Digital-first, vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics brand, The Lip Bar is set to open its first store in Downtown Detroit on Saturday.
Just like founder Melissa Butler never planned on appearing on “Shark Tank” or leaving her job on Wall Street to open a cosmetics line, she certainly never envisioned expanding The Lip Bar’s footprint. But as Butler knows better than others, “one stroke” can change everything.
Butler takes The Lip Bar to traditional brick-and-mortar, whereas Target was the only prior physical touchpoint for the brand. The opening will coincide with the brand’s seventh anniversary. Located behind the Shinola Hotel in downtown Detroit, and in a just 300-square-foot layout, Butler says the impact is in the experience.
Constructing “safety and comfort” in four arched booths, three of which are outfitted with personal swings — customers can swatch lip colors in privacy with an added fun factor.
Revealed to WWD, there will be a shade exclusive to The Lip Bar store. (Butler informs the shade will be “inspired by Detroit” and easily recognized by the community.)
Butler’s decision to open in Detroit was confirmed by her love of the community and validation after a successful proof-of-concept pop-up store whereby an intended six-month-long stay rolled into a full year in the suburbs of Detroit.
Citing Motown, motor vehicles and techno music, Butler reiterated how Detroit is a “very important city that was almost forgotten” but survived by its passionate community.
And she’s not the only business owner “investing in her city.” The City of Detroit is experiencing a thriving high-tech entrepreneurial landscape, where there is a 54 percent increase in the number of high-growth companies in the last four years, according to an entrepreneurial report released in October by Ann Arbor, Mich.-based start-up EntryPoint.
Likewise, the region is inviting to female entrepreneurs — with cumulative data from three Michigan cities: Detroit, Warren and Dearborn, showing that 40 percent are women-owned businesses. The report is attributed to Business.org, with data from the U.S. Census and the National Association of Women Business Owners.
Detroit is undergoing rebirth as a technology hub grounded by companies such as Google and Microsoft and abounding with start-ups such as information technology company better known as the “stock market for sneakers,” StockX, as well as watch and accessories manufacturer Shinola.
In surge with Detroit’s budding “retail renaissance,” traditionally underserved markets such as cosmetics may continue to draw new faces in physical retail.