For making design accessible to everyone -- and building a company worth $6 billion
The Lip Bar
Because make-up is supposed to be fun
Working on Wall Street was a lot of things to Melissa Butler, but she felt it wasn't inclusive, fun, or true to who she was. She started beauty company the Lip Bar in her Brooklyn kitchen in 2012, and then moved back to her hometown of Detroit and bootstrapped it for six years before raising $2 million. Butler now has 18 employees--and a deep appreciation for mentorship. "Mentorship is really about uncovering the truth," she says. "Sometimes as a founder, you don't see the full picture. Talking with a mentor is like seeing things from a helicopter." She adds that "the reality is, you can't do it alone if you want longevity."
During the pandemic she says she relied on her team, advisors, and mentors more than ever. "The Lip Bar didn't become a real business until I started being vulnerable and sharing my wins and shortcomings with people who could help guide me. Mentorship can be powerful, as it can help shape and give structure to your vision." --Brit Morse