“There were all of these little Aboriginal girls, and they were playing with lip gloss. It was all over everything, and I woke up and I was like, ‘That’s it, that’s what I’m going to do.’”
So said Jennifer Harper, founder of makeup line Cheekbone Beauty. Launched in December of last year, the made-in-Toronto line now ships across Canada, Australia and the U.S. and has attracted attention from prominent Indigenous figures such as Ashley Callingbull and Buffy Sainte-Marie (both of whom now have liquid lipsticks named after them!)
Harper isn’t just an entrepreneur, however. Immediately after the launch of her line, she began seeking out Indigenous initiatives to help support, with the income she was earning from the brand’s profits. She joined the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society’s donation program after seeing the work done by Indigenous activist Cindy Blackstock, and pledged 10% of Cheekbone Beauty’s profits to the cause.
Eventually, Harper has plans to create an organization named after her grandmother, and also fund university educations for First Nations youths within the next ten years. She regularly gives back to the community via speaking engagements, where she shares her story of being an Indigenous entrepreneur.
“I wanted my company to be something that Canadians and First Nations Canadians can be proud of,” she says.
Information gathered from Flare.