TheGrio’s 100: Lisa Price, cooked up beauty empire from Brooklyn kitchen

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In 1993, Lisa Price started Carol’s Daughter, a multimillion-dollar beauty business, with $100 and a homemade lotion recipe in her Brooklyn kitchen. At the urging of her mother, Carol, Lisa took to New York flea markets to sell her concoctions. When customers asked after hair products, Price went back to her kitchen to create Khoret Amen, a hair care oil for dry, damaged or relaxed African-American hair. Price’s business has been expanding ever since, but all of Carol’s Daughter’s 300 products are still made by hand with natural ingredients.

Lisa Price is making history … by specializing in naturally luxurious hair and body products for African-Americans. Carol’s Daughter, the premium beauty brand Price founded and owns, has gained national attention and attracted big-name clients, including Oprah and Mary J. Blige. Price’s concoctions have moved from flea markets to Macy’s and beyond with the help of her business partner, former record executive Steve Stoute, who brought on investors including Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and Jay-Z. In six states, from New York to Georgia to California, nine Carol’s Daughter stores sell Price’s brand of lotions and body products to satisfied customers, as does beauty kingpin Sephora.

What’s next for Lisa?

Lisa continues to expand the offerings at Carol’s Daughter, and will unveil new products at Sephora, Macy’s and on Home Shopping Network in 2011.

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What inspires Lisa?

“From an early age it’s always been my mother, the namesake for my brand and my constant support system growing up,” Price said. “My mother worked hard and encouraged each and every one of her children to follow their dreams.”

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In her own words …

“Carol’s Daughter has made other people in the beauty business look at African-American consumers in a different way. When I first started to do this, the black products were always at the back of the drugstore on the lower shelves. They were always dusty, dirty and sticky; they looked like nobody ever touched them. That’s changing. I can’t begin to tell you how amazing it is that my products are in Sephora. It’s great to be part of that shift.”

A favorite quote …

“It is a daily affirmation for me — ‘This too shall pass,’” Price told theGrio. “I always have to remind myself of this so that I don’t get too caught up in the moment at the moment and while something may seem impassable and irreconcilable — it will pass. It will move on. Resolution will come.”

A little-known fact …

Lisa Price opened the first Carol’s Daughter store in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood in 1999.