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Pnina Rosenblum: Israeli princess in pink

Cosmetics firm founder and manager talks to Ynetnews about future business ventures

Josh Hamerman
Published: 10.29.06, 13:35 / Israel Business

Pnina Rosenblum has long been a household name in Israel, and soon, her name could be added to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. During an interview last week with Ynetnews, she revealed that her cosmetics company, Pnina Rosenblum Ltd., might go public in one year.

 

“I have a lawyer and financial advisor, and I’m trying to make the plans,” she said.

 

Founded in 1989, the Bnei Brak-based company now generates USD eight million in annual revenue. Its merchandise caters to women, men, and infants, and includes makeup kits, hair dyes, fragrances, and lines of skincare and Dead Sea spa products.

 

Rosenblum said her company was not affected by the Lebanon war. “I’m in a good business,” she said. “The cosmetics industry didn’t suffer
during the war.” IDF soldiers received cosmetics from Rosenblum’s company during the summer fighting.

 

Rosenblum’s products are sold at Israeli-owned shops in the U.S., but her goal is to expand into the mainstream American market. “It won’t be easy unless a big company in America can help me distribute my products,” she said. “I’m waiting for one to approach me. Israel is a small country and I’m very successful here, but I’m not well-known in America.”

 

Israeli icon 

In May, Ynet readers selected Rosenblum as one of Israel’s most beautiful women. Indeed, she has been a mainstay in Israeli popular culture since the 1970s, having achieved fame as a model, TV personality, and actress.

 

She appeared in the films Kasach (1984), Am Yisrael Hai (1981), Lo L’Shidur (1981), Diamante Lobo (1976), and Malkat Hakvish (1971). Rosenblum also tried to represent Israel at the 1983 Eurovision Song Contest, singing Tamid Isha (Always a Woman) at that year’s Kdam Eurovision national final. The song placed last but became a big hit with the Israeli public.

 

The Petach Tikva native entered politics in 1999, running on the Pnina Rosenblum Party ticket, and was only 3,000 votes short of winning a Knesset seat. She then joined Likud, and on December 14, 2005, she was sworn in as an MK after Tzahi Hanegbi left Likud for Kadima.

 

Rosenblum was the 39th candidate on Likud’s slate in the March elections, but the party did not receive enough votes for her to remain an MK.

 

Although Rosenblum chose not to join Kadima, she greatly admires one of that party’s senior members, Shimon Peres. “He’s got a lot of guts,” she said. “He’s a very nice man, and he’s done a lot of good things for Israel.”

 

Done with politics?

 

Rosenblum said Likud will probably pick up more Knesset seats in the next elections. “Politics can change from moment to moment, so it’s very hard to predict what will happen in a year, but Bibi Netanyahu is doing very well right now,” she said.

 

However, Rosenblum’s political aspirations are currently on the back burner. When asked if she will run on Likud’s list in the next elections, she responded, “Probably, but it all depends. Right now I’m very busy with my business and building a school and other things, so I don’t have time now for politics. But maybe two years from now.”

 

Rosenblum’s time is currently dedicated to the cosmetology and business management institute she is in the process of establishing in Ramat Gan. Advertisements encouraging potential students to apply began running in Israeli newspapers last week.

 

The school, to be named the Pnina Rosenblum Academy, is scheduled to open in December. She said a few hundred people have applied so far, and there is currently no set limit on student enrollment.

 

Rosenblum was one of many celebrities invited to take part in a new Israeli reality TV show, The Pioneers, but the married mother of two adopted children said her family, school, company, and other commitments prevented her from participating. “They’ve asked me many times to appear on reality shows but I’m too busy,” she said.

 

Rosenblum would, however, jump at the opportunity to appear on American TV to market her cosmetics. She said one of her friends in the U.S. has approached the Pennsylvania-based QVC home shopping TV network on her behalf, and commented, “If I could get my Dead Sea spa products on QVC, that would be fantastic."

 

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