Photo: Lezli Levene Harvell
Doctor. Wife. Mother—of five. Entrepreneur. Food Enthusiast. Event Curator. Philanthropist. Lezli Levene Harvell wears so many hats, it’s exhausting just to consider what a typical day in her life must be like. Inevitably, the clichéd phrase “I don’t know how she does it” comes to mind.
On the evening she speaks with The Glow Up, Dr. Levene Harvell has already worked a full day at her pediatric dental practice in Newark, N.J., before hopping a flight to Chicago to prepare for the launch of her 2018 Iconoclast Dinner Experience series the next day. In the interim, she’s fit in dinner at one of the many acclaimed Chicago restaurants she’s been dying to try, and after all of that, finally made time to chat with us until well past midnight while personally stuffing hundreds of gift bags for the event.
We got hot sauce in our bags (swag). No, seriously: There was actual hot sauce in the swag bags…
But, surprisingly, she sounds full of energy when we speak—as if this is just an average day in the life of a multihyphenate like herself. And because she’s managed to check all of the boxes so many contemporary women are aspiring to—all before turning 40 later this month—I can’t resist asking the most obvious question: What is “having it all” really like?
I can’t talk about any other woman, but while people may see me as my own entity, really, I’m the product of a lot of people giving me support. For example, my husband is very, very hands-on—he knows how to do hair [and] everything. So the fact that I have five daughters [ages 5-18] but my husband is very hands-on, that obviously allows me to pursue my passions.
Also, I have an amazing sisterhood. Not just sisters; I just have an amazing group of friends who are very, very supportive. I have people in the food industry—and even outside of the food industry—who’ve become evangelists for the work that I’m doing. And, you know, obviously there’s always more work to be done, but I would not be here without all of these people holding me up.
Levene Harvell, a board-certified pediatric dentist,