Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Giving Tuesday was born and incubated at the 92nd Street Y and its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact in New York City. Giving Tuesday is now an independent nonprofit and a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity
This movement has inspired countless businesses to factor giving back as a major part of their brand. Here at Modern Mama, we would love to highlight this generosity by shining the spotlight on these exceptional companies. On the first Tuesday of every month, we will post a “Giving Tuesday” blog featuring a Canadian company that has made it their mission to give back. If you are a company that would like to be featured, or would like to nominate one, please contact me at Lesley@modernmama.com
This month, we highlight Cheekbone Beauty based out of St. Catherines, Ontario. Cheekbone Beauty is an Indigenous-owned and founded, digitally-native, Canadian cosmetics company established in 2016. Cheekbone Beauty is known for creating high quality, cruelty-free beauty products including our signature SUSTAIN line of lipsticks and eye pencils, our Warrior Women liquid lipsticks, and a variety of other cosmetics all designed for low environmental impact and maximum wearability.
Jenn Harper has been making a name for Cheekbone Beauty in the beauty industry for a number of years but has been gaining popularity quickly after being on the hit CBC show, Dragons Den. Cheekbone Beauty is helping Indigenous youth see themselves in a beauty brand. Throughout her life, Jenn struggled to accept her Indigenous roots. She was estranged from her Indigenous family for much of her child and adult life.
After learning about her grandmother’s experience in residential schools, she understood how her family was affected by generational trauma. This drove her to understand and overcome her own struggle with alcoholism. Today, Jenn works on product development and innovation with the Cheekbone Beauty chemist and sustainability experts to reimagine beauty products, starting with raw ingredients all the way to how all products are packaged.
MISSION & VISION
Our Mission is to help every Indigenous youth see and feel their enormous value in the world while developing sustainable colour cosmetics. The Cheekbone culture and tone is based on an Indigenous worldview; our customers are our community, we gather in circles to share what we have. Social media allows us to learn as much as we can about the kinds of products our community would like to see in the world.
INTEGRITY & HONESTY
Radically transparent about our business, ingredients, and partners.
We ask lots of questions.
ALWAYS LOVE & RESPECT
Keeping in line with her Anishinaabe roots, Jenn launched a less-waste line of lipsticks in 2020, SUSTAIN Lipstick. Cheekbone’s aim is to make a difference in the lives of Indigenous youth through donations addressing the educational funding gap, and to create a space in the beauty industry where Indigenous youth feel represented and seen.
Giving back to our community is the centerpiece of Cheekbone’s mission. Our streams of giving include product donations, monetary donations, or project-focused donations.
To date, Cheekbone Beauty has donated more than $150,000 to a wide variety of causes. These include Shannen’s Dream and the FNCFCS, the Navajo Water Project, One Tree Planted, and a variety of non-profit organizations across North America. As Cheekbone Beauty grows, so do our charitable goals. True to our roots, Cheekbone’s definition of success is not based on what you attain for yourself, but instead in what you give back to your community.
The true impact of our brand is felt through the communications we receive from you; the emails, DM’s and conversation with Indigenous youth that signify the fulfillment of our mission of representation.
ORGANIZATIONS THAT SUPPORT INDIGENOUS YOUTH
During the development of Cheekbone Beauty, Jenn researched the current makeup landscape as well as charities that are helping close the educational funding gap that exists between Indigenous and non‑Indigenous students. After in depth research, the Cheekbone team found the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society (FNCFCS) and the connection between their mission and Jenn’s family experience was serendipitous.
While we continue to support the FNCFCS today, Cheekbone Beauty has made contributions of over $150,000 cash and in-kind donations to various organizations whose mission aligns with ours: to help every Indigenous youth see and feel their enormous value in the world.
Organizations include, but are not limited to the following:
Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) Women’s Shelter
Youth Leadership Society of BC
Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction
Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business