DETROIT – A graduate of Cass Tech High School was frustrated with the beauty industry and took some steps to change it.
Melissa Butler owns The Lip Bar, a makeup company in Detroit. She said she wanted to change how women approach makeup.
When Butler was growing up she said she never considered herself someone who was really into makeup, but she saw an opportunity.
“I started this company nine years ago making lipstick in my kitchen. Not because I love makeup, but really, because I wanted to make an impact,” Butler said.
She wanted to make an impact on an industry that was dominated by men.
“I was so appalled. I was like, ‘Wait. You mean to tell me, men are the ones running these companies? Even though women are the users?’ Like, how does that make sense,” Butler said.
So she started The Lip Bar. It’s a vegan, easy to use cosmetic company that challenges the way people think about beauty.
Butler not only had a goal of employing women, but also wanted to make high-quality cosmetics for people of all skin tones.
“Women of color are spending nine times the average person on their beauty or their makeup routines. And I was like, and no one’s producing product for them. That’s kind of crazy. It sounds like a huge market opportunity,” Butler said.
Butler’s flagship store is set in Downtown Detroit. It didn’t take long for The Lip Bar to gain national attention.
“We’re in about 750 Target stores and about 500 Walmart stores across the northeast, southeast and as far west as Texas,” Butler said.
Butler now employs a team of all women who are breaking barriers and boundaries in the makeup industry.
“I think it, it means so much to us and for our customers to be in these national retailers because it’s like, ‘Hey, you’re beauty is also mainstream,’” Butler said.
Butler hopes to inspire women with her story. She said that you don’t need to be from New York or Los Angeles to make your dreams come true and that anything is possible from right here in Detroit.