The Lip Bar: Melissa Butler : How I Built This with Guy Raz While working long hours as a Wall Street analyst, Melissa Butler started making lipstick in her kitchen as a hobby. But it soon turned into an obsession, costing thousands of dollars. She was frustrated by the lack of diversity in the cosmetics industry, and as a Black woman, wanted to create lipstick colors that complimented her complexion and style. So in 2010, she launched The Lip Bar, with bold colors like green and purple, and boozy names like "Cosmo" and "Sour Apple Martini." Undeterred by a disastrous appearance on Shark Tank with her partner Rosco Spears, Melissa was motivated to pitch her lipstick to Target, and in 2016, launched a new color on Target's online store. Today, The Lip Bar has expanded to 500 Target stores, and has continued to grow a following, despite the pain points of the pandemic.

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The Lip Bar: Melissa Butler

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The Lip Bar: Melissa Butler

The Lip Bar: Melissa Butler

The Lip Bar: Melissa Butler

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Rashida Chavis for NPR
Melissa Butler is founder and CEO of The Lip Bar.
Rashida Chavis for NPR

While working long hours as a Wall Street analyst, Melissa Butler started making lipstick in her kitchen as a hobby. But it soon turned into an obsession, costing thousands of dollars.

She was frustrated by the lack of diversity in the cosmetics industry, and as a Black woman, wanted to create lipstick colors that complimented her complexion and style. So in 2010, she launched The Lip Bar, with bold colors like green and purple, and boozy names like "Cosmo" and "Sour Apple Martini."

Undeterred by a disastrous appearance on Shark Tank with her partner Rosco Spears, Melissa was motivated to pitch her lipstick to Target, and in 2016, launched a new color on Target's online store. Today, The Lip Bar has expanded to 500 Target stores, and has continued to grow a following, despite the pain points of the pandemic.