Episode 185

How To: Growth and Scaling with Jenn Harper and Mallory Rowan

Kayla Isabelle

Jenn Harper, Mallory Rowan

Episode Overview

It is through growth and scaling that founders continue to give their businesses life and it is how they reach the milestones they have always dreamed of. But these things can’t happen without asking yourself what you truly want and finding a sustainable pace to get there.

Jenn Harper is the Founder and CEO of Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics Inc, a digitally native direct-to-consumer brand that is helping Indigenous youth see themselves in the beauty industry that has lacked this representation for too long. Mallory Rowan is a serial entrepreneur, content creator and marketing educator who helps entrepreneurs build without burnout. In this episode, we learn what Jenn was focused on in the early days and reveal some of the biggest challenges new founders face in the beginning.

Episode 185

Episode Transcript

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  01:15

Welcome to the Startup Women Podcast, a show where we connect you to Canada’s powerful cohort of women identifying founders to real stories and case studies of women building businesses supported by true tactical advice from thought leaders and industry experts. I’m your host Kayla Isabelle, CEO of Startup Canada. Each month I’ll be sharing the mic with one founder and one expert. Together we will dive into real stories and scenarios and uncover actionable advice for women entrepreneurs across Canada from funding and hiring to sales and scaling strategies. On this show, we cover the most important topics so you can deconstruct the challenges of starting and running a business with the knowledge that goes beyond the surface level. Let’s get started. Jen 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 the beauty industry that has lacked this representation for too long, Jen had a dream, literally of beautiful indigenous girls wearing lip gloss. I knew this would be the foundation to build the cheekbone beauty brand. Beginning in her basement with just $500 Jen has dedicated herself to growing cheekbone beauty year after year. And today, the brand is available at Sephora Canada, giving the brand new opportunities to grow, but also an entirely new set of challenges to navigate.

Jenn Harper  02:49

Like, I failed grade nine science, I just need everyone to understand that and I own and operate a lab and employ chemists and other scientists, like full time these people work for, for me who did not do well. And that’s the beauty. I’ve learned about being an entrepreneur. It’s like you’re the one with this big vision. I don’t know how to do all the things that I need to get done and want to be done. But there are incredible people that will want to come and join you on the journey when they believe in the vision and the why of your business as much as you do. And we’re so fortunate that we’re at a point where the people that have come on board as our teammates are certainly here because they believe in cheekbone as much as I did.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  03:28

That’s where our marketing and growth expert Mallory Rowan comes in. Mallory is a serial entrepreneur, content creator, and marketing educator who helps entrepreneurs build without burnout,

Mallory Rowan  03:41

I think we like to look at the people who are doing the thing we one day aspire to. And it’s really hard to connect the dots. Whereas when you have maybe, you know, an online business friend, that’s just a few launches ahead of you or you’re making, let’s say 50k in your business, and they’re making 80 to 100k. Those are great people to find and have in your corners and develop those relationships, whether you’re watching from afar or hopefully, you’re getting connected with them so that you can have those honest conversations.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  04:10

In this conversation. We bring together Jen and Mallory’s experiences and expertise to talk about what Jen was focused on in the early days, and some of the biggest challenges new founders face at the start of their businesses. It’s through growth and scaling that founders continue to give their businesses life and it’s how they reach new milestones that they’ve always dreamed of. But these things can’t happen without asking yourself what you truly want, and finding a sustainable pace to get there. Welcome to the show, Jen and Mallory. Thank you. So Jen, let’s kick off with you and walk us through your entrepreneurial journey. How long have you been building cheekbone beauty? Why did you get it started? And why were you building within the cosmetic and beauty industry?

Jenn Harper  05:00

Yeah, I don’t have the typical entrance, I think to entrepreneurship, or maybe I do, I don’t know, it doesn’t feel like it, or in the beauty space, so I was selling fish seafood at the time when I had an incredible dream. Back in 2015, all of these native little girls were covered in lip gloss, they had the rosiest little cheeks. I woke up that night, grabbed my laptop and started writing what is the foundation of our brand to this day, and I wanted to create a product it was lip gloss, and then use a portion of those profits to do something to support my community. And at the time, I was like, Is this a scholarship fund? Is this a foundation and my grandmother’s name, and then I always, you know, it was at this crazy intersection of my life where we’re when this dream happened. So newly sober and learning as much as I could at that time about my grandparent’s experience in residential school, really just started reading the final reports of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and discovered that my family’s history was so relatable to so many First Nations meeting new people across the across North America, really, and how that played a such a had such a negative impact on the My, the lives of so many people, and what could we do differently. And then this brand idea comes and thinking about just this concept or idea of representation in the beauty space. You know, looking back over my life, I had never seen anyone that looked like me in mainstream marketing or ads. So certainly felt like that was a missing piece. You know, as I’ve entered the industry so much has changed, because I was so naive and new to this space. But now we realized as a brand, there is a huge gap. The beauty industry is notorious for waste and we want to do something as a brand to help remove what we can from the landfill. And so our mission and vision have always been to help every indigenous person on the planet see and feel their value in the world where we craft sustainable colour cosmetics. And now it’s without adding to that landfill and honing in on my indigenous roots like who I was and where I came from, and how powerful that truly is in terms of thinking about how we make and create products. Being in consumer goods is truly challenging. And specifically, when you want to call yourself sustainable, it’s almost in opposition to each other. So how do we do that? Well, it’s taken years to figure that part out. And we think we’ve come up with some great ideas.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  07:47

I think I would completely agree with that, Jen. It’s been incredible to watch the journey of Cheekbone Beauty. And we’re so excited to learn more about, you know what it took to get to where you are right now and this incredible moment of growth. Fabulous. Mallory, walk us through your journey, how you entered the entrepreneur space, and then how you began coaching folks to support them in their businesses.

