Celebrating Indigenous History Month with Cheekbone Beauty

Wednesday June 21, 2023

We thank Cheekbone Beauty, an Indigenous-owned and sustainable beauty brand, for contributing this guest post. As part of their sustainability strategy, Cheekbone Beauty bullfrogpowers their headquarters and operations with green electricity and green natural gas.

June is National Indigenous History Month. At Cheekbone Beauty, we encourage you to take time to honour and reflect on Indigenous history by listening, learning, and amplifying Indigenous voices. We also encourage you to amplify Indigenous voices year-round, and some of the easiest ways to get involved are by reading books by Indigenous authors or following Indigenous artists and creators. 

Representation is at the heart of everything we do, as our Founder & CEO, Jenn Harper's Anishinaabe culture is at the core of our brand, guiding all that we do and create at Cheekbone Beauty.  

This June, we are celebrating Indigenous History and culture through our new campaign inspired by the memengwaa, the word for “butterfly” in Ojibwe.

The inspiration for this campaign comes from the bold, vibrant colours and patterns of butterflies, as well as the importance of sharing oral histories and traditions. Many Indigenous communities have their own butterfly story, passed down through generations, sharing stories of togetherness, courage, and resilience. We have taken this important story and related it to our journey as a brand: bold, vibrant colour, and bringing a sense of hope and community to Indigenous people across Turtle Island. Stories like these deeply resonate with us at Cheekbone Beauty, as we hope to provide a platform for Indigenous representation.  

When deciding what angle to take for our National Indigenous History Month campaign, we knew that storytelling would be incredibly important. In 2014, Jenn got sober, and things changed for her. Shortly after, she had a lifechanging dream of little Indigenous girls playing in lip gloss – they had made a huge mess, but she still remembers the joy to this day. This life-changing dream was Jenn’s memengwaa: her symbol of hope, resilience, and change. At Cheekbone Beauty, we hope to help every Indigenous person on the planet see and feel their value in the world while we craft sustainable colour cosmetics that don’t end up in a landfill. In doing so, we hope to encourage our customers and followers to believe that their uniqueness is their power – it should be celebrated, and like the butterfly, we should all live colourfully.

Cheekbone Beauty makeup against a colourful backdrop filled with butterflies.

So, with that, the Cheekbone Beauty origin story is: 

Before the world knew color, there lived a people who longed for something to brighten their lives. Dreaming about a sign – a symbol of hope and beauty. And one day, their dreams came true, in the form of a butterfly. This butterfly was unlike any other – its wings were ablaze with vivid colors and bold patterns, each one telling a story of its own. The people were entranced and quickly came to see it as a symbol of their own strength and beauty. From that day forward, the people embraced bold colors and intricate designs as a way to honor their heritage and connect with the land.” 

Much like the butterfly bringing colour back to the world, Cheekbone Beauty has brought colour back into our founder Jenn’s life, which in turn has made a large impact on the Indigenous community. To date, Cheekbone Beauty has contributed over $200,000 in project-focused, monetary, and in-kind donations to various organizations that support Indigenous youth and environmental causes. We have also started our own Scholarship Fund which has allowed the support of Indigenous post-secondary students who are pursuing their various interests.  

At our core, we also believe in respect for the land and resources we have been provided and exercise great care in respect for our planet today and for generations to come.  

This Indigenous History Month, join us in spreading bold colour and let the Butterfly, memengwaa, guide your way.

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