The self-anointed king of home fragrances has found a new throne.
Harry Slatkin has been named chief executive officer and a member of the board by Blyth Inc., a direct-to-consumer manufacturer and seller of candles and home fragrance products, including PartyLite. As well, the company has named Dan Chard as president and chief operating officer.
Blyth Inc. was recently acquired by global investment firm the Carlyle Group, and Slatkin.
The products are sold via hostesses who hold sales parties in their homes. Slatkin concedes that the company is “not where it was years ago,” but that he will “bring that luster back.”
“Twenty-three years ago, I entered into the world of home fragrance,” said Slatkin, who sold his first home fragrance business, Slatkin & Co., to L Brands’ Bath & Body Works division in 2005. “At PartyLite, my first priority is to expand the company’s direct sales force and drive new product innovation. Together we will develop and deliver premier home fragrance products and experiences to people all over the world.”
“I’ve done wholesale and retail, but what really intrigued me was the direct-to-consumer model,” Slatkin said. “I love hanging out in retail stores and asking consumers their opinions; I can’t wait to go into their homes as well.” Which he will, literally; Slatkin plans to make unannounced visits to house parties.
Slatkin said he plans to treat party hostesses — whom he describes as “soccer moms who are usually doing this as a side business” — as retailers. “We need to provide them with all of the tools she needs for success — whether that’s marketing collateral, sales instructions or more,” he said. “Also, I want to reinvigorate parties and make them more of a celebratory moment. I want party hostesses to enjoy hosting these parties. I want to be the next Mary Kay, even if it means I have to wear a lot of pink.”
Chard is a direct-to-consumer veteran, having spent 15 years at NuSkin, a direct-selling company that sells antiaging products, noted Slatkin.
At L Brands, Slatkin said he grew the business to the second-largest home fragrance company in the world, and the number-one home fragrance brand on QVC. In 2011, Slatkin became luxury lifestyle brand Belstaff’s vice chairman, rising to ceo before exiting.
In addition to its U.S. business, the brand is sold in 23 countries, including Germany, the U.K., Australia and Mexico.