Mallory Rowan  08:09

Sure, yeah, I first just want to say, I also just have such a business crush on Cheekbone Beauty. Everything you’ve done is so amazing. I just want to say that. But yeah, for myself, I started working just like period in the business world early because I was always very into marketing. I did like student council and planning my prom and those kinds of things in high school. So going into university, I’m like, Okay, I don’t want to just work at the mall, I want to also get something that’s, you know, in an office, I can see what that feels like. So I started working in the corporate world quickly, and then quickly discovering that I wasn’t loving, you know, a lot of the office politics that even just the cubicle life in summer as like a 19-year-old, you know, I was like, why am I cold every day. But it was the little things that were just like so oddly specific, but irritating to me. And so I kind of moved from there into the startup world. And I started working with a smaller company in Ottawa. And that was cool, because you got a lot more autonomy. It felt like there was a lot more impact with what I was doing. But then I was kind of in this dilemma where I had like the stress of a founder, but none of the perks of a founder at the end of the day, right? That can often happen in the startup world, you’re so in it with the team and that part feels great. But then there’s this realization of what the end of the day they’re gonna walk away with a lot. And I’m just, you know, walking away with barely this paycheck in that seat, you know, so that was when I was still in school at the time and I ended up taking on a minor in business. And then I got into entrepreneurship classes and that was like what did it for me I remember every week we would have a different guest come talk and I just thought it was so cool, like, I had so much admiration for people that started a business, I never thought that would be something I did, I’m like, I’m gonna be that like, Great wingman, you know, I’m gonna be like the VP of Marketing somewhere. And that’s really what I had my eye on. And then it wasn’t until one of those classes we started a class project. And our teacher encouraged us, like, hey, work on something that you want to build, like, if you already have a business work on that, if you have an idea you’ve always thought about, and he said, you can even work with people outside of the class. So me and my gym trading partner at the time decided that we wanted to build something for our sport of powerlifting that helped athletes give back. But also just for us, the main underlying thing was like, we didn’t feel like the community was entirely connected. This is still like early Instagram fitness kind of days. So there were people all over and we were all trying so hard to stay connected, that we wanted to build something that would connect everyone. And then from there, we could do cool things. So I feel like I kind of ended up falling into it. I didn’t think that was gonna go somewhere, we made 100 T-shirts, sold them without a website just said like, hey, if we can get these going, and maybe we have something and sold those fast, and then just kind of day by day, kept growing it and I kept working at the same time. In that corporate world, it was really good motivation for me to make this thing happen. And then I was luckily able to quit. And then as you mentioned, you know, it kind of went downhill for a bit with burnout. But now we’re here and now we’re better for it.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  11:32

Amazing. No. and we hear that so often on the podcast that, you know, I never thought I would be on this entrepreneurial path. And you know, all of these moments lead us to these different times of our life. And it’s such an interesting common link that we see with so many of the guests that we have. So, Jen, you started Cheekbone Beauty, just a $500 budget of your own money, and grew the brand out of your basement, which we hear often as well bootstrapping businesses and you know, starting with very little. Can you share what your business looked like, when it came to your team, your sales, overall state of your business at this stage paint us a picture of the empathy of the company.

Jenn Harper 12:12

Yeah, so the team was me. And it was in that corner in my basement. And we had with that $500. So it wasn’t even my money at that point. I had done this in what was called an Aboriginal Business Entrepreneurship Network group that I became a part of, and they had this 12-week training program. And it was literally like the basics of like, what’s the business idea? What’s your differentiating factor? Who’s your target customer, all those like the basic questions, anybody who wants to start something would ask themselves, and then the marketing plan and then your financial plan. And at the end of the 12 weeks, or then which was run through and wack, which is the native Women’s Association of Canada gave us all a $500 check. And I went home and I was like, Okay, this is what I’ll start this business with. Like, I can’t say I don’t have any money to do this now. And that was registering the Shopify store buying. So the beauty space is fascinating. And I know many spaces are like this now where you can white label anything. And so we had found a great partner supplier in the Toronto area that would put our logo on the product, and we would be able to buy small minimums at a ridiculous exorbitant cost now that I realized the difference. However, they’re there, minimum quantities were like, easy for someone who’s starting to, to handle. And I also looked at it, in the sense that because when you look at the numbers, and like this business, selling this product would never make any money, it would be ridiculous to think that you could, however, it was the only way that I could afford to test the market. Because someone like me without any experience in the beauty industry, who was selling fish could not walk into investor’s offices, without an MBA without any actual higher education at all. I have high school and then started a business program and ended up dropping out. So I’m like there’s no one’s ever going to offer me money for anything I have to prove and see if this works. So that was like literally how we started and we launched those picture images of those very, those products on that website, registered the business, and just started using social media marketing in the early days and bought into using the ad payment when they were like super, super cheap. And we know that that is what certainly helped us grow and expand our audience so much quicker. And then over those first few years, just seeing how much our community was like supporting this brand and how much People were needing to see this, as they had never seen an indigenous beauty brand before. And if they had, they were just so much smaller, and we were growing so rapidly. And we then realized, and that was in those early days where I say us, but it was still just me, where I was like, Okay, this is not going to work if we’re ever going to be competitive in the beauty space. And that’s when I started to think about the things that I’m passionate about. And you know, people wonder why beauty when I would start a business, you’re in the food industry, I’ve been in the food industry since I was 14 years old, starting in hospitality, and then ended up in sales and marketing at the seafood company. And I picked beauty because I’ve just always loved cosmetics and skin care like I’m a huge just customer and fan of all products. So that I felt was an easy answer for me. Like, if I was going to start this business, knowing how hard it was going to be, I at least want to do it with something that I love and, and that I thought about in my career in the food industry. And I had focused on the last five years of selling seafood on sustainable seafood, talking about what’s happening in our oceans with our customers and trying to get chefs and restaurant tours on board to like buying better, more traceable, and more sustainable products for their clients and customers. And I just really took all of the things that I had learned from the seafood world about sustainability and set out on this path to try to figure out how to make that part.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  16:40

 And now you are in Sephora, which is incredible, to take that growth, you know, the vision and you know, following that intuition of what you wanted to do every day, and then seeing it grow tremendously. Getting to this point, was there anything that halted your growth or any, you know, significant roadblocks that you can look back on as a part of that journey to where you are now?

Jenn Harper 17:02

For sure, um, the idea of where I’m getting money from, it’s like, and I’m gonna say this and the audience, it’s gonna sound crazy. But there’s a lot of people out there now that I realized this, with money. And that part is not hard anymore. However, in the early days, it is, you have no idea who would be willing to give money, but there are a lot of people out there that are willing to do it, and good, safe money to like that’s a whole nother conversation about where we get our money from, to build, or where we get the capital from to build. But that felt like a huge block like I am not I, you know, I grew up in poverty, I don’t come from generational wealth at all. I was working hard at my full-time job selling the seafood, literally to pay for a lot of this stuff. Because it was for three years, I still worked in that that job, and only did cheekbone at night and on the weekends. And so when you talk about burnout and being in that like was so unsustainable, I would never recommend it. But when you’re passionate about something, sometimes you do crazy things. And that meant working 80 to 100-hour work weeks for those three years to make this happen. And be like, yeah, oh my gosh. So it was that those three years were wild, and I can’t believe I survived. And when I finally quit my job, and we had an investor, it was August of 2019. And my family, my husband and I went to Italy with my daughter. And I remember just feeling like collapsing, right? Because you’re just so exhausted. And then I had to come back and just work on Cheekbone. And I was like this is so weird, like at nine in the morning versus all night long, right? Yeah. So, so many transitions. But obviously, a lot of great things have happened since then. And still, you know, it never gets easier. I’m going to just be so honest with the audience about that. It’s always going to be hard. And I think great things are always hard. And that’s just the reality of life. I

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  19:02

I could not agree more. Mallory, do you find that with a lot of the founders that you’re working with that? You know, burnout is the biggest challenge, funding? What are you seeing as some of the biggest hurdles for the founders you’re working with?

