in ,

Melissa Butler’s Vegan Lipsticks Now The Largest Black-Owned Makeup Brand At Target

| How Africa News
Melissa Butler


When Melissa Butler was employed as a data analyst at Barclays in New York City in 2012, she also launched a line of vegan lipsticks as a side business. She entered the cosmetics business after realizing that the existing brands weren’t meeting her needs.

“I was really frustrated with the beauty industry,” she told CNBC Make It. “I hated the excessive amounts of chemicals [in lipstick], I hated the lack of diversity, I hated that if you wanted to get a high-performing product you had to spend a million dollars.”

She started creating lipsticks by hand in her Brooklyn kitchen, melting dyes together with vegan ingredients like shea butter and avocado oil before freezing them in sets in her fridge.

“I didn’t come from a retail background, I didn’t come from a beauty background, certainly not a manufacturing background,” she said. “I was working you know 55, 60 hours a week but then coming home and making lipstick.”

Butler eventually left her banking position to devote herself entirely to her firm. She went on to say that she had first supported her business with her funds.

She attempted to win the Sharks over by bringing her vegan lipstick company to ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2015. She was, however, scorned and discarded. Kevin O’Leary, one of the sharks, predicted that her company wouldn’t make it.

“The chances that this is a business are practically zero,” O’Leary admonished her. “You only have so many minutes on Earth, don’t waste them trying to sell lipstick.”

Sharks Robert Herjavec, Mark Cuban, and Lori Greiner concurred that her company had no future. Butler was horrified by the outcome of her pitch and even referred to the panelists’ conduct as cruel. She learned the value of tenacity instead of letting that incident crush her sense of adventure.

The Lip Bar Inc. is currently the largest Black-owned cosmetics firm at Target, months after the disastrous Shark Tank episode. 142 Target locations around the nation now carry her goods on their shelves.

“@thelipbar and @threadbeauty are taking up 6 shelves of space in select stores! I saw it for the first time on Wednesday and I cried my eyes out. I am so proud of where my team and I have taken the business and the beauty industry,” Butler posted on her Instagram page.

“Y’all may not know how MAJOR this is. We are the first black-owned makeup company to take up this much space,” she continued. “I just love making Black History during Black History Month.”

She even has billboards in Detroit, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. reading: “‘Shark Tank’ told me to quit. 10 years and 2 million units sold. Thanks, Mr. Wonderful.”

Following the success of her lipstick business, one of the Shark Tank investors that rejected her business idea came out to congratulate her.

“I’m proud of them for taking the heat. I’m proud that they’re entrepreneurs and successful. It’s a wonderful thing to see that happen. They were facing an almost impossible task because going into the cosmetics industry is so difficult to get market share,” ClicheMag quoted Kevin O’Leary as saying.

“But they pulled it off, so you gotta applaud them — there’s no question about it. But that is a tough space because the margins are so high that the competition is just brutal.”


Written by How Africa News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

18 − three =

| How Africa News

Tyler Perry Becomes First Black Entertainer To Make Forbes’ World’s 10 Highest-Paid Entertainers List For A Second Time In A Row

| How Africa News

Tributes Pour In For Late Ghanaian Footballer Christian Atsu