Lisa Price has always been fascinated with fragrance. As a child, she has always been attracted to scents and smells in their house – the food being cooked in the kitchen, the roses in her grandmother’s garden, the smell of her mom’s face cream, even her dad’s shaving cologne. This fascination inspired her to create her own line of hair and body care products. Today, Carol’s Daughter is a multimillion-dollar natural skincare beauty business.
Price’s business started in her kitchen sink in the early 90s, mixing shea butters, natural moisturizers and essential oils to produce a unique fragrance. She was looking for a scent that will not make her smell “like the department store shelf,” mixing various ingredients until she hit on the right formula. She gave her homespun body creams as gifts to her friends and family.
Her mother Carol, who was the inspiration for the name of Price’s beauty products, saw the business potential of her hobby. She started selling her products at a local flea market, and found great demand. As she describes those early days in a Newsweek article:
My mother was the one who suggested I start selling my body cream at a church flea market in the summer of 1993. By the end of that first day, I was pretty much sold out. I made another batch and spent most of that summer at street fairs and flea markets, paying close attention to my customers. I noticed that they were looking for hair products. So I started making things for hair to keep them from walking away from my table.
For the next few years, Price worked as a writer’s assistant in the hit TV program The Crosby Show by day, and worked on creating her beauty products by night. She continued to sell her products in the flea markets and street fairs, until the cold season comes when she’s forced to sell in her apartment.
Creating her products, running a business, working on a hectic day job, and expecting her first child with her husband proved too much for Price. She decided to quit her day job in 1996 to focus instead on the business and her growing family.
Her big break came when Essence Magazine featured her and her products. Reader’s Digest in a story about Price described those days as,
Price … underestimated how fast the word would spread. When Essence magazine told her story, she returned from the hospital after the birth of her second son, Ennis, to find her voice mail overflowing. “My mailing list went from 2,000 to 5,000 in two days.”
She then embarked on a mail order and web based business to sell her products, counting a number of celebrities such as Jada Pinkett Smith, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, Brad Pitt and Chaka Khan as loyal fans.
In 1999, Price opened her first store in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood. Her web site then describes the next successes of her business:
Today, Carol’s Daughters products are sold in big name stores such as Sephora, Macy’s, Dillards and others. In 2009, she was tapped by Disney to create a line of Carol’s Daughter children’s products tied to the movie “The Princess and the Frog” including Princess Tiana bubble bath, shampoo, conditioner and detangling mist.
The store’s success lead to appearances of Carol’s Daughter products on top national television shows, including The Today Show, The View and The Oprah Winfrey Show. This type of mega-watt attention has encouraged the brand to make Carol’s Daughter a household name – in 2005, Carol’s Daughter introduced new product packaging, an updated website: www.CarolsDaughter.com, announced exciting celebrity investors and a highly anticipated Harlem flagship store in New York City.
Success was not easy for Price. But her love for her family, perseverance, and willingness to take risks allowed her to grow Carol’s Daughter into the massive success that it is today.