Mallory Rowan  19:13

Yeah, I mean, I think there’s kind of like, three main things I’d say when it comes to especially like earlier stage businesses. One that applies at any stage, I think, is knowing what’s next. And as silly as that sounds, I think that is a big challenge for people. Because like, what got you to the point you’re at isn’t going to get you to the next point. And like, as soon as you feel like you’ve figured it out, you’re just like, and we’re lost again, because you’re into that, like next phase. So it’s like you just get like two seconds of feeling like you have it under control. And then it’s like brand new challenges. So I think that’s like a really important thing to recognize. And like Dennis said, like, not feeling won’t go away. It’s just going to be different, bigger problems. So for that, you know, like finding resources that you can depend on. Oh, We’re looking for people that are like three steps ahead, I think we like to look at the people who are doing the thing we one day aspire to. And it’s really hard to connect the dots. Whereas when you have maybe, you know, an online business friend, that’s just a few launches ahead of you, or you’re making, let’s say, 50k in your business, and they’re making 80 to 100k. Those are great people to find and have your corners and develop those relationships, whether you’re watching from afar, or hopefully, you know, you’re getting connected with them so that you can have those honest conversations because I think a lot of the time, you know, I laugh when Dan was saying how much he was paying for that early products because we did the same thing. Like we were paying for T-shirts, and then cutting them into crops, and like trying to reuse the extra, but it was just like so much more expensive than it needed to be. But it’s what you do at the beginning of sometimes you just need to hear someone else say like, yeah, we’ve all kind of been there. So I think that’s a really big piece. I think learning to turn what feels like negatives into positives early. So a lot of people want to, you know, fake being a big company, but it’s also okay, that you’re a small business. And there are lots of pros to that. For us, we did not know how people like flat lay photography for their business. So you know, when you see just like a T-shirt on a white background, like we could not get it to look good. So we were like, You know what, like, instead of having bad photos that were trying to be like the big guys, we were like, okay, all of our photos are going to be people wearing the stuff doing squat bench, or deadlift, which was our sport. So then people love the photos because, in our sport, there weren’t people producing high-quality media. So we just turned that into our thing as you go to the website. And the way the products were lined up, it was a squat, and then a bench and then a deadlift, and it would repeat. And so I think that’s important. And people often forget, you know, I’ll give you another quick example, I have a friend that’s a candle maker. And she’s like, you know, I’m putting this pressure on myself that the second I get an order, I have to like, sit down that night and make the candle because I’m trying to compete with the Amazons of the world that are sending it the next day. So I’m like, well lean into the fact that you’re not Amazon, right? Why don’t we instead set up an email series that tells them each day where their candles now at right, the next day, explain the process of today, this is what’s happening the first day, I’m just excited, I haven’t even touched your order, to be honest, I’m just having my little dance, right? On the second day, I’m pouring the wax and so on. And let them be part of that experience. So they can get the candle and be like, Oh my gosh, I know what went into this. Right? So I think really, anytime it feels like something’s really up against you, how can you like pull something out of that, that’s going to be positive. And it also just going to make the experience that much better, right, because we can’t just be in the lows all the time. And I think the last thing would just be learning to delegate and let go early on, even though you’re often a one-person show, like letting people help where they can, even if it’s friends or family, we did a lot of like service exchange early on, you know, our photographer, I helped him build his business. And he’s now a full-time photographer. But that was kind of our exchange. Like he didn’t get that side, we didn’t know how to do photos. So we worked together and made sure it was always mutual. And we said like, you know, as we grow, you’re gonna grow with us. And that was big for us. Because I learned how to, like, let other people own those projects, which I think is a big thing people have a hard time with, right? They are so in their head because they’ve run the business probably like three years by themselves, right? So then when you go to let people in, it feels like no one can do it fast enough and good enough. And often it’s just us not properly communicating with them. So they’re like already starting with the short stick, you know, so I think if you can learn to set up those processes, like I always think like, hey, if I have a team of 15, how should I be doing this differently? And sometimes I don’t have time to do it. Like I have a team of 15. But it’s at least in the back of my head of like, I should probably get this down as a system somewhere so that when someone comes in, that’s what they can use. And then if it’s not going well, it’s on me because my instructions weren’t clear. Right? And it helps you kind of ease into that process. I

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  24:07

love that. I love that structure. Mallory. Yeah, everything you said resonated with you and Jen. Incredible. I’d love to go into more detail about growth in the early days, because to your point, Mallory looking at somebody three steps ahead of you instead of 100 steps. I think that’s such a helpful framework because we see these overnight success stories and aspire, you know, to be in this whole different league not understanding the actual nuts and bolts of what it took to get there. And I love seeing more transparent entrepreneurs like both of you who are you know, uncovering what that journey has looked like. So Jen, in the beginning, what was your biggest priority when it came to growth? Did you feel like you were focused and following sort of a step-by-step plan, or, you know, did it feel like a bit of a whirlwind to try to stay on top of it all as you know, sole person within the business? What did that early, early stage look like?

