Location: Los Angeles, CA
Astrological Sign: Libra
Beauty product (or treatment) that changed your skin: My brightening saffron serum, Radiant Rani! I had no idea saffron was such an incredible ingredient for the skin.
Podcast you can’t stop listening to: How I Built This on NPR
Instagram account you love to follow: @stellasimona – she has the most ethereal vibe and everything she does has so much intention and purpose.
Michelle Ranavat knows what it means to search for your place, not only in the world but in the beauty space. Growing up in Wisconsin and Chicago, figuring out her identity was a big part of her life. “My parents immigrated from India in the 70’s and I spent my childhood in the Midwest,” she says. “I was always in this juggling act between trying to fit in and also understand what being Indian means.” For her, that meant earning her Masters of Science in Engineering Management while cultivating a love for Indian culture through dancing. Now, as founder of the all-natural Ayurvedic skincare line RANAVAT Botanics, she’s created a brand that is true to herself. Combining ancient Indian beauty with modern clean beauty, RANAVAT’s products strive to inspire everyone to create their own beauty rituals. Read on to learn more about her beauty philosophy, where she finds inspiration, and why she thinks work/life balance is a myth.
RANAVAT is really a culmination of all my life’s experience so far — from a science background that helped me understand formulations and quality to my work in finance at Lehman Brothers that taught me how to run a business. I find so much joy in uncovering ancient beauty secrets and healing modalities that existed thousands of years ago. RANAVAT brings me closer to my roots, and sharing those traditions with the world brings me so much happiness.
There are so many challenges when starting a business. Once you overcome one challenge there are so many new challenges waiting for solutions. When starting out, navigating the world of social media and content creation was really foreign and difficult. I’ve been finding that so much beauty discovery is done through education, and social media is such an important vehicle to share that information. I overcame this by trial and error — testing out video formats, lighting, and content until I saw it resonate. I am still refining and evolving and that’s part of the fun!
There’s a lot of focus in the beauty industry on new, trendy ingredients and quick results. You choose to focus on selective ingredients that take time to source and distill and that are rooted in tradition. How does this philosophy relate to or reflect your idea of beauty?
I personally take a very holistic view to beauty. I believe our outward beauty is correlated to our overall wellness. I also feel that when we approach our beauty treatments from a place of knowledge and with an understanding of traditions, we are able to more effectively integrate them in our lives because we understand the “why.”