In 1992, Price dedicated herself full time to creating beauty products. She began by selling her homespun beauty products at flea markets, but then had to set up shop in her living room as demand increased. Favorable word-of-mouth spread like wildfire as her customers enjoyed such unique products as Love Butter, Hair Milk, Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie and Lemon Mint Manicure. In August of 1994, Price officially established Carol’s Daughter (the company lovingly named after her mother).
Initially starting out with a handful of steady customers, those numbers grew in leaps and bounds as women outside her neighborhood and circle of friends began to take notice. Almost overnight, celebrities like Jada Pinkett-Smith, ErykahBadu, Rosie Perez and Halle Berry became loyal customers.
Price is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the National Black MBA Association’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2000), the Working Woman Magazine’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Award (2001), the National Book Club Conference Terrie Williams Inspiration Award (2004), the YWCA “W” Award (2010), the FFAWN I’m Power –I’m Beauty Award (2010) and a Cosmetic Executive Women Achiever Award (2010).
Today, Carol’s Daughter sells millions of dollars’ worth of products, having launched an exclusive collection in Target stores nationwide and on Target.com in March 2014 as well as extending into select Walgreens in March 2015. As a culmination to the Carol’s Daughter business trajectory, Price sold her company to L’Oréal USA in November 2014.
Q&A with Lisa
1. How did you get into beauty?
I began by making fragrances and then the ancillary products for them followed. It was a hobby, a craft. I then began to make products for friends and family as gifts and one day my mother encouraged me to sell at a church flea market and that was the beginning of it all.
2. Why do you love indie beauty?
I love the creativity and nimbleness of indie beauty. An indie beauty brand doesn’t really worry themselves with the trend. They create for the sake of creating. If what they create becomes a trend, great. If not, that is okay also.
3. How can you help indie beauty brands?
I believe that when you are growing a brand it is important to have some idea of where you want to go and do you really know what that looks like. I think too many people say “I want to be just like (fill in the blank)” without having any idea what the brand has gone through, what was their original vision versus where they are today. What lead to that shift, good or bad? It is also critical to appreciate the process and live in the moment. Yes, you must look ahead but it can be a bit like your children. You blink and they are all grown up. You want to love and enjoy where you are when you have $50k in sales just as much as when it is $50 million.
4. If you could give indie beauty brands one piece of advice, what would it be?
Know who you are and how to tell your story. No one is allowed to alter the DNA of your brand. Not even you. You must always evolve to stay relevant but that must be an evolution and not a revolution.
5. What is the best piece of advice you’ve gotten?
To know my worth. I received an industry award one year and I remember being a bit in awe of the other recipients being honored. A colleague reminded me that I built an empire out of an idea with not much money at all. It was so stunning to hear that. It was then that I began to know my worth.
6. Favorite motto or inspirational quote.
“This too shall pass.”
7. Must-read email, blog, publication?
I enjoy the blog Awesomely Luvvie.