Jenn Harper  24:59

So, as a sales veteran in my career, I always looked at revenue. And it was always like, same day last year, are we higher same month? Are we higher, it was like year over year, just growth? And as long as that was happening, I felt okay. But I’m also like, a professed like a probably anti numbers person because it creates so much anxiety and that’s not my strength. It’s my weakness for sure. So now, of course, we have a CFO that takes care of all that stuff. But in the early days, that’s really what I was paying attention to is just like, Okay, there’s, and that’s how I knew that I then had something to go to investors with, right? I was like, Okay, look at how much we’ve grown in this short period. Some people want this brand to exist like we had legs. Now. Now, can we keep scaling and growing? And of course, like, you know, I think about my years in hospitality, and I’m thinking about, like, our automation of emails, and just our customer experience has always been really important to me, like, we believe that the customer deserves to have everything that they want out of the experience. And we know for sure, that we cannot make everyone happy. But we do our absolute best, from the point that we still wrap each order like a present. And that we’ve never will we, as long as I’m in charge, I don’t envision as ever going to a three PL because I want which is an I know that’s an acronym. But what can someone just forget what how do you like somebody else that’s going to pack and ship your orders, right? We’ve chosen not to use that because we want to be the last people to touch the product before our actual customer touches it. And sometimes that means things cost more in the end to do that. But then it’s also, you know, it’s the ethos of our brand like We exist to provide jobs that pay well, we pay are we pay $19 an hour as a minimum wage, we do not. So we pay we have a living wage status for everyone that works at our company, this year, so proud that because of that we everyone got a 6% increase on their salaries. Everyone except me, but everyone else did. Because it’s the inflation this year was 5.4%. And we like I go to the store, and I see how the cost it like, and I know the rent in our area where we live in Niagara because everyone from Toronto is moving to Niagara is just skyrocketed. And so we believe in supporting the people that work for us. And then sometimes when you’re outsourcing, unfortunately, does maybe save the company, bottom line revenue, but that impacts human beings. And that’s not what we are about as a brand at all.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  27:54

Yeah, and you’re staying core to those core values. And for those that aren’t familiar with three PL is third-party logistics. So providing, you know, outsourcing logistics services, is a term that you will come across as you go through your journey. I love that note, Jen as well as Mallory’s point around some things not being scalable for small businesses and trying to keep the heart of what makes you unique as a small business, like handwritten thank you notes or you know, putting that humaneness into products. As a consumer that’s so important to me. And I love to see larger businesses as they scale still try to find some of those human touches that go a long way. Mallory, when you’re looking and talking to entrepreneurs about the beginning of their businesses and finding a focal point in those early days, do you often recommend looking at revenue? Are that the focal point and that driving factor? Is it solidifying the value proposition to figure out your audience? Where do entrepreneurs need to kind of focus in those early days?

Mallory Rowan  28:49

Yeah, I think at the beginning, like not being afraid to try things, but not tracking everything, which is a really hard balance. So I think you know, you want to keep going through this system of like, try it, see what works about it, see what did it take the good, get rid of the bad, adapt and keep going that was big for us, like our early day trajectory, like you can literally look at a chart and just see each launch getting better and better. Because we were taking the things that worked, learning from them, trying a new thing, pulling those things. So that is going to be part of the process. And then when you’re, you know, when you’re still in the infancy of your business, like listen to your audience, I mean at any point, but early on, again, you have that intimate connection, whether it’s doing Instagram polls, sending emails with surveys, if you’re at events, just talk to people I think that’s important is listening, you will develop the skill to filter right we used to get you to know, like can this shirt come in every colour and then some you know, you learn to filter some of that out because he can’t do everything. But I think that a big part of it doesn’t be afraid to try things and then trusting your gut with what’s working, and like listen to like your heart or your gut, depending on what kind of person you are the numbers second, because the numbers are also your customers, right? As Dan said, if your revenues go up, the customers are happy, more people are coming, they’re probably referring. And then thirdly, like your advisor. So for me a really important thing early on is like, everyone is going to have opinions, but not everyone’s gonna have context for you and your business. They don’t know if, you know, if Jen wants to sell her business one day, they don’t know if it’s something she wants to run it until the last day of her life like we don’t know those things. But everyone’s gonna go, oh, you run a lipstick company, you should do like purple lipstick, right? That has those opinions. I’m sure you’ve heard, like every request, or like you should get into eyeshadow or whatever, right? People love to share what they think. And that’s something that at the beginning, you want to be so like, taking in everything everyone’s saying, but I think to find those key people that you trust their opinions, whether it’s via advisers, whether it’s early customers, and learn to, you know, softly tune out the rest, hear it, but filter it and if you need to run it by like some sort of advisor, I think that’s important is this, decide those people that get the full context, and that you’re gonna give them that full back and forth, so that any input they’re putting into it, you can take it very differently than the stranger on the street that wants like the cheetah print t-shirt, right?

Jenn Harper  31:23

Because it’s so true, especially as colour cosmetics, we get asked for every colour every product, like when are you coming with it? And I don’t think and I wouldn’t have known this as an average consumer. You know, when we’re dealing with our CO packing manufacturers, we do some small batches of only lipstick in our warehouse, everything else has to go outside because we don’t have the machinery or the equipment to complete so many of the projects. And so adding and the minimum quantity order, which all of these new entrepreneurs will learn is like the MOQ, right? Like the minimum, they can order. I can tell you from some of our suppliers, that it’s 25,000 per unit per shade. That is not affordable for most people, then some are like 10k, some are 5k. So we’re but we’re even 5k have a purple lipstick. When someone asked for this in our team. I’m like, Are they buying all 5k? Because like I don’t, I’ve only had asked for that specific colour of purple. Right? So it is but we are in the early days. And still, do we’ve just done this analysis, we have some customers that have spent nearly $4,000, so is their lifetime value of their of our products. I’m like this is wild. And we found in their orders are like in the 30 orders. 40 order range, right like this is crazy that they’re spending this much money with us over the years. And we reach out to that group of people there’s a core group that we have that we engage with regularly when we launch a new product, they will have been the ones. But then what we’re seeing now is they’re are super fans. And so we need it because we’ll do something with them. And everybody loves everything. And I’m like, Okay, there’s gotta be somebody here that hates something because we’ve read bad reviews on Sephora. So we need to, we need to expand our group. So as we’ve scaled, we’ve realized we need another group of people that don’t know us and that don’t love us to test our products as well.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  33:23

You need that whole diversity of perspectives to get every different type of possible consumer and get that feedback. And I love that. And I think to the point of you know, this, this whole podcast episode around growth, I’ve seen it is so challenging for many entrepreneurs to think around staying focused, but then looking for the opportunities for scale that you know, is that purple lipstick going to be the moment that then scales the business? And are you willing to go all in, you know, a potential avenue that might not work and the cost that’s required there, the sacrifice and the investment of resources into one direction that could have gone somewhere else? And this tension is very challenging for entrepreneurs to navigate. And it will not be perfect, I think is one key lesson that you know, there will be you know, bumps along the road and decisions that could go elsewhere. But Jen, you shared as well, that within the beauty industry. It’s very competitive and is occupied by a lot of established brands that might have more of those resources to experiment with. And that we see very little indigenous representation in the beauty industry that propelled you to push through and stand out. Once you anchored yourself in the mission and a goal that you mentioned earlier, What strategies did you put into place to go forward and grow pulling on that intention and staying focused on who you were as a business leader?

