Founders of THE LIP BAR — Melissa Butler, Rosco Spears Celebrate 10 Years of Success With A New Billboard And Social Media Praise

Founder, Melissa Butler and her friend/business partner, Rosco Spears pointing upward to their new billboard for The Lip Bar, LLC

The art of connecting souls often times relies on the right collaboration. For Melissa Butler, nothing rings truer when it comes to her beauty company, The Lip Bar (TLB). The vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand just celebrated 10 years with a new huge billboard that reads:

“Shark Tank told me to quit. 10 years and 2 million units sold. Thanks Mr. Wonderful.”

The billboard is inference to Kevin O’Leary, the Canadian businessman and one of the host of ‘Shark Tank‘ on the ABC network. ‘Mr. Wonderful’ is the nickname that O’Leary has gone by since season one of the show. O’Leary not only rejected the offer to help fund Butler’s lip stick business when she appeared on the television show, but he also told her the market was heavily saturate, being a vegan company is too expensive and she should just basically quit. He even goes as far to say that their bold lipstick colors were “clown makeup.”


Luckily, Butler and her friend turned business partner, Rosco Spears, did not listen to the business mogul and stayed persistent with her dream. The Lip Bar (TLP) had to initially fight against the negative press that came along with being rejected on national television and a viral clip in where their brand was called “clown makeup”, was uplifted by many people who agreed with the founders — that finding bright and vibrant lipstick colors for people of color were hard to come by. They flooded the social media time timelines with positive feedbacks and advertising that many brands would pay to have circulating the internet.

The once small lipstick brand has now expanded into a beauty empire, offering mascara, eyeliner, concealer, primer, tinted moisturizer and a host of other beauty products. The Lip Bar (TLB) have garnered over 12,000 5-Star Reviews, and won a number of honors, including being named Allure’s Best of Beauty winner! Furthermore, TLB secured their products visibility appearing on shelves in major retailers like Target and Walmart.

Not bad for two persistent Black women (from their hometown city, Detroit) who started TLB to fill a void in the beauty industry to help support the needs of people of color.

Founder, Melissa Butler and her friend/business partner, Rosco Spears pointing upward to their new billboard for The Lip Bar, LLC

Melissa Butler first posted the image of their new billboard on her Instagram, with the caption:

“10 years later and we’re still [100 percent] that Bawse. The sharks told us to quit, but we kept going. 2 million units later…thanks, Mr. Wonderful. Here’s to many more years of challenging beauty standards and ignoring the haters. And I’m so happy to be doing it beside my bestie, [Rosco Spears].”

Congrats to Melissa and Rosco, who also serves as the Creative Brand Director. Being we are still in the month of February, that’s worthy of a Black History highlight for sure!

If you’ve been inspired by their story or shopped with The Lip Bar before tell us what you think in the comment section!

If you haven’t shopped with The Lip Bar, be sure to grab some of their products here.

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