FAMU grads lip stick brand was rejected on "Shark Tank", now its available in Target storeshttp://rattlernation.blogspot.com/2019/10/famu-grads-lip-stick-brand-was-rejected.htmlhttp://rattlernation.blogspot.com/2019/10/famu-grads-lip-stick-brand-was-rejected.html
FAMU graduate Melissa Butler was frustrated with the chemical-laden options she kept finding at beauty counters, so she started making her own natural lipsticks in her kitchen. Eight years later, what started out in frustration as grown into an upstart national brand --- The Lip Bar, a full line of vegan beauty products for women available through more than 450 Target Stores nationwide, Amazon.com and a brick-and-mortar store in her hometown of Detroit.
Butler's route to beauty industry CEO was anything but typical. After earning a bachelor’s in finance from FAMU, she spent four years working on Wall Street as an analyst for Barclays before taking the leap into the beauty industry.
Her journey from stocks and bonds to beauty is one that she describes as natural, not because she loved makeup, but because she identified a problem and created a solution. She hated traditional beauty brands and their linear approach of beauty and excessive amounts of chemicals. It was her belief in health and inclusion that lead her to make lipstick in her kitchen and develop the vegan line, The Lip Bar. Her goal is to empower women everywhere of all ages, races and body types to be confident in their own skin and remember that they are enough!
Turned down by investors on the “Shark Tank” TV-Show, Butler used the experience as a marking tool. Two weeks after her appearance on the show she saw an uptick in over 120,00 hits on her website. The increase in their brand presence also lead fashion sites such as Nasty Gal and Forever 21 to come knocking on her door.
"Shark Tank taught me a lot; it taught me that I was stronger than I thought and to focus on my North Star," Butler said. "It taught me to be open to failure and receiving advice. Be open to learning. But also, be confident in your ability to move the ship in the right direction. If you are confident, those moments of resistance will eat you alive."
"So, I used Shark Tank for marketing," she added.
Earlier this month, the Lip Bar introduced five new products and none of them were lipsticks.