By: April Carson
Melissa Butler, creator of The Lip Bar, hasn't forgotten the tough times on her path to launch the world's first beauty brand devoted exclusively to lip color. There is now a billboard in Detroit advertising her firm she founded 10 years ago: "Shark Tank said I should quit. Ten years and two million units sold. Thank you, Mr. Wonderful."
They all turned up for the next interview, which went exactly as planned. The host kept calling and texting her, but she didn't respond because she was confident that the investors were not the customers she wanted to target. She knew her client base well and pressed on.
“Business, especially for ten years, goes wrong every day. That was an isolated occurrence.” “Things go wrong in business, particularly for ten years; things obviously go wrong every single day.,” said Butler to the Free Press on Wednesday. After the election, when so many people were looking for a cause to rally around and find purpose in their life, I don't feel like we were looked down on, because it was said that we could have stopped going if a group of multimillionaires and billionaires told us our idea wouldn't work. It takes bravery to look within yourself and say, "I'm still going after this."
With a bash Sunday at its Parker's Alley shop in Detroit and a behind-the-scenes documentary series that may be viewed on YouTube, the Lip Bar is marking ten years in operation with a celebration. A unique beauty package will be released to commemorate the occasion.
The scandal-plagued vegan beauty brand that was memorably featured on ABC's "Shark Tank" has skyrocketed in popularity over the last ten years, with stores like Target, Meijer and Walmart selling its goods, as well as a flagship location in downtown. Celebrities such as Taraji P. Henson and first lady Michelle Obama have worn the items.
According to Butler, the firm's success began more recently. It took the firm about six to seven years to develop a following of over 310,000 followers on Instagram.
"I felt like the beauty business had gotten so complicated with products and influencers, so we've really doubled down in recent years on making makeup easier," said Butler, 35, of Detroit. "And people were just buying things they didn't know if they worked or how to use."
The company created a shade matching system that uses a tinted moisturizer color to connect customers with the rest of the line, such as concealer, powder, and lipstick, which go with that particular hue. The Lip Bar will also continue to promote its "Fast Face" concept, which offers products to obtain a finished makeup appearance in three to five minutes.
The behind-the-scenes moments of her business progress are chronicled in the documentary series, which also gives an insight into Butler's life from childhood through now. This month, the three episodes will premiere on YouTube, and a trailer aired Feb. 8 to launch it.
In her essay, "How I Became an Entrepreneur," the actress recounted how she honed her skills and built up a following while working as an airline hostess in Taiwan. She wanted to underscore in the series that being an entrepreneur is difficult from the start.
“I want it to convey the true narrative of how The Lip Bar was created, who I am, and where I'm from so that people understand that I didn't do anything spectacular. “I didn't grow up in a rich family; my family wasn't wealthy. My mother and father were imprisoned when I was young. ”
“So my life was not always easy, but because I had faith in myself, I was able to overcome the odds.”
She studied at Florida A&M University, where she majored in business administration and graduated with a degree. She worked on Wall Street before deciding that The Lip Bar would be her life's work.
Sunday at 1 p.m., she will continue her journey with the celebration, which will include music, cuisine, and beverages, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at The Lip Bar's flagship establishment in Parker's Alley in Detroit. Butler will be available to greet customers at the shop.
The cosmetic company is also releasing several new lipsticks. So far, fans have seen a purple and a deep pink version of the shade "Bawse Bouquet." The brand is also launching a few new red liquid matte lipstick called Bawse Lady, which may be purchased for $39 in a Bawse Bundle for a limited time. The bundle contains a Bawse Balm, lip liner, and Bawse Gloss.
10 years of reflection
Butler began developing colors for lipstick in her kitchen in 2012, when she was just beginning her company. Since then, she has established a nationwide manufacturing site. She now employs more than twenty people.
“I believe that as an entrepreneur, you must love the journey. You must enjoy your job on a daily basis. And you must consider what's right in front of you rather than what may happen in the future."
“I have a problem with impulsive purchasing. I do not like to think about the future at all! When we create something new, everything moves in one direction: forward. We don't want something to change; we're scared of it changing... So five years ago, I wasn't thinking, 'what happens in 10 years?' I was really just thinking about what I could do right now to impact my consumers or to make a difference in the beauty business, to develop cosmetics easier and more accessible.”
For the coming year, Butler wants her business to continue to help clients see themselves in a good light regardless of their appearance. The company's anniversary is this Monday.
“Our main advantage is that we know our clients so well, and as a result, we can help them so effectively since we are now our customers. We're going to invent even more fantastic goods, and we'll continue to tell the tales of our consumers,” added Butler.
Butler and her company have been able to thrive because of their unique perspective and mission.
“I'm so grateful that I get to be the one who provides a solution to this problem that has plagued the beauty industry for so long,” said Butler.
“It's not just about making people look good; it's about making them feel good too. That's what we're really all about, and I think that message is resonating with people.”
Butler plans to continue to grow her company and change the beauty industry for the better.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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