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Cheekbone Beauty founder and CEO recognized as one of nine 2023 TikTok Indigenous Visionary Voices

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TikTok Indigenous Visionary Voices- Cheekbone Beauty founder and CEO Jenn Harper was recently recognized as one of nine Indigenous Visionary Voices on the first ever 2023 TikTok Indigenous Visionary Voices List. – Photo supplied

By Rick Garrick

ST. CATHARINES — Cheekbone Beauty founder and CEO Jenn Harper was recently recognized as one of nine Indigenous Visionary Voices on the first ever 2023 TikTok Indigenous Visionary Voices List. TikTok introduced the list on June 1 during National Indigenous History Month to recognize visionary creatives, business owners, and industry disruptors who are using TikTok to educate, entertain, and advocate for the Indigenous community, on and off the platform, and to feature an in-app #IndigenousTikTok content hub that spotlights Visionary Voices and other members of the community, celebrating inspiring Indigenous voices and visibility. The list includes three Creators: Willow Allen, James Jones, and Aïcha Bastien-N’Diaye; three Industry Disruptors: Harper, Kairyn Potts, and Melissa Blair; and three Small Business Owners: Mallory Yawnghwe, Ashley Michel, and Scott Wabano.

“It is definitely an incredible honour,” says Harper, a Northwest Angle #33 citizen from Treaty #3 in northwestern Ontario. “As a brand and a founder, we’re super grateful to be part of that group that TikTok has curated during National Indigenous History Month in Canada. As a business, part of our mission is helping every Indigenous person see themselves in a beauty brand, while we create sustainable colour cosmetics.”

Harper launched Cheekbone Beauty in 2016 as an e-commerce business out of a corner in her basement with $500, and her business gained popularity in 2019 after appearing on CBC’s Dragon’s Den program.

“Now we’re available in Sephora Canada in 52 locations and 690 J.C. Penney stores across the United States,” Harper says. “And then, of course, we sell millions from our e-commerce website.”

Harper says she usually visits retail locations that carry Cheekbone Beauty products and does training with the Sephora and J.C. Penney teams whenever she is visiting a community with a store.

“It certainly is a way to connect with community and do something that’s never been done before,” Harper says. “Sephora Canada is the first organization that ever started to carry an Indigenous-owned and operated brand in a beauty space.”

Harper says they feature a collection of lipstick shades that are named after Indigenous women from across North America, including Anishinabek Nation Chief Water Commissioner Autumn Peltier, Ashley Callingbull, Cindy Blackstock, Buffy St. Marie, and Tantoo Cardinal.

“That collection is really important because we as a company wanted to find a way to highlight role models for our Indigenous youth,” Harper says. “At one time, we did have I think 24 shades that were named after Indigenous women and as we grew we were trying to carry the best selling shades, so we’re now down to eight.”

Harper says TikTok is a great place for creators to build their audiences.

“But it’s also a great place for brands like Cheekbone Beauty to be and share not only our brand story, but again, highlighting the piece for us that’s so important was this idea of Indigenous representation in the beauty space, so TikTok certainly allows us to do that,” Harper says, noting that they have a social media manager/content creator who creates content for the platform. “TikTok makes it really easy because they have sections on their platform that talk about the trends and what people are watching and sounds that are trending and even ideas that are trending and moving so that really helps our team.”

Harper says they are excited about TikTok’s Creator Marketplace because they can work with creators that are trending in the TikTok space.

“We’re always seeking Indigenous creators and TikTok’s done a great job of helping us find them,” Harper says.

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Lead Facilitator – Circle Process

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Rice will serve as a mentor for program featuring budding Indigenous writers

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Inherent rights highlighted at the 8th annual Anishinabek Nation Lands and Resources Forum

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By Kelly Anne Smith NORTH BAY— Concerns of climate change, extreme mining claims, and the health of the Great Lakes were heard over three days at the 8th annual Anishinabek […]

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