Lisa Price Chats With Tiffany Hardin For Made by We's "In Between Series"
Martin Lee Studio

Carol's Daughter Founder Lisa Price Reflects On Selling Company And More At The 'In Between Series'

Lisa Price sat down with Gild Creative Group's Tiffany Hardin to talk entrepreneurship and her beauty brand's success.

October 2014 was supposed to be one of the highest points in Lisa Price’s life. Instead, it felt like one of the lowest for the Carol’s Daughter founder. That month, the entrepreneur announced that she’d sold her company to one of the largest cosmetic brands, L’Oreal. As a result,  many onlookers and supporters vocalized their disappointment, especially Black Twitter, and accused the Brooklyn-born success story of being a “sell out” quick to leave behind her people to chase a dollar.

While many felt the move would result in the end of hair milk moisturizers as we know it, Cornell University professor, Noliwe Rooks, wasn’t wrong when she said: "[Lisa’s] love for that community and love for black women and economic possibility for black people is as much a part of her creation story and her narrative as whatever her products would do for your hair."

5 years and a 25th-anniversary milestone later, I would soon learn how Price handled the criticism and learned from her experience.

--

As several aspiring entrepreneurs and industry shakers gathered in the Made By We workspace for the intimate In Between Series facilitated by Tiffany Hardin, founder of boutique consultancy, Gild Creative Group, I must admit, I was a bit apprehensive in hearing what Lisa had to say —mainly because of, well, haters. Admittedly, I was a hater by association when the sale was first announced. I keke’d along with tweets that accused her of giving in to “The Man” while I was rocking a weave with a permed leave out. Clearly, I was in no position to laugh. While hearing her reflect on that trying time at this event, I left with not only a better understanding of why she decided to sell her company but also with a couple of her products in my Amazon Prime cart. Above all, the happy 57-year-old mother of three kept it real about her journey during the event and dropped gems too shiny to pass up during the audience Q&A.

When asked about how someone who had zero experience owning a business ended up being the owner of such a profitable and preeminent company, Lisa's response was simple. “Just because you’re not in a certain space, doesn’t mean you can’t dominate it.” And dominate she did. For those who don’t know, let’s take it back. In 1993,  Lisa Price began her business in the kitchen of her Brooklyn home. Originally, Lisa created natural fragrances, body butters, and oils for skin care but after realizing several people weren’t showing her love at craft fairs for not having hair products, Lisa began making them. $27M, a Home Shopping Network (HSN) partnership, and several fully-stocked shelves in Sephora, Target, and Ulta later, Lisa became living proof that it’s possible to be successful in a field you otherwise knew nothing about.

Despite selling her company to L’Oreal, Lisa remains heavily involved and committed to her “child”, Carol’s Daughter, until she’s ready to retire. (Don’t let her angel-kissed skin fool you, sis is seasoned.) “ I’ve been doing this for 26 years...When your child is 26, they need their mom but not every day. I don’t need to be there as much.”

However, it wasn’t all easy choices. There were several times when Lisa was presented with the opportunity to take her business to the next level, but they just didn’t feel right to her. “I needed help. [But] I wasn’t desperate,” she admitted. Although she met with many big bank bosses, she held out until she found the right partner - one who understood her. That key player ended up being Steve Stoute. Through their partnership, Lisa was able to fulfill her vision, one that most prominent beauty brands still don't fully see. “Beauty companies need to understand that we’re no longer buying ‘the box,’” Lisa stressed.

To us, going natural means not having a perm made by Just For Me and protective styles are braids. To Lisa’s 12-year-old daughter, the word “natural” when it pertains to hair doesn’t mean much because, well, not it’s just hair. ”What happens when we all raise children that just look at it like hair?” Price asked. “My daughter has no perspective of [a] relaxer and she doesn’t go to the salon.” Like Lisa’s daughter, Generation Z is being raised in a time where young girls are celebrated for rocking their natural tresses and cornrows or ponytails are just an added accessory to an otherwise fierce look. Hair is not unique and Lisa feels that big cosmetic brands need to understand that there will be a shift in consumerism. “There has to come a time where we don’t buy shampoo in our own section,” said Price. “You can just line up all the shampoos, I’ll I know how to read, find one that I need… I don’t need to go to a separate aisle.”

And if you really think about it, hair really is just hair. We’re all born with it. There is no need to go to the ethnic aisle just to buy some conditioner. As long as you educate yourself, know what works for you, and can read the ingredients on a bottle. Any product, regardless of the brand, could be a fit for you.

