Anna Warner-Mayes | DET Member Spotlight


Anna Warner-Mayes

Dames Collective Chapter: Detroit

The Lipstick Journey

1. What is the name of your business and can you tell us a little bit more about it?

It is called The Lipstick Journey.  I have always loved lipstick and for years I have dreamed of owning my own lipstick company. After finding out I had cancer for the fourth time in 10 years but now Stage 4 Metastatic, I wanted to seize the day and dive in. Being an introvert, I used lipstick and its many colors to express my mood throughout my cancer journey and beyond. I discovered that beauty comes from story and lipstick can be your expression. I wanted to create a quality product that would connect people to my story and to the power of their own. I wanted to also have a tangible way to give back to other cancer fighters and survivors so my company gives a percentage to cancer organizations I'm connected to. The Lipstick Journey was born from loving lipstick, having cancer, finding purpose, and wanting to give back. As my tagline says, 'life is your canvas.'

2. What has been your biggest win as an entrepreneur thus far? 

All of it. From doing the research to find a cosmetic chemist to manufacturing, packaging, logo, etc. I was starting at ground zero. I've spent my entire adult life in a completely different industry so all was new to me. Watching a dream become reality and holding my own product in my hand for the first time has been my biggest win.

3. Where do you find daily motivation and inspiration? 

Life is a little different when you have Stage 4 cancer. Inspiration comes from the air that I breathe because I'm still breathing it. Hate to be heavy but it's true. Other motivation and inspiration comes from meeting other female entrepreneurs doing their thing so thank you to Dames Collective for being a place for that. I also listen to numerous podcasts since I'm on the road quite a bit.

4. What is the best piece of advice you have received and who was it from? 

Some of the best advice I've received in terms of starting my business has come from a couple women I met at networking events. The first 'chat' I had with a female entrepreneur was with Blessing Odesiyan of Mother Honestly. She helped my vision cast and set priorities. The next person I would say was Fadia from Wingme Cosmetics. Since we are both in the cosmetic industry and she had just launched her product, she shared some of the obstacles with packaging and manufacturing with me so I felt less crazy at a time when things weren't happening in my time frame. She gave me more realistic expectations which helped me tremendously.

5. What is your morning routine?

I wake up around 6am and sit in a corner chair in my office to read, meditate, pray, and journal. It's a quiet half hour start to generally chaotic days.


6. What is your favorite podcast?

My selection is a little eclectic and I have too many faves. Here are just a few: Oprah's Super Soul Conversations, How I Built This, She Did It Her Way, My Favorite Murder, For The Love-Jen Hatmaker, and The Moth because I love stories.

7. Something that most people wouldn’t know about you:

I was a singer. Radio jingles, weddings, sports events...sang a lot locally and was even on a Detroit based tv show on NBC in the late 80s called The Saturday Night Music Machine.

8. If you could go back to when you started your company what would you say to yourself?

Be patient

Stay in touch with Anna through:

Company website:


Personal IG: @annaslipstick 

Business IG: @thelipstickjourney