We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Chriss and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I chose this path because it fits who I am. I am to my core an artistic, creative person. It’s a part of everything I do, whether it’s creating my suite space from the white walls up, or picking an outfit for a night out, or even decorating for a holiday. And honestly, it’s one of the easiest paths I’ve ever been down. I’ve had many jobs in my life that I would describe as 9-5 white wall, cubicle type jobs, picture…”Office Space”, but none of them ever felt quite like me. I do appreciate these experiences, however, because without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. As scary as it is some days to be out on my own, doing and creating my own non-white wall, non-cubicle world, every minute of fear has been worth it because my job never feels like work, it always feels like a gift.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have always loved makeup. Always. I remember when I was a kid, I would save and sometimes search for money just so that I could spend it on a lipstick. Any lipstick. My requirements were simple; it had to be bright and it had to be bold. So I collected a lot of colors and wore them as often as I could; even though my mother would roll her eyes and suggest I rethink my bright magenta choice because maybe I was only nine. But, playing at such a young age I think developed my love for color, and makeup in general. Makeup was so much fun. And it could so easily change my mood and I just loved it. So, how did this childhood love affair get me to where I am today? I honestly think it’s because of the many direct and indirect steps I’ve taken in my life. Let’s just say, I’ve worked in many different industries. Some have been creative and fun, and others well not so much. But with each job I learned something about myself; what I liked and truly did well, and what made me miserable. I liked to learn and be creative, I had a knack for asking very pointed, sometimes direct questions, and listening. What I didn’t enjoy was a 9-5 job, and not being able to express my thoughts and ideas. So one day many years ago, after working in a not so fun job, I decided to look for something else. Something I knew I would do well and truly enjoy. I’d found a makeup counter job in a retail store. I interviewed and was hired, with zero experience I’d like to add, but was able to convince the gentleman that hired me, that my love for all things makeup would carry me through. And it did…for a little while. I loved the makeup aspect of the job; being creative and teaching people how to be better at it, sharing, laughing, learning, but the hard sell, the sales part of the job was tough. And in the retail world sales is everything. So, I only lasted in that position for a little over a year. What I hadn’t learned yet about sales would eventually come, and though it wasn’t easy at first it was something I had to learn because I knew I wanted and needed to be successful in this industry. I am proud to say that this very first job, albeit short lived, led me to work with some very large brands over the years including: Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, NARS, Charlotte Tilbury, and Chanel. And these experiences also laid the foundation for what I do today with my business, and I am grateful for that. I currently own Jennifer Chriss Beauty, LLC. doing both makeup and esthetics in a small private suite in Scottsdale. My goals are big and I hope to grow my business this year to include two or more artists, a bigger suite, and a professional development component. Stay Tuned!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I absolutely love being out and about in this wonderful city! For breakfast I love a few places: Snooze, The Joy Bus Diner, Butters Pancakes and Cafe, and Perk Eatery. Lunch is easy: Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Susie’s Mexican Restaurant in Mesa has the best green corn tamales, and Rudy’s BBQ for some pulled pork oh, and maybe a drive-thru bite at White Castle. Dinner is all over the map! Ready, Set! Hula’s on a Wednesday because their happy hour is on point. Postino’s any day of the week, and if it’s Central Ave. definitely Windsor needs a nod too! For cocktails I would suggest: Bitter and Twisted because it has a menu like the Cheesecake Factory but for all the liquors you can think of and some you can’t, Sazerac for it’s cool vibes and cool patio, and Arizona Wilderness because it’s no non-sense and great people watching all while in downtown Phoenix. Uptown The Vig is a staple which conveniently happens to be located right next to the original Whining Pig. And on a Sunday it’s Chelsea’s Kitchen for great patio, food and mimosa experiences. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Shoutout is dedicated to so many in my life. It’s hard to know where to start but here goes! And this is in no particular order. First my parents, because they have always supported whatever I do, and they always show up and show love. They were the first to say, “Do what makes you happy.” Second, Kyle, without you I wouldn’t have allowed myself to even entertain doing what I’m doing today; create this business and build it from the ground up. Thank you for being my biggest and loudest cheerleader. And finally to all of my friends and family who have allowed me to practice on them, and work with them. I thank you for your unconditional support and faith, it has meant the world to me.
Ethan Beazley-Bridal group picture