DT: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? And some highlights in your career? Please name drop (laughs).
RH: I am a multisensory artist and designer having worked many years in the NYC fashion industry for brands like Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. I left the fashion industry in 2007 and embarked upon a new career as an entrepreneur running two successful retail businesses. About the same time, I took an interest in fragrances and started exploring the art of perfumery. It was through my fascination with scents that Therapeutate Parfums was born.
DT: Why is it important to have diversity in the beauty and fashion industries?
RH: Diversity is vital in any industries; it allows unique experiences to build off one another. Many voices at the table set the playing field for excellence to thrive. There is nothing dynamic and complete with only a few insights; unless of course, those insights herald from the most spiritually intelligent beings. Beauty and fashion win with diversity because these industries are better able to comprehend the consumers they serve.
DT: Have you seen shifts in the last decade?
RH: I have certainly seen shifts in the way these industries market to diverse populations. The product lines have a broader palette of choices, in regards to cosmetics and advertisements; [they] reflect this in print and digital media. I would attribute much of the industry’s shift due to social media – the sharing of culture and ideas.
DT: In a perfect world, what would be an ideal evolution in the industries of beauty and fashion?
RH: In an ideal world, I would like to see more people of color as stakeholders, like Rihanna (with Fenty), Pat McGrath, and Therapeutate Parfums.
DT: Do you realize that your presence in the industry, inspires many people around the world?
RH: I am aware that our presence is an inspiration to others. Therapeutate Parfums is a first in many respects. There are very few perfumers of African descent in the West. I believe being a trailblazer, in this way, helps others to know that building a fragrance brand is achievable.
DT: What advice would you give your younger self?
RH: If I were to advise my past self, I would have moved to France immediately after completing my undergraduate degree. Traveling the world has given me a broad cultural perspective, and enlightened me in ways that staying only in the US could not.
DT: Are you living your purpose?
RH: I don’t feel I am ever fully living my purpose when there is still so much to learn, explore, and pass on to others. However, I certainly think I am living my best life, in each moment, particularly when I remain curious about why I am here.
DT: Finish this sentence, “I am grateful for…”
RH: “I am grateful to be able to fulfill my wildest dreams, to live a life of balance and connectivity.”
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