Melissa Butler says she isn’t passionate about makeup.
Butler, who founded The Lip Bar in 2012, says the booming beauty brand was birthed after becoming frustrated with the lack of colors on the market; and even more frustrated with her career as a stockbroker on Wall Street.
“Five years ago, I decided that I wanted women to have products that allow them to be self-expressive and be who they are; and I wanted to express that through lipstick.”
How Frustration Led to Compensation
The popular brand has since seen over $400,000 in sales—all from one woman’s frustration.
“I was like, ‘Why do lipsticks only come in reds, pinks, and nudes? What if I want to be a goth chick and wear black, or what if I want to wear a bright purple or green?’”
In true entrepreneurial fashion, Butler saw the need, and filled it. She went from making lipstick in her kitchen, to creating a national brand that has graced the lips of Taraji P. Henson and Jordin Sparks.
In addition to the one-of-a-kind, fabulous colors that Lip Bar offers, the lipsticks are all-natural, vegan, gluten-free, and they are not tested on animals.
“My research with the cosmetic industry made me even more frustrated, because it made me see and wonder why so many lipstick [brands] were made with all of these unnecessary chemicals. So, that definitely became a driving passion from the start,” Butler says.
Lessons From The Lip Bar’s Shark Tank Experience
In February of 2015, Butler and Rosco Spears, her business partner and creative director of the brand, appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank. Despite being rejected by all of the sharks, Butler says that only gave each of them more fuel to go even harder.
“We didn’t let it get to us. [You] can’t let failure or rejection get to you. It’s a matter of being so grounded in your ‘why’: understanding why you’re doing what [it is] you do. When you have this strong foundation, and you believe in what you’re doing, failure isn’t an option for you.”
What Do the Next Five Years Look Like for The Lip Bar?
“The Lip Bar will be in every Target, every Walgreens, and every Ulta. We’re going to be that go-to brand that’s responsibly made for women of color. We’re going to be the affordable, accessible, high-performance beauty product, to make women feel their best,” Butler says.
To learn more about The Lip Bar, visit its website.
Danielle D. Hughes is a social entrepreneur, journalist, and youth advocate. When she’s not writing or covering news, you’ll find her at church, spending time with loved ones, or enjoying a great read! Keep up with her: @danielledhughes
Follow Danielle Hughes on Instagram and Twitter: @danielledhughes.