The Lip Bar is a vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand founded in 2012 by Detroit native Melissa Butler, who began making lipstick in her kitchen while working as a financial analyst on Wall Street. After bootstrapping her company for the first several years and appearing on Shark Tank, she was referred to Varnum’s MiSpringboard program to prepare the company for investment from an early stage fund.
Varnum’s initial work with The Lip Bar included counsel on convertible note documents and other corporate cleanup as the company prepared to take on investors. Varnum also provided significant intellectual property work in advance of the company’s anticipated growth. In 2018, The Lip Bar expanded into Target and Walmart and is now available in more than 1,000 stores nationwide in addition to its flagship store in Detroit.
As the company grows and diversifies its product offerings, Varnum continues to provide a variety of sophisticated legal services unique to this growing business, such as drafting contracts for celebrity and social media endorsements, working with investors, and helping with the legal side of brand expansion.