IBA Member Spotlight
Pamela Viglielmo is another overnight success over 30 years in the making! Now President and CEO of MËNAJI, a men’s skincare and makeup line, Pamela’s early work experience were in academics in China. After that, Pamela entered the cosmetics industry, working with one of the co-founders of ICMAD, Herbert Wilson of Wilson Marketing, LLC., developing the brand in China and other countries in the Asia Pacific region.
In the 80s, there was a particular curiosity about American culture (Possibly linked to the T.V. show Dallas?) and skincare products. CosmoProf Bologna was approached to feature American brands on the showroom floor through outreach by ICMAD, which marked the first time there was a specific USA Pavilion. CosmoProf Hong Kong followed suit. Pamela optimized this interest in American beauty trends for her clients by taking them to these events and exposing their product lines to foreign importers eager to tap American brands for overseas distribution. Later, as an independent consultant, Pamela began working with American companies to develop their European and Asian markets.
Her experience shows that new independent companies may be more adventurous than more recognized companies in some ways. The high degree of creativity in the cosmetics and skincare industry has resulted in new trends and categories. For instance, the Nail category was primarily developed in the U.S. market, expanding globally soon. Unisex fragrances were conceived in the U.S. and expanded into Japan at first.
Pamela’s work in Europe and Asia continued into the early 2000s. In 2008, when the global economy was in a recession, she and her husband James Fisher discussed ways to pivot her consulting experience in the cosmetics and skincare industry. They decided to focus on identifying a brand to develop. How could she contribute to the industry? How could she utilize her vast industry experience and global contacts? Where could they find a brand in a category not yet fully developed?
The answer was MËNAJI, the first-to-market makeup, and skincare line for men.
Pamela identified MËNAJI in 2008 and, after a year plus of due diligence, purchased the company in 2010 with a small group of investors.
Since then, the company has redefined the line and refined products. It is a focused line formulated to help enhance the male image and help build confidence. Heat, light, and long hours are tough on the skin. For newscasters, actors and entertainers, or talent in the burgeoning selfie category, the MËNAJI line of skincare and cosmetic products has proven to be the right products at the right time. Professional makeup artists need essential problem-solving products that help minimize flaws and shiny faces yet look and feel natural. They want products that are reliable and work. That proof of concept has been successful at MËNAJI.
Pamela has been a member of IBA for nearly 30 years, initially with other companies and now at the helm of MËNAJI. She has served on the IBA Board of Directors since 1989 and, after chairing the Education Committee for years, now supports several BOD committees.
She utilizes IBA for export certificates, has partaken in lobbying efforts at both the state and federal level, and attends many of the virtual webinars.
To the newcomer to the industry, Ms. Viglielmo reminds that entrepreneurship is its own skillset. Not everyone is wired to be an entrepreneur. It is a balance of creativity, vision, flexibility, and drive.
“You must have a passion for your idea. You need to see a path forward, and then you must figure out who can help you achieve it. An analogy can be how to approach skiing the bumps. Look at what is out there. Find your line. Then adjust as you move ahead.” Her formula: Passion, Path, People.
She views IBA as a resource of all kinds of people who can and have helped her in her business—listening, networking, offering guidance, and believing that the collection of talent and experience that IBA offers can be paramount to the successful development of a company in the beauty sector.
This is just some of the value-added she has found through her IBA membership. “You can’t do it all yourself.”