Every entrepreneur starting out needs mentors, both formal and informal. I’ve been very lucky to have a caring, savvy, encouraging and honest mentor in Aarti Khosla who founded Le Rouge Chocolates here in Westport.
Aarti runs her chocolate shop more like a social enterprise than a small business. Every time you turn around she’s making chocolates to raise money to support a cause with heart. In fact, what led me to meet Aarti in the first place was her ‘Give a Little Love’ campaign back in 2014. Her idea was intriguing - buy some of her heart-shaped chocolates with the promise that you would give it to a complete stranger! I loved it!
Over the years, Aarti and I have gotten to know more about each other’s talents, interests, and families. This has proven so valuable to me - she has helped me in my efforts to be a good in-law to my husband’s family - they are originally from India, while I am a Scandinavian from Minnesota. Quite a cultural divide - but Aarti has given me subtle insights and tips to thrive and find real happiness with my new extended family.
So, when I began creating my greeting cards, Aarti was the first person to offer to sell them in her shop. She put together a package of her chocolates, a local florist, and my cards. I loved setting up a little display stand in her store and feel ‘official’ having my cards in a brick-and-mortar store for the first time!
Leading with heart - that’s the best business lesson I’ve learned from Aarti!
My first-ever display. I only had mesh bags, not clear ones, no business card, and a plastic brochure display I bought at Staples. Hey - gotta start somewhere, right?
Meanwhile, look at the GORGEOUS packaging Aarti developed. That rich, royal blue, the gold trim, the references ‘from Paris to Punjab’ - brilliant! She made Mother’s Day very sweet for me, indeed!