With that being true, shouldn’t we have been rooting for Lisa instead? Shouldn’t we want for as many people as possible to use her bomb dot com product line and support her business? “Everybody needs to get comfortable with folks building stuff,” Lisa stressed. “That’s what we gotta do until we can build it and have wealth….Wealth doesn’t go away. It stays with your family.”

The backlash from selling her company was a lot, but it didn’t break her. Instead, Lisa turned that moment into a learning opportunity because, at the end of the day, no Twitter bird is writing her story but her. And no one should ever write your story for you. “As transparent as I thought I was being about [selling Carol’s Daughter], people were writing a whole different story for me. But you can’t write my story. I’m living it and so I used the opportunity to teach.” When chasing success, you will have uncomfortable moments, and how you move in them will define how far you’ll actually go.

As the In Between Series conversation and Q&A came to an end, Price revealed that these days she invests in people instead of businesses, and offered advice to those entrepreneurs in attendance and offered suggestions like the importance of having a financial advisor and paying taxes. “In this day and age, [you need an accountant] because you’re probably going to make money online and they have receipts for that,” she pointed out. “That’s real, that’s not cash when someone Venmo’s you. You might not need an accountant on retainer but you need to understand ‘What’s my liability?,’ ‘What do I need to deduct?,’ ‘When do I 1099?’” Price continued: “As soon as you get money, you have to know how to pay taxes ‘cause they never go away.”

Price answered another question about mentorship and reminded attendees that it’s good to follow and seek out, but just be inspired by them. “You can find those people to follow and to watch and to listen to,” she said. “You just don’t want to try to be them… just watch how they move.”

At the end of the day, the goal is to build a legacy for your family, an empire that still stands long after you’re gone, while expanding its reach across generations and races. So was Lisa’s decision worth it? I’d say very much so.

--

Guild Creative Group's “The In Between Series” is a conversation series that brings together unique founders and leaders across the beauty, fashion, tech, and culinary industries to share their journeys of entrepreneurship.”

From the Web

More on Vibe

Noam Galai/Getty Images for Billboard

Billboard And VIBE Host Second Annual R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players Event

Billboard and VIBE joined forces for the second annual R&B and Hip-Hop Power Players event on Thursday night (October 17). Held at New York City's Union City, the brands honored the 100 accomplished music executives, agents and more who made the third annual list for their outstanding contributions of driving, influencing and guiding the music industry and hip-hop culture today.

Billboard Executive Director of R&B/Hip-Hop Gail Mitchell and VP of Culture Media/VIBE Editor-in-Chief Datwon Thomas greeted guests at the invite-only reception saying, "Big shout to the team that puts this together, we just want everyone to know that this is a night of celebration. A lot of people have been working in the game for a long time - you are here tonight so you are all winning." He added, "We thank you for taking the time to celebrate your colleagues."

Shortly after, the hosts presented Steve Pamon with the Billboard Executives of the Year Award shared with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. As he accepted his award, the Parkwood Chief Operating Officer delivered a speech saying, “This award was given to myself and Beyoncé, but the award truly belongs to the team behind me. We live off respect and responsibility. A sincere thank you.” He went on to say, “We live off of respect and the responsibility of being around all of you. You are hip-hop. We are hip-hop. It’s not about us. It’s about us all.”

The late Nipsey Hussle was honored with the Billboard Impact Award for his contributions to breaking barriers of cultural appropriation, young professionals seeking educational resources in science, tech and mathematics spaces, and positivity in his community. Prior to Marathon Agency co-founder, Steve Carless, acceptance of the world on Hussle's behalf, there was a 30-second moment of silence.

In his emotional yet encouraging speech, Carless said, “I accept this on behalf of Nipsey, his family, and all his loved ones and his children. What this means to me, it’s a testament to his hard work and dedication." He added, "Congrats to everyone who made this year. It’s a huge honor...One thing I do want to say it, this award is about inspiration. Responsibility is to uplift each other mentor each other and lead each other. May all of us leave here and know we have a responsibility.”

As attendees enjoyed beverages and captured Instagram-worthy images at the Billboard and VIBE cover-inspired installations, rappers Casanova and Young M.A hit the stage, respectively, to perform their popular singles. Flip through photos and interviews from Thursday night's event down below.

Continue Reading
Ryan Muir

21 Savage And Doja Cat Close Out The Summer At Genius' IQ/BBQ Concert

With summer slowly closing its curtains, Genius held its third annual Genius IQ/BBQ and live concert on (Sept. 7) in Brooklyn, NY. After the end-of-summer event opened its doors and hit capacity, music lovers who made it were in for an interactive, day-long experience.

