It’s 2014, and Melissa Butler is now 2 years in with her company, The Lip Bar she founded and launched in 2012. Known for it’s unique color collection, The Lip Bar has been featured in Essence, Nylon magazine, Hello Beautiful, Uptown magazine, and many more.
The Lip Bar was born from Melissa’s need to create a product that not only enhanced a woman’s beauty, but was not filled with harmful chemicals.
This is her story.
With make up hardly being thought of, out of college, with a finance degree from Florida A&M University, Melissa Butler thought she was on her way to the life she dreamed of. A natural go-getter, she wanted a job on Wall Street, and she got it. Relocating to New York, she walked into the corporate world of Wall Street, and to her surprise, she hated it. Coming from a historically black college, Melissa was used to the close- knit, family environment, and working on Wall Street was the exact opposite.
Instead of accepting defeat, Melissa decided to change her situation. This decision meant quitting her salaried job and steady income, to do something that she enjoyed -but she had to find what she was passionate about.
With time, she started to examine things that interested her- these interests ranged from being a shoe designer to a travel agent, but they did not seem to be something she would want to make a career out of.
Giving it some more thought, Melissa began to think about what set her apart from her friends, which led to her stumbling across her love of hand- crafted soaps.
I was spending $50 a month on soap. A person would buy an 8-pack of Dove for $5, and here I am buying soap that’s $6 per bar. So, I was like, if it’s so awesome, because it was hand-crafted, then I can make it myself (Pretty Mogul).
So she quit her job, packed her belongings, and moved back home to Detroit with her mom. Unphased by her mother’s shocked, but supportive reaction, for the next 8 months, Melissa went hard to create The Soap Bar.
With no scientific background, she began to study skin care, exotic nut butters, other natural ingredients, while also taking classes to hone her craft . The soap making process proved to take longer than what Melissa expected- after creating one bar of soap, it took 3 months to test if it was actually safe to use.
Deviating from her formal training in finance, and jumping into an industry she knew nothing about, Butler was determined to create a product she loved.
Melissa’s resilience did not allow her to be still, so she quickly moved on from The Soap Bar idea, and walked right into her destiny with The Lip Bar.
For one year, Melissa would get up at 8 A.M. and make lipstick all day in her mother’s kitchen until 3 A.M. the next day – she would go to sleep, get back up and do the same thing all over again. Her unwavering faith and experimentation led to her concocting over 5,000 lipsticks, until she found the perfect formula- a hand-crafted collection of brightly colored lipsticks for all skin tones.
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, it was always engrained in her, Melissa’s bold move allowed her to create her own lane in the cosmetic industry that she knew little about.
The Lip Bar is not just about cosmetics, but it is about inspiring women to take chances, and empowering them to be bold and beautiful (Interview, Rolling Out).
Melissa’s creation of The Lip Bar is not only symbolic of giving women more make up options to choose, but she also shows us we have the right to choose our own destiny.