A BEAUTY entrepreneur whose business idea was rejected by investors on business reality show Shark Tank has gone on to create a brand worth almost $400k.
Melissa Butler, founder and CEO of The Lip Bar – a bold lipstick line made from natural ingredients – says the “sharks” were less than supportive of her business, which had already enjoyed a turnover of £107,000 in two years.
One investor even went as far as to say, “I can see a massive market share in the clown market,” before referring to Melissa and her business partner as “colorful cockroaches.”
But Melissa had the last laugh, even after waking away with no deal.
“It’s literally the most exposure that you can get as a brand. And so we went on there for marketing,” she told xoNecole.
She received over 30,000 hits to her company’s website when the show aired in 2015 and another 120,000 within the first two weeks of the premiere.
The increase in their brand presence also lead fashion sites such as Nasty Gal and Forever 21 knocking on their door.
The brand, which Melissa created after growing “frustrated with the beauty industry”, was on the cusp of making $400,000 last year.
And while Melissa hopes to continue to grow in sales, she also wants to raise awareness about the issues that plague the beauty industry.
“Because first of all, why can’t I find a nude lipstick that looks good on me? Furthermore, why do the lipsticks only come in nudes, reds, and pinks?”
“It became this quest of I want to find products that are natural but also look good on people who look like me. And it was literally impossible to find,” she said.
“I notice there are tons of self-esteem issues directly related to complexion. It’s so troublesome and so we decided to start using very dark models in very bright lipstick colours [in our marketing campaigns]. And to really put them at the forefront not as the object, but as a beautiful woman.”