New Fiji salon is win-win for brides & local mums

In Planning & Tips by Ande Tongco

Totoka Hair & Make Up will be opening a new branch at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort in February 2020. A complete win-win for brides and local cosmetology artists alike, this extension of Totoka’s services along Fiji’s Coral Coast will be the perfect place to care for brides looking to have their special day on Fiji’s beautiful coastline — as well as a perfect workplace for talented local mums!

“Employing Sigatoka staff means they can work locally rather than leave their families to travel to Nadi for work,” says owner and director of Bula Brides and Totoka, Leanne Goff. A New Zealand-born hairstylist and makeup artist with a passion for destination weddings, Leanne is committed to working with brides looking for beautiful, local artistry for their big day and mums looking for sustainable employment while raising a family.


After spending years in the corporate world, Leanne experienced workplace discrimination first-hand as a new mum. Although she was assured of her manager position after giving birth (as well as reduced, at-home hours) Leanne was then told if she couldn’t complete a 50-hour working week, her job was no longer secure. Thus, her mission of returning to her original love, hair & makeup, and providing a workplace that gives back to mums who work hard not only professionally, but within their families as well, began to form into a concrete idea. 

Knowing many of her employees are the main income-earners for their families — and wanting to ensure other mums didn’t have to face the job insecurity she had — Leanne has worked to ensure her employees can count on a job after maternity leave. She also offers flexibility when it comes to important family moments such as baby check-ups, birthdays, and other celebrations. Leanne sees this as a way of showing her appreciation, saying “I feel incredibly lucky to have such a hard-working group of ladies that give me 100% at work and their families 100% at home.”


Owner & Director, Leanne Goff

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort’s General Manager, Mr Darren Shaw, has heartily welcomed this talented, empowered group of women to the resort, noting that weddings are an important part of their business. Mr Shaw believes Totoka Hair & Make Up will add great value to the offerings Outrigger presents to their brides. “It’s exciting for us to be able to offer an enhanced experience for our bridal parties and guests,” he says.

Leanne and her staff have ensured the estimated six new stylists are prepared and confident for the opening of the new Totoka branch. The Outrigger salon will be managed by Wedding Services Manager Lydia Whippy, one of Fiji’s leading hair and makeup artists and a mum of six, who has been with Totoka for five years. The new stylists will have the chance to continue perfecting their craft through working with seasoned professionals, along with the opportunity to participate in training workshops both locally and overseas. They are committed to understanding the ins and outs of wedding day prep and providing the best experience for their brides and clients.


Wedding Services Manager, Lydia Whippy

To Leanne, the ability to employ talented local artists as part of her professional bridal services is an important aspect of her work. Totoka is committed to providing long-term, enjoyable careers to its staff in the world of hair, make-up and beauty as well as giving brides an incredible Fiji wedding experience.