Where Is Your Money Really Going When You “Buy Black”?

African american woman with natural hair holding moneyOK, OK, I know some of you are like, “who cares?” well, to say it bluntly…I do.  I care because I wanted to support them and even though I don’t only buy black-owned products or services I do go out of my way to do so when I can.  My issue is if they are no longer black-owned why should I keep going out of my way to support them when there may be a truly black-owned business more worthy of my attention?

I’m also a little ticked off because I didn’t know Lisa Price was no longer the owner and feel they wanted to give the impression she was in order to keep our money. Deceitful or smart business practices? It can be seen both ways but in this day and age where information is out as soon as it happens I know most of us stay ‘in the know’. I wasn’t in the know on this juicy tidbit so I was clueless and yes, I kinda feel duped.

Now, in all fairness, what she did by giving up ownership of her company was to expand to a larger market and take her business to the next level. I GET that and see the benefit as it brought her to a bigger base and bigger stores like Macy’s, Sephora, etc. That was a sound move, a business move and valid necessary move. I just wonder what does that all mean to a consumer who tries to buy black-owned and not just at the convenience store on the corner.

So yes, the black community does affect my wallet as I made the conscious decision to stop buying some products or services because they no longer were black-owned. I was going out of my way to bring them my hard-earned dollars and now I wonder if I was really making a difference or just giving it to some ultra-big corporation who needed my dollar about as bad as they needed a food stamp card.

Am I alone? Do others feel they are working towards economic solidarity within the black community by buying black-owned or is it all just filtering into big corporations who are getting richer?  I’m cynical and I know this but right now I’m confused and as that same blogger friend also asked me, “Honestly, what does black-owned even mean anymore?” And more importantly, where is your money really going when you “buy black”? I have to sit back and wonder myself.


Originally posted 2014-04-30 15:00:42.

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About Sabrina Perkins


Hello all, I'm Sabrina. I'm a freelance writer and a full-time blogger at my site, http://www.seriouslynatural.org/ where the focus is on Natural hair, beauty and style. I became natural 8 years ago at the tender age of 35 and love sharing my ups and downs as I master this thing called natural hair. Married, with two kids (one being a natural herself) gives me a different perspective on our hair and why I love being natural. I want healthy hair, long hair and sexy hair! I'm an older natural---that's right---I'm grown and sexy, and I have much to share. I love fashion too and recently opened a clothing shop for beautiful black women at www.seriouslynatural.spreadshirt.com

About Sabrina Perkins


Hello all, I'm Sabrina. I'm a freelance writer and a full-time blogger at my site, http://www.seriouslynatural.org/ where the focus is on Natural hair, beauty and style. I became natural 8 years ago at the tender age of 35 and love sharing my ups and downs as I master this thing called natural hair. Married, with two kids (one being a natural herself) gives me a different perspective on our hair and why I love being natural. I want healthy hair, long hair and sexy hair! I'm an older natural---that's right---I'm grown and sexy, and I have much to share. I love fashion too and recently opened a clothing shop for beautiful black women at www.seriouslynatural.spreadshirt.com

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Comments

  1. debra

    She sold her love….To me that was weak! Many companies are in debt or simply cannot grow without huge capital investment. my husband’s firm is this way. We said, growth is not our goal! If it was, we would have no choice, except to sell our ownership because venture capitalist firms are not giving you money, for a 10% loan. they want to own your business! We are not going there, because there are too few truly minority owned businesses. Many believe that growth means, giving up ownership! CD did just that and deceived her client base. I rather stay small and keep 100%, then get big and lose 100%. I am just not in a hurry to get higher millions of dollars in annual revenues. Grow slow, steady, and it will be yours and your children’s children!

    1. Tracienatural

      @debra: What is the name of your business? What products or services do you provide? I am always looking to support small black businesses.

      1. debra

        We are a consulting firm working with the state, local, and federal governments. We offer business consulting including: insurance, business evaluations, taxation, bookkeeping and other services. We don’t provide or distribute a physical product, per se. We knew our firm would stay small for a long time because of our desire to keep 100% of our own money with no debt! It is a major decision, but we know it is the right thing to do! Thanks for asking!

        1. Donna

          Continued much success today & in the future. Take Care & God Bless!

      2. Cynthia

        Natural hair companies need to be support by the black community how can people of color rise to the top. I am going to start hair product company but I will not be using venture capital I wlll let it grow slow!

    2. Blessedcoils

      I agree so much with how you feel about this being deceptive. I am reading this and feeling sick to my stomach, this is why I loved joining the natural hair community, because I wanted to return to a place where we were supporting one another and not to say I don’t buy from other companies, just meaning I wanted to go out of my way to also show love to our brown community. I don’t like how this news is coming out now and Lisa Price is just always smiling about her business when in actuality it’s not even hers…I’m very disappointed. I will continue to support small businesses. I notice a lot of our brown people are “sell-outs,” and I do not mean this with malice but you are willing to sell your soul just for a few dollars. It’s similar to how a lot of Youtubers have been doing lately. Or when brown baby doll advertise coloring your hair as so “great…” It’s ashame!!!

