Meet Michelle Ranavat, Founder RANAVAT 🧖♀️
I love Michelle’s story and her products for so many reasons: her Ayurvedic line pays beautiful homage to her Indian roots, she’s an inspiring entrepreneur who has turned her passion into a hugely successful business, she’s a proponent of prioritizing self-care and wellness, she’s a mom and she made time to answer my questions amidst the lockdown and her busy schedule! Thank you, Michelle! 👏 💕
Can you share a little background?
I’m a 38-year old mom of two boys (6 and 4). I grew up in the Midwest (Chicago suburb) and studied engineering in college. My parents took me back to India very often growing up and I quickly formed a close bond to India and really connected with the culture. I am passionate about preserving the artisanship passed down through generations in India and I created RANAVAT as a way to harness that magic and share it on a broader level.
You’ve also been featured in every major publication (Vogue, Elle, Allure just to name a few!) so I’m familiar with your story. I read about how your family members inspired and influenced your brand. Can you speak to this a little?
Aww, thank you ;) Yes, my family has been a huge influence. I saw my father move to a new country and start his business very slowly in the basement of our home in Wisconsin (where I was born). Both my parents worked really hard (and still do) and honestly didn’t spend too much time monitoring our school work because they were so busy with the business. Their strategy ended up working out because all of us were responsible for our own homework from early on and we learned so much through them leading by example.
I understand you’re involved with the actual formulation of each of your products. What are 1-2 of your favorite Ayurvedic ingredients and how do they work in helping target areas?
I love this question because I’m a huge ingredient nerd! I am obsessed with SAFFRON. I find it to be so magical, mystical and also incredible for the skin. It has such a rich history in so many cultures and is painstakingly picked from the stamen of a flower- so even that part makes my head spin. Saffron is known to help ease anxiety and help us sleep better (remember saffron milk before bed!) and it really works wonders for the skin. It’s the royal version (way better version) of vitamin C: brightening, packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory.
What are some self-care / wellness practices that you include in your children’s routines?
I love giving them really elaborate post-shower massages with our Mighty Majesty Hair serum - you can use it for hair + body, and I love the jasmine scent in the evening and how it makes them feel so cozy right before they put on their pajamas and get ready for bed. They will probably associate the smell of jasmine with sleep for the rest of their lives!
For my mom friends who have never invested in a proper skincare regimen, but want to start, where would you recommend they begin? What are 1-2 must-have products and/or practices in every mom’s skincare arsenal in your opinion?
I like using a nourishing, hydrating cleanser like Luminous Ceremony as a really lovely way to start and end my day. Second must-have is Radiant Rani Brightening Serum - it’s packed with Saffron and I really can’t live without it.
PS: I’ve been using the Radiant Rani Brightening Serum every night for the past week and it’s helped soothe my hormonal breakouts beautifully. Will continue to use daily to see more benefits.
What are 1-2 areas you’re focusing on more when it comes to your beauty regimen that you weren’t focusing on, say 5 years ago?
I would say being really minimal and mindful with my routine. I rarely test products from outside brands and just stick to what works. I don’t use any products that disturb my skin because the notion of pain in beauty doesn’t resonate. I want my routine to be lush, exquisite and with results without any redness.
What beauty advice would you have given your younger self? I.e, what are some things we can be teaching our kids early on?
I think leading by example is the best- so showing my kids that I’m confident in my own skin- I can go without makeup and still feel like myself. I want to show them that aging is a natural process and that I can continue to look and feel good even as I age.
How has being a mom impacted your entrepreneurial journey?
I think as a mom you really don’t have limits on what you can do. We’ve been up all night, gone on no sleep and know what it’s like to be strong mentally. All of that prepared me to start a company and show my kids that it’s important to work hard and build something for yourself.
Where can we buy RANAVAT products?
Thank you for having me!