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Ranavat started her business when she was 35, after giving birth to two children. Her maternity leave allowed her to take a step back from the daily worries of life at work. She found herself immersed in Ayurvedic postpartum rituals. Around the same time, she noticed some of her hair starting to fall out and was paying attention to how her skin was changing. It inspired her to do something about it.

“I think I was in the mindset that I was figuring out and thinking, ‘Oh, that’s an interesting idea,’ or ‘Why isn’t there a product?’ and I had time, in many ways, and clarity because I wasn’t in a day job,” she said.

Ranavat started working on a product and used his last name for his start-up business. Her first big launch garnered positive feedback from potential customers, but she didn’t want to stop there. Instead, she said, she looked closely at what people were saying to improve the product.

“I think the product was good. I think I just got better at wording [it],” she said. “And so I didn’t feel bad about letting go. Because I knew I was working towards something better.

Ranavat was one of the first companies to incorporate Ayurvedic practices into skincare, initially focusing on a variety of masks and hydrating mists.

“At first I didn’t have amazing packaging [or] a big brand story, but I think the brand story and the concept and the area that we were trying to educate and push into the white space that was there was huge,” Ranavat said.

From the start, Ranavat attracted interest from Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Credo Beauty, among other major retailers. At the time, the brand didn’t have a lot of social media following or executives or influencers to boost it. But his unique story won him early press, which helped him win a following – even from some members of the South Asian community who may not be used to paying for a product that they’ve ever seen. ‘they’re used to making it themselves,’ Ranavat said.

“I think it’s a tough sell, honestly, to a South Asian community. Because they’re like, ‘Oh, I’m doing it at home,’ or ‘I don’t usually spend that much on my beauty.’ “, she said. “But we actually had an amazing response. And a lot of the responses were like, “Man, I don’t usually spend that much.” But let me tell you, it works.”

Ranavat said the rise of his business has not been without a few mistakes along the way. But she reminds herself that the feeling is only finite and nothing needs to be perfect.

“I don’t think anyone really makes a mistake unless they feel stuck in their ways and can’t scale,” she said.

Learn more about the Behind Her Empire podcast. Subscribe on embroiderer, Apple podcast, Spotify, iHeart Radioor wherever you get your podcasts.

dot.LA Public Engagement Member Joshua Letona contributed to this post.

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