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The Southern Charm-er is highlighting her Charleston nightclub, Republic Garden & Lounge, on the show, and on the November 28 premiere, viewers met the bartenders, hosts, servers, and VIP concierges who work there.
But while Leva may be the one who has to keep the staff in line, she makes any and all major decisions with help from her husband/business partner, Lamar Bonaparte.
The Republic matriarch spoke with The Daily Dish about what it's really like to work so closely with her husband, and she shared how the two balance each other out when it comes to their approaches with their employees.
Leva is business partners with her husband, Lamar Bonaparte
The Canadian met Charleston native Lamar on her 29th birthday, and as she put it on an episode of Southern Charm Season 7, she was drawn to "his intelligence and creativity," qualities she found to be "a sustainable sexy."
They became friends first, then business partners, and then, in 2013, spouses. In addition to Republic, the two also operate Bourbon N' Bubbles, Mesu, and 1st Place, which are all located on King Street. They're also parents to their son, Lamar Jr., aka Little.
During her chat with The Daily Dish, the Charleston-based restaurateur said that viewers will see a Lamar "pop up sometimes here and there" on Southern Hospitality, but they shouldn't expect him to take center stage too often.
"He's not a big TV guy," Leva explained. "I have to drag him into family photos. He doesn't even like pictures."
Lamar doesn't have as big of a role on the show as his wife does, but he is very present in running their businesses. Leva said that she and her husband balance each other well when it comes to their leadership styles.
"He's sort of like a strong silent type in all things. Even when it boils down to the business, he'll kind of walk in, see what he needs to and go. I'm more of the 'people person,' and I do try to go the extra mile," she added. "We don't always agree on how to run business... which I think makes us great business partners."
Leva said that her spouse looks at many business decisions as black and white, but she urges him to see things differently at times. "I try to let him live in some gray, which he's not comfortable with," she shared. However, if need be, she noted that the usually-strong-and-silent-type Lamar "kind of throws the hammer down."
"If he walks in, they know, 'Dad is mad,' and it's really gonna be a problem," she joked. "[Our employees] don't even want to see him here."
For Leva, living in the gray sometimes means giving staff members another shot. As viewers saw during the premiere, Lamar and Leva disagreed about what to do about Mikel Simmons' future at Republic.
"He sometimes thinks I give people maybe a few more chances than they need, but sometimes he's pleasantly surprised that he can be wrong," Leva said.
You can see Leva and Lamar (and 10 of their employees!) on Southern Hospitality.
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