An award-winning social entrepreneur, Jenn Harper is the founder and CEO of Cheekbone Beauty, a Canadian, Indigenous-owned, cruelty-free cosmetics company. Jenn launched Cheekbone Beauty in 2016 after a series of life-changing events: this included finding sobriety and in 2015, awakening from a dream that inspired her to create a company that would help indigenous youth see themselves in a beauty brand. During Cheekbone’s infancy, Jenn endured a heavy personal loss with the suicide of her brother B.J. This loss, though difficult, has remained a driving force behind Cheekbone Beauty's mission to empower Indigenous youth. Jenn credits Cheekbone Beauty as being part of her healing journey and her route to finding joy, happiness and clarity.
With no previous experience in the beauty space, but a strong background in marketing, Jenn researched the makeup landscape while also looking for charities to collaborate with to further Cheekbone’s mission. Cheekbone now donates 10% of its profits to Shannen’s Dream, a Canadian youth-driven movement advocating for equitable education funding for First Nations children.
In this episode, Chelsea and Jenn talk about what Cheekbone Beauty is doing to help close the educational funding gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, Canada's residential school system and the generational trauma it produced, how her sobriety, and the loss of her brother, continues to fuel her mission, Jenn’s experience on Dragon's Den, and so much more. In addition to Cheekbone’s mission, Jenn strives to educate as many people as possible about the residential school system and its effects. She speaks regularly to students about social entrepreneurship, empathy and the history of her First Nations family. She has also been invited to speak to various entrepreneur groups, women in business associations, Apple Canada and First Nations organizations.
Jenn has been making a name for herself in the beauty industry, gaining further recognition after appearing on the hit CBC show, Dragons Den. And in 2019, Chatelaine Magazine named Jenn as one of their ‘Women of the Year’.
Learn more about First Nations Child & Family Caring Society and Shannen's Dream here.
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