In the fall of 2014, Lisa Price couldn’t escape the word “sell out.” Twenty years after founding her natural hair care company, Carol’s Daughter the entrepreneuer made the decision to sell to L’Oreal USA.

Being a forerunner in modern Black hair care, many accused Price of selling out by putting her brand in the hands of a White-owned conglomerate. But from her side of the coin, the choice was smart. 

On Friday during ESSENCE Festival 2017’s “Path to Power” conference, Price talked about the long journey to making Carol’s Daughter successful enough to sell and why she made the unpopular choice. 

“A lot of times, I would be my own worst enemy, afraid of doing something, nervous,” she said. “What is someone gonna think about me? What are they gonna say about me? And those things are not important. You have to stay out of your own way, and not block blessings from coming towards you. And not let fear paralyze you.”

Believe it or not, Price’s goal was always to build her company up enough to sell to a larger company, and L’Oreal specifically was on the top of her list. 

“There was a good 2 to 2 1/2 years of work that went into making that exit happen. And L’Oreal was the company that was on my vision board from day one,” she admitted.

“I’m extremely proud that I was able to do that. From a person who built something at her kitchen table, standing on her feet for days and days and days, selling at festivals, being at ESSENCE in 2004. I used to come here every year since 2004 and literally be awake from Thursday morning until Sunday night, dead because we did everything ourselves —you know, bootstrapped it.”

“To go from that to being able to be here on this stage, comfortable, air-conditioned. I’m not lifting any boxes. I have friends with me. Yeah, it shifts, and it adjusts, and it’s a good thing.”