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How this female-founded brand was born during the pandemic

Meet Sara Armet, founder and lady of Lady and the Chocolate, a company born out of the pandemic and based in New York City.  This female-founded and female-led brand is a luxury chocolate company, designing chocolate bark in and around the NYC metro area. This community-driven operation spreads joy and love through its array of […]

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Meet Sara Armet, founder and lady of Lady and the Chocolate, a company born out of the pandemic and based in New York City.  This female-founded and female-led brand is a luxury chocolate company, designing chocolate bark in and around the NYC metro area. This community-driven operation spreads joy and love through its array of bold, unique, and show-stopping flavors.

“In uncertain times, chocolate is medicine,” according to founder Sara Armet, a vetted retail professional turned chocolatier. She added, “Our goal is to scale our business and spread love through high quality chocolate!”

This female founder is now working on her first round of crowdfunding which will help her to increase brand awareness and grant Lady and the Chocolate additional resources to move production into a larger facility in order to fulfill the brand’s growing demand.   With an all-female committee leading the crowdfunding campaign, the sky is the limit!  Read on for more about Sara’s business, plans for the future and a few inspirational women who motivated her to start this brand!

How did you decide to launch/create this business?

Sara Armet: With executive order New York State on PAUSE, I woke up one day with a calling to make the best chocolate you ever had. What started off ‘just for fun’, a passion project making chocolate for friends as a way to stay connected, quickly became a full-time job. Word quickly spread of the bootstrapped operation, chocolate lovers from far and wide, day and night would come for a drive-by, a taste, and a woman’s wisdom. Lady and the Chocolate was born. 

What was the need?

Sara Armet: During difficult times, chocolate is medicine! Designing chocolate bark with larger-than-life personality became the ultimate remedy for connection during uncertain times. It’s chocolate for people who need people!

What is your background?

Sara Armet: My background in fashion began on Madison Avenue in luxury retail sales, a career I enjoyed for more than a decade. Working at specialty stores, Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman opened many doors and presented opportunities for me to travel the world, spearhead VIP events, and build long-standing relationships.

How did you/your brand pivot during the pandemic?

Sara Armet: I have always been someone who is motivated by community and human connection. I love orchestrating events and bringing people together. Fashion is a major part of my story and my self-expression. Before COVID, I was planning designer trunk shows in stores and private residences for philanthropy. When the world stopped, I took the opportunity to redirect my passion, creativity, and sales experience to a new medium: chocolate. Lady and the Chocolate is chocolate meets fashion! I always dreamed of being a fashion designer and now I have the opportunity to do it!

Tell us about your crowdfunding and why you started this?

Sara Armet: Lady and the Chocolate has been a community driven operation from day one. Crowdfunding empowers our dedicated following of chocolate lovers to decide what our future looks like! Our goal is to move our production to a larger facility, fine tune our packaging, and roll out the ultimate unboxing experience to social media influencers.

You say your brand is “community driven” – tell us more about that and your community?

Sara Armet: I am very lucky to have a tight knit community on the Upper East Side of New York City. I have lived here for over 10 years. I know the neighborhood and all the key players. Through a pandemic, protests, curfews, and dining in the bike lane, my young business, Lady and the Chocolate has been here, pounding the pavement, taking the next right action. They say if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. 

From day one, I had my friends acting as taste-testers, helping me with my packaging, and spreading the word on social media. One friend sponsored my Citibike to make deliveries. Amidst a global pandemic, we leaned on one another for support, as we figured out how to navigate our new reality. I always say we because it has never been about me or the chocolate, but about all of us. The generosity of my extended network, their willingness to contribute, has touched me. I really believe when one of us wins, we all win.

Lady and the Chocolate is proud to partner with small businesses in the neighborhood. In July, Lady and the Chocolate joined forces with Upper East Side institution Candle Café for a special vegan capsule. The collaboration, which included flavors ‘Love is the Answer’ and ‘The Peanut Gallery and Jelly’, introduced Lady and the Chocolate to the neighborhood and helped generate a repeat clientele.  In addition, Lady and the Chocolate gives a portion of our monthly sales to causes that are meaningful to the brand.

What are 3 tips of advice for other women who may be interested in starting their own company?

Sara Armet:

  • Trust your gut instinct.
  • Be kind. Always treat others the way you want to be treated. Business is all about relationships.
  • If you fall down, get back up and keep going. Take one step at a time and enjoy the ride!

 Who are 3 working women you look up to and why?

Sara Armet:

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton. She paved the way for so many women to have a seat at the table.
  • Tracy Margolies, Chief Merchant at Saks Fifth Avenue. Tracy has been a mentor to me for almost a decade. She has taught me what it means to be a woman who supports women and the importance of having an opinion.
  • My mother, Sandra Lafferman Armet. My mom has sacrificed so much to see her daughters achieve their goals. My mom is the classic example of a Baby Boomer; her work ethic is incredible. She was a dental hygienist for 30 years and now works part-time at Talbots. She never stops. I am so grateful for my mom.

What is your favorite quote?

Sara Armet:

Anyway, The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith.

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway. 

Where can people learn more?

Sara Armet: To donate and learn more about our campaign going on until February 24, 2021, visit: https://igg.me/at/ladyandthechocolate.  To place orders, visit: www.ladyandthechocolate.com.

All photos: ℅ Lady and the Chocolate

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