How Lisa Opie Made A Splash In SwimwearHow Lisa OpieMade A Splash In SwimwearSharesLisa Opie, founder of Vizcaya Swimwear, the official swimwear sponsor of the Miss United States National Pageant, has a background story few people believe.“I ended up being bullied because I was so socially awkward [that] I didn’t know how to talk to people because I was homeschooled, so I had to drop out of that. I went back to homeschooling.”When she re-enrolled in school, the bullying continued, but she decided she wasn’t going to take it anymore. She started competing in pageants because she wanted to prove her bullies wrong. “I can be better than this; I can be beautiful.” Pageantry prevented Opie from going down a self-destructive path that most people take to cope with bullying.“Pageantry helped me build confidence”– Lisa Opie“It helped me build confidence. It helped me stay in shape. It made me just focus on what I wanted out of life, and not what other people thought.” Lisa Opie posing in her Vizcaya SwimwearWhile she didn’t place in Miss Virginia, she had such a good experience that she wanted to continue competing. Because she couldn’t afford to buy one, she designed her own swimsuit, and then was asked to design a national swimsuit. She realized that this was an excellent business opportunity, and that’s how Vizcaya Swimwear was born.Vizcaya Swimwear supports women that are actively promoting a positive lifestyle.“It was the bullies. I really have to thank the bullies out there because I just wanted to prove them wrong. Just being up there on that stage and showing them that I can be confident– even the opportunity to share my story.”Listen to our exclusive interview with Lisa to learn more about how she’s taking a unique promotional and marketing approach by launching her Miss Vizcaya campaign. (Available on iTunes) Shannon MatloobShannon is a contributor at SWAAY. She has a degree in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University with a passion identifying and researching other women on the path to greatness.