Melissa Butler left her job on Wall Street to build a vegan, cruelty-free lipstick line called The Lip Bar. She began by mixing and molding the vibrant-colored lipsticks in her Brooklyn kitchen.
In 2015, Butler pitched her business on Shark Tank, but left empty handed. The Detroit native kept trying to secure funding, pitching some 75 venture capitalists, but no one would invest.
“When I think about the idea of stopping because they told us no, it’s like, ‘Why would I allow anyone else to have power over my dreams?,’” said Butler, who closed The Lip Bar’s first round of funding earlier this year.
The brand is now on shelves at Target and is worth about $7 million. Butler shared her story with Senior News Editor Maya Pope-Chappell for the #HowIGotHere series, which spotlights professionals with unique stories to tell about their paths to success and the lessons they learned along the way.