Deluxe Business Spotlight: Why Lip Esteem’s founding story must be told

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Lip Esteem founder and owner Tameka Jones knows the impact a little bit of lipstick can make. It transforms. It raises heads up high and turns a few, too. She knows this because she’s seen it in her own life and understands the pressures put upon women to meet a certain standard of beauty. 

As a child, Jones recalled the painful insults hurled her way for her full lips. “I was always trying to figure out ways to hide them,” said Jones, which makes her mission to help women rewrite their story through the power of confidence even more important. 

After honing her skills for 20 years as a makeup artist, Jones took control of her future, launching Lip Esteem in July 2020 from her home. The brand offers a complete line of plant-based, gluten-free lipsticks to complement all skin tones. 

Jones’s early beginnings at the Midtown farmer’s market proved there was community support, with her customer base and social media followers growing steadily.

And as good fortune would have it, Lip Esteem was one of six Black-owned businesses selected to be featured in Season 6 of the Small Business Revolution— an Emmy-nominated series by Deluxe, designed to help small businesses overcome marketing, finance and operational challenges. 

Positioning Lip Esteem as a world-class business 

The website design team from Deluxe knew the power of storytelling would set Lip Esteem apart from thousands of other cosmetic companies—especially given that very few are Black-owned and women-owned.

Promoting Black ownership 

Online searches for Black-owned businesses have grown substantially recently, with Yelp reporting an increase of 3,000%. Jones’s new website needed to reflect this distinction.

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Highlighting Tameka Jones’s expertise

In a very competitive industry, another key differentiator for Lip Esteem is Jones’s 20 years of experience. Clients trust Jones’s expertise as a makeup artist and follow her tutorials to utilize makeup and lipsticks to their full potential.

Tameka Jones working with a client

Champion of all people

One of Jones’s many tenets is Lip Esteem is for ALL skin tones—and her full line of product proves that commitment. “I select my products to serve everybody, no matter their skin tone,” said Tameka. 

Watch the Complete Makeover

To learn more about Jones’s startup journey—including the renovation of her new office space—head to Hulu, Prime Video or smallbusinessrevolution.org, where Deluxe teams up with community leaders and industry, financial, and tech experts to help Lip Esteem change the world one tube at a time. 

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