An Intimate Sit-Down with Lisa Price, Founder of Carol’s Daughter
By L. Canaday
If you were lucky enough to be in Atlanta last month, you probably had a chance to attend the Taliah Waajid World Natural Hair, Health, and Beauty show held October 6th and 7th at the Georgia International Convention Center. My goal is always to purchase enough products to get through the next season, and by now I’ve even developed a routine. Get some cash, buy some products, see some people, and go home. I arrived late on Sunday afternoon to find fewer hair product vendors, and more vendors that had nothing to do with hair. (I’m not hating on the $2 earring spot. I’m just saying…).
Gone were the Uncle Funky’s entourage with their DJ’s booth and funky t-shirts. In their place were a dozen or newcomers with a variety of remixed and repackaged lotions, butters, conditioners, and creams. Maybe this is why I couldn’t help but notice some of the giants of natural hair care literally standing out amongst the crowd. It was great to see Jane Carter, Karen of Karen’s Body Beautiful, and Lisa Price giving hair care tips to veterans and newbies alike.
Though it’s been many years since I’ve purchased Carol’s Daughter products on a regular basis, I have to admit that I often marvel at Price’s business acumen and success. Truth be told, my favorite items were the bath goodies she made during her “ no website, little store in Brooklyn” years. Since then, I have long moved onto other products, but still jumped at the chance to attend her workshop during the last few hours of the hair show.
I arrived early to beat the crowd and found Ms. Price with no entourage in tow, ( no Steve Stoute, Solange, or MJB), setting up to present to a crowd of well, 10. Granted this was one of the very last events, but this was Carol’s Daughter! At least, that’s how I looked at it, but Price graciously took the glass half full approach to the situation. She managed to turn a workshop for 10, into a 1 1⁄2 hour “invite only” vibe, and an intimate conversation with a few of her biggest fans.
She patiently explained everything from her humble beginnings in Brooklyn, to juggling a career and motherhood. Though “Tui” detangler makes my hair hard, my heart softened when Price took time to acknowledge a special needs child sitting in the front row , who gently cooed throughout the session. From that point I began to see not just a business mogul, but a person that sat and talked with her customers because she cared.
I was further convinced when she detailed her travels to Tahiti for the elusive Monoi oil featured in her product line of the same name. Let’s just say it’s almost the equivalent of traveling to the ends of the earth to collect a few droplets from the fountain of youth in order to whip up a batch of luxurious beauty products. An impossible task unless of course, you’re Lisa Price , then you have enough cash to bring gallons of it home in a suitcase, and hook up a pipeline that brings healing ingredients straight to the customer’s door. Her enthusiasm and dedication to the process of creating some of the best loved natural hair care products helped me to not only see Carol’s Daughter in a new light, but help me realize what the rest of the hair show lacked: passion.
Spending time with Price was a stark contrast, to walking the floor of the convention center where attendees commented on the difference in the quality between the spring and fall shows, or lack there of. Others speculated on the rising cost of vendor fees or the idea that more people participated in April in order to sell excess inventory that was not purchased during the holidays. Whatever the reasons, I believe that attendees were expressing a lack of enthusiasm for a wonderful concept in natural hair care that at times is a unique experience, and others times a Black Friday shopping event.
It might be wise for the creators of the World Natural Hair, Health, and Beauty show to take a page out the playbook of an industry veteran like Price, who obviously has the drive to be successful, but the passion it takes to be an innovator who knows when it’s time to reinvent themselves.
Did you attend the Fall hair show? What are your thoughts and opinions?
L. Canaday is a recent graduate of the Master of Professional Studies program at the University of Denver. She lives with her husband and son in Atlanta. Contact her at:firstname.lastname@example.org