PALM BEACH GARDENS – Swimsuit model Cristina Tufford flashed a megawatt smile at a fan and scribbled her signature on a glossy calendar. The crowd at the Cars and Coffee meet was thick and a line at the calendar giveaway table was beginning to build.
Florida Fine Cars caught up with the Tropic Beauty swimsuit models at the autograph table to find out how they got involved.
The 29-year-old from West Palm Beach is one of Tropic Beauty’s November 2018 calendar girls. She was at the Palm Beach Outlets Mall to mingle.
“I was Miss Palm Beach, Miss Jupiter and Miss Seminole,” said Tufford, explaining her long association with modeling and pageants. “I started with the brand when I was 23.”
The company sprang from Hawaiian Tropic, known for its tanning oils, bikini contests and beautiful spokeswomen who hawked the company’s products in showy swimwear. Tropic Beauty was created to provide a venue for the models after Playtex Products Inc. bought Hawaiian Tropic in 2007, and then Energizer Holdings Inc. bought Playtex a short time later.
“Tropic Beauty didn’t want to give up the models,” Tufford said.
Tropic Beauty Fills Gap Left by Hawaiian Tropic
Boca Raton resident Amy Raley, who used to work with Hawaiian Tropic, made it all happen. The former model started Tropic Beauty from scratch after Energizer discontinued the model search.
“I started going into all the markets that previously had Hawaiian Tropic,” Raley said. “Now we work with Wynn Nightlife and a 5-star hotel in Las Vegas. We do photoshoots and do a competition with the best photographs. The best of the best are picked for the calendar.”
Tropic Beauty’s website describes the company as “a model & photographers platform for a dream career and fascinating lifestyle in the entertainment industry. It allows them to be noticed, published and excel.”
The Tropic Beauty models have become brand ambassadors and social media influencers, Raley said.
“A lot of people invite us to come to their events to boost their social media presence,” Raley said.
Modeling Experience Offers Opportunity, Recognition
Gabriella Davis, 20, of Houston, TX, is one of the newest Tropic Beauty models. She works Tropic Beauty appearances in around her schedule as a full-time student at the University of Houston, real estate school and cheering professionally for the Houston Texans.
“It’s fun,” she said of Tropic Beauty. “Absolutely amazing people.”
So what are the top four comments/questions the models hear?
- Are the calendars free?
- Are you in it?
- Which one are you?
- Let me see if I can guess!
- Can I get a picture with you?
Catherine Cybulkiewicz, 28, is one of the calendar’s March 2018 models. The graphic designer from Miami is a native of Venezuela and has been working for Tropic Beauty since 2014. She was Miss Tropic Beauty Las Vegas in 2015 and won third place in the World Finals in 2014.
“I love being on the stage. It’s always fun,” Cybulkiewicz said. “Modeling is a passion. It’s like a hobby.”
She began modeling at age 17 in Venezuela and has participated in at least nine beauty contests.
The contacts she made through Tropic Beauty helped pave the way for her to be chosen as a cover girl for a French magazine.
Tropic Beauty has provided opportunities for new life experiences, she noted.
And that is exactly what their Facebook pages says. It describes Tropic Beauty as “A Health & Beauty Company that is Home to the Most #beautiful Swimwear Models in the World! Leader in the Swimsuit Calendar Photo Shoot Experience!”
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