L’Oreal scores major Black Beauty Industry acquisition with Carol’s Daughter

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On October 20th, 2014 it was widely announced that L’Oreal had purchased the popular Carol’s Daughter Brand for an undisclosed sum. The company had recent net sales of 27 million but it was not enough to stave off a recent chapter 11 bankruptcy reported in the Wall Street Journal this past spring of 2014 and a corporate takeover by industry giant L’Oreal.

Carol’s Daughter products commonly marketed in the ethnic and multi-cultural sections of over 2000 department stores was most certainly a jewel of African American business ownership. The brand was started in the kitchen of Lisa Price in 1993 and took off with investment and support from the likes of Jay Z, Will, and Jada. Lisa started the line from her own kitchen and we salute her perseverance and success.

L’Oreal of Paris, France is no stranger to acquiring African American owned beauty firms. Johnson products former owners of the Soft Sheen line was purchased by L’Oreal for a reported $85,000,000, the largest African American beauty industry takeover at that time. The buyout of Carol’s Daughter is but yet another serious example of why we as a cultural community need to take a step back and look at our beauty industry a bit more critically, certainly the other major players in the world are.

At 17 billion and growing the Black beauty products and services industry sits as a sleeping lion with the potential to branch into several professions it has continuous job creation potential. Our very own innovation that is the “Black style” has proved recession proof time and again. So the question is why do we continue to hand over millions of dollars to the Koreans?

In truth nearly everyone of the African American community desires to see our dollars circulate into the hands of the people who live its true heritage. Looking at the current situation as it stands in 2014 there are a few core issues that are preventing us from mobilizing our resources to control our industry, capital certainly being one of those major factors. Tackling this capital issue is well within the means of our beauty world, but it will not happen without Organization. The technology and communications necessary to claim our percentage of the industry is right before our eyes. In every city of America with a significant Black population the number 1 and 2 real estate is undoubtedly a Church, Barbershop, or Salon. What if we took a real time statistical snapshot of these thousands of Black owned business establishments in a given region and took a census of the barbershops, salons, nailshops, spa’s, and continuing education schools? It is our belief that the numbers could reveal some astonishing facts that will give a clearer picture of collective assets and resources in this industry.

In the coming weeks we would like to present those numbers to determine how such an effort to regain a percentage of our industry could be realized. This region is the Dayton, Columbus, and Cincinnati Ohio triangle. With well over 500,000 African American residents in 3 metropolitan areas the conditions are stable to get a clear understanding of the State of the Black Beauty Industry. Stay tuned for the Cultural Ownership Initiative Report. We can all do our part in the meantime by identifying and encouraging our culture in all ways possible to now evolve away from buying beauty products from other ethnicities and bring those dollars home, that is recycling the Black Dollar!

Best Regards,
Brett Forney
Operations Manager BWS2.0