Pamela Viglielmo: “Here Are 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started”

Always have a Plan B: You cannot expect that everything will go effortlessly — you need to think quickly, be flexible and have a backup plan. Make sure you align yourself with people who have the same end game as you. I had the pleasure of interviewing Pamela Viglielmo. Pamela is the President of MËNAJI Worldwide, LLC, […]

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Always have a Plan B: You cannot expect that everything will go effortlessly — you need to think quickly, be flexible and have a backup plan. Make sure you align yourself with people who have the same end game as you.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Pamela Viglielmo. Pamela is the President of MËNAJI Worldwide, LLC, Advanced Skincare for Men. The U.S. based company was established in 2000 by a celebrity makeup artist and is currently sold in more than 25 countries. Under Pamela’s stewardship, she paved the way for quality men’s skincare founded on a man’s desire to improve their appearance with exceptional products specified to their needs. The brand is changing the dynamic of the men’s beauty/grooming industry, revolutionizing the approach men have toward a skincare routine with lifelong benefits. What began as insider elixirs used by professionals for men in the public eye, MËNAJI’s high quality/results-driven formulations, which include everything from shaving gel to concealers, is recognized as the superior men’s skincare line in the marketplace. Pamela began her career in business with an emphasis on languages and international relations. Prior to MËNAJI, Pamela founded The Gramercy House, LLC, an international strategic marketing and sales consulting firm, which focused on Asia, Western Europe, the Middle East and South America. With more than 25 years in the global beauty industry, Pamela has worked with indie brands across multiple product categories via multiple distribution channels internationally. She has been an Adjunct Professor at Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (LMI) in New York City, is a member of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) and a Board Member for the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors Association (ICMAD). Pamela holds a Masters in Chinese Studies from SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC and Nanjing, China.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

Having been a seasoned player in the beauty industry, I identified that men’s skincare was white space. The desire to look good, be healthy, has never been stronger. This includes men. In general people want to look better, take care of themselves, and be healthier in the longterm.

The opportunity to buy MËNAJI came to me, which I thought was phenomenal. We bought the company, reworked the formulas so it had a more natural bend with healthy, natural and clean ingredients. I also know how important it is to have stable tested products. I have a responsibility to put out quality products in the marketplace. My roots are in Woodstock so I have an inherent inclination to the natural.

Can you share the interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

During a summer job in a hot Chinese restaurant kitchen, the first two characters I learned to write for takeout orders in traditional Chinese calligraphy was to go. In my professional career I worked at The Asia Society, where I experienced my first trips to Asia. Ultimately I went to graduate school and returned to China to do post-grad research. My Chinese to go summer experience changed my life professional focus.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I oversee a line that’s made for men and I am completely blown away by the makeup artists who use the product on female models. For one particular fashion show, a makeup artist used the 911 Eye Gel all over a model’s face because it makes the skin look less puffy. Women are turning to our products because they find they are of the highest quality and it works.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?

We decided to relaunch the MËNAJI Masque, tweaking the formula to make it more relevant to how our customers are using the product. Using the deep cleaning Masque used to be a once a week routine but guys who are really invested in themselves will use it two, even three times a week. We made it so it’s less than a once-a-week experience.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My expertise was on the international side, discovering unique American products for export, and I did very well for a number of brands in Asia and Western Europe. It was my husband who noticed my ability to identify burgeoning companies. MËNAJI is available oversees, where international men are more prone to skincare and cosmetic use. We are focused on building a substantial business in the United States based on the need of such products made specifically for men and the necessity of a skincare regimen.

Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that will help people feel great?

  1. Every morning I walk the dog to clear my mind and to celebrate the outdoors.
  2. Always connect with my kids in New York City, which keeps me up-to-date with their lives and their young people’s perspective.
  3. Make sure that I get enough sleep, listen to music and drink a lot of water.

Is there a particular book that made an impact on you? Can you share a story?

Face Forward by Kevin Aucoin, he was an innovator in makeup artistry with such a passion for what he did.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Be aware to use products with a SPF, use a really good moisturizers throughout the day and wear a hat.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

We work with save the water campaigns, such as Thirst Project. Our ClearShave offers men an incredible shave without having to use water. We are also keenly aware of making less of a carbon footprint with our packaging — less ink, reuse materials and recyclable plastics.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why.

Reachable: When running a business you can never have your phone turned off. As the lynchpin to all operations, you have to be accessible.

Strong life/work life balance: You have to be with your family but also need to manage. It’s a balance that you have to be aware of and try to do the best for everyone who depends on you.

Always have a Plan B: You cannot expect that everything will go effortlessly — you need to think quickly, be flexible and have a backup plan. Make sure you align yourself with people who have the same end game as you.

Communication: Text, emails, direct messaging is all great but it still so important to sit down with someone and have intuitive dialogue and kick around ideas.

Surround yourself with good people: Raises your game and someone else’s expert opinion leads to wiser decisions.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?

Just keep banging till someone opens the door.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Ralph Lauren. He is a maverick who coined the iconic American look, upholds quality, and built an enduring brand. This is the foundation of MËNAJI in the men’s skincare arena.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Facebook | Twitter Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn

Thank you for all of these great insights!

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