Let's close our eyes and picture the first video vixen or Instagram model that comes to mind. While we may be thinking of different women, chances are they probably look the same or similar. You know, lighter skin, long hair etc. For years (read forever-ever), we've been fed the consistent image of a heavily Euro-influenced standard of beauty. It's not often that you seen an Asian woman or Black woman featured in a boldly pigmented lip color as the face of a major cosmetic brand. Well, that's exactly what you'll find at The Lip Bar.
Melissa Butler, Detroit native and Founder of The Lip Bar, is passionate about her purpose. After bravely walking away from her corporate job on Wall Street, she was able to focus full-time on her mission to challenge the beauty standard. Frustrated with the lack of equal representation in the beauty industry and her inability to find natural and sustainable products, Butler took matters into her own hands.
Since 2012, The Lip Bar has made it's sole mission to rewrite the rules of the beauty industry.
Image Courtesy of The Lip Bar
"We specifically started to only focus on dark skin black women [in our advertisements],because I felt like that was an underserved market" - Melissa Butler, Founder of The Lip Bar
While the brand has chosen to highlight women of color, it certainly does not discriminate. Butler's goal was to create an all-inclusive brand; which lead to the re-structuring of the brand's price-point earlier this year.
"Our lipsticks were traditionally $20. I was like, I want the idea or the cost of beauty to be inclusive. It's like alright, if you want vegan and sustainable ingredients, then you have to pay a higher price point...So, when we say The Lip Bar is supposed to be more inclusive, and everything we do is to make beauty more inclusive; it's like, well, how inclusive is a $20 lipstick? If it's not so inclusive, I'm not working on my 'WHY'.
Image Courtesy of The Lip Bar
That WHY, is what Butler spoke of during her presentation at The Powerful Women's Weekend. Butler gave an inspiring speech on figuring out what your passion is and sticking to it. Hence, her resiliency after her Shark Tank experience. You'll be surprised to hear that her passion is not lipstick or even make-up. Why then have a $400 million dollar brand that's sold online in major retailers like Forever 21, Nasty Gal and soon to be Target? Because, it's deeper than lipstick! Butler, is doing it because she wants to change the beauty standard for the next generation. So, when the next little girl from Detroit comes along, she can say she saw images that looked like her in a magazine or online. That is the WHY!
Butler is holding firm to that WHY and it's the driving force behind the brand. Her self-proclaimed Fire personality, surely shines through as she speaks about her mission with igniting passion. That passion is why the brand has continued to grow over the years.
"People don't buy what you sell. They buy WHY you sell."- Butler at The Powerful Women's Weekend
Melissa Butler's mission is one we should all stand behind. It's not just about lipstick, although the lipstick is definitely worth it. It's about taking charge of how we are defined and what we consider to be beautiful. We've got to write our own standard definition of beauty to be inclusive of all. That's the WHY...
What's your WHY?
For more information on The Powerful Women's Weekend click here.