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JEN AND MATT MARTINELLI: FOUNDERS OF CANVAS RECRUIT

By Thea Holtlund Jacobsen Husband and wife Jen Martinelli and Matt Martinelli started their company Canvas Recruit together, after seeing that the need for a platform for business professionals was not being met. The purpose of Canvas Recruit is to empower and inspire beauty professionals everywhere to find the best career opportunities, to give professionals content that will better their careers and to make professional business connections that create monumental careeropportunities for beauty professionals all around the world.

Jen and Matt said Hub101 has opened their world to many resources, and that they use the space to bounce ideas their ideas off other entrepreneurs. The couple also use the Hub101 for networking and coworking, and they said they have made many valuable connections here.


Matt and Jen have held talks at Hub101, sharing their experiences as entrepreneurs.


From learning what your deck should look like to forming a community of other people in similar situations as you, the couple said Hub101 has provided them with support from other people in the industry.

“Yesterday, I actually met a guy we have known for a while for Hub101, who told us he could introduce us to the former COO of José Eber, which is a huge beauty place,” Jen said. “Being there has definitely opened doors for us.”

Jen had been working for the beauty industry for 13 years, and her husband Matt had worked for the same company for six years.

“I worked for the number one CRM company, that managed point of sale and employees for the beauty industry, for salons and spas,” Jen said. “We would always get questions from the thousands of salon and spa owners. The number one question we could never answer was ‘how do I find talent.’ Salon and spa owners would look for makeup artists or a hair stylist, and there was no hub or platform where they could easily do that.”

Jen and Matt said the answer would usually be for the business owners to host events in their local communities to drive in talent and form connections with them and possibly recruit them. An alternative for business owners would be to go to local cosmetology schools in person to forge these relationships.

“These are all time-consuming, heavy-lift, lots of effort and energy initiatives, just to recruit one person to hire,” Jen said.


Matt and Jen Martinelli are the founders of Canvas Recruit.


Another problem the couple saw in the industry was how dependent customers were on their regular stylists, and that this could mean problems for the owner if that given stylist decided to leave.

“Usually consumers are loyal to for example their hairstylist, so when the hairstylist leaves, their whole consumer base is leaving too… When this happens, that owner is missing out on all that revenue, and that’s a big issue in the industry,” Jen said.

It was not until she went to a seminar on how to become a better speaker that Jen learned how to get in front of people and resonate with your audience through your true, authentic self. At the seminar, the host had asked attendees to participate in an exercise where they had to write down three life defining moments they had experienced before the age of 13. “What she then had us do was to take those three things and make them positive things about ourselves, and really identify, as a result of those experiences, who the adult version of yourself is,” Jen said.

Jen said this is when she realized that the adult version of herself is someone who will stop at nothing, someone who wants to give people a voice and that this is why she was able to lead high-performing teams at the company she was working for.


Canvas Recruit profiles helps talent get in touch with potential employers, and vice versa.


“I quickly realized that my purpose was empowerment. My purpose is to make sure everyone has a voice, because as a child and throughout my career I sometimes felt like I did not have a voice,” Jen said.

Once she realized this, Jen said her and Matt decided to make a platform to empower owners within the beauty industry hire the right professionals, but also to empowering beauty professionals to market and showcase themselves in a beautiful way.

“We decided that we would try to side hustle this company, but we quickly realized that it was moving too slow and we were so passionate about it, so we decided that we would both quit our jobs,” Jen said.

At the time, the couple lived in New Jersey. However, Jen’s mother lived in California, so Jen and Matt decided to bring their two kids and move across the country so they could fully fund Canvas Recruit.

In the future, Jen and Matt wants to continue focusing on empowering beauty professionals, and developing their app.

“Even cosmetology students who are about to graduate and have no way of showcase their work and really shine, can come on our platform and make a beautiful mini-profile they can leverage to apply for opportunities either on Canvas Recruit or through other application processes,” Jen said


The family decided to move from New Jersey to California so they could fully fund Canvas Recruit.


The couple said they have also realized that the app has helped give artists a voice. Canvas Recruit helps celebrate the artist through giving professionals who have been in the industry for a long time, and now might be looking into mentoring or coaching students, a platform to do so.

“We actually have people emailing us and thanking us for helping their dreams come true,” Jen said.

Jen and Matt have also seen that the app is helping people relocate. In the past, it was not as easy for professionals to see the business opportunities they would have if they chose to move somewhere else. Through Canvas Recruit, artist are now able to reach out to other people in the industry to look into opportunities to travel and work from other locations. “Your networking is your net worth. We are creating this hub of beauty professionals who can come to one app and network with each other, learn and grow, and broaden their opportunities,” Jen said.

The couple said they are happy they decided to work from Hub101, and that they love the coworking space. Through the people they have met at the center for entrepreneurship, Jen and Matt have been able to develop their company and find new inspiration. “I think Hub101 is where it has been transformational for us. We can’t talk enough about Hub101, we literally tell everyone we meet about it,” Jen said.


The couple have helped inspire other entrepreneurs through sharing their experiences with the Hub101 community. Pictured is Jen at a Hub101 event.

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