Tamara Jemuovic is a true living embodiment of the expression “multi-tasker”. The Toronto native is an entrepreneur (as CEO and Founder of PHNX Cosmetics, a made in Canada brand of make-up that uses only clean ingredients and is cruelty-free), a social media influencer with over 100,000 followers, a real estate broker, a community volunteer, a philanthropist, an advocate for the protection of animals and bringing awareness to people about the issue of preventing animal cruelty, and is the current Miss Universe Canada, and will compete for the Miss Universe title this December at the 70th edition of this prestigious pageant in Eilat, Israel.
And the basis for this successful, multi-tasking career is the principle that Ms. Jemuovic has been following most of her life, of how a positive attitude can turn a defeat into a win. And it all started when she began modelling when she was a child.
“I started modelling at the age of two, and at 13, I signed up with a modelling agency. However, there were other agencies who regarded me as being ‘too fat’, mainly because my height was 5’6” and I weighed 120 pounds,” she said during a recent phone interview. “And then an opportunity presented itself for the Miss Teen Greater Toronto Area pageant. So I decided to give it a shot, and I finished as first runner-up. From there, I have participated in different pageants over the past 14 years and have won five national titles.”
When Ms. Jemuovic represented Toronto for the first time at the Miss Universe Canada pageant, she also finished as first runner-up. But when the COVID pandemic cancelled last year’s pageant, the management decided to bestow the 2021 title to her, one of the chief reasons being was her positive and gracious attitude that she exhibited the year before when she finished in second place.
And as a way of paying it forward – and in lieu of not having a Miss Universe Canada pageant this year – Ms. Jemuovic decided to hold a fashion show fundraiser, which is taking place on October 2 in Toronto. The event will feature the latest fashions by five prominent designers, live entertainment, and a multi-prize raffle with 80 prizes to be rewarded. Tickets are $20 each and a portion of the proceeds will benefit two charities: SOS Children’s Villages (an international children’s charity which is dedicated to orphaned and abandoned children in over 130 countries) and Smile Train (which is the largest organization that is dedicated to helping children who are born with clefts, by funding, training and furnishing resources to local medical professionals in over 70 countries, so that they can perform cleft surgeries to children free of charge).
As for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant, Ms. Jemuovic admits that participating in it has been a longtime personal dream for her. “It’s like the Olympics of pageantry. A contestant has to prepare for it above and beyond, like any other pageant,” she said. “To prepare for Miss Universe, you have to prepare with your body and mind in check because everything matters, which includes the interview segment, your onstage presence, the bikini and evening gown competitions. You have to have a great deal of discipline, self-confidence, grace and poise.”
And no matter what the outcome will be this December in Israel, Ms. Jemuovic will carry herself with the same positive attitude towards winning or losing that has given her the ability to juggle so many tasks and responsibilities that has paved her road to success.
“With the right kind of attitude and approach, you can build the necessary skills to be more relatable, marketable and business-oriented,” she said. “There is no room for divas here.”