By  on August 5, 2005

NEW YORK — Just three months after Carol's Daughter founder Lisa Price signed an investment deal with a galaxy of well-known celebrities, the first fruits of the partnership are already evident.

Those stars — who include Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tommy Mottola, Thalia, Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and executives Steve Stoute, James Lassiter, Jimmy Iovine and Andrew Farkas — have infused Price's business with new perspectives and new ideas, as well as the cash flow to carry them out.

"I was thrilled several years ago when I learned that Jada used our products," said Price. "Now she's appearing in our advertising. We used to shoot the catalogue in my kitchen; now we can use the best photographers. It's a dream come true."

A new spa and retail location will open in Harlem with an event in early September. The Carol's Daughter team also is speaking to a number of major U.S. retailers about expanding the brand's vision into additional doors for the holiday season, with specific doors to be named by Labor Day. Packaging also has been unified, new category opportunities have been identified and underperforming stockkeeping units have been weeded out — and now the brand is poised for growth, said Stoute, the brand marketer and music executive who put the investment deal together.

"I am happy that an African-American woman from Brooklyn can have a story like Estée Lauder's [both women began their beauty businesses by brewing concoctions in their kitchens] and that the world is ready to celebrate it," said Stoute. "The world is in the right mind-set for this statement and this story. Our job [as investors] is to nurture this business' growth — to take it from a crawl to a walk."

And, both promised, Carol's Daughter will expand its reach far beyond New York, where the brand currently has a Fort Greene, Brooklyn-based retail store. "The initial part of our distribution isn't just going where the current consumers live — it's about where we can make a strong impression of the brand," said Stoute, adding that the brand is currently carried in about 20 doors in the U.S. In addition to major cities, it also is headed for the malls of America, Price said.

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