MN: After appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show and while seeking funding for your business, you met Steve Stoute and the marketing firm, Translation. What role did Steve play in introducing you to Will and Jada Smith?
LP: I met Steve in October of 2003. Steve was and is a marketing genius. He had the vision to see Carol’s Daughter beyond my kitchen, my home and my flea markets to a global beauty brand. Will and Jada were already customers of the brand and had been using my products since 1997. Steve explained to them the vision he saw for our future and asked them to come on board as investors, along with Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige.
MN: Carol’s Daughters products are featured on the Home Shopping Network (HSN). What advice would you give to other women business owners who want to land contracts with large companies like HSN in order to expand their product distribution and sales channels?
LP: Be careful and learn to walk before you run. When I went to HSN, I had a much bigger company and we had an infrastructure and I also had the blessing to enter the HSN world under the umbrella of Sephora. It was like having training wheels on my bike as I learned to ride. Once we were a stand alone brand, it was trickier to keep that bike balanced and we fell lots of times. Had we been a tiny, fledgling company, I don’t know that I would have survived. Take baby steps and learn as much as you can. The first sale is the easiest. It’s the 17th that’s more challenging.
MN: Lisa, people want to go into business for themselves for various reasons: to walk in their passion, have more control over their lives, or to increase their income, for example. Yet, many people may not clearly realize how much work goes into creating and maintaining a successful business. Please share four tips for women who are thinking about starting their own business.
LP: Immediately depart Fantasy Island. While there is such a spiritual growth that occurs when one walks in their passion that spiritual growth must grow in order for the business to grow. It is challenging and difficult work indeed. It takes patience, prayer, meditation, support, yoga, love and hugs and I can go on and on. Do your research, take your time, learn the laws and rules of your city, state, county, etc. and then get ready to work harder than you ever have for any boss anywhere in your life. But, if you do succeed, it is a wonderful feeling.
MN: Tell us a few key marketing strategies you use to introduce new clients to Carol’s Daughter?
LP: Facebook and Twitter are wonderful tools for us to stay engaged with our customers. I am very vocal and love sharing on these platforms. The dialogue continues in our stores, in the emails people write to me and also the phone calls, emails and testimonials I get via HSN.
MN: Where are some of the places that Carol’s Daughter products are sold?
LP: Carol’s Daughter products are sold in Carol’s Daughter retail stores, carolsdaughter.com, Sephora, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Regis, ULTA, Belk and HSN.
MN: Your parents and grandparents have left a legacy for you, footsteps you can walk in. What legacy do you want to leave for your younger family members, those coming after you?
LP: I hope that at least one my three children will want to work in the business. So far, my daughter is my only hope as my sons have other interests. However, the most important legacy I wish to leave them is that their ability to earn and make a living is not limited to a particular job or career path. I hope that they learn from me that they can create their own path and write their own rules.
MN: What’s next for Lisa Price and Carol’s Daughter? Where would you like to see yourself and your company two to three years from now?
LP: I never like to limit my company’s destiny by answering this question. I used to answer it years ago and it always surpassed what I was dreaming for it. I personally, would love to be on a beach in Thailand in two years, researching amazing ingredients and flowers and stories to add to the Carol’s Daughter portfolio. I always wish that my brand will be successful, profitable and relevant not just two to three years from now, but also in two to three decades.
Rhonda Campbell, an East Coast journalist, is the owner of Off The Shelf radio and publisher of Long Walk Up and Love Pour Over Me.