Episode 28

Kissing a Beautiful Future Hello with Jenn Harper | LAYC28

More than just lip service to Indigenous Beauty

Jennifer Harper, edgy girl, alcoholic transformed to CEO change maker, exemplifies Lifting As You Climb, and tireless building of success ladders for many, along her own journey of healing and personal recovery.

She grew up disconnected from her indigenous roots and unaware how generational transfer of trauma adversely affected her and millions of others.

Jennifer inherited a legacy from the horrific history of residential schools, unhealed wounds, and trauma that native families endured during and beyond colonization.

A dream, an awakening, and a vision to make a difference for others are part of the tender yet uplifting conversations I have with this fiercely dedicated young woman.

Just a few short years ago, Jennifer Harper did the unthinkable. 

She said ‘No Thank You’ and kissed an offer of $125,000 from a Dragon’s Den celebrity Goodbye!

Cheekbone Beauty was inspired by Jenn’s dream of children joyful and happy adorned with lip gloss. No matter how ambitious her start-up goals, Ms. Harper refused to seal the deal with a kiss that smudged her vision, and she walked.

She kept on walking towards her goal of creating a billion cosmetics brand while donating 10 percent of profits to Shannen’s Dream, which advocates for education funding for First Nations children.

Flare.com shared a quote from Ms. Harper: “The reason we exist, our North Star, is the Indigenous youth. We want to make [Cheekbone] so big that no Indigenous kid will ever question their beauty or their worth ever again in the world.”

“I really want to be the first Indigenous woman to create a $1 billion beauty brand,” she continues. “For [young people] to see that one of their people can do that makes it attainable for them. When you have someone, who’s done that and you’ve seen it, then you know it’s possible for you. That’s always been the mission.”

Read more: https://www.flare.com/identity/cheekbone-beauty-dragons-den-jennifer-harper/

Bonus:

Canada NewsWire June 3, 2021

TORONTO, June 3, 2021 /CNW/ - This June, Sephora Canada reveals its first-ever National Indigenous History Month Campaign, to amplify the voices of Indigenous Peoples in Canada , while paying homage to their knowledge, wisdom, diverse strengths, and teachings. The next evolution of Sephora Canada's We Belong to Something Beautiful brand platform, the campaign is rooted in celebrating diversity and highlighting local Canadian collaborators' authentic untold stories.

Sephora Canada is also proud to announce that local Indigenous beauty brand, Cheekbone Beauty, will be launching on Sephora.ca in the next year. This announcement comes shortly after the retailer made a new Canadian commitment to the Fifteen Percent Pledge to dedicate 25 per cent of its brand offering to BIPOC-owned brands by 2026.

Canadians are invited to follow @SephoraCanada to see additional Indigenous stories unfold throughout the month of June. Further details about Sephora Canada's ongoing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey are available at Sephora.com

See Press Release for more.

 

About our Guest:

An award-winning social entrepreneur, Jenn Harper is the founder and CEO of Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics INC. Cheekbone Beauty is a digitally native direct to consumer brand that is helping Indigenous youth see themselves in a beauty brand while using the concept of Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) in the brands ethos and in developing products. Cheekbone Beauty’s mission is to help every Indigenous youth see and feel their enormous value in the world while creating sustainable colour cosmetics.

In addition to Cheekbone Beauty’s mission, she strives to educate as many people as possible about the Residential School System and the effects it has had on my family and friends through decades of generational trauma. She speaks regularly to university, college and high school students about social entrepreneurship, empathy and the history of her First Nations family. She has also been invited to speak to various entrepreneur groups including women in business associations, Apple Canada and First Nations organizations.

Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics Inc.

Cheekbone Beauty is an Indigenous-owned and founded, digitally-native, Canadian cosmetics company established in 2016 by Jennifer Harper. Based out of St. Catharines, Ontario, Cheekbone Beauty is known for creating high quality, cruelty-free beauty products.

Cheekbone's mission is to help every Indigenous youth see and feel their enormous value in the world while creating sustainable colour cosmetics.

 

https://www.instagram.com/cheekbonebeauty

https://www.facebook.com/cheekbonebeauty

https://www.cheekbonebeauty.com/

 

RESOURCES:

Episode 13 – Original Gangster with Linda Lundstrom

https://lift-as-you-climb.captivate.fm/episode/linda-lundstrom-layc13

  

About the Host:

Isabel Banerjee - Your Next Business Strategist and Transformation Catalyst

Dynamic, a self-made entrepreneur who overcame obstacles with an unrelenting positive nature, a farm girl work ethic, and a conscious choice to thrive rather than survive, Isabel Alexander Banerjee cultivated an award-winning, $10 million+ global chemical business and grew it from dining room table to international boardrooms.

Isabel’s strengths include the ability to initiate & nurture strategic relationships, a love of lifelong learning and talents for helping others maximize their potential. An inspiring speaker within both industry and community, she is a driving force behind those with the courage to foll0ow her example of thriving against the odds.

With 50+ years of business experience across diverse industries, Isabel is respected as an advisor, a coach, a mentor, and a role model. She believes in sharing collective wisdom and empowering others to economic independence.

