Women Entrepreneurs: Lisa Price

Dec. 19, 2005 — -- What began as a hobby turned into a lucrative business for Brooklyn, N.Y., native Lisa Price. In the early 1990s, Price began adding oils and fragrances to unscented lotions. She had a good job with "The Cosby Show," and when the show ended in 1992, she continued to experiment with her concoctions and eventually began selling them in flea markets.

After the demand for her products like honey puddin' and mango body butter spread via word of mouth, Price founded her beauty-products company, Carol's Daughter, in honor of her mother in 1994.

"My mother was the first person to encourage me to sell outside of family and friends," Price said. "I have named the company Carol's Daughter because it is who I am."

The business began as just a mail-order operation, but in 1999 she opened the first Carol's Daughter store in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood. Soon, magazines like Essence and O, the Oprah Magazine featured the products and celebrities like Jada Pinkett-Smith and Halle Berry became loyal customers. She has since opened another store in Harlem.

In 2000, Price was named the National Black MBA Association's Entrepreneur of the Year and received Working Woman magazine's Entrepreneurial Excellence award in 2001. Last year, she received the National Book Club Conference Terrie Williams Inspiration Award.

"The most important thing is to stay focused and keep your vision," Price said. "At the end of the day, you are the one that lives and breathes this and does this every day and you will know best."

Price is also the author of a book "Success Never Smelled So Sweet," which recounts her climb out of debt.

"I'm not special," she said. "I was not born with a lot of money. I'm just an average woman who listened to the universe when it told me to believe in myself. I hope that others will learn from my story and find the beauty in themselves. It is inherent in all of us."