“The moment you want to give up is the moment you are about to have a breakthrough — There have been several times I have felt like cashing in all my chips yet, somehow, I kept going. The universe always gave me a breakthrough in those moments. I have learned it is the ones who don’t give up who exceed their goals.”
I had the pleasure to interview Kavita Channe. Kavita is a sports and entertainment host, NFL sideline reporter, and TV personality and producer, who has successfully broken barriers for women and minorities in both media and television. In addition to her accomplishments in the sports and entertainment industry, she has lent herself to many charitable organizations and is a sought-after speaker and actress. A London native with ancestry from India and Greece, Kavita moved to the US when she was 5 years old, bringing with her goals of creating, entertaining, and performing. Realizing early on that her natural talent and ever-growing opportunities were in front of the camera, she attended the University of Florida, earning a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Journalism and Telecommunications. In 2011, Kavita created her own YouTube channel, 1stDownNDirty. With over 1.6 million views, she interviewed athletes and took viewers behind the scenes of the sports world. That led to an offer by Fox Sports Florida in 2012 to cover high school football games and Florida Panthers broadcasts. By 2014, she had been recruited by the Jacksonville Jaguars to be their sideline reporter. Channe then went on to become the grid-side reporter for NPLG’s GRID (the world’s first co-ed professional sport) for the 2016 season. Not only had she become a respected voice in the sports industry, being featured on Mantalk Radio, Fox Sports, and The Chat, but Channe produced and hosted her own “Kavita Channe Special”, going one-on-one with sports stars airing on South Florida’s VIP TV on The CW. Beyond sports broadcasting and journalism, Kavita has appeared on television in HBO’s Ballers, the Fox reality TV show, “Paradise Hotel”, and VH1’s Baller Wives. She also worked as a featured correspondent in Designing Spaces on TLC. Kavita has also held roles in feature films, namely Broke: The New American Dream, CHECKPOST, and her latest endeavor, Dependence, set to be released at the end of 2017.
Yitzi: Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I have been interviewing athletes and celebrities for various outlets — such as Fox Sports, Jacksonville Jaguars, The CW, ABC, NBC, etc. — for the past 10 years. Most recently, I switched gears, becoming a mother and launching a rose wine business at the exact same time. Life has been quite the whirlwind, to say the least.
Yitzi: Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I traveled to Cannes, France in February of 2017 to meet with over 100 rosé winemakers in search of the best rosé I could find. Luckily, I was able to bring my friend, Jen Buchanan, who is very knowledgeable about wines with me. Our search was a success and we found our perfect blend. Then a few weeks after we returned, my boyfriend and I found out we were pregnant! That’s how good the rosé was! All jokes aside, I took it as a positive sign from the universe and I am now proud to say I have two babies: Channé Rosé and my baby girl, magical Micah.
Yitzi: So what exactly does your company do?
We sell premium rosé from the French Riviera/Côte De Azur.
Yitzi: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
After traveling extensively throughout Europe’s wine countries and seeing all the rosé they had to offer, I came back to the U.S. feeling disappointed. How could we have such a scant, sad selection while Europeans had so many wonderful rose wine options to choose from? That’s when I decided to launch my own brand. Channé Rosé was conceived because we firmly believe we deserve to have amazing rosé here, in the U.S., too!
Yitzi: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
My friends and family have been an integral part of the process from the very beginning, doing tasting after tasting and spreading the word. I’ve also had a lot of support from Buckhead Dining Group and Chef Gio at Valentino in Fort Lauderdale — both of whom loved our rosé so much they were the first to place orders with us to serve Channé Rosé in their restaurants. This whole process has proven teamwork truly makes the dream work.
Yitzi: How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I believe giving is living, and I have been working with many important organizations close to my heart over the years, such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, American Heart Association, Pediatrics Associates, and American Red Cross, to name a few. I also co-founded “Dining for a Difference,” where we partner with restaurants to provide five-course tastings with wine pairings to raise money and awareness for various charities in our community. The wine is donated from outside wine producers — including Channé Rosé — and each dinner sponsors a different charity or organization. We also handpick guests who we feel go above and beyond in our communities, based on specific criteria. The goal is to make our world a better place, always! And I believe in order to do that, we must start at home.
Yitzi: What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. The moment you want to give up is the moment you are about to have a breakthrough — There have been several times I have felt like cashing in all my chips yet, somehow, I kept going. The universe always gave me a breakthrough in those moments. I have learned it is the ones who don’t give up who exceed their goals.
2. Stay away from dream killers — I am not saying people are intentionally trying to kill your dreams but many may not have your fire, your passion or your drive… and that’s okay, but they will never understand your goals. Steer clear of their judgment and negativity. Pessimism can be contagious.
3. Surround yourself with people who know more than you — If you are the smartest person on your team, then that is a sign to make a change. Think: A-Team! Working amongst people who don’t challenge you will only stunt your growth.
4. As a rule of thumb: if it’s not fun and exciting to you, don’t do it. Period — Don’t go through life a zombie. LIVE your life! Take risks and enjoy every moment of it.
5. The success is in the journey, not the end result — The ups and downs are the spice of life. It’s what you will remember in the end, more so than that award or that promotion.
Yitzi: Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this :-)
Since we are fully relying on grassroots marketing techniques to spread the word about our brand, I would love to chat with online power marketers like Mari Smith, the Queen of Facebook, or Neil Patel, founder of Crazy Egg, to gain some pointers.
Oh, and, Mark Cuban — would you like to invest?? I’ll bring the rosé, of course…