Marissa Shipman founded cosmetics company theBalm in 2004, shortly after moving from New York to San Francisco. Her company began with one lip balm formula. At the time, it was the only recipe the former television producer was able to decipher on her own. Marissa Shipman created her first products at home in her kitchen sink. A meeting with leading cosmetics company Sephora proved valuable in theBalm’s early days, as it led to her products being sold on Sephora shelves.
Since then, Mrs. Shipman has focused on clever branding and packaging strategies that speak to San Francisco’s values. Her products are cruelty-free, produced in the United States, and made without parabens and other harmful chemicals. Female empowerment is also a theme for theBalm, which uses humorous and cheeky girl power sentiments in packaging and displays. At her first brick-and-mortar store, theBalm offers makeup demos and tutorials suitable for every type of cosmetics user.