Boss Series: Luvanya Beauty Founder: Alpa Patel
Let's talk about another boss lady today. Today, we are going to share some exciting details about Luvanya Beauty's CEO Alpa Patel. (We also interview Ancient Healing Harmony founders here) Luvanya Beauty Founder and CEO, Dr. Alpa Patel brings a unique perspective to the field of skincare. Due to severe health issues, and suffering from chronic illnesses, surgeries and treatments, she was forced to leave her thriving pediatric practice. The prescribed treatments were doing her more harm than good, not just internally but were even damaging to her skin. Dr. Alpa then turned to researching botanicals, natural oils and ayurvedic ingredients to treat herself, and after turning her skin back to life, she knew she had something to share with the world. Her biochemistry background allowed her to fully research each ingredient to create the most effective combinations; essentially combining Science + Nature for the most visible results. After seeing this amazing turnaround, her husband, Dr. Alkesh Patel and sister, Hema Shah decided to join her on this mission. Merrell Hollis, celebrity makeup artist to Wendy Williams and others, had a passion in creating safe, clean skincare since he firsthand sees how easily skin can be damaged from harmful products, from working with celebrities who wear makeup all day long. This winning combination brings you the most well-formulated, cost effective products for your everyday skin regimen! Glow & Green: Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and what inspired you to start your brand? Alpa: Luvanya is the birth child of a family that came together in a crisis and in the midst of that crisis, created something beautiful. In seeking safe, everyday skincare solutions for ourselves and our families, we were able to create a brand to share with the world. Four years ago I was in Connecticut working as a Pediatrician in my own private practice. Unfortunately, I have also been battling severe chronic debilitating health issues that has lasted 18 years. Because of the years of testing and harsh treatments, I developed complications that further weakened my health and I was forced to close my practice and move my family to California where the weather was more conducive to healing. It was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make and it broke my heart to leave my patients. I then started researching the medicinal effects of plant based, Ayurvedic and other holistic ingredients to restore my health and skin. Fortunately, my husband, an Internal Medicine doctor who continued his private medical practice in CT while traveling back and forth across country, began researching clean, safe holistic ingredients as well. With that new knowledge and insight, we started creating home made skincare solutions for ourselves and our families. This is where my background in biochemistry came in handy. It was when I was able to create a simple skincare solution for my 1 year old niece's red, itchy, irritated skin, that my sister, Hema Shah, a finance executive, encouraged us to share our clean skincare solutions and knowledge of skin health with the world. We were then introduced to celebrity makeup artist, Merrell Hollis, who was already searching for the right skincare brand to partner with. Once he learned of our mission to create clean skincare products that were truly nontoxic and effective, using only plant based ingredients and safe synthetics, he joined our team. This brand was created with an intense passion for healthy, naturally beautiful skin and an immense respect for ingredients given to us by Mother Earth! Glow & Green: As a founder, what does your typical day look like? I don't commit myself to a full daily schedule necessarily. I take each day as it comes and I listen very closely to my body and mind and what they need to stay healthy. I’m lucky I have great team of partners to help make this dream become a reality! But when I am feeling well and productive my day will look something like this: As a founder, my tasks for the days vary based on what is needed that day. I could be researching and testing ingredients one day, working on packaging options another day and working on marketing ideas a third day. So you have to be ready to go with the flow! Wake up naturally at 4:30-5 am. Start the day with positive affirmations and to create positive intentions for the day. Morning hygiene, self care and skincare 6:30 - 8 am Breakfast and get the kids to school if hubby is back east working. If he’s home, he takes care of the kids so I get more self care time. (He’s so sweet!) 