This March, The Tease is bringing you stories from women who are #MakingHairstory, #BakingBeauty and #DoingItForTheCultuHer. Learn how these influential women are breaking barriers, disrupting their industries and empowering others to do the same all month long.
For nearly three decades, Lisa Price has been providing high quality hair and skin products that are made with love and get the job done. Price started her business, the insanely successful Carol’s Daughter, as a side hustle making body butters in her kitchen. Once the demand for her products skyrocketed, she delivered like a modern-day Madam C.J. Walker.
Catching the attention of many big names like Oprah Winfrey and eventually L’Oréal, which acquired the company in 2014, Price has set the precedent for hair care brands catering to black and textured hair. (See Pattern Beauty, TpH, Wonder Curl, etc.)
We had the opportunity to speak with Price about her business, where it all began and where she’s headed.
The Tease: How did you get started in the hair industry?
Lisa Price: I started making body butters in my kitchen in 1993. I sold at flea markets and craft fairs in Brooklyn and also out of my apartment. Early on, women began to ask me for hair care. I did some research and began making hair products about 3 months after I started. I had several friends who braided and did locs for people. I made oils and pomades for them to try on their clients, and I kept listening for what they/she wanted.
What inspired you to create your own company?
I was inspired by scents, my love of cooking. My deep and abiding passion about shea and cocoa butters and my incredibly dry skin. It began as a thing for me and turned into something I could share with friends and family and then something I could sell.
How would you describe your relationship to hair?
I love hair. All types, lengths, colors, and textures. I love my hair and love that it is strong and healthy enough that I can try new and different things with it when the mood hits me.
Women are often discouraged from sharing their accomplishments, but we want to hear about them. List some of your career highlights. What are you most proud of?
I am proud to be here and relevant 27 years after I began.
I am proud of being credited with being the pioneer of my industry by the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian.
I am proud of having built something from the ground up.I am proud that I was able to get on The Oprah Winfrey show with a PR firm.
What are the biggest challenges you have experienced within the industry and how did you overcome them?
Honestly, my biggest challenge was learning to get out of my own way. Not allowing my fears to stop me from doing or being my best.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned throughout your career?
I have learned that in business, you go through losses, slumps, bad decisions and money issues. [And] those things don’t happen because you are not smart, or because you are a person of color or because you are a woman. They happen because that is the nature of business. It is okay to fail and to mess up. The trick is getting back up and learning from [your] mistakes.
Are there any women in the industry who inspire you or your work? If so, who?
Do you have any words of wisdom for other women the industry?
I would encourage any woman in business to believe in herself and to remember that her superpower is that she is who she is and no one else can be that.
What’s next for you?
Living my best life.