Founder of the Lift As You Climb Movement (www.facebook.com/groups/liftasyouclimbmovement)

and

Chief Encore Officer, The Encore Catalyst (www.theencorecatalyst.com) – an accelerator for feminine wisdom, influence, and impact.

also

Author & Speaker ‘Who Am I Now? – Feminine Wisdom Unmasked Uncensored’ (www.IsabelBanerjee.com)

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/isabelalexanderbanerjee/

 

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If you have questions about this episode, please send me an email at Hello@TheEncoreCatalyst.com

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Transcript
Isabel:

Welcome my friends...

Isabel:

This is an uber exciting day for me.

Isabel:

I'm always excited to have guests on the Lift As You Climb podcast.

Isabel:

Today is like a double whammy, because I am excited...

Isabel:

and I'm scared at the same time...

Isabel:

because this is a new relationship to me introduced by one of my dear friends

Isabel:

and inspirations, and lifters of me...

Isabel:

Linda Lundstrom.

Isabel:

And if you tuned in earlier...

Isabel:

You know that I had an amazing podcast episode with Linda called, Original

Isabel:

Gangster, and that she certainly is...

Isabel:

On that interview Linda was talking about her absolutely perfect red lipstick, which

Isabel:

led my curious brain to ask questions...

Isabel:

And I discovered Cheekbone Beauty.

Isabel:

That led to this opportunity to introduce to you all today...

Isabel:

The CEO, the founder, the bad-ass inspiration of that socially

Isabel:

conscious, sustainable, colorful, amazing, Canadian founded business.

Isabel:

Cheekbone Beauty, Jenn Harper...

Isabel:

Welcome to our podcast.

Jenn:

Awe, thank you so much for having me.

Jenn:

And that is a great way to describe Linda.

Jenn:

She is definitely an OG Gangster.

Isabel:

Yes, I actually had to ask her to explain that to me, So...

Isabel:

this is the thing generationally...

Isabel:

When you're your 60's and 70's some of these things I missed, I was out of

Isabel:

class that day, but I'm catching up...

Isabel:

That's the other joy of being at this age in my life...

Isabel:

Having been a lifelong learner, always...

Isabel:

But now, I'm completely bold in saying...

Isabel:

I don't know that, but give me a minute...

Isabel:

and I'm gonna to Google it...

Isabel:

and I'll catch up with you.

Jenn:

She has two pretty hip daughters, I think that teach her a lot of this stuff.

Jenn:

Right?

Isabel:

Yeah, definitely...

Isabel:

She's got some inside magic there with Moshe and Sophie.

Isabel:

What an amazing...

Isabel:

formation.

Isabel:

When we talked about that...

Isabel:

That Linda was saying how, they...

Isabel:

Her younger generations.

Isabel:

And she included you in that conversation....

Isabel:

We're helping her...

Isabel:

We're lifting her to teach her new skills, new ways of doing business...

Isabel:

Opening up all kinds of new possibilities.

Isabel:

So, for those of you that haven't listened to the podcast...

Isabel:

The business we are talking about with Linda Lundstrom and her two

Isabel:

daughters is called Therma Kota.

Isabel:

And it's as they describe Bespoke Outerwear...

Isabel:

and definitely worth checking out.

Isabel:

So, circle back here a little bit with me, Jenn...

Isabel:

and we'll talk about this...

Isabel:

and just before I forget...

Isabel:

For those of you that are listening to the podcast today...

Isabel:

Thank you...

Isabel:

Thank you very much for being here again.

Isabel:

And sometime in the near future...

Isabel:

I promise you, that you'll actually be able to see us...

Isabel:

See how...

Isabel:

Jen and I, without scripting it, without rehearsing it...

Isabel:

Have got our backgrounds color coordinated.

Isabel:

And this will be on YouTube.

Isabel:

I hope very, very soon.

Isabel:

And you can also see how great I look in the lipstick...

Isabel:

I'm wearing Shannen right now.

Isabel:

I wanted to talk to you....

Isabel:

A...

Isabel:

Because my friend Linda highly, highly, recommended you as an inspiration, and

Isabel:

someone who more than just talks...

Isabel:

You really walk the talk, and you do lift others...

Isabel:

I'd like you to share your story around that in a moment but, I also

Isabel:

wanted to talk to you because I get all kind of groupie excited about

Isabel:

talking to other female entrepreneurs, that have not only created success...

Isabel:

but did it differently.

Isabel:

And I know that you have, so I'd love for you to share about that...

Isabel:

But first, for my audience...

Isabel:

Jenn, could you please...

Isabel:

give us a little background of how you got to be in that place

Isabel:

when you started your company.

Isabel:

As you said to me earlier, off air...

Isabel:

Five years ago, but really only full-time in the role...

Isabel:

When you could quit your day job as they say...

Isabel:

in the last two or three....

Isabel:

Correct?

Jenn:

So that was in August of 2019.

Jenn:

I got to go full-time or all into Cheekbone Beauty.

