Carol’s Daughter is about to enter uncharted territory in the royal realm: The company has inked a deal with Disney to produce a bath and body line commemorating the entertainment giant’s first African-American princess.
This story first appeared in the August 7, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Speaking about Princess Tiana, who will make her movie introduction in limited release Nov. 25 (a full release is planned for Dec. 11) in Disney’s animated “The Princess and the Frog,” makes both Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price and the company’s chief executive officer and managing director, Steve Stoute, emotional.
“This is the first time I’ll be able to take my daughter to a Disney movie where she’ll see a princess with skin her color,” said Stoute, speaking of his four-year-old daughter. “African-American women have never been invited into the Disney experience — this is a major milestone for the Disney princess franchise. It will be very exciting to take my daughter to see the Ariel that looks like her, whose hair moves just like hers, and whose skin is beautifully brown and celebrated. And given Lisa’s story, it is especially appropriate that Carol’s Daughter is partnering with Disney for this project.”
Price, the mother of a three-year-old daughter (and two sons), is equally excited to have a role model for her daughter. Not only that, Price — who began brewing beauty products in her Brooklyn kitchen in 1992, selling her wares at flea markets before officially starting her multimillion-dollar company in 1994 — sees parallels between her own story and Princess Tiana’s.
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“We both started in the kitchen with a strong work ethic and believed in our dreams,” Price said with a smile, calling the moment “an event with significant social importance. I’m thrilled and proud that African-American girls everywhere will see the movie and see someone to identify with, someone to be proud of and someone to emulate,” Price continued. “Princess Tiana will tell African-American women that they can be beautiful and successful by being themselves. That is such a powerful message, and that can’t be underestimated. This moment has been a long time coming.”
The collection comprises four items, each $10. Each product is intended to highlight a specific lesson that Tiana — an aspiring restauranteur in New Orleans during the Jazz Age who falls in love with a frog prince and becomes a princess — learns during the film, explained Price.
While products are suitable for all consumers, the ingredients are particularly suitable for African-American hair, Price noted. A shampoo includes aloe leaf juice, intended to condition dry scalps and fragile hair. The line’s conditioner is intended to detangle and impart long-lasting softness and shine with a cocktail of sunflower seed and olive fruit oils, along with aloe leaf juice, sweet almond and silk amino acids. A hair detangler uses aloe leaf juice and cranberry fruit extract to nourish and calm the hair and scalp and lemon peel extract as a natural antiseptic; it is intended to protect hair against breakage as well. The line’s moisturizing bubble bath includes aloe leaf juice to soothe skin.
“These are not products that just have a Disney character on the label,” said Price. “The best part is that they are very effective products with natural ingredients.”
The items will be sold in about 166 department and specialty store doors, including select Macy’s and Dillard’s, Carol’s Daughter stores, disney.com and carolsdaughter.com, beginning in October.
While neither Price nor Stoute would discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that the limited edition collection could do as much as $1 million at retail.