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4 Oct

Once Rejected By Investors, Melissa Butler’s “The Lip Bar”

Beauty entrepreneur Melissa Butler launched her cosmetics brand The Lip Bar with a mission to “change the best way people take into consideration beauty.” It looks like she’s modified the minds of skeptical investors as well.

In 2015, Butler appeared on the business pitch competition series Shark Tank with the aim of obtaining investment dollars for her cutting-edge beauty company—the panel was harsh, and even called it “clown makeup.” 

7 years later, Butler has closed on $6.7M in seed funding.

Per a news release, the round was led by Penduluman inclusive and strategic growth investing and advisory platform designed for founders and leaders of color, with The Fearless Fund and Endeavor rounding out the cap table. Butler said she plans to proceed growing The Lip Bar, changing societal beauty norms along the best way.

“TLB’s tremendous success is a direct testament to Melissa Butler’s dedication to constructing an modern house of brands. Beyond its daring color cosmetics, TLB resonates with customers due to its commitment to reimagining beauty standards,” said Pendulum’s Co-Founder and CEO Robbie Robinson in a news release. “We’re excited to partner with Melissa and the TLB team as they proceed to grow an inclusive platform within the category.” 

The corporate initially launched with just lipsticks, and eventually expanded to supply a full range of vegan cruelty-free products.

“I even have personally witnessed Melissa’s journey from leaving Wall Street, to the inception of TLB and the following execution that has turned TLB right into a first-class beauty company revolutionizing the range of colours and daring lips for ladies of color,” said Arian Simone, General Partner and Co-Founding father of Fearless Fund. “We on the Fearless Fund are honored to partake on this round alongside Pendulum and Endeavor. We sit up for adding value as Melissa continues to scale the business and offer solutions that cater to all buyers in the wonder space,”

Launched in 2012, the road is sold in greater than 1000 stores nationwide including Goal and Walmart.

“We plan on growing our team and improving our ability to higher service the needs of our consumers across different divisions, because we understand how experience and expertise can spur growth quickly,” Butler said. “We also plan to proceed to drive our innovation forward to create beauty solutions that allow everyone to experience easy, effortless, essentials that empower confidence. Until recently, I had only raised $2M and with that $2M, drove a large expansion in Goal and Walmart, hired top tier talent and launched a second brand, thread. If I could do this with $2M, I’m enthusiastic about what I can do with $6.7M!”

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