Jenn Harper  34:41

So I think a big shift for us was realizing the lack of differentiation and uniqueness in the products we were selling originally. And so now everything we sell is based on formulations that we’ve created that we’ve taken control over supply chain we’ve taken control over wrong radiance, we’ve taken control over almost every step except the what they call the filling portion of the product, right? And so we now feel in so much more control. And that was part of understanding when customers would ask us questions about products and raw ingredients. I didn’t have the answers, because this whole beauty industry is like, locked up like they are like lip seal, they don’t share information. But then now I’ve learned there are so many reasons why, right like because of the highly competitive nature of the space, and lots of people are using inferior ingredients. And that’s a simple fact. And they and they cannot prove that a child is not impacted by the mica that they have mined. And so the cost of us finding and sourcing Fairtrade suppliers, organic ingredients were certified like all of those things cost more. And we knew that that was a cost, which was a risk, right that we had to take to separate ourselves from what all of the other brands are doing in the beauty space. And we knew that that would be a huge expense, but we knew that it would be transformative for us as a brand, and hopefully help transform the beauty space, in general, to see if a small brand like us, we built a lab for crying out loud in 2020. Like I failed grade nine science, I just need everyone to understand that and I own and operate a lab and employ chemists and other scientists, like full time these people work for, for me who did not do well. And that’s the beauty I’ve learned about being an entrepreneur like you’re the one with this big vision. I don’t know how to do all the things that I need to get done and want to be done. But there are incredible people that will want to come and join you on the journey when they believe in the vision and the why of your business as much as you do. And we’re so fortunate that we’re at a point where the people that have come on board as our teammates are certainly here because they believe in cheekbone as much as I did.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  37:05

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Mallory Rowan  39:15

Yeah, I think most people have a better gauge than they realize like this feels new and uncomfortable. Versus this feels like a little morally unaligned for me. And I think it’s like listening to that gut instinct and being open to trying things but finding that line of like, why am I hesitating around this thing, because, you know, when you are operating as a business that’s trying to do good, there is just, I mean, we live in a capitalist society, there’s a lot of marketing and sales that is not good practice, right? So it is hard, you’re constantly navigating that. And I always say, can we find the root of the lesson that we’re seeing somewhere else and find our version? So, you know, I’ll try to give you a product and a service example. So for product um, Black Friday, right? The great opportunity your like people have their wallets ready, they want to spend small businesses often want to get in on it, but also have this kind of maybe gross feeling about it for multiple reasons, right, like, so whatever those reasons might be for them. They’re like, I just, I don’t feel great doing this, like a giant, you know, discount my entire store. So you can look at okay, well, is there a different type of promotion we can run on that weekend? Is there something where we doubled our donations one year, so anytime somebody purchased, we were doing an additional donation on top of the usual? So looking at those things, can you do like a cool collaborative product instead, where you’re bringing something brand new to the market, but it’s something that you feel like your customers need? So choosing like, Hey, we’re gonna bring something to the table on that weekend, but we’re not going to participate in the like, slash the price, you know, all the fast fashion like 80% off or whatever. So you can choose those levels of participating for something kind of more like a service-based business. I remember when I had to start doing more sales calls when I was like, you know, getting started in coaching, a lot of people would say like, you have to end the call with the person’s credit card information. And it just, like, never felt good to me, because they were like, then they’re committed, you know, it makes them feel like it’s a yes. Like, I don’t know, it just feels gross. So I just had to say like, Okay, well, what are they trying to do? They’re trying to get that final commitment. Right. So how do I feel good about, you know, getting that final commitment? And what would I respond to you on the other end? And for me, it was simply telling someone like, if we had a call on Tuesday, I’d be like, do you feel like you can let me know, by Thursday, whether you want to do this or not, and just adding that date. And for me, it was putting the ball in their court, right? Because everyone always says, like, follow up in two days. But again, that felt gross to me. And if someone did that, to me, I’m like, they’re just trying to close the sale. So I was like, I’m not going to reach out to you, like, you’d have to come back to me in two days, and let me know. And if you don’t, I’m just going to assume you’re like not interested, or you know, you’re going back and forth too much. And then I don’t want to work with you. And for me, it was this perfect version, and people would come back to me and like that same night, they’d be like, you know, I thought about it, and I’m in I’m like, great, I’d send an invoice and give them 15 days, and it felt way more comfortable to me. But I had to start with that, like, what was the root of the lesson of getting the credit card info on the phone? I mean, some people, I think it’s just a little like, they just want the credit card info. But really, it’s like that commitment is what they were looking for. So finding those versions that feel good to you and still feel like morally aligned, but are you know, leveraging those marketing lessons, I

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  42:38

love that that’s a great post Yeah, what is the root of the lesson? That’s great Mallory. So bringing all of this, you know, growth, looking at the beginning of the business, we’ve already mentioned, you know, burnout being a part of the process for both Jen and Mallory here. So many businesses want to grow and scale, and understand how they can do that, without burning themselves out, which is, you know, something we see often. And unfortunately, it’s a lot of, you know, I was burned out, I wish I had not proceeded with this. You know, I wish I’d known this at a different stage. I wish I had talked to somebody. So I think it’s really important to talk about the strategies that could have been in place to support founders as they build businesses in a competitive space. When you look at pacing your growth as an entrepreneur to make sure that it’s sustainable. So you don’t get burnt out? Do you have any advice or recommendations that you share with either peers or other emerging founders, Mallory, let’s kick off with you.

