started from you just working out. You are now a qualified PT & nutritionist plus you part-take & even place in body building competitions. Why do you think your love for fitness grew so much?
I think is simple. Exercising or working out has effects not only on your physical aspect, also has it in your mental aspect. Whatever It you endure is a change on your limits. I experience that when i workout out, it helps me to feel more energetic and more creative and inspired, that is why it makes me love it so much.
What originally attracted you to bodybuilding and then what made you enter competitions?
After many year working out I wanted to level up myself. Body gets use to mostly everything so I decided to challenge myself. More focus, more discipline more strength.
You are taking part in the Miss Europe continental in 2022, what made you open to switching from bodybuilding to beauty pageant, even if it is temporary?
Beauty and passion are part of my background, all goes hand to hand I have no switch I just combine the best of both worlds.
I want to now turn the conversation to La Palmera, your fashion brand. What inspired you to launch this brand?
My passion for travelling (specially to beach destinations and island) and my background in fashion leaded me to create my brand.
When looking at designing your first collection, where did you start?
I got inspired in my roots in Amazonia and South American nature. Then the other aspect I really focus was to cover all body shapes and different women needs.
You are looking to add a fitness collection to your brand, can you tell us how this might look?
It will look amazing. After all this years wearing workout clothes I will come with really nice designs, cuts and light fabrics to make women feel confident and comfortable.
You have had the privilege to be able to travel, living in countries including; UAE, Hong Kong, India amongst others. Which one place would you say you've lived that you could go back to and stay forever?
I will say UAE. I find it a super safe country with plenty of opportunities and super evolve.
If you could be just one of an entrepreneur, body builder, PT, nutritionist, pageant contestant, cosmetologist & beautician, which one would you choose?
I will choose entrepreneur since I accomplished a lot already with all the other facets. I want to achieve success and open myself to other horizons.
You've achieved so much so far in life, but how do you envision the next 10 years to look?
I envision myself surrounded by my family and friends. I also would like to find my partner for life. I have been sacrisfying my personal life and family time in order to achice success. At the end success or wealthness has no point if we don't share it with others. I would like enjoy with my love ones while the business run by themselves.
Merlyn, Thank you for your time.
You can learn more & follow Merlyn Mantilla on social media
La Palmera Dubai (brand): @lapalmeradubai
About the Photographer:
Anna Buchanan, Miami-US
I am Originally from Russia, I came to the US driven by the idea to belong to fashion industry. I have been modelling and I have been always interested in photography and in creating different looks with a sense of fashion.
I decided to step behind the camera two years ago and started to create my own vision of beauty
I’m enjoying the process of styling my models, sometimes I do their make up and always come up with wardrobe ideas. I am a big perfectionist!
I’d like think that I make every woman I shoot comfortable and satisfied with the final product.