Exeleon Magazine

Sipping Success: How Kavita Channe Turned Her Passion for Wine into a Leading Brand

Kavita Channe

Kavita Channe, the former sports presenter and TV personality, is making a mark as a successful entrepreneur with her latest venture, Sip Channé, comprising an award-winning line of Rosé and Blanc varietals that are created and imported from Provence, France.

As a best-selling author, speaker, and influencer, Kavita’s journey from being a broadcaster to a business owner is nothing short of inspiring. In this interview, we will take a closer look at her journey, her vision for Sip Channé, and how she is inspiring women entrepreneurs to take that leap of faith in themselves.

This interview is part of Exeleon Magazine’s celebration for Women’s History Month. The entire month we are releasing multiple interviews, stories, and articles of established as well as emerging women entrepreneurs.

Talk to us about your growing up years and the influence your family had on you to eventually become an entrepreneur.

My ancestors are from India, however, I draw my inspiration from all over the globe, including East Africa, where my parents were born and raised. They eventually moved to the UK for their education, and this is where they met… and I was born.

I’m the middle child of two sisters so there was always excitement around my house. My mom gave up her accounting career to be at home with us. My father was a robotics engineer working for a company, however, after a health scare with my little sister he then started his own business in the nutrition space.

From my teenage years, I watched my father run his own business from home. Over the years, I witnessed many ups and downs, but we always were provided for and had all we needed and more. I believe that is why being an entrepreneur is not scary at all for me. It actually feels familiar.

What is scary is having to be in an office doing things I do not enjoy day after day. I did that a few times in my 20s and was not so excited about life at those times. I actually felt trapped in certain ways. So eventually I started my own business in my late 20s and have never stopped creating since then.

What according to you makes for a good wine? How have you integrated that into your brand – Sip Channé?

We don’t aim for “good” wines—only GREAT wines or why bother!? A great wine is a wine that you enjoy drinking glass after glass and it’s really relative to the person’s taste.

For me, whether red, white, or rosé—I love dry wine! Also, my favorite wines are usually French, however, that’s not to say I don’t buy wine from other areas. I tried a Shiraz the other day from Australia that I absolutely loved—and I typically don’t like Shiraz. There was just something about it that was so different and delicious without being overpowering or too strong compared to some I’ve tried.

And I guess that is where our brand, Sip Channé comes in. We wanted a wine that was easy to drink while still being elegant, crisp, and hitting all the right notes of a beautiful Provence rosé. I am really proud that we have accomplished two beautiful blends with our Channé Rosé and Channé Blanc. When I sip our rosé, I literally feel like I’m back in the South of France with a gorgeous hat on, a beautiful sundress and espadrilles to pair strolling through the most beautiful villages, cafes, and restaurants eating the most delicious French fare. It’s such a vibe.

We’ve won two gold medals this year for our Channé Rosé, which makes me ecstatic and proud. Our Channé Blanc is my new favorite. This blend just launched in Aspen where they truly have the most fabulous white wine lists (and ‘by the glass’) at so many amazing restaurants there. It’s truly white wine heaven and our Blanc is such an elegant and food-friendly addition with a classic Provençale profile. Both of these wines are no sugar, no additives, and low in sulfites.

From being a sports presenter, TV personality, best-selling author, to being a wine entrepreneur, what has been the journey like for you?

The journey has been nothing but amazing! I have loved every minute of everything I’ve created and accomplished… even the not-so-great moments. I feel like greatness is formed within us when faced with any adversity. Those moments of adversity are what help us learn and grow into a stronger, wiser, and better version of ourselves.

The funny thing is I never know what I’m doing, however, I know where I want to go which is half the battle. You can figure out the rest on the way. So, if there’s something you want to do, I would say to definitely go for it!

Sip Channe Kavita Channe

Looking at this journey, what would have done differently if you were to start again?

With working in television, I would’ve started much earlier instead of trying to be somebody that I’m not because of what society thinks I should be. I didn’t think that I was attractive or blonde enough or “girl next-door” enough to go for the roles I wanted—and that is such BS. I wish I would’ve told myself to create the roles that I wanted. Don’t wait for someone to hire you. Create the position and hire yourself! That’s what I ended up doing with sports. I didn’t have a background in sports, so I created a YouTube channel which eventually led to Fox Sports and working in the NFL.

In terms of my children’s book, Frederick the Hamptons Frog, I wish that I would’ve given myself more time to plan and strategize for our launch. You really do need a team around you and so often I am doing a lot of the load myself which can lead to burn out, which leads me to the same with Sip Channé.

Last year I took a leap of faith and added a few key team members. It’s amazing what you can do when you have people around you that are in it with you, care about what they’re doing, and are excited to be doing it every day. That’s so important! Shout out to Jonathan Chabat, my amazing COO, who is such an integral part of our business. We are both working parents and truly collaborative as well as love what we do—which is key!

As a female entrepreneur in a male-dominated industry, what have been some of the biggest learnings for you?

I’ve always been a female in a male dominant industry, whether it’s sports, wine, or any business, in general. I try not to focus on being the minority and just focus on the goals at hand. Obviously, there are going to be some awkward or uncomfortable moments for most female entrepreneurs—for example, when people assume I am an ambassador for my brand as a Founder—however I would say that I have experienced much more supportive and collaborative moments that outweigh any not-so-great ones. The lesson? Make our weakness our strengths and keep it moving!

Kavita Channe Exeleon Magazine

What would be your advice for women entrepreneurs who are struggling to take that leap of faith to start their business?

My advice would be to just go for it. If you’re not doing it, somebody else will—so why should it not be you? If you need capital, there are key people and some great funds that specifically look for female-led companies to invest in. Take that leap of faith—even if it’s scary. This is your life, and you don’t want to leave this earth with regrets.

I want everyone to experience excitement and happiness every day with what they do. If that’s not you, you need to make a change ASAP!

Finally, what does the future look like for you and your brand? What are you most excited about?

It’s so exciting to see us go from three states to seven in one year. To see people enjoying rosé in the winter in gorgeous ski towns like Aspen to the summer in buzzing places like the Hamptons or enjoying rosé year-round in places like Florida or Nashville…it’s a fabulous time! And to think I was advised not to launch a white wine and was told to stick to rosé. I am so glad I did not listen and trusted my gut.

Our Blanc is truly one-of-a-kind and enjoyed in so many of my favorite places which we will be adding in so many more to come. We are also going to be launching other products as well as opening more states.

Just because we can’t be in the French Riviera at this very moment doesn’t mean we can’t feel like we are—and it’s my goal to share that gorgeous South of France / St. Tropez vibe with all of you—which is why we do this!!!

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and sign up for our newsletter on our website. We have some amazing events coming up and hope to see you there!

Exeleon Shorts

  • One Book Entrepreneurs Must Read – I haven’t read it yet, but I want to… “The Virgin Way” by Richard Branson
  • One Productivity Tool / App that Everyone Should Use – Google Workspace
  • One Podcast / Course that you would Recommend – MasterClass
  • One Movie / Show that you would Recommend – The Pursuit of Happiness
  • One Quote that Motivates you the Most – If people aren’t laughing at your dreams, then you’re not dreaming big enough.
  • One Investment Advice that you Follow – Invest in what you know and love… and this not only refers to your money, but also your time.

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