Video Transcript

00:10 Lisa Price: Hi, how are you? Good. I'm gonna try and be as energetic and peppy as possible. But if anybody was watching Home Shopping Network yesterday, you probably know how tired I actually am.

00:25 Price: Mary J. Blige was selling her holiday sets of her fragrance on Home Shopping Network and we kinda had a 24-hour stay up, go on TV, take a break, go back on TV, take a break, go back on TV, take a break, stay up, go back on TV, take a break. She had to perform though. I just had to look cute and say nice things.

00:44 Price: But I am Lisa Price. My company is called Carol's Daughter, and I actually am Carol's daughter. My mother's name was Carol. And I named my company Carol's Daughter because I was making a list of things that I was and a list of things that I wanted to become in order to brainstorm the name for the company. And the reason that I had for that at the time was if I picked out a positive quality about myself from that list or an aspirational quality of myself from that list, then every time someone referred to my business, that would be me getting that affirmation over and over and over again.

01:22 Price: So, being Carol's Daughter at the time when I named it that, it sounded right. There was something about it that felt good and felt warm, and I went with the gut of "it sounds good". I didn't do a focus group. I didn't ask people, "What do you think? What do you think?" I just went with that gut. And I'm very appreciative of having done that because it was something that my mother and I had with each other as a joke because she would tease me and ask me to let her know when I had made enough money for her to sue me for using her name.

02:01 Price: And so, whenever I would do something or have success, she would say, "Did you make enough yet? Did you make enough yet? Can I sue you yet?" And so, it was just our thing. And then when she passed away eight years ago, it really helped me to be able to deal with her physically not being here and handle the grief of it because she's never actually gone away, and she literally does not go away because every single day I hear her name. Every single day I call her name by saying who I am. So that, that affirmation worked out very, very well, just not the exact way that I planned.

02:39 Price: We've taken that philosophy within our company, and everyone within our company refers to themselves, if you get an email from one of us, as who they are and then whose child they are because we're all someone's child. And where we come from shapes who we are and shapes where we're going. I was listening here on the side to the panel that was up here. And what I'm going to try to do is to give you in a nutshell, what I've done in the 18 years that I've been in business. It's gonna be about a 10-minute nutshell. So, 18 years down to 10 minutes because I want to allow you time to ask me questions so that I can really hit on the things that you want to know about.

03:22 Price: So, in 1993, I had a hobby of making fragrances. I have been in love with fragrance for as long as I can remember. My memories go back to about age four or five, and my grandmother's Chanel No.5 on her dresser, which I couldn't understand why she only wore it on Sundays. It's just like, "Nana, why do you just wear that when you go to church. It smells so pretty. Wear it everyday." I didn't get it. I get it now. But I would wear it everyday still.

03:51 Price: And I've been in love with perfume ever since then. So, I started out making my own fragrances from fragrance oils. And in order for a fragrance to really last on your skin, you need the ancillary products, the soaps, the shower gels, the lotions, et cetra.

04:07 Price: So, I started playing around in my kitchen making moisturizers. And I made moisturizers because I had super, super dry skin and no matter what I used on it, I would be ashy by lunchtime. Whatever I used in the morning just didn't make it to lunch. So, I wanted something to moisturize my skin. My mother encouraged me to sell at a flea market when I actually had this Body Butter recipe down pat and had shared it with other people in the family.

04:35 Price: She just said to me one day, "Oh, you know, St. Mary's is gonna have a flea market on Saturday, and Uncle Ron is gonna sell his T-shirts, and Aunt Norma is gonna make some carrot cake and why don't you come and sell the butters?" I wish I had asked my mother why she thought of that because I had never sold anything in my life ever. I had never worked in retail. So, I don't know why that idea popped into her head. But I thought of it as a Sunday out with my family. So, I made up the butter. I put it into recycled baby food jars, I made handmade labels and wrote on the label what each butter was, took it out to the flea market, and I sold out.

05:16 Price: And at that flea market someone handed me a flyer for another one coming up two weeks later. And at that time I was a person who worked in television and film production. And what television and film production did for me, to prepare me to be an entrepreneur, was it taught me how to live without a steady paycheck.

05:34 Price: Because in television production, unless you are working on a new show or something like The Oprah Winfrey Show that was on the air for 25 years, you work a day, you work a year, you work a week, you work four hours, you work two weeks, you could have eight or nine different employers in a six-month period, you're a freelancer. So that schedule helped to prepare me for being an entrepreneur and living within a certain budget and not over-extending myself.

06:06 Price: So, I did that flea market, and I did the next one that I got the flyer for, and the next one that I heard about. And I spent that summer, 'cause typically at that time in New York, production was slow. So, I spent that summer building a client-base and selling at craft markets and flea markets and craft fairs. I also listened to the customers who were coming up to my table and I found women, particularly African-American women, were not very happy with their hair. And they were not very happy with the hair products that were available to them. Their hair was dry. They needed a better shampoo. They needed something to detangle. They needed something to moisturize.

06:45 Price: So, I learned how to make hair care products because I was trying to show them body butters and fragrances, and they were walking away 'cause I didn't have anything for hair. So, I was like, "Well, I want them to stay." I'll make something for hair and I'll get them with the hair stuff and then they will buy some of the pretty perfumes. And that worked. Now hair care represents 60% of my business. So, it's still the largest category that we sell.

07:12 Price: But it was a very good business lesson for me in listening to the customer and giving her what she wants, and not just making what I wanna make and do what I wanna to do and give you what I think is good. I won't have a business unless I give you what you want. And that's something that we have to learn in business as entrepreneurs. It's me, me, me, I, I, I. It's my passion, my idea, my thing what I wanna do. But if your customer doesn't want it or if it isn't relevant or if it isn't innovative, it doesn't matter how much you love it. He or she has to love it as well. So, listening to them and being able to incorporate your passion with their needs is the key to having success.

07:57 Price: So, I did the flea markets for a while. Then the weather started to get cold. And that wasn't really practical to be outside selling. And people called me because they needed refills of their products, and that led to me selling out of my apartment. And my apartment changed various times. My husband and I moved from a one bedroom to a two bedroom and then eventually into a house. And I operated a store within my home for about six years. And it got to the point where there was just too much in my house. There was production in my house, meaning we were making products in my house. We were shipping in my house and we were selling in my house.

08:40 Price: And I was living in a fish bowl because there were always people working for me in my house and the UPS guy was in my house and then customers were in my house. And so, in 1999, I was able to get a lease for a store in Brooklyn, in Fort Green, Brooklyn on South Elliott in DeKalb, and we still have that store today. And that was the first store that I opened up outside of my home in 1999.