Presented by Boost Mobile, the free event offered a sky deck view and lounge for V.I.P. guests as well as a warehouse full of both indoor and outdoor experiences. From vendors to ice-cold White Claw beverages to a one-of-a-kind multiplayer trivia game, attendees' attentions were absorbed in activities and an all-around good time. In between sets and as the indoor stage radiated hues of purple, DJ S.WHiT! spun hits from your 1st or 2nd generation iPod.

RCA recording artist Destiny Rodgers took the stage to command the room with her hip-hop, pop, and R&B infused set as she performed her singles, "North$ide," "Apologies," "Lockdown," and "Tomboy."

Hailing from South Haven, Indiana, self-taught guitarist Omar Apollo brought the funk, psychedelic rock, and rhythm and blues while performing "Kickback," "You Got Me," "Unbothered," and "Brakelights."

Yung Baby Tate sported a dark purple laced bustier, black skirt, and thigh-high boots while she sang her hits "Pretty Girl," "That Girl," and "Beckham." The Atlanta producer, rapper, and singer also performed her unreleased track "All Dat" and paid homage to Nicki Minaj while she rapped her "Babytron/Megatron" rendition.

Ann Marie slowed the BBQ down with her R&B sounds rocking a late '90s/2000s-inspired black leather fit. The Interscope Records songstress melodically delivered "Handle It," "Unlove You," "Ride For Me," "Throw It Back," and "My Body," while her backup dancers kept up with their hard-hitting moves.

Rising rapper and Bronx-native Lil Tjay helped to warm up the crowd with his newly released single "F.N." that had the crowd putting their middle fingers up. The 18-year-old Columbia Records signee rapped through his reflective lyrics keeping the crowd hooked from start to finish.

The one and only Doja Cat fans warmed the artist up before she appeared on stage, chanting "Doja, Doja, Doja, Doja." Rocking a yellow, black, and white Fashion Nova pantsuit and jacket set, the 23-year-old engaged with her fans singing her hits "Roll With Us," "Go To Town," "So High," "Game," "Juicy," "Tia Tamara," and "Moo!."

Headliner 21 Savage took over the stage with a 30-minute set as shades of red with hints of green captured the emotion in the UK-native's performance. The Billboard chart-topping rapper took his fans back in time opening  with his 2016 single "Red Opps." 21 carried his set going into Savage Mode with "No Heart," and "X" and gave fans a few M's while rapping "Bank Account."

The Not All Heroes Wear Capes artist closed out the event with performances of "Don't Come Out The House" and "10 Freaky Girls" off of his 2018 album, making the third annual Genius IG/BBQ live concert an event to remember.

Continue Reading
21 Savage attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

21 Savage To Headline Genius IQ/BBQ Summer Concert

Brooklyn is about to get a little hotter. 21 Savage is set to headline the third annual Genius IQ summer concert event Saturday (Sept. 7) at Genius headquarters in Brooklyn, NY. Genius first made the announcement on Monday (Aug. 19).

The jam session will celebrate "music knowledge and the platform's global community of artists and superfans," as stated in an official press release. Presented by Boost Mobile, the deeply engaging experience will include Genius's signature music trivia in their trivia arcade. The Genius Test will challenge attendees allowing them to show off and brag on their music knowledge with the hopes that they can snag a prize or two.

"Our biggest priority is the atmosphere we create for intimacy and deep engagement between artists and fans, which also mirrors what Genius does on the internet every day," said Elizabeth Milch, director of content at Genius.

🔥 @21savage / @DojaCat / @liltjay / @yungbabytate / @omarapollo / @imdestinyrogers / @IAm__Annmarie 🔥 💡 IQ/BBQ IS BACK 💡 we’re hosting our third annual live concert series on Saturday, 9/7 more info 👉 https://t.co/jGZKldSpPG#GeniusIQBBQ presented by @boostmobile pic.twitter.com/VFzLsC0vKX

— Genius (@Genius) August 20, 2019

The end-of-summer live celebration will also feature the likes of Doja Cat, Lil Tjay, Ann Marie, Yung Baby Tate, Destiny Rogers, Omar Apollo, and the sounds of DJ sets by JINX, S.WHIT, VRYWVY, and more.

Originally founded in 2009 as Rap Genius, the Brooklyn-based company is known for sitting artists down and annotating hip-hop lyrics. The platform has welcomed and introduced the sounds and styles of Cardi B, Frank Ocean, Lil Nas X, and more.

Tickets are free and are available at iqbbq.genius.com.

Continue Reading

Top Stories