Jennifer A. Mancuso is not your typical entrepreneur. This model turned lawyer is now also the proud owner of her own beauty cosmetics line J.A.M. Beauty Inc. And that’s not all. She’s also been judging Miss Universe Canada for the last 5 years. If that doesn’t say #BossWomen, I don’t know what does. She’s been all over the industry and this week we were lucky enough to interview her so she can tell us about how it all started and what she plans to do next!
BWR: You’ve had a very diverse professional career. Model turned lawyer to owning you own law firm and cosmetics line. Can you tell us more about your professional career and what were the deciding factors?
Jennifer: I was brought up to believe that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Discovered by a top modeling agency at a young age, I entered the world of modeling. At the same time, I pursued my studies at York University and got my Honors Bachelor of Arts degree. Thereafter, I was accepted to law school. I completed my Bachelor of Law degree from the University of New Brunswick, as well as the Negotiation Course at Harvard Law School.
After I was called to the Ontario bar and started practicing law, I was invited to judge the Miss Universe Canada pageant. For several years, I continued to practice law in the area of insurance defence focusing on motor vehicle and personal injury claims. At the same time, I continued to judge the Miss Universe Canada pageant for the years 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Being involved in the pageant world, I got involved in the beauty industry. With more experience under my belt as a lawyer and as a judge for the biggest beauty competition in the world, I decided to start my own law firm, J.A.M. Law Professional Corporation, and launched my own cosmetic line called J.A.M. Beauty Inc., which was created for each and every Beauty Queen.
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BWR: The beauty industry is very competitive. What sets your cosmetics line apart from other beauty brands?
Jennifer: All our products are made in Canada, with the exception of our cruelty-free lashes. They are non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, not tested on animals and Halal certified. We are EU compliant, which is one of the most comprehensive regulatory standards to abide by and bans or restricts cosmetic brands which contain even minute traces of harmful ingredients.
Keeping these strict regulations in mind, our skin care line is 98% botanical and free from harmful products.
J.A.M. Beauty Inc. aims to be the go-to staple brand for all Beauty Queens, similar to your “classic black pair of stilettos”. Our nude/pink colours are great for all skin types and work for every occasion. Whether you want to achieve a natural look to a glam look, our Beauty Queen Palette, Gold Dust Highlighters and Liquid Velvet Lipsticks, can help you look your best.
BWR: What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your professional career and how did you overcome it?
Jennifer: Since I was juggling vastly different things — modeling and school — my biggest challenge was to stay focused and disciplined and not lose myself. Modeling and higher education can be very demanding on their own. However, working on both of these things simultaneously tested my resolve. I focused hard on what I wanted to achieve and refused to give up on my goals.
BWR: Beauty pageants get a lot of mixed reviews and are often seen as degrading to many women. Having judged Miss Universe Canada for the last 5 years, you’ve seen a different side of beauty pageants that many people don’t. What’s your opinion on this matter?
Jennifer: Despite what some people may believe, beauty pageants are not degrading to women. In Miss Universe Canada, the contestants are not only judged on the basis of beauty, but on other qualities as well. Many contestants are highly intelligent, educated, and talented. That’s what sets them apart. Moreover, beauty pageants allow women to exercise their personal choice and choose their own paths in life. Beauty Pageants are big platforms to raise awareness on social issues like anti-bullying and raise money for worthy causes. Miss Universe Canada is an empowering platform that allows women to speak up about the causes that matter to them.
BWR: What are you most proud of? What’s been your biggest accomplishment in your professional life?
Jennifer: My dream was to become a lawyer and my biggest accomplishment was making that dream a reality.
BWR: What advice can you give to the next generation of female entrepreneurs?
Jennifer: I am all about women empowerment. I believe that every woman has a right to follow her dreams. Anything is possible if you are willing to work hard for it.
On a final note, what are your future goals? Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Jennifer: I see myself doing what I’m doing now, but on a much larger scale. I’m hoping to expand my cosmetic brand in the coming years. I want my beauty brand to not just be the go-to brand for all Beauty Queens in Canada, but for Beauty Queens all around the world.
To find out more about Jennifer and see what she’s up to, make sure to follow her on Instagram @_jam_xoxo and visit www.jenniferamancuso.com
To find out more about J.A.M. Beauty Inc., make sure to follow Instagram @jambeautyinc and visit www.jambeautyinc.com