Jenn:

Yeah, so I will share, you know, not your typical path

Jenn:

into entrepreneurship at all...

Jenn:

I always worked for other people and I was really quite happy doing that.

Jenn:

I had a great career in sales and marketing for a seafood company,

Jenn:

for 8 years, before leaving to do this full-time, and prior to that,

Jenn:

I was always in the food world or industry, cause I was with Sysco,

Jenn:

which is a broad line distribution food company, North American wide.

Jenn:

And then, pre that, I was in the hospitality space...

Jenn:

Mostly working in boutique style hotels...

Jenn:

Really helping our guests have that incredible, really detailed,

Jenn:

high-end customer experience.

Jenn:

And I only say those things and talk about them, cause it's really incredible how

Jenn:

that your whole career really does find itself in whatever you're doing next....

Jenn:

And so at Cheekbone Beauty...

Jenn:

We really try to provide an excellent customer experience...

Jenn:

But, so had this crazy dream...

Jenn:

it's January 2015, i like...

Jenn:

pop out of bed, grab my laptop.

Jenn:

And I had a dream about native little girls covered in lip gloss...

Jenn:

and to rewind a little bit...

Jenn:

I was only learning about my family history really recently.

Jenn:

I always knew my whole life, that I had this feeling of being

Jenn:

disconnected from my native family.

Jenn:

One, because I grew up with my mom, who's not native...

Jenn:

So had no connection to my community, or my culture, language...

Jenn:

All of those things.

Jenn:

And I wanted to learn more.

Jenn:

There was a problem though...

Jenn:

I was actually really ashamed of who I was, and where I came from, because

Jenn:

my entire life, I believed in the stereotypes that existed about my

Jenn:

people, or that side of my family.

Jenn:

Which in hindsight, and having that Aha experience...

Jenn:

When I learned about residential school.

Jenn:

Learn that was my grandmother's experience, and how that

Jenn:

truly impacted her life.

Jenn:

And that it's called generational or trans-generational trauma, when one

Jenn:

person is handed an event, or events, that they're not equipped to deal with.

Jenn:

She was 6 years old when she entered the system, she didn't leave until

Jenn:

she was 16 left with so many scars...

Jenn:

Went on back to our family's Reservation to have her own family.

Jenn:

Had eight kids, my dad being one of the oldest...

Jenn:

and she's not healed from...

Jenn:

trauma, basically.

Jenn:

That's what happens when you don't heal...

Jenn:

It then gets passed on to the next generation...

Jenn:

So, was passed onto my father, and ultimately passed on to me.

Jenn:

How that showed up in my life, and in my father's life, and

Jenn:

in my grandmother's life...

Jenn:

Unfortunately it was through addiction.

Jenn:

I battled alcoholism personally, for many years.

Jenn:

It was in November of 2014 that I got sober, and then had this dream in 2015.

Jenn:

It's like...

Jenn:

Connecting the dots...

Jenn:

Looking back after the fact, and seeing...

Jenn:

Oh...

Jenn:

Okay...

Jenn:

This is why these things happen that way.

Jenn:

Then from that dream...

Jenn:

Literally spent all of 2015, and 2016, in full market research...

Jenn:

I knew nothing about making lip gloss, or how to do that.

Jenn:

And so, after that dream, I originally thought...

Jenn:

I'm going to figure out how to make lip gloss...

Jenn:

and...

Jenn:

I'm going to start a foundation in my grandmother's name...

Jenn:

In the dream...

Jenn:

Those little girls, that were covered in this lip gloss...

Jenn:

When I woke up, the thing I remember most about that...

Jenn:

Was their joy, and how happy they were in their laughter.

Jenn:

Us as a brand at Cheekbone Beauty, our mission and vision is helping

Jenn:

every Indigenous kid on the planet...

Jenn:

See and feel their value in the world.

Jenn:

While we're crafting sustainable color cosmetics.

Jenn:

That's never left us...

Jenn:

The reason why we exist.

Jenn:

Everything we do is about empowering them.

Jenn:

First, it was about empowering them and sustaining them, with

Jenn:

the concept of representation.

Jenn:

For decades, and me as a youth growing up, I never saw anyone in the beauty

Jenn:

industry or mass marketing or media...

Jenn:

That looked like me...

Jenn:

That wasn't actually a bad story that you saw in the media.

Jenn:

Right?

Jenn:

A lot of the stories we see in the news, about native communities...

Jenn:

Always had that undertone of a stereotype or two...

Jenn:

All of the misconceptions, nothing about how beautiful our culture is and

Jenn:

how beautiful our language is and...

Jenn:

The truth was buried.

Jenn:

The more I learned about that...

Jenn:

The more building Cheekbone Beauty has honestly helped me

Jenn:

heal, so many of my past wounds.

Jenn:

I'm super grateful to 1...

Jenn:

Be sober still to this day...

Jenn:

Which is awesome in itself for me...

Jenn:

Cause that was a long battle.

Jenn:

I'm not ashamed to talk about anymore, because if you would've met me 10

Jenn:

years ago, I can't even imagine publicly saying that I had a problem.

