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Vital Stats >> Lisa Price, 44, of Carol's Daughter in New York City
Company >> Body-care line featuring fragrances and hair and skin products
Unveiled >> Lisa Price didn't have any formal training in mixing fragrances or creating beauty products when she started using her kitchen as a personal laboratory, but she did have a passion for experimenting with different combinations of all-natural ingredients. In 1993, with her mother's encouragement, Price invested $100 and set up a booth at a church flea market. Her handcrafted products nearly sold out, and she spent the rest of the summer selling at more events, thereby introducing the public to her homegrown business, Carol's Daughter--named after the woman who inspired her to start it.
Beauty queen >> Thanks to her background in TV and film production as a writer's assistant on The Cosby Show and other projects, Price got her products into the hands of celebrity hairstylists and makeup artists. In 1996, she quit her full-time job; in 1999, she opened her first storefront. Word-of-mouth spread, and Price was soon filling orders from the likes of Halle Berry and being featured on various TV shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show in June 2002. This appearance resulted in a three-page spread in People and a deal for her book, Success Never Smelled So Sweet.
Sitting pretty >> In the beginning, Price pursued the business as a hobby. Today, the multimillion-dollar company is a hit with its line of more than 200 products, the recent opening of its first mall location and its 2006 partnership with Sephora. Price has learned to adjust her vision and allow others in, including her present business partner, Steve Stoute, who rounded up significant investment dollars, enabling Carol's Daughter to fully blossom. Says Price, "The most important thing I did was get out of my own way and let my business do what it [could] do."