Haute Living: Haute Ambassador: Maria Sharapova Steps Up And Into Spring
I’ve always looked forward to the renewal and rebirth that comes with spring. This year, the season is even more meaningful to me, as I’m so excited for the growth and expansion of my candy company, Sugarpova. Our customers have shared such positive reviews of the chocolate line we launched in 2016. But, over the past year, I wanted to spend time travelling throughout the States, listening to feedback at a grassroots level. Between meeting with fans at personal appearances—from Boston to Las Vegas to L.A.—and the executive leadership program I participated in at Harvard Business School last summer, I have learned such invaluable lessons as a businesswoman that I’ve put into action and am so happy to share.
1. One of the major takeaways I came back with is that consumers are at the core of our business—it’s critical in our planning and building that we listen to them and their feedback.
2. I learned that, when you are growing a business, no meeting or contact is too small. You never know when an exciting opportunity can come about! It usually starts from an unexpected introduction, or a fortuitous networking scenario, and leads to buyers and distributors and then, eventually, products on shelves.
3. Give people options! Throughout the past year, my team and I heard Sugarpova consumers ask for smaller sizes and more flavors. So my partners at Baron Chocolatier and I went to work and recently announced the launch of two new dark chocolate bar flavors—orange and pear—as well as a collection of dark and milk chocolate truffles comprised of fruits and nuts, which will be available late spring. (Of course, because I can’t get enough gummies, I insisted on covering those in chocolate, too. How can anyone resist milk chocolate-covered candy?)