Video Transcript

00:10 Lisa Price: I wanna get your questions and answer them, rather than keep talking, so don't be shy. Great, thank you.

00:17 Audience Memberre: Hi, Annette Gray. Question, how did you get the rights from Disney to also have Princess Tiana merchandised in your store?

00:26 Price: Okay.

00:27 Audience Member: Did everyone hear that?

00:29 Price: The question, I'll repeat the question. The question was, how did we get the rights from Disney to have Princess Tiana merchandised in our store when The Princess and the Frog came out as a film? And the way that that happened was through Steve's business connections. He heard about The Princess and the Frog, that Disney was making a new animated film, that it was gonna feature an African-American princess for the first time, and he wanted us to be involved. So, he was able to set up a meeting for our marketing team to go to pitch ideas to them. And the wonderful thing that happened was when our team went... I was actually at Home Shopping Network when they went. When our team went, Disney wanted us. And we thought we were going to them to pitch to them. But they wanted to have us involved, so it wasn't as difficult to broker the deal as we thought it would be. But what was difficult was the logistics of it because Disney is such a big company, and a contract is like... And the checklist has sub-section A, paragraph 14, index 5C, so [chuckle] it was a really, really intense learning process for us.

01:46 Price: It wasn't a big money-making venture because our distribution is somewhat limited, so what we were able to do wasn't as big as maybe a larger company would have been able to do. A Johnson & Johnson, a Proctor & Gamble, they might have been able to do bigger things. But it was amazing to be the only beauty brand affiliated with that film and to be the only place where a child could get a bubble bath with Princess Tiana's face on it [chuckle] But that's how that came about.

02:26 Audience Member: Of the beginnings in the crafts or the...

02:29 Price: Craft fairs, yes.

02:29 Audience Member: Craft fairs and the flea markets. And then as you start to listen to your customers and realize that they wanted hair products, how did you finance your line extension or your growth because that... Before Steve Stoute partnership?

02:44 Price: Before Steve, everything grew organically. And it... Whenever I tell the story to people, I always get asked the questions like, "Wow, it must have been difficult to wait that long, for it to take that long." "Wow, it must have been really hard." "Wow, you're really patient." And I'm like, "No, not really," because I didn't have a bigger picture in mind I guess. Like, I wasn't thinking in three years, I'm gonna have this, and in five years I'm gonna have that. And I'm not saying that you shouldn't have plans. I just didn't know how big the company would be so I just let it grow. And I just kept reinvesting in it. So, the fact that it was going slowly, wasn't really slow to me. It was just growing at it's pace and doing what it was supposed to do. So I just kept reinvesting in it.

03:38 Price: In 2001, I was able to get two different loans. The first loan that I got was a traditional loan from a bank. But, one of the things that somebody said earlier today resonates well with my story in that, you physically go into the bank and have a conversation with someone, and look at them, and talk to them. The way that my loan came about was, for me, having a relationship with the bank. So the branch manager knew my business. She knew my employees. My employees cash their checks at her bank. She knew what I was doing and what I was trying to do. So when she had my application, she could write a note on it, and give it to her boss. And then she brought her boss to my home for him to see what I was doing. So when I talked about getting a warehouse, they could understand. "Wow, well she's doing this in her kitchen and her basement. What is she gonna do with the facility?" So I wasn't just an application and I wasn't just a name. And then I got another loan through the SPA after that. But then at that point, the amount of money that I needed to really grow to the next level was just too large for me to be able to get. So at that point, I knew I needed an equity partner. I knew I had done all that I could on my own because I'm not gonna walk into a bank and be like, "Hey, you gonna give me 5 mil? You think?" [chuckle] If you get to a difficult space where the loan at the bank is not quite enough.

05:08 Audience Member: Hi, I have a question. Over here, on the right. Hi.

05:11 Price: Great, thank you.

05:12 Audience Member: I actually have two questions, one from me and one by proxy for someone else. So, I know that relationships and finding the right people to work for your business is incredibly important.

05:22 Price: Yes.

05:22 Audience Member: So my first question is, you've talked about what an amazing impact that Steve had on your business. How did that relationship come about? And how were you able to attract him to your business? What made him interested in working with you in those early days? And then, the second question is, how do you manage quality control as you grow?

05:44 Price: Okay. The quality control question, I'll answer first 'cause it's actually a little bit more simple. Quality control, in a lot of ways, is easier to maintain when you get bigger because you can afford to pay for checks and balances to be in place that you couldn't pay for before. And you have contracts with manufacturers who must adhere to certain guidelines and certain processes or you can refuse the merchandise that they sent to you. Where when you're making it on your own and you have your own warehouses, someone in your warehouse screws up and puts the cocoa butter in the thing that's not supposed to have cocoa butter, all you can do is throw out the batch. And see if the person was negligent or they just made a mistake and take action from there. So the quality control part is actually easier because we have contract manufacturers that are much more equipped than we ever were in our warehouse kitchen.