Mallory Rowan  43:35

Sure. So what I usually what people do is like, think about where they want to be in like, 50 years. And I’m saying like, like, one day, not like, these are the things I want to achieve. Like you wake up in the morning, like, where are you waking up? What does it feel like? Are you like jumping out of bed to get your computer to run this, you know, massive business? Or are you sitting by a lake having a coffee? Who’s there? Are there children around you those kinds of questions, and see like, what do you think that looks like? And then you want to work backwards to get there. And I think keeping that day in mind and being open to that day can change. Like right now you might picture that day one way and in 10 years, it might change or maybe you know, you have a kid or you make a big life change. And that day looks different. But always thinking about that and asking yourself as you’re growing, is what I’m doing working towards that goal. Because you know, I’ll say it again, it’s a capitalist society. So like, we really can fall into these things of making choices for our business because we think it’s what we’re supposed to do. And you know, everyone thinks even scaling, right? People are like, I got to scale I got to grow and like what do you like, what do you want? You know, a lot of people want to be able to log off, you know, to pick up their kids from school or they want to be able to travel. Like, if you want to travel on like, could you just be a freelancer, right do we have to build like a content agency with six writers and I think we have this pressure to build really big things. And I think that’s important. Because if you don’t truly want to build the big thing, it’s gonna be really hard to do it. And I think also just we don’t see enough versions of success that aren’t the big thing because the big things are loud, right? That’s just the nature of them. But there’s a lot of people that are, you know, sitting at home, making 100k But working for themselves and doing that thing and logging off and feeling great. At the end of the day, we just that song very loud. Sex isn’t a headline, right? So the unicorn company has a headline, right? So I think what’s important is looking at like what you want long term, and then also finding your sprint pace in the day-to-day, right? Do you want to do more work now so that maybe you feel like you don’t have to later? I remember, Michele Romanow, who’s a Clear Co Co-Founder and from Dragon’s Den, I remember her saying she had to find her sprint pace because people talked a lot about this daily and weekly balance. And she just kind of realized, like, no actually go hard for like, three months or a quarter or whatever. And that’s how I like doing well, I want to be really in it. And then I’m gonna go to a beach for like a month, right? And so she had to even like dissect what her version is. Because as much as it’s great, we’re hearing a lot more about this balance, then some people are going and trying to have this like daily balance, that’s not a thing for them, they need to like go hard and then take a decent break. Right. So I think finding your own pace and always asking, like, Is this getting me to where I want to go?

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  46:31

And having the courage to identify what is independent? That yes, scale does not equal success in everybody’s, you know, priority that you know, are you trying to create jobs? Are you bringing wealth back into your community? Are you creating a product that you think is making a difference? Is that enough, like it being honest with yourself around what that looks like, and we need to tell those stories to your point, Mallory, the sexy tech unicorns they get all the time? But it’s incredible to have that power as a business owner in making the life that you want to prioritize. And we should celebrate that more often. Jen, any advice on your end?

Jenn Harper  47:04

Yeah, I think it’s so true that it’s those big headlines that grab all of our attention. And really, I think it’s in Canada, most of the businesses are SMEs, which are small to medium-sized, right? And that’s what creates most of the jobs in this country for people. And so there’s something really powerful and understanding that and I talk a lot, obviously to indigenous youth and entrepreneurs. And it’s deciding like where what brings you happiness, because if, if, if I’m not growing a massive company, it doesn’t have to be what that is, it could be just a small company that helps your community and support your family. There’s no shame and shame in that at all right? But I think sometimes when people get into entrepreneurship, it’s right away that idea of scaling this massive company, and there are a lot of costs that come with scaling. It’s a big risk. I bet you I don’t have the stats, but there are a lot of people that tried to scale and probably didn’t make it right and we don’t even know that they exist. And so it’s just understanding who you are and what you want and what really makes you happy and you know so many people it’s sometimes too late in life realize money things for all of us that’s not where real happiness comes from. It comes from our family or friends and those kinds of things and feeling that sort of contentment inside yourself. And so I think when people figure that out though, they can make that easier. But then I also have this side where if you want to try go for it, right? But then don’t like I’ve all when I started cheekbone and I still to this day. It’s like what if it doesn’t work? And we I still sit in half that space, you know, sometimes and realize if it doesn’t, I have to realize it didn’t and you got to separate like as much as when I’m in public people call me cheekbone beauty. I’m like, I’m not. That’s the business name. I’m Jennifer Berg. But um, it’s not me. It’s something I tried to make or have made. And it’s working right now. But if it doesn’t always I have to realize and be okay with that too. It’s like this constant balancing act within ourselves.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  49:13

Yeah, being all in and then having that separation is so challenging. And I think when it comes to growth and scaling as well, when do you know that you are putting too much into the business basket and not enough into the Kayla or the Jen or the Mallory basket to support yourself? Do you have any other tips around avoiding that burnout or when you can start seeing that you might be going down that path? And recognizing that you need support to create a more sustainable path forward? malar Do you have any tips on the burnout side?

Mallory Rowan  49:41

I think you know, often we look for like are we notice the physical signs in our body but there’s a lot of like mental or emotional signs that come first. You know people say if you don’t listen to your body when it whispers it will like make you listen when it screams so I think often the whispers are like the mental or the emotional. For me when I was burning out, I was like really irritated by small things. You know, I felt really on edge. Often, I also just felt like I was getting boring. Like, I thought I just had less personality. And I’m like, oh God am I like an old GRUMPY MAN already at like 23. But it was just like, I needed a break. And I didn’t even have the energy to be that bubbly person. But it really kind of messed me up for a while because I’m like, was trying to almost like, mourn who I’ve been and been like, okay, I guess this is who I am now. Like, I guess I’m just aborting your stated person. And like, I’m not as bubbly as I once was. And you know, then when my body started breaking down, you know, as you said, the doctor had to be like, Hey, I think something is going on here. And I was like, Oh, that makes a lot of sense, right? And as I started to work on things, that personality came back, and little things didn’t bother me at all. And I think those were like, the early signs that I didn’t know, we’re sorry, um, that would have been helpful to have flagged.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  50:59

Jenn, anything else on the burnout time?

Jenn Harper  51:00

Yeah, I think since sobriety, I have a healthy daily routine, which helps keep me feel stable. And it has to because that’s a big part of my life staying sober. And so my daily routine starts with fitness, prayer, outside, nature, all of those things. And then I go about my day. And I’m proud of myself, because this year, I’ve done such a much better job of ending the day sooner. I used to stay at work way too late. And my daughter finally, said something, she pointed it out. And so now I tried to get home before six o’clock, instead of after eight, right? And it’s when sometimes you need the people in your life to say, to say something, because yeah, it’s crazy when you have an addiction that just transfers itself into different areas of your life. And so as much as certainly prefer the addiction to cheekbone beauty to alcohol. But if I’m being really honest with everyone, that’s I read a book called The Power of Habit by Dr. Charles Duhigg. While I was still battling alcoholism but maintained all those points, and he’s the idea of creating our brain paths and how addiction is neurology. And so I realized I’m like, Okay, I just, if I change the path from my choice of alcohol to working on this business, then this will help me because you can’t eliminate that, it has to be replaced with something else. And so learning that, and obviously, that is what had kept me sober for all these years, but then now trying to become more balanced, but that I just even hate saying that, because it’s just really hard to do, it is, but we just do our best, I’m doing the best each day I wake up and I do the best I can for this day. And that’s all I got

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  52:57

Sing it! And that’s gonna look different for everybody and in different seasons and different timeframes with different activities. But I think the intention to find what is going to work for you, that’s the message to make sure that you’re prioritizing yourself and using that oxygen mask on your face before you know supporting others and being able to show up in your business as your best work. You want to feel fueled, you want to feel like you can bring yourself into the business and your whole self. And this is challenging, especially when we’re talking about growth and scaling to find that balance. Jen, did you set any kind of goals or markers, or touch points throughout the seasons of your growth when you were first starting cheekbone?

