Solve your problems within 24 hours and move on
Be honest with yourself
Exercise! Build physical endurance. I truly believe it results in mental endurance as well.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Arden Montgomery and Margaux Reaume, Argaux.
Argaux started as a passion project between two friends who enjoyed throwing dinner parties in college. Arden and Margaux met their Freshman year at the University of Arizona. They bonded over their love of food, cooking and entertaining. Plus, they share the exact same birthday: February 20th, 1992.
Their friendship grew over monthly dinner parties they co-hosted for friends and roommates. Soon they were known as the “dinner party enthusiasts” and their appetite for all things food and cooking fostered their newfound interest and passion for wine. By their senior year in college friends called Arden and Margaux, Argaux.
Various wine bars around Tucson became their “library” where they’d ponder the possibilities and dream up a business plan for what once was a passion project, and now a budding business.
Today, Arden & Margaux are both sommeliers. Their business―Argaux―is 3 years old and based in Costa Mesa, California.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
We started Argaux as a passion project between two friends who enjoyed throwing dinner parties in college. We met Freshman year at the University of Arizona. We bonded over our love of food, cooking and entertaining. Plus, who doesn’t love sharing the exact same birthday: February 20th, 1992.
Today, we are both sommeliers. Our business is 3 years old and based in Costa Mesa, California.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
Honestly, I think this past year has been one interesting story after the next. It’s been extremely challenging and we have learned more this year than we have in all 4 years being in business. We’ve learned the power of resilience, perspective, and humility!
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Our customer service and approach to wine! We go above and beyond for our customers in that we have sommeliers who respond to customer inquiries and requests in real time via SMS. We call this service “Pocket Somm” — It’s truly a sommelier in your back pocket for any and all wine related needs. Other than that, our wine selection. We focus on small production, family owned, and sustainably farmed wine.
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? Can you share a story?
My parents! They have always been my and the company’s biggest cheerleaders. No particular story, I am grateful for their love and support every day.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
I think resilience is at the core of every small business. At Argaux, resilience is a combination of energy, attitude, perspective, and overall work ethic. It has everything to do with how we choose to solve problems, sustain our creative thinking, and ultimately navigate volatility. Things are changing everyday. Rather than letting doubt, negativity, or fear of the unknown override productivity, our team chooses the upside every time.
Argaux sources wine for every occasion, every table, and every day. It’s our job to produce unparalleled customer service, keep glasses half full, spark conversation, educate, and provide opportunity for unique and memorable experiences. Margaux and I believe we are making a difference for our customers. We love what we do, and we’re having a lot of fun along the way. If we need a boost, we tap into that. Reflect and circle back to the business at its core. There is an abundance of strength and resilience within all of us, but we have to work for it not only at a professional level, but a personal level as well.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
Honestly, the first two people that come to mind are both of my 90 and 95 year grandmas. When you live a long life, you see a lot of things. You not only experience hopefully a life full of love and laughter, but you experience a fair amount of loss as well. They inspire me.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
Not one thing in particular. Moreso, people in the industry expressing doubt towards our business model.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
My biggest setback to date has been losing my father unexpectedly in August of 2019. It rocks your entire world. I remember forcing myself to go back to work the Monday after he passed. He passed on August 15th, a Thursday. He was a mentor for me in business and in life, I felt a sense of comfort being back in the office. I did not get much done that first week back but I felt the need to rip the Band-Aid off and get back to some sort of “normalcy” and routine as soon as possible. The hope is that you bounce back stronger than ever. I work hard on this every single day. It’s some of the hardest work I’ve done, and it is a work in progress.
Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
I had a privileged childhood with loving parents, absolutely no complaints! I think if anything, it was my upbringing that taught me the value of hard work and in that, I found resilience. The desire to persevere, make decisions and stand behind them. See them through and find that sense of control over the outcomes in your life. Resilience is almost a form of consistency. No matter what, you get back on your two feet and stay focused on the end game. Life throws a lot of curveballs, and resilience allows you to deviate from the roadmap as needed without losing sight of the overall goal.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Take responsibility
- Solve your problems within 24 hours and move on
- Stop complaining
- Be honest with yourself
- Exercise! Build physical endurance. I truly believe it results in mental endurance as well.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Everyday is different! Today I would say, take time for yourself! The best way to do that is to get out of bed in the morning and move. Exercise. It’s the key to longevity and mental health!
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
Anyone in business and entrepreneurship! I think it’s a fascinating world, and every business is different, yet similar in many ways. I recently listened to ‘How I Build This’ with Danny Meyer of Shake Shack. Would love to pick his brain!
How can our readers follow you on social media?