06:44 Price: Steve, I met through a friend of mine. We had a person in common and he reached out to her to set up a lunch with me. And when I heard him tell the story about how he found out about me, he said my product ended up in his bathroom through a girlfriend. And then five years later, it was a different woman and the product was in his bathroom again [laughter] And apparently, these women were not women who typically travel to Brooklyn and like they shop at certain stores. And he was kind of like, "Why are you going all the way to Brooklyn to get this stuff? Like what's in it? What's the big deal?" So he was curious about the brand and who was this person in Brooklyn that these people were making this pilgrimage to Fort Greene to get these products? So he found out that Rhonda knew me. He reached out to Rhonda, and we had lunch, and that's how we met. And I didn't know anything about him at the time. I learned quite a bit in a short space of time. And then other people we're like, "Oh, my God, you met with Steve Stoute?" I'm like, "Yeah."

07:53 Price: Yes. Oh sorry, I missed the mic. Oh, sorry, sorry, yes.

08:00 Moderator: Unfortunately, ladies, we apologize. We only have time for one more question. So hopefully if Miss Price will be able to after we can maybe get those questions answered.

08:10 Price: I will. I won't fall asleep on you.

08:14 Audience Member: Well, I'm gonna try to make it good. First of all, Lisa Price, your story is so inspirational.

08:18 Price: Thank you.

08:19 Audience Member: I've seen you on the speaking circuit as a speaker. But, we're wondering, how are you managing all of this? You are on HSN. You are obviously on the speaking circuit. You have a huge amount of people that are making the product and putting into stores. You also have celebrity partners and non-celebrity partners and a marketer. As an entrepreneur, we struggle with our time management. How are you doing it and can you just give us some advise around that?

08:46 Price: Okay. You are not perfect and don't try to be. I tried to be superwoman. I have three children, I have a husband. And I try to do it all and do it all very well, and you just can't. And the more conferences and things that I would attend, some that I would speak at and some that I didn't, I noticed that men never got asked that question like, "How do you balance being a great dad and a CEO?" [laughter] Nobody ever asked that question. And the answer would be, "'Cause he has a wife."

09:33 Price: And I actually said that at a conference once and boy, did I get flack cause there were a lot of men in the room. I was like, "I need a wife." It didn't go over well. But I do have a husband who is very supportive and very understanding. So having people in your life, whether it's a husband, a wife, a significant other, a parent, a sibling, whoever it is that's close to you that's a part of your team, really has to understand what it is that you're doing. And team is very important. You cannot do it by yourself at all. My executive assistant Janice is over there and she... When I made that comment, she was like, "Hey, I'm your wife."

10:22 Price: And in a lot of ways she is. And it's really important to have that, but the first step is just admitting that you cannot do it all. You're gonna be a really good speaker one day and another day you're gonna be a really good founder of the company, and another day you gonna be a really great mum, and may be there will be day where you do all of them great, but it's not gonna happen everyday, and it's okay. I was at HSN the past few days. I flew in this morning and I went home. And I do have a cleaning person that comes to my house but she only comes two days a week. So her day was Tuesday, today is Thursday. You know where I'm going with this.

11:09 Price: So when I walked in the house, the floor was dirty, the living room pillows were messed up, the video games discs were out. And this is just on the first floor. I don't know what was going on upstairs. Oh, my daughters play room was just a zoo. And I intentionally did not walk further up into the house. I said, "You know what, I've got to do a speaking thing. I'll look after. I'll look later." There was a time when that would have sent me into a frenzy, and I would have been angry, and I have to clean it up, and why is this here, and why didn't they put dishes in the dishwasher? And I just can't do that anymore because it's not worth it. It's not worth the energy. And it's better for me to just calm down, do the thing that I have to do that's most important. And getting here was more important than putting the dishes in the dishwasher. And if there's mess when I get home, I'll clean it up when I get home, and I'll tell my kids to help me clean it up and tomorrow will be a new day, but it takes time to get there. And sometimes it takes being sick, and pushing yourself too hard, and ending up in bed with various ailments and things because you stressed yourself out over nothing. It takes 10 minutes to straighten up the living room, so 10 minutes now, 10 minutes tomorrow, 10 minutes on Saturday. Do it when it matters.

12:31 Audience Member: Thank you.

12:32 Price: You're welcome.