THE NORTH SHORE’S Jen Bobay has always had a connection to the beauty world, first through her grandmother who was a hairdresser in the city and then as a teacher who applied her love of science to ingredient combinations that she learned helped her skin. “I fell in love with makeup and skincare and was trained by a line that I loved and believed in,” Bobay remembers. “But nearly every product I tried irritated my skin.”
It wasn’t until after Bobay gave birth to her son Nicholas and was looking for an opportunity where she could work and still make him a priority that she decided to create her own mindful line of makeup.
Bobay founded Jar Bar Makeup, a complete mineral makeup line that is free of parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, and talc.
“When I first decided to launch my company, I thought my business would be more education about makeup application—teaching my friends and their daughters how to use makeup and what was in their products,” she explains. “It was somewhat of an accident that we ended up marketing the makeup itself.”
Like any new business owner, Bobay found “shiny pennies” everywhere she looked, opportunities that sounded good on paper but maybe didn’t make sense for where she was at the moment.
“Many friends and clients wanted Jar Bar to offer more products and initially I wanted to please and would try and be everything to everyone,” she says. “Around year two, I knew that I needed to refocus. It was time to take a step back and get some advice.”
Bobay’s cousin encouraged her to join an entrepreneurial club and she came across a newly formed one at The Lake Forest Shop.
“The day I went to my first meeting was a moment in time,” she says. “When I met Ellen Stirling, I found a wonderful mentor that taught me the art of balance between running a business and maintaining your priorities for your clients and your family.” Bobay began by introducing her products through a series of trunk shows and learned that a glow palette she carried was a hit.
“We don’t carry my entire line at The Lake Forest Shop. We’ve customized what we offer to clients of The Lake Forest Shop,” says Bobay.
Bobay credits much of her success to the collaborative network of women in her corner. “Ellen Stirling has been an incredible role model to me,” she adds. “And along the way, my mother, husband, son, and several friends have stepped in and helped me with many things from campaigns to photographs for my website. Working with others has been my favorite part of creating Jar Bar. My grandmother used to listen to women share their problems when she would be styling them. And when they would ask for advice, she lifted people up with the art of beauty. There is something therapeutic beneath the surface of the beauty industry. The hardest days won’t be cured by a great lipstick, but they sure can be made better.”
Bobay believes today that her calling is bigger than selling makeup. So, she’s tapping into her science teacher toolbox to teach women of all …….