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Source: Sara Happ

Founder and CEO Sara Happ 'Always' Knew She'd Be Successful: 'I Had It in Me'

Mar. 6 2024, Published 5:34 p.m. ET

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In 2005, Sara Happ read that lips should be exfoliated with a wet washcloth or baby toothbrush, but shortly realized that there wasn't a "lip scrub" on the market.

"I went to my kitchen and made six flavors myself. Today those first articles that prompted me to start sit in my office, alongside 19 years of press covering our first-to-market Lip Scrub," Happ, who is The Lip Expert and Founder and CEO of Sara Happ, exclusively tells Morning Honey of how she came up with the idea.

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Source: @sarahappherself/Instagram

Sara Happ came up with her own lip scrub.

With no prior experience, Happ decided to jump right in.

"I don't have a chemistry degree and I don't cook," she quips. "Making The Lip Scrub was truly my kitchen's crowning moment."

"Creating The Lip Scrub was a blast. I spent two weeks working nights and weekends perfecting my formula in six flavors, while I worked full time. My tiny apartment smelled like a bakery filled with vanilla bean extract, cocoa powder, sugar and edible essential oils. Taking it to market as an indie founder in a time when there weren't many ... that was daunting," she shares.

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sarahappherself
Source: @sarahappherself/Instagram

Sara Happ said she created everything on her own.

When boutiques and shops started taking her product to sell, she felt validated. "When I walked into The Beauty Closet in Studio City and it's owner, Shannon Levy, tested my homemade, hand-filled hand-boxed Lip Scrubs in front of me, then immediately wrote me an opening order check, I squealed. I put the check in my back pocket and deposited it the next day to, what else? Buy more sugar! I wished I'd framed that check," she recalls of that special moment.

Happ's product then made an impact on the beauty industry. "Being first to market is a double-edged sword. We're often years ahead of the game because we do one thing: focus on what's missing or broken in lip care. That means we're the first to educate consumers on why they need this new product. And we're quickly knocked off, which we take as a compliment. But in my gut, I know we were first and our team is deeply proud old that," she notes.

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Source: Sara Happ

Sara Happ's products feature lip scrubs and balms.

Happ started the business in 2005, when the only female founders out there were Bobbi Brown and Nyakio Grieco, who is like a sister to her.

"We truly were blazing our own trail, and we fought to be taken seriously. Watching female founders taking the lead today and owning their products and their stories makes my heart soar. Watching women fund women is a powerful thing. My daughter is 10 and she only knows a world where her mama's girlfriends make our beauty products, our clothes, our jewelry, our artwork. Female founders are imprinted in every area of our life and home. I'm most honored to be a part of that movement," she says. "I don't actually enjoy being a boss. I see our team as a family. I aim to lead as a founder with optimism and excitement, to validate our wildly talented team and to foster a safe space where people feel loved, trusted, empowered and encouraged to do their best work."

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Though entrepreneurship is a "roller-coaster," she hopes to "give people proof that dedication to whatever matters in your life; your career, your friends, your community, your family ... showing up daily in whatever capacity you can, will pay off," she says. "The results might not be immediate or super obvious, but your hard work and good intentions absolutely matter."

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Source: Sara Happ

Sara Happ is proud to be a female founder.

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"We're The Lip Expert®️, so I want Sara Happ the company to be known and trusted for putting out the most luxurious, innovative, effective lip products on the market," she shares, adding that "Our Dream Slip has unbeatable chemistry, and was the first night cream/sleeping mask for lips. She's my nighttime hero. I wear our Pink Slip daily as my uniform to hydrate like nobody's business, with just the right amount of color."

Happ isn't shocked by her success, but she's still embracing this time in her life. "I put my 10,000 hours very early on. I have an incredible team today, but at times it was just two of us doing the work of twenty. I live and breathe this brand and I just won't stop. That counts. It builds a brand. I've always known I had it in me, even on my worst day," she declares.

For more on Happ's products, click here.

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