    3. Sabrina Perkins Post author

      I will continue to support black businesses as well and I’m sure she thought she was doing the right thing and maybe she still feels that way but this is a valuable lesson to all of us.

  2. Stacey Brown

    No, Sabrina, you are not alone. I have always believed that there should be solidarity with blacks in every area of society. Mind you, I am not against anyone supporting other businesses but we should go out or our way to support our own. I try to do that any chance I get but sometimes you wonder,does it make sense, are you alone. As you wrote in your article some may say ‘who cares’. Happy to know that you and I do. Hope for others to come along.

    1. Sabrina Perkins Post author

      It feels good to know I’m not alone. I felt like I was as most posts were more concerned with the bankruptcy and glossed over the fact of who actually owned the company. I will continue to go out of my way to buy black.

  3. Latrese Stewart

    I too feel duped….I love to support Black Owned businesses. As a black owned business owner myself, I understanding the uphill battle that we face, so I do go out of my way to buy black owned products. Carol’s Daughter is one of the more expensive brands and I would make an effort to buy her products to help support her and to find out that she just the face now…I wish Lisa Price would have had the confidence in herself to know that she could have took her business to the next level without selling it..

    We as minority have to make a effort to support our own. Until we learn this and implement these practices we will always be economically depended on someone else…

    1. Sabrina Perkins Post author

      Yes, it seems she is just the face and that’s her choice or at least I HOPE it was. The thought of always be economically dependent on others sickens me and I hope others will see just how vital it is to own our own.

  4. Tay

    You’re not alone…I too stopped purchasing her products years back. It started off with the products not working as well. I kept thinking it was my or my kid’s hair but something just made me look into it. I saw she was no longer the true person behind CD and I just figured that her products aren’t the same anymore bc they are mass produced.

    We should honestly have a monopoly in the hair industry. For Decades, Black people have been innovative with styles, colors, etc of hair but never truly owned the store, hosted the hair show, etc. We are so resourceful as a people but not when it comes to having our own to give back to our own for generations. I’m glad you and others that have posted before me see and know the importance of being patrons of our own business ventures! Now we have to teach the importance of it to our people.

    1. felicia

      It seems that another company felt it could do better by marketing Carol’s Daughter products. I have not been following the company’s growth closely. I knew they were marketing on HSN. Most recently they have expanded their sales space by cornering the shelves at local Target stores. At least here in Michigan. I am not sure of the reason to file for bankruptcy. I have heard ladies on LHCF indicate that the formulations have changed. I dare say the product is not as “natural” as it was when the company began. Perhaps it gave the founder greater personal financial stability. I have been supporting black owned hair product companies, primarily on line. I am really enjoying my products while supporting my e-sisters.

    2. Sabrina Perkins Post author

      That’s just it Tay…I had no clue! I was so shocked when I found out the news. It was devastating but I know things like this happen everyday. Felicia, it seems it’s only the brick and mortar buildings are closing but hte product will live on and be sold in Target, HSN , Sephora and Ulta.

    3. Starr

      Tay, i stopped buying her products years ago also and for the same reasons. the products i loved changed and no longer worked in the ways that made me love them. i also could never get satisfaction for my needs via the website at CD. when attempting to capitalize on my normal products, let’s say a Christmas sell package, they were out of stock, requested a promise to notify me by email when the stock was replenished yet I’M STILL WAITING FIVE YEARS LATER. this happened to me more than once!! when her products became available on HSN, Sephora, and even my local Macy’s and Dillards i simply ignored her as i had most assuredly moved on. another instance that bothered me was a Black woman selling me products with ingredients that had to be thrown away because it took months to replenish the moisture in my body. NO BLACK woman EVER looks good in ashy skin.

  5. Andrea

    Wow. I am almost left speechless. I am sad for us as blacks because it appears that instead of taking steps forward to owning and having our own which only helps us grow stronger in the black community, we are taking steps back. More than sad, I am disappointed. We need to build instead of tear down so that our future generations to come will have the ambition and hope to push forward and continue building and growing for our own good. I hope and pray that everything works out for Lisa Price and others who have fallen prey to the hunters. We have to come together and support one another. We have to change. Strength in numbers. PRAY.

    1. Donna

      Cantu is white owned, I looked them up one time.

  6. LOLA~SKYY

    You are not alone one bit. Very good article and thank you for posting this. All the other articles I have read concerning this matter have tried to convince us that it won’t affect the products and they are still the same. BULLCRAP! The products changed when she gave up ownership. It is very deceitful!
    I felt her it strange when HSN began selling cd products. I thought maybe she had share holders, but to give up the whole thing??? Sad. No integrity all for the money.

