Last month, it was decided that the big wigs at L’Oreal would acquire Carol’s Daughter, one of the leading hair and skincare lines for (mostly black) women.
Now, I know some people do not like this move. I mean, how many natural haircare lines are out there now? And Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter, was a leading figure in the natural haircare movement, starting her business out of her kitchen back in the early 1990s. However, many people did not like the idea of Carol’s Daughter getting too big anyway.
Some folks held issue with some of Carol’s Daughter’s spokespersons and model not having typical “natural” hair. And, yes I am referring to the tightly coiled 4b-c stuff! Models like Cassie and Thalia were models and spokespersons for the brand but many people felt they were not representative of the brand, which found it’s success mainly from catering to black communities. Some felt like it was sell-out-ish of Lisa, yet others felt it was a good thing for her to expand the brand to other ethnicities.
Carol’s Daughter certainly got her share of celebrity attention. Jada Pinkett-Smith, Mary J. Blige, Jay Z and Solange Knowles all had heavy shared interests in the brand. A signature product, Lisa Elixir, was heavily promoted by Jada Pinkett-Smith, attributing it for her hair’s growth.
So, what of this move to L’Oreal? Does it make Lisa a sell out for trading in money for one of the top natural hair brands? I mean, companies get acquired all the time but there is something about keeping successful black businesses around for a while!
Maybe it was bad marketing strategy. Some of the businesses under Carol’s Daughter, particularly Carol’s Daughter Stores, began going bankrupt earlier this year. I have to admit: some of the products in their line were a wee bit on the pricy side. And the vast majority of natural hair goers probably do not have $32 for a tiny jar of hair masking cream. It just seemed like the product prices were not conducive with the needs of a mostly middle class economic population of natural haired women! I believed offering her products at regular retailers like Wal-Mart and Target could have made a world of difference in the overall profit her kept for Carol’s Daughter, as opposed to overpricing her products in Sephora or Ulta for years.
While I do not believe Lisa Price was being a sell out, I do believe some mishandling of her business marketing tactics could have prevented such a move. And it’s not like Carol’s Daughter is going away; it’s just no longer her business. Carol’s Daughter products can still be purchased on the official website.
I do believe; however, that the lack of strategic pricing of her products lead to doom. While the acquisition may have enabled her to make up for losses, it still would have been better to see a black-owned business flourish on its own feet.