Lisa Price On Melissa Butler: She Turned Her Passion Into A Profitable Beauty Business

I first met Melissa Butler, the founder of The Lip Bar, at a promotional event for the independent documentary She Did That by Renae Bluitt. It’s a film about Black, female entrepreneurs and the ways we turn our passions into profitable businesses despite the obvious hardships.
Melissa and I were two out of four women featured in the movie. Just as I saw a gap in the market for multicultural hair and skin-care products, she noticed all of the fun and unusual lipstick colors that were taking hold of the beauty world and saw an opportunity. I imagine she thought, “If I just adjust the pigments so that these funky shades work on women with deeper skin tones, women of color can wear these hues like everyone else.” She’s also been quite forward thinking in her work with nude tones — because Black women want nude lipsticks, too. (At least I know I do!)
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The result of Melissa’s thinking has been a successful brand that’s admired for its innovation and inclusivity, and is now sold at Target.

The result of Melissa’s thinking has been a successful brand that’s admired for its innovation and inclusivity, and is now sold at Target. Many times women’s initial business ideas are dismissed as “cute” or “nice little hobbies.” Or, we’re deemed not smart enough to scale a business to a certain size. Nothing could be further from the truth — and companies like mine and Melissa’s prove that.
Lisa Price is the founder of Carol's Daughter, a natural haircare and beauty product line.
DESIGN AND ILLUSTRATIONS BY TRISTAN OFFIT. ART DIRECTION BY ISABEL CASTILLO GUIJARRO. PRODUCT BY LEE MISENHEIMER.
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