One night, Jenn Harper, who had never thought of becoming an entrepreneur, dreamed that she was visited by beautiful indigenous girls wearing lipstick.
One night, Jenn Harper, who had never thought of becoming an entrepreneur, dreamed that she was visited by beautiful indigenous girls wearing lipstick. She was inspired to create her brand of environmentally friendly beauty products.
She wanted to recreate in real life what she had seen in her dream. Previously she had recovered from alcoholism and had learned about her origins, culture, and lineage. She was now in a good place to start her brand Cheekbone Beauty. One of her priorities was taking care of the environment and positively impacting her community.
As an Ojibwe woman, she had felt ashamed of her lineage and wanted the next generations to be proud of it. She believed that she could make a change by teaching young people to be comfortable with their past and to appreciate the indigenous stories and teachings as well as their rich culture. She highlights that the indigenous community does not selfishly regard success but in terms of what can you give back to others and how can you positively influence the coming generations.
During her first years as an entrepreneur, Harper began by understanding supply chains, how to make products, and how to sell them. She had a profound desire to create a brand that was cruelty-free and didn’t contain harmful ingredients. Their lipstick line which is named Sustain has a presentation that uses 85% less plastic and is fabricated from biodegradable paper. Once the product is finished, it can be composted.
Cheekbone Beauty has invested in indigenous communities by donating 108,000 dollars to several causes. Part of this investment has been directed towards reducing disparities between indigenous and non-indigenous children. Harper also has a goal of creating a scholarship to fund the education of indigenous children. Also, in terms of the care of the environment, she aims to eliminate single-use plastic products and shift to biodegradable and compostable packaging by the year 2023. They are also developing ways to take back their products to guarantee recycling and composting.
Finally, Harper strongly believes that a company has to be transparent in terms of their supply chain, how they operate and where their ingredients come from. In her brand, one of their goals is to make sure that they are open to consumers and give them the right information of the end of the life of the products and anything in between. She advises people that are skeptical about their contributions to the environment, to think about their effort in the scale of communities.