February 19, 2014
A woman’s hair is a very personal extension of herself. We’re not going to trust our locks to just anyone! For such delicate matters, we turn to experts like Lisa Price.
After spending years working in television production for The Cosby Show, Lisa’s hobby of making body care products in her home kitchen turned into something much larger. For the past 20 years, she’s been creating natural products for her line Carol’s Daughter, named in honor of her late mother.
Lisa’s mane mission is to address beauty concerns for women with diverse backgrounds through high-quality hair, body and skincare products. Soon she’ll be able to help even more women, as Carol’s Daughter is coming to Target stores this March.
We recently visited Lisa in her New York office, where she chatted with us about Carol’s Daughter, starting a small business and Black History Month.
Why did you decide to start Carol’s Daughter?
I started mixing body care products in my kitchen and worked to make them better and better. I sold them at flea markets and craft fairs. Women of all types would come over to my table and tell me about their beauty needs. People were mostly looking for hair care products, but I didn’t have any so I researched before making my own. I realized I’d been settling with my own hair routine for years. I learned to make products with natural ingredients that didn’t make hair feel stringy or weighed down. Suddenly I had this curly, fluffy hair that I never had before.
If you could go back in time and offer yourself advice, what would you say?
I would say to always listen to my gut. It took me a long time to realize that my intuition about my customers and products is usually right!
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned as a businesswoman?
I learned how important my story was to the marketing of the brand. When you’re a founder involved in your company, your story starts to feel old because you tell it all the time. I had a meeting with some people and they went straight to me and asked me to tell them my story. A light bulb went off, ‘Oh, I’m the brand!’
As an African-American woman in business, do you face any unique challenges?
Being African American in the beauty business hasn’t been an obstacle because I initially was making products for other African American women. Where it becomes challenging is getting people to recognize that, while I may have started with a core customer, textured hair runs the gamut of ethnicities. With the rise of interracial marriages and families, the lines are getting blurred. It’s beautiful. That’s the great thing about Target—their multicultural hair care aisle reaches so many different types of women.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
I think it’s great to have Black History Month because, no matter what, it encourages schools to incorporate important dialogue into their curriculums that may have previously been ignored.
Do you have any mentors you’ve looked up to throughout the years?
I look to many strong women for inspiration. Watching someone like Oprah Winfrey is empowering when you’re trying to navigate your own life. I’ve always appreciated Martha Stewart’s sense of marketing and branding. I’m not nearly as crafty as she is, but I looked to her for inspiration for how to set up a table when I went to a craft fair. I always thought if I can make the ambiance different than the other tables, then I’ll pull someone in.
Do you have a mantra?
When something’s bothering me and I don’t know what to do, think of my mother. She would always tell me, ‘But what if you couldn’t do this?’ That always encourages me to work harder and appreciate what I have. When my mom passed away 11 years ago, I had to figure out how to get through the tough times because she wasn’t there to talk to me anymore. When I feel bad now, I hear her in my head, encouraging me.
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