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Home Fragrance: Q&A with Harry Slatkin
Posted: February 5, 2008
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Slatkin: Of course my biggest milestone is selling my brand to Les Wexner’s Limited Brands, which feels like a dream that I live everyday because I work for him and have the amazing task of building a home fragrance empire under him. I am from Montclair, N.J. and never dreamed that I would have a chance to meet so many inspiring role models. Collaborating with Elton John to make his candles has been a great honor. Meeting inspiring and talented people like Martha Stewart, Lenny Kravitz, Tommy Hilfiger and even royalty like the late Princess Diana, for whom I made a memorial candle for, I consider career milestones. My family is my biggest achievement; they ground me and make everything I do worthwhile. I have an 8-year-old autistic child who has helped make my wife and I examine what is important in life. We started the first charter school for mental health in the state of New York, NYCA (New York Center for Autism), and great strides are being made in Autism, which is now the number one child disease.
Who are your business role models?
Slatkin: Martha Stewart, Vera Wang and Ralph Lauren. All three are brilliant at what they do and never waiver from their identity. No matter what obstacles they encountered, they overcame them.
If you could ask your role model one question, what would it be?
Slatkin: “Does your mind ever rest?,” because I know that mine never stops!
What is the key to balancing your business and personal life?
Slatkin: I am firm about reserving weekends for family. I only allow one weekend a year for work, which is when I travel the world to see how other countries celebrate holidays. Otherwise, I use my weekends to relax and have fun with my family. We do ordinary things like bowling or ice skating in Central Park with the occasional shopping fix.
Editor's note: For more information, see GCI magazine's February 2008 issue, both in print and online.