Melissa Butler, the creator and CEO of The Lip Bar, became emotional in an Instagram post recently after revealing that her company is the largest Black-owned beauty brand offered at Target. Her brand’s ongoing huge success comes years after she was roundly rejected on Shark Tank.
Butler recently announced on Instagram that her makeup line is now taking up 6 feet of shelf space at Target, making it the retailer’s largest Black-owned company. As seen in the video she posted, she became emotional when she saw the large display of her products in a local Target.
“We’ve been working on this for so long. When you see a lot of the brands with the big space, it’s conglomerating. It’s not like little Black girls from Detroit taking up this much space,” she said, adding that it all just started with one SKU.
Butler, an HBCU graduate, established her vegan beauty firm in 2012 after becoming dissatisfied with the toxins in makeup and the lack of variety. In her kitchen, she began producing her own vegan lipstick formulations and began selling them online.
Butler appeared on Shark Tank in 2015, hoping to secure an investment to expand the company, but she was rejected down. Instead of giving up, she utilized rejection as motivation to keep going.
The Lip Bar now sells a variety of beauty goods and can be found in 750 Target shops, 500 Walmart stores, and its flagship location in Downtown Detroit.