Former talk show host and media mogul, Oprah had a coveted “favorite things” list, where she featured products she felt were noteworthy or that would make a great gift. Most small business owners could only dream of earning a spot on that list, but for Jon Bresler, owner of high-end candle and soap company, Lafco, the honor and recognition did not only come once, but twice.
During Oprah’s final season, Lafco’s House and Home Candle Collection was featured in her list of “ultimate favorite things.” The experience has been a dream-come-true for Bresler, who is formerly a litigation lawyer who moved to Switzerland to work for a pharmaceutical company. The idea for coming up with his own business came after he encountered a Just Lady in 1995 (similar to an Avon Lady), selling aromatherapy oils and candles. In that instance he decided to create his own candle company. Inspired by Europe’s artisanal soap making, he used a design-forward bath and body concept.
Bresler first got lucky back in 2007, when Oprah featured their Claus Porto soaps. After this feature, their sales went astronomical, selling $1 million worth of products in just 30 days. According to the entrepreneur, there were times he wished it didn’t happen because they were seriously unprepared. Some orders were shipped late while others ended up at the wrong mailbox, and Bresler worried that complaints might reach Oprah.
But last year, he received the best news yet when Oprah contacted him yet again for her “ultimate favorite things” list. This time, they were given months to prepare, but they had to do it in secret. They were part of a big surprise for Oprah’s audience, but nobody was even more surprised than Bresler.
From being a stiff lawyer to one of Oprah’s favorites, Bresler and his products will be the subject of talk for many more years to come.