Little did Lisa Price realize when she was mixing up products in her kitchen in Brooklyn 25 years ago that she would spawn one of the biggest movements in skin and hair care. Today, her company Carol’s Daughter is a pioneer in textured hair care, as well as better-for-you ingredients in skin products.
As Price marks her silver anniversary, she looks back on the strides made, as today her products are among those accelerating growth in the mass skin and hair categories. Many up-and-coming founders of emerging brands singled Price out as one someone who inspired them.
While proud of her brand, named for her mom, Price attributes the success to identifying gaps in the market. “There are times when I want to pat myself on the back and say, ‘You did that. You were the first,’” Price told WWD. “In some ways that is true, but there was always the community and the consumer and the stylists and the DIY-ers out there. What I believe my brand did was to give all of us more of a voice to show this industry the power of our dollar and what can happen when you don’t pay attention to that power.”
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Consumers spoke with their wallets and Carol’s Daughter expanded from fewer than 20 doors in 2005 to major retailers including Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, CVS, Ulta Beauty and Sally Beauty stores nationwide, as well as carolsdaughter.com and Amazon.com. Target has end caps featuring Carol’s Daughter. In 2014, L’Oréal USA, looking to broaden its portfolio, purchased the brand, which at that time was producing sales of $27 million, a fraction of its revenues today.
Carol’s Daughter’s success has spawned competitors, but that’s welcomed by Price. “I enjoy all of the players out here now and I love watching this play out, even though it sometimes means I lose some share to competitors. I appreciate the bigger picture and I know that what some thought was a trend has become a new and powerful beauty norm.”
In conjunction with the 25th anniversary, Carol’s Daughter is launching a campaign called #NoApologies #BornandMadecampaign. The message encourages every woman to celebrate her individuality. In order to tell the story, Carol’s Daughter has returned to its Brooklyn roots by filming a series of videos throughout the borough that inspire viewers to be who they authentically are. Price joins 10 local influencers and a spoken-word artist who share their stories. The campaign will unfold as a series of videos highlighting individuality, while inspiring others to be who they authentically are, Price said.
“To celebrate 25 years, there was only one place to be — Brooklyn,” she said. “I wanted to incorporate the magic, love and community of Brooklyn — the place my family and I call home — and where Carol’s Daughter was born.” The concept not only celebrates the anniversary, but heralds the power of women. “I am Lisa. I am unapologetically me. I was born and made to be Carol’s Daughter,” she said.
Carol’s Daughter filmed the campaign in Brooklyn and partnered with Brooklyn-based creatives, including advertising agency Laundry Services, spoken-word artist Mahogany L. Browne — who worked closely with the brand to create poems for the campaign — and a team of natural hair and beauty influencers. They include Cynthia Andrew, Kokie Childers and Latonya Staubs. Customers can join the#NoApologies movement by following @carolsdaughter on Instagram and YouTube and by visiting caroldaughter.com.
Key products are highlighted from the brand, including the Hair Milk Collection, the Black Vanilla Collection and the Almond Milk Collection.