Twenty years ago, Carol's Daughter founder Lisa Price made an initial investment of one hundred dollars to sell her homemade creams at a church flea market. Today, that business is a cosmetics company with 34 million dollars in annual sales.
For Lisa, her first career, as a writer's assistant on The Cosby Show, paved the way for her future as an entrepreneur. She says she loved her job and the creativity it demanded, and she learned what it was like to do something that you love. She says being happy at her job inspired her to be creative when she was home, and she started experimenting in her kitchen, making fragrances and creams that she'd give as gifts to her friends. In 1993, her mother suggested she sell those homemade gifts at a church flea market. Lisa says she had no idea at the time that she was starting a business.
Lisa continued to sell her products on the side, but still held down a day job in television production. It wasn't until she was pregnant with her first child, and realized that she wanted to have time with her child, that she made the decision to take on Carol's Daughter full time. She's been her own boss ever since.
Over the next few years, the brand developed a loyal following that included celebrities -- including Halle Berry, who bought Oprah Winfrey a gift basket. By 2002, Lisa was appearing as a guest on Oprah's talk show. That appearance catapulted the brand into national attention. The Carol's Daughter website crashed as Oprah fans logged on to buy products and sales went through the roof.
Since then, Lisa has taken on a business partner, brought on investors and expanded the brand. She says she's glad she took the chance on Carol's Daughter. It was a risk that paid off.
"I feel like if you do something that's really hard, that you're afraid of, one of two things is going happen," she says. "You're going to bomb and then you'll recover. Or you're going to do it well and everything will be okay. But if you don't do it, forever and ever amen, you're going be like well, what if I had? Well, what if I had? And that's worse."