GLAM GAP: Carol’s Daughter Founder Lisa Price on Her Natural Hair Empire

Lisa Price

GLAM GAP: Carol’s Daughter Founder Lisa Price on Her Natural Hair Empire

How the entrepreneur built a beauty business that’s lasted nearly 30 years.

Published May 13th

Written by Blake Newby

BET.com’s THE GLAM GAP is a weekly video series spotlighting Black entrepreneurs and influencers in the beauty, fashion and lifestyle space.

If you’ve picked up a Carol’s Daughter product recently, know that you’ve witnessed a creation 30 years in the making. Founded in 1993 in the Brooklyn kitchen of Lisa Price, the haircare and skincare brand has become one of the biggest beauty success stories of the generation. 

Now, almost three decades in, Price is reflecting on the many lessons she’s learned along the way, and acknowledging that the road hasn’t always been easy. 

“If I could have spoken to Lisa 30 years ago, I would tell her to trust her instincts and to not be shy,” Price tells BET.com. “Your gut instinct is going to be correct more times than you think. However, I’d say that cautiously, because if she knew what every scenario would be, then she wouldn't learn and she wouldn't be the person sitting here today. But I’d tell her to trust her gut more.

And Price is positive that her mother, Carol Hutson, the inspiration behind the brand’s name would have told her the same thing. An eternal optimist of sorts, Hutson was a constant source of encouragement for Price until her passing in 2003.

“The most valuable lesson that I learned from my mom is the glass is always half full,” Price says. “My mother lived a life with medical issues and different adversities but she never let them stop her or get her down. She would always say, ‘But it could be worse. I could be like this or this could be like that.’ Having that type of outlook was really pivotal for me in being an entrepreneur.”

In addition to her mother’s wisdom and support, family has played the biggest role in Price’s success. As one of 13 siblings, she’s all too familiar with teamwork, and the acceptance of ideas and opinions not her own. 

“Even though we didn’t all have the same parents, there were so many different ideas and interpretations of what those parents taught you,” she tells us. “I find that my family is what informs how I operate and how I built my company. Family helped me understand that everyone has a place at the table and that everyone has a voice. But then at the end of the day, you have to come together, differences and all, for that common goal.” 

It’s that dedication that ultimately lead to Carol’s Daughter’s 2014 acquisition by L’Oreal. A move that’s set the example for dozens of other Black, female-owned brands to follow. And Price doesn’t take that lightly, understanding that she’s become the blueprint for many.

“It feels amazing,” she says. “Really, really amazing. I remember when I started there were very few of us. We were selling together at different craft fairs, not on the big shelves of Target like we are today.”

But ultimately, Price hopes that the legacy she leaves on the world is one that surpasses just beauty products. 

“The legacy that I would like to leave is that I cared and that I was passionate about what I did,” she says. “I haven't done what I've done solely for myself. There are times when people think that people who are in business and who achieve some success, that it was all done for money, or done for fame or popularity. I'm trying to build something that I can leave for my children so that when my children think about what they want to do in their lives, perhaps they don't just think through the lens of a job or career.”

Follow Lisa Price on Instagram @IAmLisaPrice and visit CarolsDaughter.com to shop her complete line.

(Photo: Bennett Raglin/WireImage)

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