Melissa Butler, the Detroit native and founder of The Lip Bar, has successfully turned her start-up beauty brand into a nationwide phenomenon. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Finance from Florida A & M University and experience as a licensed stockbroker on Wall Street, Butler has used her skills to create a thriving business. Launched in 2012, The Lip Bar is known for its maximum impact, minimal effort vegan and non-toxic beauty products. Despite facing rejection on Shark Tank in 2015, Butler persevered, and her determination paid off when The Lip Bar landed a deal with Target in 2018.
On the 10th anniversary of The Lip Bar, Melissa Butler launched her second beauty brand, Thread Beauty, which is now also available at Target stores nationwide. Thread Beauty focuses on the authentic experiences of Gen-Z Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, offering multi-use beauty sticks designed for convenience and versatility. The debut collection includes three products: Face It Complexion Stick, Blend It Multistick, and Color It Lip Color, all priced at $8. Face It is available in 24 shades, while Blend It and Color It each come in 14 shades.
Thread Beauty’s bright Tiffany-blue packaging reflects the fun and creativity that Gen Z consumers seek in their makeup products. Butler encourages customers to use the products in any way that works for them, embracing individuality and self-expression. The Lip Bar has also expanded into skincare with TLB Skincare, a collection formulated to cleanse, hydrate, and soothe the skin using superfood ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Reishi Mushroom, and Blueberry Extract.
Today, The Lip Bar is a multimillion-dollar business, with sales doubling annually for the past four years. The brand is stocked at 1,000 Target doors and has received a $2 million investment from New Voices Fund in 2018. Melissa Butler recently announced that she owns the largest Black-owned makeup company in Target, with both The Lip Bar and Thread Beauty taking up six shelves of space in select stores. This remarkable achievement showcases the power of perseverance, innovation, and a commitment to inclusivity in the beauty industry.
Jeanel has 15 years of retail, marketing and brand management experience. She has started an ecommerce business in 2019, after working in corporate retail and real estate as a senior managing director and former consultant. She's traveled all over the world, speaks at world renowned trade shows and events, holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce (B.Comm) and a Certificate in Commercial Real Estate. You can connect with her on Linkedin.