Jennifer Walsh is a true architect of the beauty landscape. Creating the very first omni-channel beauty brand in the United States in 1998, she changed the way people shopped for beauty. Beauty Bar was that vehicle that allowed its early shoppers to see and try out niche beauty products in her brick and mortar stores, on her website, and a weekly TV show called The Beauty Buzz.
Jennifer was thrown in front of a TV camera on ABC in February 1997, as the actual guest that was supposed to be on, canceled last minute. At the time, Jennifer was a celebrity make-up artist and had worked on the famous faces of celebs such as Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Jessica Simpson, Justin Timberlake, Mandy Moore, Beyonce, Pink, and many others. She was told to just talk about what she was using on the stars. This one segment led to another, and another and it quickly turned into a weekly program. She began showcasing products that people hadn’t heard about before except possibly seeing it in a magazine. She quickly realized that her weekly show was garnering a lot of phone calls and questions about these unheard of brands such as Bobbi Brown, Philosophy, Kiehl’s, Stila, Fresh, Mario Badescu, La Mer, etc. After a few months on air her producer didn’t know what to call her so he came up with the title of, On Air Beauty Expert. She also had her lightbulb moment.
She recognized very quickly that she had a huge opportunity. She had an educational / sales tool that no one else had, TV! Jennifer already had relationships with all of the above mentioned start ups, as she was talking about them on TV but the viewers were getting frustrated, as why would Ms.Walsh talk about things that people can’t buy anywhere. This is when she thought up her idea for her first store concept. She could use TV to educate so many people on these unheard of brands and have people come to her store.
When she told people that she was going to open a store, most thought she was crazy. Many stated that NO ONE would come to a store for skincare and cosmetics that wasn’t a department store and certainly NO ONE would want to buy these unheard of brands. When people shopped within her stores, she would ask for their email addresses so she could keep in touch and let them know about new products and events. Most of the responses she got back were “no, it’s too dangerous to give you my e-mail address.” If they won’t let her go to them then she will let them come to her online. In early 2000, she quickly created her first online shop to coincide with the store so she could inform shoppers about new products and events and sell online. Within her stores, online, and her weekly TV platform, Jennifer and her growing team educated and sold thousands of products and brands over a 12 year period.
Jennifer grew her business until she sold the company in 2010. Amazon now owns the Beauty Bar and BeautyBar.com. Since selling off her first business, Jennifer has created multiple brands and has worked with brands both overseas and within the states that are rolling out products, stores or trying to create a footprint in the US market.
Jennifer has just recently celebrated her 20th anniversary on air and has been on TV every single month during that period of time, longer than anyone else in the beauty space. Since selling her first company, she was asked to speak on air more about business, retail and small business in the market. You can also find Jennifer as a keynote speaker at many events / symposiums around the world on women in business, entrepreneurship, and the changing landscape of retail. She has been featured in many books and magazines as the OG of beauty.
You will often find Jennifer in Central Park taking pictures or leading running groups around the reservoir. Ms. Walsh has been an avid athlete her entire life and is very involved in many athletic groups not only in NYC but around the country. She often speaks about the importance of ones health as a business owner and offers up a lot of sage advice on health and wellness while running a company.
As a consummate entrepreneur she is already working on her next venture and 2 books.