Jenn:

I'm super grateful to be in the space that I am now, and have spent these last

Jenn:

seven years, building a business that I'm really, really proud of and get to wake

Jenn:

up everyday and say that that's my job.

Isabel:

Wow.

Isabel:

Wow.

Isabel:

I'm so glad that you didn't give up...

Isabel:

Through the difficult times, the recovery and...

Isabel:

Lord knows...

Isabel:

The entrepreneurial journey is not an easy one either.

Isabel:

I'm grateful, that you are sharing your story, so candidly and so

Isabel:

generously, because by doing that...

Isabel:

And it's what I do...

Isabel:

I say, I always sit in my underwear in public, and share...

Isabel:

Everybody else gets a chance to go...

Isabel:

Oh my God...

Isabel:

It's not just me...

Isabel:

and we can stop that bad behavior, and stop that shaming and feeling of shame.

Isabel:

So good, good, good!...

Isabel:

Please continue on your mission...

Isabel:

I think it's marvelous, and I hope that it continues to perpetuate

Isabel:

through the whole society and other brands, and other industries.

Isabel:

Thank you.

Isabel:

I'm curious..., how you chose the name?

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

So it, it's funny how you have a business and you're working on all these things

Jenn:

and you don't even have a name for it...

Jenn:

And it was probably about 9 months...

Jenn:

But I had just listened to another podcast, listening to Sarah Blakely,

Jenn:

the founder of Spanx, Right?...

Jenn:

Who doesn't love Sarah Blakely?

Jenn:

So she talked about...

Jenn:

How she came up with the name for her business...

Jenn:

and how the letter K is very memorable for people.

Jenn:

She had comedian training in her background and she learned that

Jenn:

when you say things with the word K, it makes people laugh...

Jenn:

They remember what you're saying.

Jenn:

So I was just stuck on this K...

Jenn:

and driving one day, and I was like...

Jenn:

Cheekbone...

Jenn:

I love cheekbones!

Jenn:

I love cheekbones on all human beings.

Jenn:

Indigenous people do have dominant cheekbones.

Jenn:

That's a feature...

Jenn:

their high cheekbones...

Jenn:

And then I got home that night, and I started looking

Jenn:

up the word and researching it.

Jenn:

People with high cheekbones were perceived as more trustworthy...

Jenn:

There was just all these good things that I was finding about it...

Jenn:

And so, I'm like...

Jenn:

That's it...

Jenn:

Cheekbone Beauty is the name...

Jenn:

and gratefully the US Patent and Trademark Office, as well

Jenn:

as Canada, they came later...

Jenn:

We've been applying for our trademark with our logo, and the

Jenn:

word Cheekbone for a long time...

Jenn:

and we own them now, according to those two offices in both countries.

Jenn:

Which is good news, because it's an actual, real word, which if you've

Jenn:

talked to other entrepreneurs, real words are hard get trademarked.

Jenn:

But with the logo...

Jenn:

We were able to do that.

Isabel:

Beautiful...

Isabel:

Now, for everyone who's listening...

Isabel:

You should go check this out because it is a beautiful logo...

Isabel:

There's a beautiful feather, swoosh and then the cheekbone...

Isabel:

also while you're on CheekboneBeauty.com ... is that correct?

Isabel:

There's all kinds of pretty things to look at there, that

Isabel:

will make you smile as well.

Isabel:

So...

Isabel:

dream, awareness, recovery, growth...

Isabel:

You were not an entrepreneur...

Isabel:

What were the first steps that you took as an entrepreneur?

Jenn:

One was how I kept reading things about...

Jenn:

What is your value proposition?

Jenn:

What is your differentiating factor?

Jenn:

And that kept popping up...

Jenn:

and you tell anyone you want start a business, and right

Jenn:

away, they're questioning you...

Jenn:

and I didn't tell people right away...

Jenn:

I let it sit for a year of doing that market research alone

Jenn:

at night on the weekends...

Jenn:

and...

Jenn:

I figured out...

Jenn:

Okay...

Jenn:

My differentiating factor was going to be that we were going

Jenn:

to be more a social enterprise.

Jenn:

So there wasn't too much research on social enterprises at the time,

Jenn:

but there was businesses like Tom Shoes, which I really admired.

Jenn:

That one for one concept.

Jenn:

And so, Blake, the founder of that company, he went to Argentina...

Jenn:

He saw kids not having shoes, and discovered how he could create jobs

Jenn:

for people, and have shoes made and then give shoes back to the community.

Jenn:

And I'm like, that sounds amazing!

Jenn:

Right?

Jenn:

So I, learn later on was a bit of a mistake on his part...

Jenn:

And he did admit it...

Jenn:

Cause when he was making shoes for a community, he was actually taking

Jenn:

jobs away from that community.

Jenn:

A lot of communities rely on their own sort of economic stability, which means

Jenn:

a little Shoemaker in an Argentinian and village needs to make shoes...

Jenn:

That are to be sold to the community.

Jenn:

So they have jobs.

Jenn:

So anyway, he went on later and figured out...

