We had the good fortune of connecting with Arden Montgomery and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Arden, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
One of the more important habits is exercise. I try to work out before work on some days and after work on others. They both have their benefits. Before work, it gets my head in the game and it’s a great way to start the day. After work allows my brain to not necessarily shut off, because I am still digesting the day during the work out and sort of analyzing things, but it’s a great way to transition from being at the office to coming home. It’s a mindset shift that I find very necessary for myself. Lastly, sleep and rest are key. Although I am someone who gets things done when there is a lot going on and maybe I am stressed or overwhelmed, I actually work well in that environment, but it’s not sustainable. Rest and a good night’s sleep more often than not is something I try to make a habit of.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
How much time do you have? I have to pour a glass of wine for this one To start, Argaux is different from other wine companies in that we are consumer obsessed. Our entire business was created, refined, and continues to change based on customer feedback. Our business has grown steadily and organically. It takes time to truly understand your consumer and we’ve spent the past six years building genuine relationships with as many of our customers as we can both in person and virtually through our Pocket Somm service which connects consumers with an Argaux sommelier in real time. Argaux is also unique in that we focus on small production, family owned, and responsibly farmed wines. Being female owned and operated, we seek out women winemakers as well. These are wines you will not find on the shelf at your local wine shop. We’re a team of female sommeliers and businesswomen who will not sacrifice quality and who are disrupting the way in which consumers discover lesser known wines. There are plenty of mass produced wines on the market that are nothing more than a commercialized product. At Argaux, we vet every wine – Margaux and Lexi taste every single product and try to meet the winemaker whenever possible. When they decide to add something to the shop, we all dive in. It’s our goal to shed light on these small producers because they are doing something really special, and you can taste the difference. These wines are a sense of place and they are made by incredible people who have a story to tell.
All of the above was not an easy road and we face many more challenges ahead, but we’re on a mission and we’re motivated by those who love Argaux and continue to support our company. We’re here to keep our customers’ glasses full with truly great wine. Better yet, create an unparalleled customer experience that makes shopping for and discovering wine the best it can possibly be, without feeling overwhelmed by the vast world of wine or intimidated by what you don’t know.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If they were here for a week, I would want to spend some time in Laguna Beach, Newport and we would probably head up the coast to Santa Barbara too. Socal has so much to offer! In Laguna we would definitely have a cocktail at Mosaic at the Montage and then walk over to Starfish across the street for the best coastal asain fusion in town. One morning I would like to stroll through downtown Laguna. Now that Laguna has blocked off parking on Forest, it feels so European to walk around in the street, shop and pop in for an espresso and croissant at Moulin. The farmer’s market in Laguna is also one of the best!
In Newport, we would have lunch at Arc Butcher & Baker or dinner at Fable & Spirit! Fable & Spirit has possibly the best wine list in the city with lesser known wines like Domaine Rougeot from our portfolio and Flaneur as well. Their burger is one of my favorites and I would order the Guinness Brown Bread to go for breakfast the next morning!
Driving up the coast to Santa Barbara is a must! I like stopping in Summerland for antique shopping and then a spritz at the Miramar Beach Bar. Bettina would be a must for dinner … Pizza and a Negroni. Done.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My co-founders, mentors, and my husband! Having your own business is a wild ride. For me, I never stop thinking – I am in my head a lot – So it’s incredibly helpful to have people you can voice your thoughts, concerns, doubts, or enthusiasm to. My husband listens and gives sound advice. He is supportive and my biggest cheerleader. I am also grateful for the many mentors I have who have made themselves available to me. Additionally, my co-founders are incredible. When you have your own business, it’s hard to find that work/life balance and when crap hits the fan in life or vice versa you need a solid support group. People who are grounded and can be exactly who you need them to be in a moment where you may not be able to keep your head in the game. I am extremely lucky to be building this business alongside Margaux and Lexi. We are all here for it, no matter what happens.