8 -10 am Prayer (give gratitude for all my blessings!), meditation and yoga 10a - 1pm - focused tasks of the day - meetings, emails, etc. 1 - 2 pm - Break time (juice, music, go for walk or sit in sun) 2 - 4 pm - Creative tasks (blending ingredients, writing blogs and content, packaging designs, etc) 4 - 6 pm - spend time with the kids, help with homework, etc. 6 - 8 pm - Dinner time with the family 8 - 9 pm - Nighttime self care and skincare In bed by 9:30 pm with a book or podcast so I can get my beauty sleep! Glow & Green: When you thought about this brand, what was your first “Aha moment”? Alpa: Our first “Aha” moment was the first time we even thought to create a skincare brand. That was after I created a simple, safe solution for my infant niece to use for her irritated skin. As physicians, it was always our policy to only recommend to our patients in our medical practice only that which we would recommend for our own families. As a pediatrician, I felt that burden even more because I know that children have years and years of exposure to chemicals to endure if we are not careful starting from their childhood years. My niece was given topical options that contained harmful chemicals. Further examination of the topical skincare options marketed for infants and children at that time also contained ingredients that were potentially harmful when used over time on our young ones. That is when we realized that if we were not comfortable using these other choices for own families, how could we recommend them for others. We then felt it was our obligation to share what we had learned and create a better alternative for all families! Glow & Green: What does success mean to you? Alpa: Success to me means that we have created products that we can stand behind with confidence and pride, knowing that we are improving skin health while avoiding the use of harmful ingredients. It means creating a brand that is authentic, trustworthy and offers value to it's customers. I love it when customers reach out and tell me our products have given them beautiful, glowing skin that they can confidently wear without makeup! Glow & Green: How did you handle adversity and doubt? (Specially when you started this brand) Alpa: Dealing with doubt is a common deterent for many entrepreneurs but whenever I am feeling doubt around me, I turn inwards. I have learned to listen to my own intuition and make it a stronger force than all the doubt that surrounds me. Glow & Green: What were 3 things you wished someone had told you about being an entrepreneur? Alpa: 1. It's a marathon! Conserve your energy and your money because both can dwindle fast! 2. You need the right team around you. Find people that believe in your mission as much as you do and those with different strengths so togther you can really make the magic happen! 3. Learn to delegate! Most entrepreneurs like to be in total control (and I am so guilty of this!!) but sometimes you have to learn let go a little. Glow & Green: Since we are beauty blog, our readers will be interested to know, what's your morning & night time skincare rituals? Alpa: My daily skincare routine currently includes some products that are currently not on the market but will be available very soon! The Exfoliating Elixir and the High Performance Hydrator are both available to purchase now on our website and the others will be coming soon. Morning Skincare Routine - Luvanya’s Nourishing Gel Cleanser with botanicals, vitamins and glycolipids Luvanya’s Exfoliating Elixir - daily nighttime face serum with guava, glycolic acid, fruit enzymes and peptide - (NOTE: This Elixir is recommended for nighttime daily use but I use it twice a day for added benefit because my skin can handle it!) Luvanya’s High Performance Hydrator - daily hydrating moisturizer with guava, Kakadu plum, hyaluronic acid and peptides Luvanya’s Nourishing Face Oil with saffron, date and turmeric SPF Evening Skincare Routine - Luvanya’s Nourishing Gel Cleanser with botanicals, vitamins and glycolipids Luvanya’s Exfoliating Elixir - daily nighttime face serum with guava, glycolic acid, fruit enzymes and peptide Luvanya’s High Performance Hydrator - daily hydrating moisturizer with guava, Kakadu plum, hyaluronic acid and peptides Luvanya’s Nourishing Face Oil with saffron, date and turmeric. Our Gel Cleanser, and Face Oil are in its final phase of development however, the Elixir and Hydrator are available at www.luvanya.com now! Glow & Green: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Alpa: We are just getting started! In 5 years, my hope is that we have skincare lines specific for each generation easily available for purchase online and in major retail distributors. Our products will help individuals attain and maintain healthy, beautiful skin they can be confident in. By that time, the clean skincare movement will be in full swing and we will all be more conscious when choosing our personal care products. Luvanya will be a trusted source not only for healthy skincare options for all ages but also for skin health education. Glow & Green: One golden nuggest from you, what's one piece of advise you give who wants to start its own entrepreneurial journey? Alpa: Be Fearless!! Take your passion and run with it. The journey will be arduous and full of risk but nothing worth creating ever comes without risk! Glow & Green: Name 2 skincare/personal care products which you can live without!! Alpa: 1. Luvanya's Exfoliating Elixir - I use it every night so I can wake up to soft, smooth, glowing skin! 2. Luvanya's Nourishing Face Oil - we have not launched this product yet but will be soon!