“It is an amazing opportunity to get in front of a broader audience with some great influence … some women that have done some remarkable things who now have children themselves,” says Syovata Edari, the founder and owner of CocoVaa Chocolatier. “Mother’s Day is a special day for me.”
Edari has been selected to be a chocolatier for the 2022 “Mother’s Day in Hollywood” Gift Bag where 25 Hollywood moms will enjoy a spectacular tower of CocoVaa’s award-winning creations. Those moms include Nicki Minaj, Eve, Priyanka Chopra, Kelly Rowland, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Hilary Duff, Christina Ricci, Halsey, Constance Wu, Mandy Moore, Emmy Rossum, Emma Roberts, Olivia Munn and more.
For almost two decades, Edari has been a single working mom in the legal industry and, more recently, in the chocolate industry, too, where her CocoVaa, located on Madison’s east side, has really made a name for itself winning 30 awards in the prestigious London-based Academy of Chocolate Awards. Her two children, ages 22 and 14, have always been by her side.
“I’m participating in this gifting mission as a mom at a time in the world where we’re seeing a radical shift in perspective,” Edari says. “People are rethinking their values and embracing new ideas about how to create a more sustainable world that’s more inclusive.”
Edari tells Madison365 that one of the biggest barriers in her professional career has been the various system’s inability to accept her motherhood. “Me being a mom has driven so many decisions in my life as a professional,” says Edari, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Law in 2001, “ever since I started my career as a lawyer and as a new mom, because I had my baby, my firstborn, while I was in law school.”
Edari adds that working moms know how to use their time efficiently “because we have to.”
“This idea that somehow we’re less productive or reliable or we’re going to bring a company down if we work for them is B.S.,” says Edari. “So we just need to be allowed the flexibility to participate, and I was never allowed that and it’s really a lot of the back story behind my chocolate company — I needed to create a world and a life for myself where I could participate in society with my kids.”
Edari says that she got involved in this particular Mother’s Day promotional opportunity because she was looking for creative ways to reach a wider audience with her world-class chocolates.
“When I was presented with this opportunity to gift to these Hollywood moms, I thought this is good. This will get my product in front of a broader audience,” she says. “These are people with some influence on an international level and who knows if they’ll shout me out or not, but I’m hoping that they do acknowledge it. Even if they don’t, it’s connecting with a different demographic than beyond my little local audience.”
The “Hollywood moms” promotion is the brainchild of Distinctive Assets, a Los Angeles-based niche marketing company offering celebrity placement, product introduction and branding opportunities within the entertainment industry and beyond. The organization has produced Gift Bags and Official Gift Lounges for over 200 top award shows/special events, including the Oscar and Grammy Awards.
“[For CocoVaa] the artistry is of course there, but more significant is the creativity and thoughtfulness that Syovata has put into the special gift set she created to honor these working mothers,” says Lash Fary, founder of Distinctive Assets, in a statement. “It is with great pride and delight that we will be including such a lovely gift from this talented award-winning chocolatier.”
Edari says that she is excited about the prospects of famous mothers like musician Nicki Minaj, rapper Eve and singer Kelly Rowland sampling her hand-crafted chocolates.
“Even to be providing Mother’s Day candy to [actress] Hilly Duff is cool. My daughter grew up watching her on that show [Lizzie McGuire]. These are people that actually have something to do with my life and my motherhood,” Edari says. “As corny as the whole celebrity thing is in some ways, it’s also a meaningful opportunity for my company. It’s a creative way to branch out. I do want to expand that and I think my brand is very strong. And what it stands for … my brand is very unique. It’s not like a normal chocolate company. It tells stories behind the products behind it. Nothing here is on accident … everything is intentional.”
Edari created a 4-tiered gift set for the Mother’s Day package for the Hollywood moms with a special theme on each tier.
“It’s each one of my award-winning chocolate boxes stacked upon each other and so the largest box at the bottom, it’s a 25-piece box. It’s unique chocolate that won Gold Awards at the Academy,” she says. “The next level up is big giant hearts that are going to be filled with caramel and cocoa nibs and sea salts.”
The top layer will be something to share with the kids and features a dark chocolate hedgehog filled with chocolate-covered cocoa nibs and a blue bunny filled with crispy biscoff praline. “My hedgehogs are one of my most popular products,” Edari says. “Moms like to share. We don’t like to hoard stuff for ourselves. Typically moms like to celebrate their kids.”
Edari says that as a working single mom herself, it has been very special being involved in this Mother’s Day tribute. “I love using my chocolate company to honor other moms, maternal figures and birthing parents. I have no doubt that these Hollywood moms, despite the illusion of ‘success,’ have had to work much harder and negotiate their ‘worths’ in a manner not experienced by their male counterparts,” Edari says. “They deserve this tribute just as any one of us does.”