Michelle Ranavat is the founder of Ranavat Botanics, a skin care line that was inspired by ancient Indian beauty rituals she learned on her quest to understand more about her heritage. Through her luxurious, beautifully-made products, Ranavat hopes her customers feel encouraged to celebrate their own individual beauty. That's why Michelle Ranavat is included in this special edition of Bustle's Must Follow, in which we highlight the incredible Asian American and Pacific Islander voices you need to follow on Instagram and Twitter.
Briefly describe yourself, including how you identify and what you do.
Michelle Ranavat, founder of Ranavat Botanics: a skin care line inspired by ancient Indian beauty rituals. I’m proud to be first generation Indian American.
What do you hope people take away from following you/your work in the industry and on social media?
I want to inspire people to “Claim Your Crown.” Growing up in Wisconsin as an Indian-American I was leading two different lives: one at home as an Indian dancing to Bollywood and eating Indian food, another at school: a shy girl trying to blend in as an American. As I came into my own, I started to feel proud of my Indian heritage and turned my adversity into courage — and the result was Ranavat. I thought instead of focusing on not feeling accepted, why not make others feel accepted into my culture and upbringing? As a result, I’ve seen people all over the world fall in love with Ranavat — and, most importantly, relate to it. It made me realize we are all more alike than we are different and that we can turn our challenges into empowerment.
When did you first feel that you were a voice for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community?
I believe we are all voices for the AAPI community, through our daily actions and thoughts. We all have the ability to serve as mentors to the younger generation and be an active part of our community. I initially thought follower count and “influence” determined whether or not you were a voice, but I realized that my daily interaction with clients, family, and especially my children are all ways I represent the community in a real and tangible manner. As a mom, it is my responsibility to share India with them since neither my husband or I were born there. We make it a point to integrate Indian traditions into our lives so that they will know more about where they came from and their ancestors so they feel a sense of belonging.
Who's another Asian American or Pacific Islander person you would recommend to follow on social media?
@jayshetty: He’s making wisdom go viral with his relatable introspective videos that are incredible motivators.
@amidesai: A South Asian mom who does an amazing job of exposing her children to Indian culture through fun games and activities.
@veggieveganveda cooks delicious vegan meals, showing us vegan doesn’t mean boring or tasteless. She’s into all things Ayurveda, so we’re always brainstorming on what we would like to create in the world!
Follow Ranavat and Ranavat Botanics on Instagram, @ranavat
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.