Society / Profiles

Founder of The Trusted Lab Lisa Cooley Shares How She Got Into the CBD Business

And Brings Us Back to the '80s When She Met Husband Clay Cooley

BY // 09.02.21

Having grown up just a few short miles from the Georgia border in Tallahassee, I can spot a girl from the Peach State a mile away: often blonde, never without a dazzling smile, and quick with the regional witticisms. A gracious demeanor, a buoyant personality and always a loyal friend, this month’s Bomb, Lisa Cooley, checks all the boxes. She’s from Rome, Georgia, and has family spread throughout the South, but Lisa is a Texas girl.

When asked if she was a bubbly cheerleader in high school, she says, “No. I played basketball. It was half-court, which was how girls played back then.” Given her less than imposing height, I ask how she fared. “Well, I was spunky and tried hard.” Always self-sufficient, she paid her own way through college, then headed to Dallas and supported herself through the years that followed.

She was an ’80s girls in oh-so many ways. She loved Madonna’s music and style. “The only person who had bigger hair than me was likely Jon Bon Jovi,” Lisa Cooley says. She met the love of her life, Clay Cooley, soon after moving to Dallas. “We met at TGI Fridays. That was a hangout spot. I was there with some of my friends, and he was with a group of guys.” That evening sparked their 35-year flame (they recently celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary).

Ciara Cooley, Lisa Cooley, Tiffany Divis (Photo by WJNPhoto)
Ciara Cooley, Lisa Cooley, Tiffany Divis (Photo by WJNPhoto)

As Clay built his automotive empire, they lived in Coppell and moved to Dallas in 2012. They have three children (no grandchildren yet): Chase, the oldest, works in the family business and is married to local fashionista Bela; Ciara, a recent graduate of the Cox Business School, has also joined the family business; their youngest, Chance, is currently
in law school at Columbia University.

As Lisa settled into life as an empty nester, she eschewed the tradition of a twice-weekly tennis lesson followed by a standing reservation at a ladies-who- lunch bistro; instead, her entrepreneurial spirit kicked in. She founded The Trusted Lab, which provides the highest-quality pharmaceutical-grade CBD derived from hemp grown under the U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. When asked why this type of business, she responds, “My dad and sister-in-law both died of cancer within three years of one another. I saw the pain they were in and I also noticed that CBD gave them some relief. I recognized a good business opportunity and a way to help people at the same time.” Her company, which recently celebrated its second anniversary, is rapidly expanding and hitting numbers well beyond projections.

She and Clay have actively supported many causes in North Texas, but foremost on Lisa’s horizon is chairing The Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show on October 1. She has long been involved with the CCB Committee and is a member of the Ten Best Dressed Hall of Fame. When asked about the iconic organization, she responds like a true ambassador: “It’s a group of 100 ladies working their hardest, with the ultimate goal of bettering the lives of children in our community. They raise funds throughout the year, and since its inception, CBB has given $165 million to over 152 worthy beneficiaries, with close to $5.5 million committed for 2021.”

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Lisa Cooley
This month’s Bomb Girl, Lisa Cooley earned the homecoming queen crown in 1979.

Approximate date of photo.
1979.

The occasion.
Homecoming. We were on a float pulled by a pickup truck. Do they still do that? I don’t even know.

What you were wearing.
Not sure, as I was definitely not wearing designer labels back then.

What price fashion.
This dress couldn’t have been more than a few hundred dollars and was the most expensive thing I had ever owned. We went to the big city of Texarkana to buy it. Where we lived was only a couple thousand people, so that was the big city.

Why this is a Bomb.com picture.
It was so exciting and such an honor to be on the homecoming court. [I had to nudge humble Lisa to find out that she was actually the queen.]

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