Josie Bissett

When Josie Bissett first entered the studio, the ‘90s flashed before my eyes. The grunge fashion, the proliferation of hip-hop and alternative music,  and of course, the TV shows. Who could forget the most fascinating apartment complex in the world? It’s hard to imagine the sweet, down-to-earth, ageless, beautiful blonde in the middle of all the catfights, betrayal, wife-swapping and coming back from the dead that Melrose Place was known for, but it is the same program that made Josie a household name. Well, to those in their late 20’s and above, at the very least. So we asked her if her kids know of Jane Mancini, her character on the series, and she says that, “They’ve never seen Melrose Place, but they know about the show and that it was a huge part of my life before they were born.”

 

Fast track to today, and more than 40 magazine covers after (41, counting one she did for BC US), and the same golden-haired headturner is mom to 2 kids from former husband (and Melrose co-star) Rob Estes—Mason Tru, 12, and Maya Rose, 9—two of the best-behaved and gorgeous children we’ve ever had the pleasure to dress and photograph. Although the couple is now divorced, they remain close and still get to do activities as a family, and their children love it when they are able to do so. In fact, Rob Estes’ girlfriend brought the kids to the photo shoot because Josie went ahead for hair and make-up (and we even mistook her for Josie’s sister). It was the picture of a successful, working divorce, if there ever is one.

 

Josie is considered a “parenting expert” by many, after penning 2 books on the subject of child-rearing called, “Little Bits of Wisdom,” and “Making Memories.” Josie says that, “They are both compilations of parenting tips and advice from real parents. Both books have been an enormous inspiration to me as a mother. The insights and wisdom I’ve gained from them has been invaluable to my journey as a parent.”

 

She also wrote two bestsellers targeted to the children’s set. “Boogie Monster” being the more recent, and “Tickle Monster” which came to her when, “I was tickling Mason one evening and the “Tickle Monster” story literally flew out of my mouth. After I put him to sleep, I quickly wrote it down and just 7 short years later, it’s finally finished!”

 

She is raising her darlings in her hometown Snoqualmie, a decision she made because, “Those close to me know that I am not a big fan of living in “Hollywood.” It is not a place I’ve ever wanted to raise children. Washington is where I grew up and it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. I love the people, the seasons, and the pace of life. It’s an incredible place to raise children. [Although] If a child has two great parents, they can be raised anywhere!” Bringing up her little marvels (the number and genders she’s always wanted) was, “Exactly what I dreamed of. I can’t imagine my life without my kids. Raising them has been the greatest joy in my life.” And they may be all the way in Snoqualmie, but parenting when you’re a pop icon still has its ups and downs. “There are a lot of perks that go along with being a celebrity, but the hardest part would be the lack of privacy.”

 

Josie started early in the entertainment business, and even moved to Asia to get a headstart. “I knew what I wanted at a very young age. I have a fairly strong determined personality, and I’ve never liked the word, “no.”  I firmly believe that if we have faith in ourselves, we can achieve anything. I have to admit, moving to Japan and LA when I was 17 was a bit scary, but thankfully everything turned out just fine!” When asked if she would approve of the same road for her kids if they asked for her blessing, she replies that, “Both kids enjoy performing, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up in show business of some sort. Finding our true passions and doing what we love is important to me, so if they find real happiness in show business then I am ok with it—as long as they go to college first!” So when she’s not filming for a TV show (she stars in a TV series called “The Secret life of the American Teenager”), or while waiting for the kids to get home from school, how does she pass the time? “I never feel like I am “waiting” for my kids to get out of school. There are always things to get done. If I happen to be “waiting,” I am usually on the school car pool lane listening to Rabbi Schumely on XM Radio, or making phone calls.” Looking at her, one would never think she gets harried on a daily basis. To this day, Josie still easily fits into a size 0 to 2—a feat for all mothers since we have the littlest time on our hands. To stay in shape, she claims that, “I workout—weight train, cardio and yoga—and eat a pretty balanced diet.”

 

On the fashion forefront, she says her style has, “Pretty much stayed the same, except for the fact that there are days that I don’t have time to change out of my workout clothes, and the days of lollygagging in boutiques and coffee shops with girlfriends is far and few between.” Speaking of shopping, what’s her biggest splurge for Mason and Maya? “Hmm. I can’t really think of anything major. I guess it would be their Rainbow Systems jungle gym.” She also loves the clothing brand Mini-Boden, and Burt’s Bees products for them. I mentioned that I love the names of her kids, and she says she got them from, “My best friend’s nephew’s name is “Mason.” I heard his name many years before I started having children, and always wanted it for my boy’s name. I found Maya’s name while looking in a baby name book. Aside from it being an incredibly beautiful name, we love how it sounds with Mason.” I complimented Josie on how her kids look so happy and well-adjusted. “Thank you! Rob and I love them more than anything in the world, and they both know it and feel it. Our kids come first. We also teach them the importance of communication. Especially when it comes to feelings. They know that they are safe to express whatever is going on inside them.”

 

PHOTOS BY DANI BRUBAKER
TEXT AND STYLING BY KARIZ FAVIS
HAIR AND MAKE-UP BY IRIS MOREAU

 

Story from BabyCouture Back-To-School 2008 Issue

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