Lip Esteem, a new Black woman-owned business selling plant-based cosmetics, celebrated its grand opening in St. Paul on Friday. 

Tameka Jones, who grew up in St. Paul’s Rondo neighborhood, was a makeup artist for more than 20 years when she was furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But that’s when she took her destiny into her own hands, and her dream of launching her own cosmetics company became a reality. She took all her savings to make her own line of lipsticks, called Lip Esteem. And despite the pandemic and people wearing masks, she found much success at local pop-up events that she opened her own store in the Rondo neighborhood on Friday afternoon.

“I need to create generational wealth for me, and not only for me, but to help build the community,” Jones said. 

She grew up in Rondo and saw a thriving community of Black business owners, and she wanted to be part of the revitalization efforts happening in the neighborhood. 

Tameka Jones of Lip Esteem (FOX 9)

Lip Esteem is a cosmetics company that makes plant-based, gluten-free and cruelty-free products. Jones said this is important because lipsticks with other fillers in them harm women. 

“I want to have a product that’s going to be beautiful and loving to women,” she said. 

Jones hopes to grow the cosmetic line to include eyeshadow, mascara and more. 

Lip Esteem, at 876 Selby Ave. in St. Paul, opened on April 15.



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