Michelle Ranavat

[Images: Courtesy of Ranavat Botanics]

A natural skincare line featuring floral and herbal extracts, Ranavat Botanics was launched in August 2017 with the goal of elevating self-care and making everyday rituals luxurious. Founder Michelle Ranavat, whose parents emigrated from India to the U.S. in the 1970s, grew up in a small town in Wisconsin where “putting oil in my hair or drinking yellow milk (turmeric tea with milk) was considered strange, and I never felt like I could fit in,” she explains. Although her parents worked hard to expose their three daughters to Indian culture, taking them on annual visits to India during their childhood, it wasn’t until Ranavat had two sons of her own that she realized the importance of preserving and sharing her heritage. “There are so many wonderful Indian traditions that have yet to become mainstream in the U.S.,” she observes. “We all know about yoga, meditation and Ayurveda, but there’s an incredible richness in the way Indians utilize botanical ingredients in their daily beauty routines that hasn’t been discovered stateside.” Here, Ranavat discusses the background of her up-and- coming brand.

Milestone Moment

Prior to starting Ranavat Botanics, I worked with my dad at his pharmaceutical products company. (It was always his dream to have his daughters work with him.) When I told him I wanted to pursue Ranavat Botanics full time his response was, ‘My wish wasn’t for you to just work at my company and complete my dream, it was for you to learn how to start and create a business so you could complete yours.’ That moment of complete support was an incredible milestone, and I will never forget it.

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Seeds of Success

The line is inspired by the beauty rituals of the Indian royal family. To me, they made self-care a priority and they indulged in an incredibly luxurious way, believing that the freshest and most potent botanicals would allow them to live eternally.

Hero Product 

Every treatment is so special that I feel like they’re all heroes! I have to cheat and name two: The first is the Eternal Reign Masque. I love its powder-to-crème formula created by a high concentration of Manuka honey. It leaves skin soft and glowing, as if the user has just had a facial! The second is Mighty Majesty, a lightweight, Certified Organic hair and body serum that smells like night-blooming jasmine on a summer evening. It has already sold out three times in the past three months, so I can tell people really enjoy using it.

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Newbie Notes

I’m still learning so much, but my biggest piece of advice is: Be patient. Building a product takes a few months, but building a brand takes considerably longer. Also, when fostering relationships with buyers, press and influencers, a genuine and slow approach is best. Just like you can’t ask someone to marry you on a first date, you have to invest the time and really get to know the people behind the opportunity. Chasing after a quick article or placement may work once or twice, but we all want to be here for the long run. Real genuine friendships without pretense is the best way.

On the Horizon 

I want to take customers on incredible experiences—for instance to that jasmine garden on the Indian palace grounds, or the Himalayan foothills where our lavender is grown in the wild. Whether it’s via a video or creative pop-up, I want to show them what it’s like to be Indian royalty!

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