To say that Jennifer Grimm, founder and CVO of LUX Beauty Boutique, is obsessed with retail would be an understatement. Even when she’s on vacation, she has business on her mind – a recent trip to New Zealand included a stop at Vend headquarters, and an Ottawa trip included an excursion to Shopify’s. “My whole life I loved observing business, and would dream of owning my own,” says Grimm, a Top 40 Under 40 alumna. The a-ha moment for her came early – at just 23, she decided to step up and fill what she perceived as a huge gap in the market.
“I love beauty products… and a lot of that beauty junkie-hood was fed by reading magazines, but all the brands the magazines had listed weren’t sold in Canada, much less Edmonton [at the time] …it was like, wait a minute – we can’t get this stuff, someone should bring it in, maybe I’ll bring it in.”
LUX will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, but the business has evolved considerably since it made the move to a new, two-storey location on High Street. One of LUX’s core values, something that Grimm repeats over and over, is the idea that you must pounce on possibilities – and that’s exactly what Grimm did. In addition to retail and e-commerce, the business now offers a customized subscription box and a beauty lounge where you can book make-up services, one on-one make-up lessons, and even attend workshops teaching you everything you need to know about skincare and the perfect smoky eye.
“The word beauty and the word boutique, they’re two of the most intimidating words – when you have them above your door, you already have a situation of perceptual obstacles, so we have to do everything we can as a team inside our doors to surmount that perception,” says Grimm. “We put all of our focus into ‘this is fun, this is for everyone, it’s not about an ideal or a ‘should.'”