Last March, Melissa Butler predicted that her beauty brand, The Lip Bar, would “be in every Target, every Walgreens, and every Ulta” within the next five years. Now, almost one year later, the former Wall Street stockbroker-turned-entrepreneur is one step closer to her ambitious goal.
According to Allure, The Lip Bar is launching at dozens of Target stores in spring. Butler created the line in 2012 out of her home in Brooklyn, New York, after growing frustrated with the lack beauty products on the market for women of color. At the same time, she was becoming increasingly unfulfilled with her career. As a result, Butler created The Lip Bar, which offers all-natural, vegan, gluten-free, lipsticks that 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,” she told Black Enterprise. “So, that definitely became a driving passion from the start.”
Butler presented The Lip Bar on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2015, but was rejected by each of the sharks. Nevertheless, her beauty business has grown to a value worth nearly a half a million dollars that’s built on inclusivity and diversity. “Everyone deserves to have representation. Without it, we are left seeking validation,” reads a quote from Butler on her website.
Today, the line is already available in 44 Target stores and will be available in 100 more stores this May in cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Philly, Charlotte, New York, Houston, Dallas, and St. Louis.
“The Lip Bar has come a long way from making lipstick in my kitchen in 2012,” wrote Butler on Instagram. “[Two] Years ago I emailed the buyer of Target and told them that my customers are shopping there for haircare but not for makeup. And today I’m pleased to announce that THIS SUNDAY, FEB. 18TH, WE’LL BE LAUNCHING IN SELECT TARGET STORES,” she said, adding, “And to make it extra special, we’re launching with 2 EXCLUSIVE SHADES ( BADDIE AND UNIMPRESSED).”
Last month, Target also began selling Koils by Nature, an all-natural hair product line created by Pamela J. Booker.
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