Jennifer has been an on air TV beauty expert and a make-up artist on the sets of movies, concerts, runways and photo shoots for a decade. She founded and created a chain of beauty boutiques in Florida, called The Beauty Bar, and now consults with new and up-and-coming boutiques across the country.
Jennifer grew up in New York City. Her mother – a make-up artist herself. There's always a reason that apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Clearly, we benefit from that expertise. Jennifer moved away to attend Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC, not far from Charlotte.
In 1993, Jennifer moved to Miami where she modeled part-time for ad campaigns. Later, she worked in retail at Bloomingdale's, though her passion led her to styling people on the side. Just a couple of years later, Jennifer moved to Jacksonville. She worked for a local radio station, and again established opportunities to style people outside of work hours. It wasn't long before Jennifer made the move to being a personal stylist full-time, focusing heavily on beauty and niche brands. It was during this time that she stumbled upon an opportunity with an ABC affiliate for an on air segment.
With the ability to talk about niche beauty products on air, and the influx of calls coming in from those wanting the products, Jennifer realized she was onto something. And though she knew nothing about opening a retail business, let alone owning one, plans soon begun that enabled her to stake her claim in the beauty industry. The perfect space opened up right off of the beach in Florida. And in 2001, Jennifer opened her first Beauty Bar location. She recalls,
Educating my customers on various high-end, and even unknown, brands was so exciting. I had to work very hard not only to educate customers on products that were brand new to them – such as Kiehl’s, Stila, Fresh, La Mer, Bliss, and L’Occitane – but I also had to sell the brands on why they should believe in me, my sales ability and my concept.This was the first time ever that these brands were being showcased and sold in this region of the country within a 125 mile radius. Jennifer had a lot to prove, not only to her new customers but also to her vendors. She was the first and only store in the southeast that was given permission to sell Crème de La Mer and Stila in a boutique setting. Though it was a lot of work, Jennifer enjoyed the challenge.
For three years, Jennifer and her sister worked feverishly to grow the business. With the success of one location came the next location just 15 miles down the road in north Florida.
An indicator of her entrepreneurial relevance, Jennifer Walsh and her growing beauty empire have been a case study at a college in the south as well as oversees. Entrepreneur Magazine followed her for 30 days via video and had Jennifer start a blog during the construction of her third location.
That was an incredible experience for me. Building another location while trying to run a business is not an easy thing to do. There were days that I just didn’t want to be on camera. However, I had to tell people how I was feeling and then write about my daily happenings. I would get comments and questions from people all over the world, it was truly an amazing experience for me.Jennifer's typical day has changed. She went from spending all of her time in and out of the boutiques - actually watched Whitney (America's Next Top Model) grow up in her store - to being pulled in several directions with photo shoots and speaking engagements. Jennifer is now mostly on the road. She is being filmed around the country for beauty stories, writing for magazines, and often working on the set of TV shows as the make-up artist.
Jennifer has worked with Rachel Hunter, Jessica Simpson, Salma Hayek, Mandy Moore, Justin Timberlake, Nick Lachey, Phil Simms, Dan Marino and many more. She visits other cities for make-up events and educates boutiques on all the beauty brands. She has become indispensable in the industry.
Jennifer Walsh is doing what she was always meant to do. And proving to all that the risk is most definitely worth it!