Photographer Credit: Julian Osorio
A true multi-hyphenate, Kavita Channe is an entertainment dynamo known for her work as a TV host, producer, award winning winepreneur, Amazon Best-Selling author and philanthropist. In her long list of achievements, she also includes being a mother to Magical Micah and Mighty Maverick.
Hailing from London with Indian ancestry, Channe moved to the U.S. at 5 years old and realized early on that she had a natural affinity for the camera. She earned degrees in journalism, telecommunications, and business from the University of Florida, then launched The Procurer, a celebrity concierge and marketing firm.
This led to conducting red-carpet interviews and TV hosting gigs. She caught the eye of Fox Sports, who hired her to cover the Florida Panthers, then she was recruited as a sideline reporter for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Her career has included hosting the “Kavita Channe Special,” her YouTube channel “The Channe Show,” starring in scripted television, reality shows and films, founding Sip Channé, and executive producing/hosting the “7 Most Fascinating People of South Florida.”
Channe gives back by lending her voice to many nonprofits such as Veterinarians International, American Heart Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Miami Diaper Bank, HANDY, American Red Cross, United Way, and 211 Broward, where she proudly serves as a board member and has emceed their annual Non-Profit Awards Gala for the past seven years.
At the very beginning of Sip Channé, she just had a baby. She had a meeting with a very prominent sommelier at a very popular restaurant in town and I forgot to bring a chilled bottle of wine for sampling (hello post-pregnancy brain!).
The sommelier gave her the “can’t believe this woman” look. After some super quick thinking on her part, she called in a favor to another restaurant down the road that carried Channé Rosé and had them pop a chilled bottle into an Uber for the tasting.
The biggest lesson that was taken from that moment was the ability to “think fast” and always stay on top of the game – post-pregnancy brain or not. She has also never made that mistake again. She now laughs about the experience above with that very sommelier, Ervin Machado, who is now a dear friend who also just launched Prosecco Zero.
Another challenge she has faced as a woman in wine is that she is often asked when entering a meeting space if she’s the brand ambassador or a rep. When they learn that she is the owner they tend to look a bit blind-sighted. Unfortunately, this is quite common with females at the helm in any sector. Because of this it definitely makes her more cognizant of assumptions or falling into stereotypes.
You never know who you are speaking with and everyone should be treated equally because we all have something to offer, no matter the title. With that being said, she truly does hope that she can be a small part of breaking stereotypes in business.
She has always been a female in a male dominant industry, whether it’s sports, wine, or any business, in general. She tries not to focus on being the minority and just focuses 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 she is an ambassador for her brand vs a founder—however, she would say that she has experienced much more supportive and collaborative moments that outweigh any not so great ones. The lesson? Make our weaknesses our strengths and keep it moving!
Her 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.
She wants everyone to experience excitement and happiness every day with what they do. If that’s not you, you need to make a change ASAP!
Kavita Channe’s Exclusive Interview
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You went from a TV Personality at Fox Sports to a Winepreneur. What led you to make the shift and start your own business in the wine space?
Kavita Channe: After working nonstop for years covering different sports, I needed a break and took a month-long trip to Europe, including France. It was my first time in Provence, and I absolutely fell in love with the food, the wine, the landscape, and the people.
Prior to this, I never was a rosé drinker; however, I was offered this pinkish drink at almost every place that I visited… and a new fan was born!!! Sadly, when I got back from my trip, I wasn’t able to find the same quality that I experienced in France.
As fate would have it, there was this huge rosé conference in Cannes with rosé winemakers from all over the world, and I went under a “media” pass and met with over 100 of them in the span of a few days. By the end, I found a match, and a deal was made!
Can you share with us what makes Sip Channé unique and special?
Kavita Channe: We work with a small, family-owned winery right outside of St. Tropez that uses sustainable farming practices to produce wines with unique and complex flavors.
Our vines are 40-60+ years old, which definitely adds to the quality and flavor profile. Also, an added bonus is that our wines are sugar-free, additive-free, and low in sulfites. This commitment to quality sets us apart from other wine brands.
And, of course, the magic of the team behind this magical juice—we are all from different parts of the world coming together to bring our wine to so many around the globe to celebrate with and enjoy!
We see you are in many different states including Florida, Aspen, and the Hamptons. Where is your dream place to see your wine being enjoyed?
Kavita Channe: We first launched in Florida and then made our way to the Hamptons. Many of our consumers in the Hamptons either live or travel to Aspen often, so it was a natural progression. Now we are in seven states with opportunities to expand even moreso.
