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.

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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.

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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.”

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Sean 'Diddy' Combs accepts the President's Merit Award onstage during the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Sean "Diddy" Combs on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Diddy Reinvents His Mantra “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” For Another Decade Of Innovation

“I met him when he was Puffy.” - Clive Davis

A man of many names, one thing has remained steadfast: Sean Love Combs has fulfilled goals and dreams while remaining true to form. This was the consensus on Saturday evening (Jan. 25), when the media mogul accepted the Salute to Industry Icon Award at the Pre-Grammy Gala sponsored by The Recording Academy and music industry veteran Clive Davis.

At the Beverly Hilton, 332 tables were filled with family, friends, peers, media professionals, record label giants, entertainers and more who’s who in town for Sunday's Grammy Awards (Jan. 26). On the main stage, the musical melting pot of the room was represented by legacy acts like Carlos Santana, Cyndi Lauper, Beck, Wyclef Jean, Oscar-nominated actress Cynthia Ervio (who performed a tribute to Janet Jackson in honor of Rhythm Nation turning 30), Miguel, Khalid, Chance the Rapper, Brandi Carlile, and John Legend.

Touching various genres throughout his decade-spanning year, it’s only fitting that the musical acts represented the modes of sound that Combs has touched. From Rock N’ Roll to hip-hop to R&B to even professing his admiration for country music, the multi-hyphenate affirmed that his limit within the industry would know no constraint. To take a trip down memory lane with the artists he's worked with down to his son King Combs' performance of "I'll Be Missing You," artists like Faith Evans, Carl Thomas, and Lil' Kim paid homage in song to the mogul.

“When people ask me did you ever know you’d get to a certain point, I always tell them yes but I never thought that I would get to this point right here where my peers would honor me, show me this love,” he said. At five years old, an unsuspecting Combs would soon realize that a “plastic record player” in place of a coveted bike would change the course of his life. After "20,000" spins of James Brown’s “I Got Ants In My Pants,” Combs planted the seed that would become a fruitful impact on the music industry.

Although the 50-year-old said he had dreams of playing in the NFL, a broken leg snapped his ambitions and led him to Howard University where he met his longtime business partner Harve Pierre and Mark Pitts (RCA's president of urban music). Keeping in mind his love for music and wanting to become a record executive from witnessing how label owners carried themselves similar to drug dealers from his neighborhood, Combs began the long road to success.

While the tribute was in his honor, Combs turned his attention to Andre Harrell, founder of Uptown Records and the company where Combs entered the industry as an ambitious young adult to then being given the tools to strike iron while it’s hot on his own. “I’m only standing up here because you gave me the chance, you gave me the opportunity,” Combs said. “But most importantly what we all have to do, as a black man you took me underneath your wing. He was patient with me. You taught me, you talked to me, you taught me about the game and you taught me what it was to become a record man.”

Then Combs studied the blueprint that was mapped out by Motown Records founder Berry Gordy. When Combs viewed Mahogany, which was directed by Gordy, he understood the lanes outside of music that can allow one to make a global influence, “and the value and importance of black culture and the importance it was going to have on the world.” In Gordy's recognition, Combs referred to him as a unicorn who “empowered me at another level.”

From that moment on, Combs established Bad Boy Records while still working at Uptown but was fired by Harrell for his hot-head antics around the office. Facing a roadblock, Combs phoned record exec L.A. Reid where they both expressed their frustration with that point in their career. Taking a trip down to Atlanta, Reid and famed record producer Dallas Austin introduced Combs to Clive Davis after he expressed establishing his own label. The rest is still history in the making.

With these accolades under his belt, Combs now sets his vision on revamping the Grammys’ image pertaining to hip-hop and music rooted in black culture. The three-time Grammy Award winner stated the entity treats the genre as if it’s not responsible for some of music’s greatest moments and innovations. “Hip-hop is going to go down in history as the culture that said, ‘We need to own our sh*t,” Combs asserted. “And for me it led to great success. It gave me the chance to do Ciroc, Sean John, Revolt, open three charter schools in New York.”

He then continued to point his message at the Recording Academy by calling out their neglect of the genre. “Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys to the point that it should be,” he said. “So right now in this current situation, it is not a revelation. This thing’s been going on. It’s not just going on in music. It’s going on in film, it's going on in sports, it's going on around the world. And for years we’ve allowed institutions that have never had our best interests at heart to judge us. And that stops right now.”

 

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While accepting the Industry Icon Award, Sean @diddy Combs called out the Recording Academy and urged artists to take back their power. “Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys,” he said before dedicating his award to classic black albums that never won a Grammy. They include #Beyonce (Lemonade) @missymisdemeanorelliott (Da Real World) Nas (Illmatic) and @snoopdogg (Doggystyle). 🎥: @desire_renee

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Combs called on his peers in the room to help make that change and understand the olympic-size swimming pool of power that artists have to take control and revamp a longstanding tradition. He also dedicated his award to albums that deserved the Grammys' highest honors: Michael Jackson's Off the Wall, Prince's 1999, Beyoncé's Lemonade, Missy Elliott's The Real World, Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle, Kanye West's Graduation, and Nas' Illmatic.

The mind that can’t stop, won’t stop poses one question, especially with his mission for the Grammys in consideration: what will his next move be?

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Ayesha Curry Celebrates Google Assistant Partnership With Thanksgiving Recipe

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Ayesha Curry has teamed up with Google Assistant to share a hearty recipe or two for the chef in you.

To celebrate their partnership, the entrepreneur and mother of three made an appearance at Google's Friendsgiving event in New York City SoHo district on Thursday night (Nov. 14). Before starting a cooking demo, Curry talked about her love for cooking, the importance of family sitting around the table for a meal, and how Google Assistant has helped make her life easier.

"I think it's great because I can walk into my kitchen, child in hand while making a bottle, and ask what the rest of my day looks like. I can just say, 'Hey Google, what does the rest of my day look like' and it'll pull up my whole schedule and it's just one extra peace of mind because I didn't have to do anything tangible. It's effortless... It's like a digital version of a cookbook with how-tos, timers, everything in one and it can truly be integrated into your kitchen."

After using Google Assistant to playfully cue the Kids Bop version of "Truth Hurts," Ayesha whipped up her new Fall Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Apples recipe on a cast iron enamel skillet from her cookware collection. Not only did the device give step-by-step instructions, but it also provided her with alternative ingredients for one of the ingredients.

"With this recipe, you'll see it's super easy, it's fool-proof. Baking is so scientific, this [recipe] is not that. That's what I love about it."

After serving the cooked bread pudding to the audience, the Seasoned Life author talked about her upcoming cookbook in collaboration with one of her sisters and what people can expect.

"It's going to packed, full of flavor. The realistic nature of this [cooking mother] situation is that unless I'm writing a cookbook and developing recipes, I'm not cooking every night at home. That's just not realistic. We all have jobs, we all have things we're taking care of, but I'm always trying to get a meal on the table.

"So that's what this new book is really going to be about. It's going to be about quick, simple, easy ways [to cook]. I tried to keep everything 30 minutes or less, but it's packed and full of flavor."

Ayesha Curry's Fall Bread Pudding recipe can be found exclusively on any Google Nest device. If you're a Google Assistant users, simply say "Hey Google, show me Ayesha Curry's fall bread pudding recipe" and you'll have a sweet and savory dessert for your Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) dinner.

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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.

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