Jenn:

Okay...

Jenn:

How can I support that?

Jenn:

The local makers...

Jenn:

and not take jobs away.

Jenn:

That's where I was like...

Jenn:

okay...

Jenn:

what can we do as a community?

Jenn:

How can we support our community?

Jenn:

So one way we found...

Jenn:

I worked with a business advisory board and they were really adamant

Jenn:

about me not focusing too much on the giving back part of the business.

Jenn:

They really wanted me to just focus on the business because the giving

Jenn:

back the foundation it's in itself is like another whole new business.

Jenn:

But I didn't listen.

Jenn:

That's one advice I never took.

Jenn:

I said, I'm only doing this...

Jenn:

So we can give back.

Jenn:

So I kept, I think I kept...

Jenn:

Dug my heels in, on that portion and always continued to focus on

Jenn:

what we could do as our give back.

Jenn:

And so what we do now, is we give back a ton of product to Indigenous

Jenn:

organizations across North America.

Jenn:

We're involved in planting trees.

Jenn:

We give cash donations to the First Nation Child and Family Caring Society,

Jenn:

and then we also do seasonal giving back projects, which we call our Give Box...

Jenn:

we usually do one in the Spring and Summer, and then we also do one

Jenn:

around the holiday time as well.

Jenn:

So, just creating that layer into the business, giving back...

Jenn:

That was our first way that we were going to differentiate ourselves.

Jenn:

The more time I spent in the beauty industry, I realized there's a lot of

Jenn:

ways we can differentiate ourselves.

Jenn:

One came to becoming a more sustainable business and brand.

Jenn:

We all know the beauty space is traditionally known for having a ton of

Jenn:

packaging, so we were just working really hard on how to change out things...

Jenn:

Find new kinds of packaging...

Jenn:

Look for new innovation...

Jenn:

Work in our own lab here, and figure out what kind of packaging

Jenn:

we can work on and create...

Jenn:

Where we would feel comfortable enough calling ourselves a sustainable brand.

Jenn:

We are super transparent about it.

Jenn:

We say...

Jenn:

Now that we're on a journey, there is no end destination to sustainability.

Jenn:

Unfortunately as human beings, we are over consumers.

Jenn:

So how can we make products that are reusable refillable?

Jenn:

One of the main ingredients in our new foundation that we'll launch next year...

Jenn:

We're using waste as one of the main ingredients.

Jenn:

Waste that comes from plants, instead of being tossed away...

Jenn:

It's being repurposed.

Jenn:

Getting super creative and innovative, and thinking about

Jenn:

how we can do things differently.

Jenn:

Really re-imagining the beauty industry.

Isabel:

Truly love that because, I think of nature is beauty.

Isabel:

That's the beauty that surrounds us.

Isabel:

So working with nature to carry on that...

Isabel:

Beauty in convenient forms, consumer forms, makes so much sense.

Isabel:

it's a completion of that circle.

Isabel:

Thank you for that.

Isabel:

I was very pleased when I received my order...

Isabel:

That there was a minimal packaging and there was that lovely insert

Isabel:

with the seeds that I could plant and grow a little beauty of my own yard.

Isabel:

So there was thanks, and I was thinking...

Isabel:

Yay!

Isabel:

I have a little Canada with me here in Arizona.

Isabel:

And it's true...

Isabel:

Thank you, also, for being candid about that...

Isabel:

The work is never done.

Isabel:

We don't just get to a spot and go...

Isabel:

Okay!

Isabel:

Complacency.

Isabel:

You can take over now.

Isabel:

That doesn't work for any impact or influence going forward in life...

Isabel:

Does it?

Isabel:

I already asked you about, a statement I hadn't personally heard about...

Isabel:

Your company being digitally native.

Isabel:

You explained that to me.

Isabel:

Would you mind repeating it?

Jenn:

Sure...

Jenn:

So that means that we were really built online...

Jenn:

In the last, maybe 8 to 10 years, the e-commerce world...

Jenn:

Where we could go directly to brands and be purchasing from them...

Jenn:

We've seen over the last year during COVID...

Jenn:

There's been so many more pop-up.

Jenn:

What that does...

Jenn:

It actually gives the brand the opportunity to really

Jenn:

get to know their customer.

Jenn:

It also helps you figure out using things like social media...

Jenn:

Using digital ads...

Jenn:

How to build your own community and audience online.

Jenn:

At the end of the day, I feel like for us, it's been such a great

Jenn:

way to get to know our customer.

Jenn:

As a brand you want to know what your customer wants to use, what

Jenn:

they want to see, what they like.

Jenn:

And it's really one of the things that pushed us to become

Jenn:

more of a sustainable brand.

Jenn:

That was the messaging.

Jenn:

That was the tone.

Jenn:

That's what we were seeing and hearing from our communities.

Jenn:

So ... How do we make and ensure that the raw ingredients from harvest, to

Jenn:

end of life of product, are sustainable, biodegradable, breaking down in

Jenn:

ecosystems after they're being used?

Jenn:

These were all literally things that we could see people craving and asking for...

