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Meet Jenn Harper, founder and CEO of Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics Inc. and 2020 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards Ones To Watch Award Winner

Jenn Harper

Jenn Harper is a recipient of the 2020 Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards Ones To Watch Award. She is the founder and CEO of Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics INC, a digitally native direct to consumer brand that is helping Indigenous youth see themselves in a beauty brand. Cheekbone Beauty uses the concept of a circular economy in the brands ethos and in developing their latest line of products, creating a new segment in the beauty industry—Sustainable Socially Conscious Beauty.  

My first job ever was… either the shampoo girl at the local salon or the dishwasher at a local restaurant, both the same year but I can’t remember what was first. The cleanest pots and scalps in Niagara! I have always been a hard worker no matter what role I filled.

I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I wanted to see Indigenous faces represented in beauty. I did not see anyone else trying to do this, so I went for it.

My proudest accomplishment is…overcoming alcoholism. To make a really long and painful story short, this still feels like I overcame a mountain — with lots of help of course! But I fully believe I can accomplish anything because I have overcome mountain-like obstacles with the right support team.

My boldest move to date was… not giving up.

Be consistent, keep showing up. You can’t lose if you keep trying!

I surprise people when I tell them… I have no experience in the beauty industry, or at least I don’t think I do.

I knew it was time to launch my business when… we had a website and a product, which was not perfect at all — but I decided to give it a go!

My best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is… to be consistent, keep showing up. You can’t lose if you keep trying!

My best advice from a mentor was… to use a business advisory board — very practical and helpful.

When the going gets tough, I tell myself… “Our youth need hope and help. These are actually my Brother BJ’s words; he said this to me before he took his own life just before the launch of Cheekbone in 2016. A very painful companion but truly the driving force behind Cheekbone.

If I had an extra hour in the day, I would… read more.

I stay inspired by… getting out in nature, near water or lots of trees.

The future excites me because… of hope; believing the best is yet to come keeps me going!

My next step is… designing and developing new sustainable packaging that doesn’t exist yet! Exciting and very hard but it will be worth it!