Samantha Lockwood is refreshed and relaxed, wearing a cool summer dress, as she sits down at the Princeville Shopping Center for lunch. Her dog, Cleo, follows closely and rests near her feet.
It’s a typical, sunny January day on Kauai and Lockwood loves being back on island. It is, for this California woman, close to her heart. It is where she vacationed often with family while growing up and still visits today. It is where her mother, stepfather, brother and sister live. It is where, some day, Lockwood may live, too.
“I fell in love with the island pretty quickly,” she said.
But this toned and trim brunette doesn’t have the time she would like to spend on Kauai. She is, after all, a little busy. That’s because she’s a model. An actress. A yoga master and teacher. An artist. And has her own line of jewelry. She’s been featured in magazines like Maxim, Esquire and American Fitness, along with local and international publications. She’s been in movies and commercials. Her talents are in demand.
Now, it’s reasonable to expect that anyone with that much on their plate might be a little uptight, maybe a bit stressed, always on their phone and always in a rush.
She’s comfortable in a nearly hourlong conversation that ranges from her childhood to her career to her hopes and goals for the future and even her favorite beaches on Kauai. She speaks in a friendly, matter-of-fact, “no worries” tone, chatting easily as she explains she is “not an uptight person in general.” She won’t, she said, let life get so complicated and hectic she can’t enjoy it. Just another reason why she loves Kauai and its laid-back mantra.
“I don’t think stress ever helps you get further in life,” she said.
Life in movies, commercials, TV, magazines, doesn’t have to be high pressure, she adds.
“It’s all about your life philosophy,” Lockwood said. “You can do anything and stress out about it.”
Stress can stop you from thinking clearly, from focusing on what’s important. It prevents you from getting things done. And Samantha Lockwood doesn’t have time for stress. Not to say there aren’t intense days. It’s just that she refuses to get too caught up in fretting about each day’s details.
“When I get stressed, I do something that makes me not stressed,” she said.
And often, that is yoga.
“It really changes your life and it calms down your mind. It calms your whole being,” she said.
Lockwood is a bikram yoga master, has been since 17. She was raised around it, grew up practicing it. She wakes up to it, teaches it, believes in it and breathes it.
“Yoga is an intrinsic part of my life,” she said.
It’s not just the physical benefits, although Lockwood is amazingly limber, flexible and strong, able to bend her body and strike poses in ways few can. “It’s a little bit circus acty, but it’s fun,” she said.
It is strength within, too.
“There’s always this aspect of, you sit down, center yourself, no matter where you are,” she said.
She hurt her back and knee in a nasty spill during a recent skiing trip. Yoga is helping her bounce back to 100 percent. Nothing better than a yoga session — renewing is a good word for it.
“I like the fact that it’s hot and sweaty,” she said. “I really like I worked my entire body, bones to skin, inside and out, in 90 minutes.”
But yoga isn’t easy. That’s why constant practice, being in a class, having a teacher, are absolutely musts.
“Your entire life changes through a practice that’s firm and consistent,” she said.
In her genes
Lockwood comes from an entertainment background. Her father, Gary Lockwood, was an actor, perhaps best known for his role in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” He also had parts in many TV shows and movies, including aguest appearance on the original “Star Trek.” Her mother, Denise DuBarry, was an actress and today calls Hanalei home.
It was her father who told her, “Sometimes the best thing to do is get out of L.A.,” and encouraged her to branch out — experience new places, people and cultures. She listened and traveled the world, visiting Milan, Istanbul, India, Vienna and London.
“He said it makes you a more interesting person if your well is much deeper, you have a broader understanding of the world, you get out there, you’re going to be a more interesting person to watch,” she said.
Lockwood, for many, is well beyond interesting. She has been featured in movies including “Shoot the Hero,” and “Return of the Outlaws.”
She has been in music videos and commercials for Miller Lite beer, Navy and Apple, along with plenty of yoga modeling spots, including an underwater shoot for Khush Clothing.
“I’m always shooting something for somebody,” she said.
Only recently did she begin working with an agent and plans to develop her own stories and scripts. Her career advice is simple, because it works: “Whatever you do, do it as much as you can.”
Perhaps dearest to her heart is the line of jewelry she developed, “Fleurings.” It is, she said, the only jewelry designed to hold water and flowers. The idea came when her grandmother told her, early in her career, to wear a flower in her hair to make better tips when she was waitressing.
It worked. But Lockwood wanted to find a way to keep a flower fresh through a shift at work.
“The only way to do that is to give it water,” she said.
So she developed a line of jewelry — earrings, necklaces, hairpieces — that can hold a little water and a flower. Miniature vases, if you will.
Sales are strong, with product shipped throughout the world. Lockwood is always looking to expand and improve the line, with plans to incorporate gemstones and designer pieces.
Fleurings are available on Kauai, including “I (Heart) Hanalei, Beach Boutique,” and Relish Salon in Hanalei.
Kauai is a perfect fit for Fleurings.
“This is like the home for my jewelry,” she said. “As far as wearing something fresh, it’s a perfect fit for the islands. Here, it’s sort of a must-have for all the island girls.”
Despite her success and professional commitments, Lockwood isn’t all work. She likes swimming, playing games on her phone, reading and hanging with her family, some of whom own and operate Secret Beach Organics in Kilauea. She loves spending time at Hanalei Beach, her favorite. She paints, too, and her work has been shown in galleries.
Perhaps surprisingly, for someone as fit and healthy as she is, Lockwood isn’t a fanatic about her diet.
“Life is here to enjoy, so don’t get so uptight about everything,” she said.
She likes fresh fish, salads, fruit and eggs, tries to stay organic, and loves juicing. She’s not above a daily cup of coffee or drinking an occasional soda, or even a bit of junk food because she’s a strong believer that if you’re working out every day, sweating every day, you can eat almost anything.
That’s where bikram yoga comes in handy.
“I sweat it out, every day, all the time,” she said.
She turns her most serious — speaking intently, brown eyes focused — when bikram yoga is the topic of conversation. It counters the sitting most people do all day and keeps the spine straight and strong. It’s when people start to slump over, develop bad posture, that their health, their mental outlook, can falter, she said.
“That’s what really makes you old. That’s what makes you think old. That’s what makes you feel old,” she said. “Your central nervous system is everything.”
So, while she’ll be leaving the island at month’s end, and isn’t quite sure of her schedule for her next break from the Mainland, she knows the Garden Isle is in her future.
To live. To work. To play. And, of course, to wear Fleurings and practice yoga.
“I’ll always come back to Kauai,” she said.