Jenn Harper  53:35

Yeah, so Sephora is one of the big major goals that I’ve always had on the vision board. Well, Sephora, Canada, Sephora USA is our sort of they’re the massive machine that we want to be a part of. Canada is so small, it is. And our business literally will not sustain itself in Canada the way it’s operating. So we know we need the US. So for us, that’s the next big check mark that we have to have to hit. And then always revenue forecasts like that’s how I think it’s just like my background. So there’s always a forecast. Are we meeting them? Budgets? Are we meeting those? And then we have a really interesting side of our business is about social impact, and working hard on how to define and create the goals around that and whether are we achieving that. And so we’ve started creating new ways to measure the impact we’re making on our community. And also the lack the less impact we’re making on the planet. And so we built a sustainability calculator and our team worked on it to provide metrics for ourselves and the community. And then what helps is we just became B Corp Certified in April. And so that does help us Let’s create a measurement platform for our social and environmental impact. And I think those are things that in the early days, I certainly did not think would be important or think of how do you measure impact. And there are some really interesting theories that our investors who happen to be indigenous as well are working on these concepts one being the theory of change and how long that takes. And, you know, one thing that I think a ton about is, like on a psychographic level, is the fact that our brand exists on shelves in stores in spaces, where people see it, it will that truly make a difference in our communities. And it’s something that’s a challenge to measure. But it’s something that we’re working on and to see, what does that have power and then realizing, giving other indigenous entrepreneurs the power to see themselves in building a business and brand as well. So there’s, there’s a ton of stuff that we constantly look at, and creative as goals. And then we always have that huge North Star of, we wanted this brand on shelves globally. And so then that is the thing that’s way off in the distance, but then, you know, the steps along the way and celebrating the achievements, and then getting back to work on the next step.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  56:20

Amazing. I love the big lofty, you know, forecast, the incremental elements, and all of these things are anchored in your values, like you have done such an incredible job of securing the business in what is true to you. And these priority foundations that also I think is easier for entrepreneurs, if they have a couple of things that are going to be consistent no matter what they can scale from there. So with adjusting to growth and planning, you know, we’ve talked about the infancy of your businesses, how you grew in those early stages and some of the challenges that came your way. What does adjusting to growth and sort of sinking into the next right phase of your business? What does that look like? And how did you feel in these moments where it felt like what you were doing was working? And when you’re entering into new territories? What did that feel like as a founder? To be entering into that new chapter? Jen, do you have any sort of moments or milestones when you felt that shift in the business?

Jenn Harper  57:18

Um, yeah, there’s been like a couple. And then the ones that aren’t I’m like, we check the over, like, what is the meaning? And what are we learning when, when that’s not happening? But I guess they’re early days of just understanding the digital space. And when you do all of those things, and you are grabbing the right people into your circle through digital marketing, that felt right and felt like everything was working and falling into place. Then when we recently this past fall, when we started the Sephora relationship, again, another experience that feels right, and that we’re on the right path. And specifically for us, if we think of distribution channels, we were strictly eCommerce for all of our existence up until this new partnership with Sephora. And now we’re in a digital shift where we’re we’re, we’re not growing like we once did in the digital space. And so we’re grateful as a brand that we have this retail opportunity. And you know, when we started that we have this new vision of where we wanted to be 50%, wholesale, retail and 50% eCommerce. And that’s how we see our brand growing. And both of those situations felt good. Like we were doing the right things, it’s important to understand, I think, when you are a business owner, like these are things I never thought about but the world at large, what is happening, like we’re unfortunately probably entering a recession. And so understanding those things becomes important as a business owner, because what changes do we have to make where what projects maybe do you have to not do this year, or next to stay afloat? And so that’s where you win the things that were working, really pulling out what worked and don’t take as many big risks maybe I don’t know, I’m you know, these are still questions. We’re asking ourselves what we’re going to do in the next couple of years because we know that that’s coming. We’re grateful that there are a lot of studies on the lipstick effect. And so I’m hoping that that, you know, doesn’t that pans out for us during these tough times ahead. But I’m thinking I think thinking seriously about what you need to know about the world at large while you’re building is important, as well, even though we saw those good moments and all the things that worked. circumstances can change rapidly as we’ve all learned from the pandemic.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  59:43

Yeah. And Mallory, you’ve worked with a lot of entrepreneurs across different spaces and industries, navigating lots of these, you know, shifts and growth and pivots everything during the pandemic as well. Do you have any advice for founders as they cross into these new thresholds of their businesses or explore these sort of new milestones that are coming up next?

Mallory Rowan  1:00:01

Right when you feel like you’ve figured it out as I said before, it’s gonna fall apart again. And as much as I can feel frustrating, it’s like finding that little bit of magic in that, in those moments being like, No, this is a good thing, because we’re being challenged to get to that next phase. And knowing that it’s not you falling on your face, it’s just okay, we’re like entering this next phase, whether it’s a life or the business, you know, it’s as much as it sucks at that moment to feel that way. It’s a really good place in your business to be because you can’t just keep operating the same way and expecting different results. So when you are facing those challenges, it is going to be the thing that gets you to the next place. It’s the natural cycle of it, right? And there’s nothing you can do about that. It’s always going to be like, right when you figure it out, a new challenge. And I think that’s important. The other thing, we’ve always kind of operated as that. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Emmanuel Acho. He’s a football player in the States. He does Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. But I listened to him on a podcast recently for his new book, in which he had this idea, like, way before that series even started, and it’s called a logical, and it was such a beautiful way to put how we operate. Like he just said, do things that are illogical, like do the things that goal sounds so big and crazy. And just stick with it. You know, I feel that you mentioned how I recently bought a cottage with my partner that we’re going to be doing like some Renault’s and, you know, people are like, oh, when do you want to be renting it out by I’m like July 2, and it’s like, very illogical. And everyone’s reaction is like, Oh, my God. And I’m like, one perfectly okay if that’s not going to happen. And I think that’s the thing, right? We get so scared of like saying these things because like, what if then we can’t do it? But there’s no consequence if I can’t do it. But if I try for July 2, like I’m going to operate in such a more strategic way, it’s the same, right? If you’re trying to hit that extra stretch goal on your launch, it’s going to make you do things differently. So I’m like, I would much rather say July 2 and fall flat on my face, and you know, launch it in August, but I know that it’s making me stay on my toes and saying like, Okay, what’s the next step? What’s the next step? And just thinking in that illogical format, and getting comfortable with it being okay, right? There’s absolutely no fear. Like, I can say it on this podcast, and you guys will be laughing when I’m like renting it in October. But that’s all that happens. Do you know what I mean? Like, there’s no, I mean there’s the back end of like, we’re paying for things and whatever. But it is fine to say like, I want to go chase this thing. And even if I don’t get there, like I’m gonna get close, and I’m probably gonna get further than if I went for the safety goal.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  1:02:40

