Award-winning beauty company The Lip Bar Inc. has raised an oversubscribed $6.7M fundraising round to further grow its house of brands including The Lip Bar, the 10-year-old innovative vegan, cruelty free and non-toxic beauty brand, and thread beauty, the newly launched, bold, gender-neutral, Gen Z-focused, BIPOC beauty brand that is proving to be a breath of fresh air in the industry.
The round was led by Pendulum, an inclusive and strategic growth investing and advisory platform designed for founders and leaders of color. The Fearless Fund and Endeavor also came into the round, providing access to a robust international community through Endeavor and other women entrepreneurs.
TLB’s tremendous success is a direct testament to Melissa Butler’s dedication to building an innovative house of brands. Beyond its bold color cosmetics, TLB resonates with customers because of its commitment to reimagining beauty standards. We are excited to partner with Melissa and the TLB team as they continue to grow an inclusive platform in the category,” said Pendulum’s Co-Founder and CEO Robbie Robinson.
After trialing and testing lipsticks in her kitchen due to her frustrations with the beauty industry’s lack of diversity, excessive chemicals and high price points, TLB CEO, Melissa Butler began developing her own formulations while working on Wall Street. Launched in 2012, The Lip Bar has become a pioneer in clean beauty and inclusion, proudly founded and owned by self-made Women of Color.
“I have personally witnessed Melissa’s journey from leaving Wall Street, to the inception of TLB and the subsequent execution that has turned TLB into a first-class beauty company revolutionizing the variety of colors and bold lips for women of color. We at the Fearless Fund are honored to partake in this round alongside Pendulum and Endeavor. We look forward to adding value as Melissa continues to scale the business and offer solutions that cater to all buyers in the beauty space,” said Arian Simone, General Partner and Co-Founder of Fearless Fund.
Sold in over 1000 stores across the country including Target and Walmart, with the investment, Butler plans to scale and grow her business while continuing to disrupt the beauty industry and challenge societal norms of the past.
“We plan on growing our team and improving our ability to better service the needs of our consumers across different divisions, because we understand how experience and expertise can spur growth quickly. We also plan to continue to drive our innovation forward to create beauty solutions that allow everyone to experience easy, effortless, essentials that empower confidence,” shared Butler. “Until recently, I had only raised $2M and with that $2M, drove a massive expansion in Target and Walmart, hired top tier talent and launched a second brand, thread. If I could do that with $2M, I’m excited about what I can do with $6.7M!”
Most recently, The Lip Bar‘s very first sister brand, thread beauty launched this February – a day rooted in alignment and symbolism of what was to come. From day one, thread has carried the belief that makeup is the connecting thread that weaves itself through all of humanity, no matter one’s ethnicity, pronouns, orientation or how much money they have in the bank. The brand has successfully cultivated a community of Gen-Z (18-28 year old), makeup-loving, humans of color who pride themselves on being rebels with a cause! They set out everyday to be good to themselves, their peers and the environment while publicly valuing inclusivity, accessibility, and freedom. thread beauty is available in select Target stores nationwide.
With the US beauty and personal care market surpassing $85 Billion in retail sales in 2021, and the make-up category seeing a 12% increase in sales, the injection of capital will enable The Lip Bar to advance its product development nationwide and expand its retail footprint in the Detroit market by building a state-of-the-art store that truly allows for a beautiful and immersive beauty shopping experience. Furthermore, the funding will position TLB for growth in both existing and new retail channels over the next few years, as the brand continues to develop new and innovative products.
I have over 10 years of experience in the retail industry including expertise in marketing, operations, merchandising, buying, shopping and technology. I am a former senior managing director of The School of Retailing, University of Alberta. My education includes a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from The University of Alberta in Marketing, Certificate in Real Estate and a Diploma in Fashion Merchandising and Buying from LasSalle College, a Canadian private school founded in 1959 by fashion designer Jean-Paul Morin.