Jenn:

When we create next generation of products.

Jenn:

That's what they're based on.

Jenn:

And it's only because we have this direct relationship direct

Jenn:

to consumer relationship with them that we're able to do that.

Jenn:

And we know historically, for many years brands were designing things

Jenn:

based on what the retailer would tell them that the customers want.

Jenn:

So your customer was the retailer, not the actual customer.

Jenn:

Now I'm thinking about it, just makes sense...

Jenn:

You're like, of course, you want to talk directly to the customer,

Jenn:

they're the ones buying your product.

Jenn:

When you have an e-commerce place or platform to build that relationship

Jenn:

with your community online, it's a great way to get to know them.

Jenn:

And we are launching in Sephora September.

Jenn:

and it's been awesome because we're going to Sephora with

Jenn:

our community already built.

Jenn:

But we're also going to be able to grow our community and get

Jenn:

to know more people, through the Sephora chains and, platforms.

Jenn:

Really exciting...

Jenn:

But definitely I think that is new to the world of technology.

Jenn:

There's so many new things happening all the time and definitely...

Jenn:

building a digital brand is one of those new ways to get to know your customer.

Isabel:

Okay.

Isabel:

You started your business from a digital platform, directly to the

Isabel:

consumer, through the online avenues.

Isabel:

And you did so before COVID...

Isabel:

So thank you, for the timing of what you did.

Isabel:

It seems to me that this is also a bit different than most

Isabel:

businesses, particularly in the personal care consumer business...

Isabel:

That you didn't start with a brick and mortar store.

Isabel:

You started online and then you were ready to take on a business to business

Isabel:

relationship like Sephora, correct?

Jenn:

Correct

Isabel:

And what is that relationship going to be like?

Isabel:

Let the secret out of the bag for everybody.

Jenn:

Yes, we get to start, in Sephora Canada, and obviously, we would love

Jenn:

to be in Sephora in every country.

Jenn:

Next being the United States.

Jenn:

So, we've already had one meeting with the US team.

Jenn:

I've been in sales for so many years...

Jenn:

I know you have to keep knocking on the door to get them to let you in.

Jenn:

I think they're waiting to see what happens with our Sephora Canada plan.

Jenn:

Right?

Jenn:

You want to scale where it's affordable.

Jenn:

I think every entrepreneur knows, scaling too fast and not having enough money.

Jenn:

You don't ever want to be in that predicament.

Jenn:

So I think at this steady pace...

Jenn:

We are excited to build this Sephora Canada relationship, next Sephora USA,

Jenn:

and we've also reached out and started working with the Sephora Australia team.

Jenn:

Indigenous people are global, which is really interesting.

Jenn:

For us, our mission has always been reach...

Jenn:

So to reach every indigenous kid on the planet...

Jenn:

That means we need to be available to them in every Sephora.

Isabel:

All right.

Isabel:

So I wanted to ask that question, who typically are your customers?

Isabel:

I was going to guess that's not...

Isabel:

The majority are not...

Isabel:

Linda Lundstrom and Isabel Banerjee types, in our 60s and blonde fair skin.

Jenn:

But you are there!

Isabel:

Thank you!

Isabel:

Yaa!

Isabel:

It works, its amzing.

Jenn:

Worked really hard to create a relationship with our whole community.

Isabel:

Jenn, you have touched on all the important points.

Isabel:

And in fact, my podcast episode, which released today is called...

Isabel:

The We FIX You Industries...

Isabel:

My protest, my rally, against the industries that are marketing

Isabel:

to me as a woman in my 60s...

Isabel:

To fix everything about me...

Isabel:

To make me look younger, look thinner, look...

Isabel:

you know...

Isabel:

whatever, and I just said, NO!

Isabel:

... No, I'm not giving you my money.

Isabel:

If you're going to try to market by telling me I'm not good enough,

Isabel:

the way I am, or as who I am or how I choose my style to show up, then

Isabel:

I'm taking my business elsewhere.

Isabel:

I'm taking my business to Cheekbone Beauty and other brands that recognize...

Isabel:

That it's identifying the individual beauty, the individuality, the beauty,

Isabel:

and then the right reasons that people choose a product and how that helps...

Isabel:

W hether it's making me feel better...

Isabel:

look better...

Isabel:

be more confident knowing that my purchases are not

Isabel:

poisoning streams and rivers.

Isabel:

Thank you, and keep on doing it.

Isabel:

Okay?

Jenn:

No problem!

Jenn:

On that note...

Jenn:

When you said that, it's interesting...

Jenn:

From the beginning...

Jenn:

We have worked with every photographer...

Jenn:

and we're like...

Jenn:

You're not allowed to touch up these photos...

Jenn:

We want real skin, if someone has a hair...

Jenn:

It was just so important to us to show real people.

Jenn:

We're bringing that messaging...

Jenn:

I have a daughter who's 14.

Jenn:

That, to me, was so important...

Jenn:

To make sure that she never feels like she's not good enough.

Isabel:

We really should get you and I, and Linda together on

Isabel:

another episode, because we had that conversation also about...

