by Amber Katz
Anyone who’s indulged in a confection knows that homemade goodies triumph over store-bought when it comes to desserts, but hand-mixed beauty products rarely work out so well. The founder of Carol’s Daughter—and Carol’s actual daughter, of course—Lisa Price proved her cottage industry an exception 20 years ago when she transformed her hobby of mixing up fragrances and lotions in her Brooklyn kitchen into a veritable beauty empire. A former writer’s assistant for The Cosby Show, Price started experimenting with fragrance in her spare time. In the early ‘90s, she started selling her homemade beauty items at flea markets and demand skyrocketed. In 1994, she established Carol’s Daughter, the line of hair and body products that went on to count Jada Pinkett-Smith, Erykah Badu, and Halle Berry as loyal customers. Last month, L’Oreal USA acquired Carol’s Daughter to live alongside its big-time brands like Maybelline, Clarisonic, Urban Decay, and NYX. We caught up with the mom of three to find out what she’s learned along the way, from the first product she created to dating mishaps to what she’d tell her 20-something self now.
When I was in my 20s, the idea of having a mentor was not even a concept. Instead, you looked at people that you perhaps would like to emulate. You may have looked up to a supervisor but it would have been too familiar to refer to them as a mentor. I learned a lot from one of my supervisors when I worked for the City of New York, I didn’t like her at first, because she was tough, but her tough love paid off and made me a better worker; she pushed me to develop skill sets I didn’t know I had.