    1. Tabatha

      You know what? I knew something was really up when I saw it at my Navy Exchange and my cousin sent me a picture of it in a vending machine! I was like Oh No. they said they wanted it more assessable to clients, but that was Bull Pucky. its because they need customers to see it and buy it.

    2. Sabrina Perkins Post author

      I don’t use the products so I don’t know the changes and I don’t live where they have the stores but just being the face of the company that you founded for advancement is not enough for me.

  7. Tabatha

    I hear what your saying. In all honesty. I had a feeling that she no longer owned it because there was new products being made and I didn’t really know why. It made making a choice for your hair SO HARD! Also I noticed that every week I was getting coupon discounts in my email, so I knew that the business was in a bit of strain, but I didn’t know that it was THAT BAD. I’m fine with Business owners to have financial backing etc., but dang she basically “sold out”. Since she no longer owns it she has no say on what comes out etc. Also they had it everywhere and you are like bombarded with CD all over the place. That company got greedy and they don’t care that they drove it into the ground, it has nothing to do with their family history etc. Its just a product. I wished that she didn’t do that or that she held her ground on what is sold and what isn’t. There are a ton of curly hair products made by white people, but it was important that it stayed a black owned product. I may sound a little racist, but I’m not trying to be. When you are on a hair journey whether you are relaxed, colored, natural or shaved down to the peach fuzz it makes you feel better to buy products from someone that has your skin color because you know that they understand better. Now I have to say Jessie’s Curls is owned by a nice Caucasian woman and her product has blown me away! But when I decided to go natural a year ago it was a no brainer to go for CD. I had to think about Jessie’s Curls for a month and the only reason why I bought it was because I saw people with similar texture to mine upload their experience to it. She literally sold her family away to people that don’t give a spit about it. Its a shame.

    1. Sabrina Perkins Post author

      I don’t see you as being a racist at all. I see you as wishing she held onto her company and how it gives other black women pride to see so many of us owning our own businesses. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Debra

    Here is CD response to the bankruptcy filing. She says nothing about the fact that she does not own the company!!!!

    For you,
    I know you have read the misleading news that has been circulated around the internet during the past week because I have heard from so many of you. Thank you all for your support and concern.
    It is important to set the record straight. Carol’s Daughter is still going strong after twenty-one years and the future has never looked brighter. As part of our increased focus on new retail channels, we have decided to close five of our stores. This was portrayed as if we are having some challenges, but nothing could be further from the truth.
    Initially, I felt it was inappropriate to toot my own horn, if you will, in the midst of some of our stores closing and the day-to-day work that must be done to continue to ensure our success. However, in this day and age of information speeding ahead of us and becoming fact before it has been verified, fact checked or vetted I fear that inaccurate perception will become my company’s reality in the minds of those I hold so dear, you. My friends, supporters, cheerleaders, fans and second family.
    From the days when some of you rang my doorbell looking for Healthy Hair Butter to the day my website crashed because of my first national TV appearance you have always been there for me and you are who I care about. Because of your dedication over the past twenty-one years, I have been able to do amazing things. The nationwide Target launch this past March is an opportunity that very few companies receive. I am proud of that. I am also proud and blessed to have valuable partners, like HSN, Ulta and Sephora inside JC Penney. These partnerships have enabled me to distribute Carol’s Daughter in over 2,500 stores and on direct TV which is far beyond the reach of my living room in Brooklyn.
    I am going to live through this bad headline knowing that our brand is as strong as ever…and right now I have to get back to work.

    Love,
    Lisa M. Price
    Carol’s Daughter

    1. Sabrina Perkins Post author

      I saw that and ALSO noticed it was not mentioned. I guess nothing needs to be said about it. what’s done is done.

  9. Brian Williams

    Hello,
    I am the owner of a business that collects black owned and black servicing businesses in one place online, and I place a badge on every company that is a Black owned business. My company is called PurchaseBlack.com, and it is an ecommerce platform that can help avoid the feeling of being “tricked” into patronizing the Black community. I am definitely the sole owner of my company, and I ask all stores that sell on my platform of their ownership as well. The business accepts anyone of any race, but we make it easy to know if the ownership of a company is Black or not. I agree that it should be easy for Black people to understand who they are patronizing when they spend their money, and I am doing the best I can to create a means that African Americans can use to patronize our own community, similar to what many communities do. Please feel free to check us out at http://www.purchaseblack.com. Let me know what you think! I’d love the feedback if you are so gracious as to give us any. All the best!

  10. Maggie Tony
    Maggie Tony

    Honestly I buy from people who respect me, ( I dont care for Walmart, they don’t care about anyone, except the bottom dollar ) I want affordable good products. In the past I’ve gone out of my way to support black business and was treated poorly, so I’ll stick to people who show me respect. .

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