Isabel:

How we set examples for our younger generation...

Isabel:

In how we respond to this.

Isabel:

And of course...

Isabel:

Linda, Lundstrom having been a, and still is a fashion icon.

Isabel:

She's got an inside view on one of the most deceptive industries in the world.

Isabel:

If you don't mind...

Isabel:

I want to bring this back, because...

Isabel:

Lift As You Climb is all about this privilege that I have, of

Isabel:

showcasing women who share...

Isabel:

Who are willing to share, defining moments in their life...

Isabel:

About how they were lifted, and how that impact their lives...

Isabel:

and how moments of...

Isabel:

Yeah...

Isabel:

I can...

Isabel:

I can lift somebody else....

Isabel:

Does anything come to your mind specifically, that you would

Isabel:

like to share with our audience?

Jenn:

It's incredible.

Jenn:

the opportunities you do get, I'm just thinking of people that have lifted...

Jenn:

Linda and her daughter, you've already mentioned them..

Jenn:

Are such huge lifters, we've all seen that meme...

Jenn:

Surround yourself with the people that will mention you in

Jenn:

a room full of opportunities.

Jenn:

I am so grateful that I get that...

Jenn:

There's so many people that have said things in those rooms, that have

Jenn:

gotten us to where we are Now...

Jenn:

When I'm here and getting into the spaces, our job as a brand, is

Jenn:

to help other Indigenous kids...

Jenn:

The mission of our brand, and also what I want to do personally, is just

Jenn:

make them feel like there's a chance...

Jenn:

That it's possible.

Jenn:

Right?

Jenn:

I cannot believe that I'm sitting in our headquarters outside of a

Jenn:

lab where we have teams of people...

Jenn:

I can't even imagine, years ago, that possibility for

Jenn:

the brand that we've built.

Jenn:

I definitely want to make sure that I'm doing everything I can.

Jenn:

So what we do as a business...

Jenn:

Whether we write blogs about other indigenous businesses, or we do

Jenn:

collaborations with entrepreneurs that happen to be women, or just doing

Jenn:

whatever we can to connect with people and network, and highlight the things

Jenn:

that we love about another business.

Jenn:

For us, a lot of times it is other indigenous entrepreneurs.

Jenn:

Just taking this personally to remember that that's what we have to do...

Jenn:

Cause it's happened for us.

Jenn:

We've seen it, we're living it, and then when you get to have conversations with

Jenn:

someone helping somebody else out...

Jenn:

It's so powerful.

Jenn:

I'm ashamed to say I grew up a lot in the last few years, cause

Jenn:

when I was a younger woman...

Jenn:

I came from a very competitive business world industry where I felt like I had to,

Jenn:

be a certain way, and it was all wrong.

Jenn:

I can't believe the things you fall for and believe.

Jenn:

When you discover the power of actually loving other people, and caring about

Jenn:

them, and supporting their journeys.

Jenn:

Your entire life, the script flips...

Jenn:

Took me a long time to get here, but there's a lot of anger that

Jenn:

comes from the trauma that I had to grow up in and been raised in.

Jenn:

I won't beat myself up too much for my past bad behavior.

Jenn:

If I sense it with another younger woman, I just know she'll learn and get it.

Jenn:

Cause it took me, I feel like too long to figure that out, but I know that.

Jenn:

I will still support someone, even if you...

Jenn:

Cause everyone's learning...

Jenn:

We're all on this journey together.

Isabel:

Now Jen, you can't own all the responsibility around that attitude of

Isabel:

competition and scarcity of opportunity...

Isabel:

It was, programmed in us right from grade school.

Isabel:

Good for you, and good for me and other women that went...

Isabel:

Crap...

Isabel:

That doesn't feel good.

Isabel:

And you know what?...

Isabel:

It's not even working!

Isabel:

It's not true.

Isabel:

That is not true.

Isabel:

That that's how...

Isabel:

We all get ahead.

Isabel:

As my dear friend, Lee says, opportunity is not like pie.

Isabel:

You don't run out of it...

Isabel:

Plenty for everybody.

Isabel:

When we are collaborating, each and every time that I have brainstormed,

Isabel:

have masterminded, collaborated with other women entrepreneurs...

Isabel:

We create 10 new ideas...

Isabel:

It just exponentially continues to explode.

Isabel:

That's what Lift As You Climb is for me.

Isabel:

It's that belief that while we are doing well, we can do good.

Isabel:

That while we live our legacies, and really stand up there with courage...

Isabel:

Put your big girl panties on and try it.

Isabel:

Even if you don't really know all of how it's going to work out.

Isabel:

Because your impact will then be a success ladder for someone else.

Isabel:

It sounds like you had to figure out a lot of that on your own, glad you were

Isabel:

open to it, and you didn't give up on it.

Jenn:

I totally agree with you that it's been ingrained.

Jenn:

Coming from a sales background...

Jenn:

We lived and died by competition and numbers and all of those things...

Jenn:

Can really make you nauseated.

Jenn:

At the end of the day, when I think about it...