By the way, Aspen houses some of the best sommeliers around with the most fabulous white wine lists. You can find our Channé Blanc on many of those lists in a category of its own—because of its unique blend. We also just launched in France with plans for other countries.
As for my dream place for our wines to be enjoyed—literally in anyone’s hand. Every time I see someone enjoying a glass of our wine, I literally feel “in love” vibes.
It takes me back to Provence in the beautiful city of Gordes with the lavender fields and down to St. Tropez, strolling through the villages and stopping for a glass of fabulous rosé with a gorgeous sundress on and espadrilles to pair. It’s a whole vibe.
Being in such a competitive space that is male-dominated and now with the influx of celebrities joining in and launching their own alcohol brands, what challenges present themselves often and how do you plan to keep expanding?
Kavita Channe: You are absolutely 100% correct. This was also the case in my sports broadcasting career. I think all women are used to having to hustle just a little more. For example, sometimes it will take me three meetings to get what a male counterpart can execute in one, which has nothing to do with our level of experience or deal-closing abilities.
With that being said, I believe that anything that sets anyone apart is an asset. Yes, there are challenges; however, I’m facing them head-on because I Iove what I do. Also to note, I have definitely changed a few strategies over time to help avoid some of the challenges I have faced as a female entrepreneur, which has helped.
As far as celebrities joining the wine and liquor space, I would say we have George Clooney to thank for that. He has definitely set the trend with the success of his tequila brand, which sold for $1Billion.
Funny story, I met a well-known reality television star at an event in the Hamptons two summers ago. She tried our Channé Rosé and absolutely loved it. We chatted a little more, and when she found out that I was the owner and the company was female-led, she said she wanted to help promote my brand. She then asked me to send her two cases to her house in Los Angeles. Of course, I was so excited, and I sent her the wine straight away… only to have her launch her own rosé and white wine from the same area a few months ago… coincidentally, on my birthday.
Did it sting a little bit? Yes. However, I just have to focus on what I am doing and stand behind my goals and company and not worry about others. Also, there’s plenty of room in every industry for whoever wants to join. Wine not!
What advice would you give to someone who is starting their own business?
Kavita Channe: I would have to say that the secret of getting ahead is getting started.
You should definitely research your industry… how your business fits in it… what you have to offer as well as how you’re going to offer it… what sets you apart… all of that… that’s very important… however, don’t allow the fear of not knowing everything or, perhaps, entering a new space stop you.
Just get in there and get your hands dirty. If you fail, it’s OK. If you win, great for you. Your business does not define your soul or who you are. It’s an aspect of your life, so have fun and enjoy whatever you do.
The important thing is making sure that you love what you do because you’ll be doing it a lot!
What daily routines do you follow that you believe are essential for your success?
Kavita Channe: As soon as I wake up, I plan my day by checking my calendar, setting alarms for meetings, and I always make my bed. I believe that how you do something is how you do everything, and I try to instill this value in my children and team.
Keeping my home clean, and organized, and ensuring that my family and I have nutritious meals and adequate sleep is crucial for me to maintain a clear mind to focus on my business. Another important part of my mornings is fitness, which sets the tone for the day.
I also like to motivate my team and exercise with them when possible because I strongly believe that daily exercise makes us happier, more productive, and more efficient. Prioritizing my team’s needs, supporting them, and allowing them to work in a way that best fits their lifestyles is also important.
Can you share a story of a challenging moment in your business journey where you considered quitting or closing down your company?
Kavita Channe: I have not ever considered quitting; thankfully, however, I almost did not start the business because I became pregnant at the time I was about to launch. Many people were telling me that I should focus on being a mom to help with stress levels.
I am so happy I didn’t listen, and I followed my inner voice. My children see what I do every day and how happy I am doing it… and I hope it inspires them to get out there and make their dream life happen, too!
How do you attribute your current success? Do you believe it’s mostly due to your work ethic, skills, and intelligence, or do you think luck has also played a significant role?
Kavita Channe: I would say my number one skill is not taking “no” for an answer. I’m very driven, and when I set my mind to something, I make it happen.
Additionally, having my father start his own business when I was a teenager and seeing it grow through all the ups and downs has made me less fearful of starting my own business.
I’m grateful for having that experience to draw inspiration from. Regarding our current success, I believe it’s a blend of all of the above, just like our wines! A significant factor is having an amazing team in place.
My COO, Jonathan Chabat, has been a fabulous addition to our Sip Channé family. We met over a year ago, and I instantly knew we would work together at some point, which thankfully happened shortly after.
We also have a few other key members who have supported our growth. It’s essential to have a great team in place, as no one can do anything alone.
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