Boss Chick: Lip Bar Owner Says 'Shark Tank' Rejection Was 'Ultimate Win'

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 08/13/2015 | 02:30 PM EDT

After investor calls her 'colorful cockroach,' Melissa Butler has the last laugh

Melissa Butler is living proof that just because you get a "no" doesn't mean your business can't still flourish. 

The founder of Lip Bar, a paraben-free, vegan lipstick company, was memorably rejected on national television by celebrity investors on the popular show, "Shark Tank." The line's bright and bold colors weren't a deep dive with the "sharks" to say the least.

One investor sarcastically said, "I can see a massive market share in the clown market," and called Butler and her creative director "colorful cockroaches" before they walked away without a deal.


Despite the lack of belief in the company, sales in Lip Bar spiked after the episode's airing. Now Butler is having the last laugh and is laughing all the way to the bank. 

After the show, Butler and her team hit the road in the Lip Bar truck and traveled across the country to give consumers a one-on-one retail experience. It's also broaden the cosmetic line's reach.

Now Butler wants other entrepreneurs to know that in business there's life after rejection. She also has some helpful tips to improve your chances for success.

One of her biggest messages is that not everyone will understand your vision--and that's okay.

"The Sharks didn’t agree with my vision. They didn’t think my brand would be able to grow because the market is saturated. They are a group of people I have to prove wrong," she tells

"When you start a business, it’s very easy to get caught up in numbers and validation from others. The key is to always remember why you started."


More importantly, Butler says it's important to not take things personally when someone isn't feeling your business idea; one she surely learned from being ridiculed before millions of viewers. 

"I think it’s important to understand your work is not [your] worth. You have to separate the two," she says. "That’s a big takeaway from an experience like this. Remember you are a person. You don’t know everything. There will be criticism about your business, but you don’t suck!"

The night her episode of "Shark Tank" aired, Butler says the company's website got 30,000 hits. It also brought hre new customers, including 500 orders in one night. Even retailers like Nasty Gal and Frends Beauty picked up the cosmetic line. 

"Shark Tank was not a defeat. It was actually the ultimate win," Butler said. 

Moral of the story: never give up!

(Photo via

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