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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Pamela Friedman, Creator of Maxim's de Paris®

Pamela Friedman is a true Manhattan tastemaker and trendsetter. Having lived in New York City for the past 30 years, she enjoys the socialite scene as much as any New Yorker, but has found a way to balance the hustle and bustle of city life with an environmental, natural and holistic approach to her home life and career. Her credentials, as well as personal holistic lifestyle, exemplify her beliefs and she both inspires and delivers this naturalist approach to her audience and consumers in each and every aspect of her business.

Pamela has enjoyed a marketing and creative career in the beauty, home design and fragrance categories and has brought to fruition many products in which we are so very familiar. After graduating from Parsons School of Design, her interest in fashion, home décor and creation of scent led her in the direction of home fragrances, where she quickly established a reputation as an accomplished designer and creator of products. In fact, she played an integral role in the successes for brands like Crabtree & Evelyn and Victoria’s Secret Beauty. She’s also the mastermind behind the great Felissimo Store on 56th Street, which we all loved and now greatly miss. It was there that she truly fell in love with fragrances. Living in Manhattan, the mecca of shopping and consumerism, has influenced her to create products that stand out – beautiful, elegant and sophisticated — and, not only smell good, but are meaningful and good for you!

It was this drive, entrepreneurial spirit, and vision of luxury and nourishment for the soul that influenced Pamela to create her own brands.

Her love of Paris, and her friendship with Pierre Cardin was the start of her intrigue with the notoriety of the beginnings of the Maxim’s restaurant and Belle Époque era of celebrity, decadence, and elegance as well as Sem, the well-known artists’ renditions; and, of course, the French tradition of harmonizing scents. She sought to capture the nostalgia of this period which represented a carefree but rich feeling. It was this inspiration that led her to create Maxim's de Paris® Home fragrance products, which captures the essence of the vibrant spirit of the Maxim’s Cafe during the turn-of the-century. Maxim’s de Paris® Home fragrance collection launched in New York’s Bergdorf Goodman as well as many of the best specialty boutiques in the U.S. Maxim’s is a line of soy based candles that draws our interest and greatly influences our moods. The brand is known for its quality, luxurious essences and whimsical uniqueness as they are multi-layered with high quality natural essences.

Pamela also recognized a need in home fragrance that not only provided aroma but provided aroma with benefit. Living Naturals® home fragrance products bridge beauty and design with a lifestyle of wellness and balance. While the products incorporate all the elements of a healthy home — aromatherapy, purification, essential oils and holistic healing, they also enhance our mind and spirit.

Pamela draws her inspiration from the rich culture of Manhattan life and her travels around the world; including design, architecture, and the natural world of flowers and plants. All of her products are developed with wellness, beauty and sustainability in mind and offer choices for those who are pursuing healthier and more meaningful lifestyles. She focuses on creating mind and body driven benefit products with a multi-sensory approach. As a holistic lifestyle designer, her approach is simple, timeless and sophisticated and her products represent a lifestyle that is effortlessly chic, elegant, eco-conscious and healthy – where design, style, and wellness play an equal role.

Pamela’s home fragrance brands are a whole new level of beauty and wellness. She is a true home fragrance guru who is dedicated to enhancing lives and participating in the protection of our environment for years to come.

Pamela is currently a member of the Natural Products Association, American Botanical Council, Natural Perfumers Guild, Advisor to Ahead of the Curve, and studied Feng Shui at NY’s Open Center. Whom You Know is pleased to present her as our latest Mover and Shaker!

Peachy Deegan interviewed Pamela Friedman for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What makes someone capable of being a trendsetter?
Pamela Friedman: The ability to influence, inspire, and push boundaries with respect to taste, style......and life.

What do you like more about Paris compared to Manhattan?
The architecture, history, and the innate style of the French.

What do you like more about Manhattan compared to Paris?
The excitement and energy of Manhattan, the diversity of people- cultures, shopping, restaurants; and the nightlife.

What are the keys to success in building a strong brand?
Focus, stamina, consistency and awareness of competition. Being able to deliver a clear message that stands for something, and the ability to tap into emotional connections and needs of the consumer are keys to building a strong brand.

What are your future ambitions?
To continue to grow my brands, expanding my consumer reach, while contributing to the enrichment of others lives, and participating in the protection of our environment for years to come

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
From early on, my father, who is a true entrepreneur, always pushed me to be better and taught me that one can make what they want out of life. His determination and fortitude always brought him success.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?
There are many. The Conservatory Garden in Central Park – It’s a delightful and serene area of the park – with different areas representing French, Italian and English style gardens. I also enjoy being in my Manhattan apartment – watching the happenings of various boats, planes, and weather – I have sighted several rainbows, which look extraordinary juxtaposing Manhattan skyscrapers - relaxing or entertaining. And…. anywhere in NYC taking in the unique Manhattan sights.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?
Bergdorf Goodman, Zitomers, Flower Market – to name a few

What is your favorite drink?
A new vodka called “Star Vodka”. I drink it straight, on the rocks. It’s gluten-free, very smooth and no hangovers!

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
Avra –a Greek restaurant for its delicious fresh fish!

What is your favorite Manhattan book?
The Great Gatsby, Devil Wears Prada

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
Ice skating at Wolman rink in the winter and watching the roller skaters in Central Park in the summer.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
People watching! – It’s like nowhere else in Manhattan.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
Etta James at BBKings, hanging out with Ron Woods and the Stones backstage at Madison Square Garden, ... the Ashes and Snow photography exhibit - amazing...although a long time ago....still vivid in my mind.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
I think the most underrated in Manhattan is the perception of the people……New Yorker’s get a bad rap for their attitudes, however, New Yorkers are extremely tolerant, accepting, friendly, and helpful.
Overrated: The recent “waterfalls” exhibition

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?

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