Jenn:

If we worked together as sales teams...

Jenn:

I'm imagining we would have gotten a lot further, instead of competing against

Jenn:

one another in a lot of the businesses.

Jenn:

Yeah..

Jenn:

It's life-changing when you actually learn the power of lifting other people up...

Jenn:

That whole concept of...

Jenn:

There really is more happiness in giving, than receiving.

Jenn:

I feel the greatest joy when I get to give something to someone...

Jenn:

Whether it's a connection...

Jenn:

Another Indigenous beauty brand, I got to email her the other

Jenn:

day, the buyer of Sephora USA...

Jenn:

Why not?...

Jenn:

That's what this is about.

Jenn:

It's so hard to get those emails or those connections.

Jenn:

Why not help someone else out on their journey as well?

Isabel:

Fantastic...

Isabel:

There's a to be continued wish here...

Isabel:

But for today, because I know you are busy building this empire and

Isabel:

building your success ladder...

Isabel:

I gotta wrap...

Isabel:

But I always like to ask a question of my guests...

Isabel:

Can you share something about Jenn Harper that we probably can't find on Google?

Jenn:

This one's going to seem silly, but I know you're

Jenn:

Canadian, and you will get it...

Jenn:

I'm obsessed with Ketchup Chips...

Jenn:

That is my favorite thing in the whole world.

Jenn:

When I want to just have one of those days where I'm doing things that...

Jenn:

You know...

Jenn:

I try to eat lots of fruits and veggies...

Jenn:

but sometimes on a Friday night, I get real crazy and get a Diet

Jenn:

Coke and some Ketchup Chips.

Jenn:

And I'm just having a great time.

Isabel:

be sitting on the couch beside you with Salt and Vinegar...

Isabel:

The Ketchup Yeeaah!

Isabel:

That's pretty darn good too...

Isabel:

They don't have those here.

Jenn:

No, they don't.

Isabel:

Okay.

Isabel:

Well, I guess for all my American friends, when I'm visiting Canada...

Isabel:

I'll have to bring back a suitcase full of chips.

Isabel:

Okay.

Isabel:

Now your turn...

Isabel:

Is there something you would like to share in parting?

Jenn:

Oh, I know you said some of your audience is from the US...

Jenn:

So we would love, if they want to support our brand...

Jenn:

Following our social media's is super helpful...

Jenn:

And tagging that sephora.com Sephora USA...

Jenn:

So that they could learn about Cheekbone.

Jenn:

We always get our community to help us tag those businesses

Jenn:

that we want to connect with.

Jenn:

The more of those they get, the better for us.

Jenn:

They'll see that people are interested in our products to be in their stores.

Isabel:

We're on it for you!

Isabel:

In the show notes, I'm going to include everything I can about your company,

Isabel:

where everybody can follow, and become part of the Cheekbone Beauty movement.

Isabel:

We'll also make sure that we push them buttons, we wave some flags over there

Isabel:

at Sephora to say, Hey, you know what...

Isabel:

We want this here too.

Isabel:

Well, maybe, sometimes we don't want to wait for it to come in the mail.

Isabel:

We want to just pop over to the store and buy it...

Isabel:

So let's, do that.

Isabel:

And more importantly, Sephora...

Isabel:

You will help Jenn Harper and Cheekbone Beauty continue to do the good, work,

Isabel:

and the necessary work, that she's doing to support Indigenous youth.

Isabel:

We're gonna get this rippling around the world.

Isabel:

So everyone, make sure you read those Show Notes and follow

Isabel:

Jenn and Cheekbone Beauty.

Isabel:

Truly, Oh my God...

Isabel:

I'm going to do my own little personal promo...

Isabel:

I have tried many lipsticks in my 66 and two thirds of a century life.

Isabel:

And I did not ever like any of this kind, because I always felt like my lips were

Isabel:

turning into sawdust in a very short period of time or they were burning.

Isabel:

This feels like velvet.

Isabel:

I don't know how you've done it, but it just feels like velvet and look...

Isabel:

Yayy!...

Isabel:

So thank you!

Jenn:

No problem...

Jenn:

Thank you!

Jenn:

Bye!

About the Podcast

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Lift As You Climb
Live Your Legacy; Empower Others to Create Theirs

About your host

Profile picture for Isabel Banerjee

Isabel Banerjee

Dynamic, self-made entrepreneur who overcame obstacles with an unrelenting positive nature, a farm girl work ethic and a conscious choice to thrive rather than survive, Isabel Alexander Banerjee cultivated an award winning, $10 million+ global chemical wholesale business and grew it from dining room table to international boardrooms.

Isabel’s strengths include the ability to initiate & nurture strategic relationships, a love of lifelong learning and talents for helping others maximize their potential. An inspiring speaker within both industry and community, she is a driving force behind those with the courage to follow her example of thriving against the odds.

With 50+ years of business experience across diverse industries, Isabel is respected as an advisor, a coach, a mentor and a role model. She believes in sharing collective wisdom and empowering others to economic independence.

Isabel Banerjee
Your Next Business Strategist and Transformation Catalyst