When the world screeched to a stop in 2020, Melissa Butler, founder and CEO of TLB, formerly known as The Lip Bar, used the downtime as a means of making change. Nearly nine years after its launch, and TLB is ready for a rebrand, welcoming its new identity with an expansion into Walmart.
Previously available through Target and TLB's website, 2021 marks an exciting year of growth for the brand. Once an operation run out of Butler's kitchen, TLB is more recognizable than ever, and Butler now wants to ensure that every customer can find a product that makes them feel beautiful.
Speaking with NYLON on the expansion into Walmart, the CEO explained why she decided to partner with the retailer. "TLB launching at Walmart was really based on this idea that we wanted to make sure that we were consistently showing up for our customers. After thinking about our entire purpose and our goals, I was like, 'We exist to create inclusivity and making makeup easy within the industry,'" she said.
With the Walmart launch comes an expanded product collection, and TLB will continue to offer product across multiple categories. Following the recent launch of its new Tinted Skin Conditioner, TLB will unveil mascara, shimmer lip balm, hybrid setting powder, eyeshadow palettes, brow pencils, and more. "We wanted to make sure that we kept in alignment with that idea of we're creating products that are multi-purpose multi-use and easy to use," Butler said of the new launches. New products will be available only in Walmart stores, and select products will retail online.
Once focused entirely on lipstick, TLB has undergone continued change, and Butler confessed that when she started, she never imagined a future where her products would be on the shelves of major retailers. "I didn't know anything about business," Butler said of her start. "I knew nothing about the makeup industry. I just knew that there was something wrong and that I could be a part of the solution."
According to Butler, TLB has always had a clear mission. "Our entire goal from day one was more so about the feeling and less about the product or where people shop for the product. I think that that's why we've been able to achieve some level of success, because we've always been about our customers first," she said. I love the products, and we spent a lot of time and effort trying to make beautiful products, but it really boils down to how are we showing them for our customer?"
When it comes to showing up for their customer, Butler's intentions remain focused on creating a line that's user-friendly. She admitted that even as a founder of a beauty brand, she used to feel intimated by makeup, and she wants others to feel comfortable trying out new products and looks, without having to sacrifice on time. "We want you to be able to spend the time on what's important. That means that we need to do things to streamline your beauty routine, so that you can spend five minutes on your face and then go live," she said.