Mama Glow Icon: Lisa Price
From humble beginnings in her Brooklyn, NY kitchen, Founder of Carol’s Daughter, Inc., Lisa Price transformed her beloved hobby of mixing up fragrances and creams at home into a multi-million dollar beauty empire.
In the early 1990’s, Price began experimenting with making her own fragrances and perfume sprays when she wasn’t busy working in TV production. She added oils to unscented lotions, and began learning the aromatherapeutic and healing properties of the oils.
In 1992, Price dedicated herself full time to creating beauty products. With $100 in cash, her own kitchen, and the simple notion that people should follow their hearts, Lisa started building the collection that would become a beauty revolution. 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. Her business continued to grow, aided by the encouragement and assistance of family members and friends.
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, Erykah Badu, 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).
She is also the author of “Success Never Smelled So Sweet,” a remarkable memoir that chronicles her transformation from a young Black woman deep in debt and burdened by low self-esteem to the president of a multi-million dollar business. Looking back on her years growing up in Brooklyn, Price vividly recalls her recurring connection with nature: a profound love and appreciation of the natural fragrances of the world. Price continues to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of other women through her book, speaking engagements and business seminars.
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 in November 2014.
Price is dedicated to giving back to the community through both her business and her personal life. She has taken a hands-on approach to involvement in community fundraising walks and gala events for the Lupus Foundation of America. Additionally, Price generously and frequently offers product donations to community organizations both large and small in an effort to help Carol’s Daughter’s extended friends and family with their own outreach and fundraising efforts.
Most recently, Price has been appointed as a member of the National Women’s Business Council, an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues that face female business owners.
Price and her husband, Gordon, have two sons and a daughter and live in Brooklyn. When she can find the time (between managing her business and family), Price enjoys going to the beach, reading, crocheting, and watching movies.
As one of her loyal fans who traveled to Brooklyn from Columbia University in Morning Side Heights in the 1990s just for her amazing hair creams- I am so proud of her rise to success. Carol’s Daughter and non-profit organization, I AM THAT GIRL, recently launched a beautiful campaign uplifting women and girls called #BORNandMADE. Lisa Price is a Mama Glow Icon!
Tell us a little about your family Lisa.
I am a wife and mother in addition to being a business owner. I started my company, Carol’s Daughter, 22 years ago, in the kitchen of my Brooklyn apartment, and my husband, Gordon helped me to build it, all the while, raising our family. Forrest is our eldest. He is 19. His brother, Ennis will be 18 in October and they are 19 months apart. Wow! And Becca, our youngest and our only girl turns 9 this month.
What was your experience as an entrepreneur taught you about resilience?
I am one tough mama. Much tougher than I thought I was. I am able to handle so much more than I ever could before. I tell people all the time that being a business owner not only brought me financial success it brought me a new me. A better me. A less afraid me. It brought out my inner bad ass.
You built an empire on the premise of women celebrating themselves through self-care, what does your glowtime routine look like, how do you relax and rejuvenate?
My morning shower is all me. And though it may be quick at times it is an experience. When I step into the shower I have options of cleansers. Scent, texture, exfoliating or not. Am I washing my hair also and if so, with what? Am I bringing a jar of honey into my shower or a jar of coconut oil or both. I have very dry skin so I am BIG on moisturizers.
I love to relax once a week in a bath. I burn a candle. I play music and I just escape for a little while. I have an antique claw foot tub and I can really soak. And, there is always something in the water. Rose petals, milk, oils, or sea salt or a combination of a few of the above.
And when I am away where there is an ocean, that is the ultimate for me. The ocean, the surf, the sun. The feel of it. How it smells. It does all kinds of wonderful for me. I can never get enough of the beach. I am sure that is to where I will retire.
You’ve seen it all, done it all, what would be your advice for moms who have dreams to launch their own businesses?
Well, I have seen and done a lot but not all, yet. My best advice is to go for it. If you are not because you are waiting to be prepared or to not be afraid, guess what, that day will never come. How many of us just knew we were ready and totally prepared to be moms? But, we figure it out and get it done and we love our babies no matter what. Same thing for your business.
What are your go-to glow foods for staying healthy and energized?
Newest thing – Amazing Greens. I found it at Whole Foods and they help me to get my vegetables when I am on the road and can’t find them in an airport.
This isn’t a “keep you healthy kind of thing” but I do like strawberry licorice and if I have some occasionally it will curb my sweet tooth and keep me away from more harmful things. It takes a lot of chewing to eat them so the oral thing is covered and you can’t eat them fast. I also try to find “healthier” brands. I used to like Twizzlers but I can’t eat them now.
Who’s a Mama Glow Icon you love?
Soledad O’Brien She is remarkable and so honest. She is a great mom but knows her limitations and doesn’t try to live up to some fancy ideal of the “perfect mom.” I feel she does the most amazing job at juggling it all and looks great while doing it. Four children and she travels the globe.
Lisa’s 3 Glow tips for luminous living
Some of these things are things I aspire to do more often. When I do do them they help me tremendously.
- Yoga and meditation.
- I also became a vegan a little over a year ago and that has helped me a lot. I feel like my body runs more efficiently on less. It is challenging to maintain given my travel schedule but I am figuring it out and I forgive myself when it isn’t always perfect.
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