What is next for you, Jen? What is that next bright goal for cheekbone beauty? What is the next phase look like?

Jenn Harper  1:02:47

Well, I said nearly illogical things that got published. So now I get asked about it. I said, I think it was in 2018, that I wanted to be the first indigenous woman to build a brand worth a billion dollars because we all know what worth means. On paper. It’s not your actual revenue. So I think some people are confused that that was the right I mean, still shooting for, you know, a 70 $500 million a year business is a big, big, big, big, giant, illogical thing to say when I was like selling maybe $250,000 or something. But again, I think putting that in my own heart and mind and putting it out there to be not afraid to come up with those crazy concepts. And here’s the crazy thing. There were brands that year like Emily Weiss from Glossier Tiffany Masterson from the drunk elephant, and Jamie, lean karma from It Cosmetics that all had brands valued at a billion dollars. So if those three women could do it, why couldn’t I right, like so anyway, I put it out there. We’re not even close. But we’re still working. What’s next for us is yeah, we need. We need Canada to continue supporting us. We need candidates to tell all their friends about our brand. We need them to keep buying it. I usually don’t say stuff like this, but this is the reality of where we are. And we need that continued support. I think sometimes people want to hit Sephora, they think you’ve made it. And you’re just getting started because now you have to stay in Sephora. And Sephora has numbers to tell brands where you have to be to stay in their stores or they kick you out and it’s over. And we need Sephora USA and so we have 40% of our eCommerce business coming from the United States. So we know that we have an audience there. We know if people want us. And so we’re pushing our US audience right now to just keep like our Canadian audience did they harass Sephora? We’re still not in enough stores physically in Sephora. They keep It’s like here and do this many were like, give us all your stories please like enough, not like, I’ve never been anyone to want to do anything half-assed. So I’m just like, give it to us all we want to be in all of them. So hopefully that happens within the next couple of months as well. And I think the next biggest thing for me is to try to maintain you know, spending enough time with my family and friends. But the job still gives me so much joy that it I’m it doesn’t feel like crazy work, which is so bizarre to say. But that’s what I think being an entrepreneur is when you find the thing you love, like, like I love going to work like I never thought or dreamed I would ever say that about any job, and I haven’t ever in the world and I hear my team. Sometimes they’re like, I can’t wait for Friday. I’m like, Why? Because they want no one ever going to feel the way I do about cheekbone beauty. And I totally understand that. And I want them to have their weekends and time off of course. Right. But yeah,

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  1:06:07

We don’t need Friday, like the first Monday. And Mallory, what about you? What is the forecast of your future looking like and for your clients as well? What are some of the big bold goals? You’re seeing?

Mallory Rowan  1:06:17

Yeah. Oh, my goodness, Well, I think right now, it’s just such a weird time. It’s kind of coming out of the last two years. So for a lot of people, I think it’s like, only looking like a few months ahead, because that’s all they can handle right now. And I think that’s important. So like, even for myself, you know, whenever someone else was nice and like, want to hide in a corner, because I’m like, Well, right now I’m working on this new right now. And that’s about all I can see. When I’m done with that I’ll let you know. But I think it’s like some of us do better operating that way. And that’s me. I’m like all in while I’m in it. And then I kind of come out for air and then see the next thing and as it comes.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  1:06:52

Amazing. So any final words we’ve covered a lot of ground in today’s episode, but any final pieces of advice, words of wisdom, that you want to leave the audience with Jen, over to you first.

Jenn Harper  1:07:04

I know it was mentioned, but I don’t have any special skills. I want that to be clear. I wake up every day. I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing. The only thing that has kept this business going and I think why we’ve seen this success is because I consistently woke up every day and just did something to work on cheekbone beauty every single day for almost the last seven years from that original dream. And I think that that idea gets missed like we see the overnight successes. But it’s not it’s an entrepreneur that was just consistent. Mallory.

Mallory Rowan  1:07:38

Yeah, it’s a build something you want to build and not something you think you’re supposed to build. I think like that you’re gonna get challenged that way again, and again, in your business of you know, that temptation or confusion of going down a road that wasn’t ever what you wanted, whether it’s how you’re marketing your business, whether it’s your vision for your business, and just remembering like you are allowed to build the thing that you want to build. And you know, you might be the first one doing it. And that’s a really beautiful thing. It doesn’t mean you’re going the wrong way.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  1:08:05

Fantastic words of wisdom to end today’s episode on thank you so much, Mallory. Thank you so much, Jen, for spending time on the startup women podcast.

Mallory Rowan  1:08:13

Thank you. Yeah, thanks for having us.

Kayla Isabelle (Startup Canada)  1:08:17

To learn more about Cheekbone Beauty and the impact their products are making head over to www dot cheek bone beauty.com. If you want to connect with Mallory to learn about marketing and growth for your business, you can visit www dot Malory rowan.com. Thank you so much for joining us on the startup women podcast where we are committed to telling the stories of women entrepreneurs and uncovering actionable advice that goes beyond the surface level. The startup woman podcast is produced by Lauren Hicks and Maddie styles and is made possible with the support of BDC and Scotiabank, so we can continue to power women-identifying entrepreneurs. Visit startup can.ca. To explore the startup women’s flagship program and access advisory support and free resources. Be sure to check out the show notes to access important links, resources and information that we mentioned during today’s episode. Thank you for listening and we look forward to another episode next month.

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