We were able to chat with Rooshy Roy and Nina Davuluri, founders of Aavrani a brand looking to to empower women to be proud and confident in their skin, regardless of their complexion. Read more about how she started the brand and her goals below!

What is the meaning behind your brand name?

In Hindi, "rani" means "queen." Female empowerment is core to our brand!

How/why did you start your brand?

I (Nina) grew up a brown girl desperately wanting to shed my skin. From watching white, blonde girls in Neutrogena ads, to images of blue-eyed models in magazines, I felt the only way to be beautiful was to have lighter skin. So much so, that in 3rd grade, I asked my dermatologist if he could prescribe me a cream to make my skin “lighter.” Fast forward 16 years to the morning after I won Miss America: I read international headlines saying “Is Miss America too dark to be Miss India?” And for a fleeting moment, a flood of insecurities came back from the time I was young. I decided in that moment enough was enough; I wasn’t going to have anyone’s opinion of my skin color dictate my success, beauty, or intelligence. I realized there was a significant space in the beauty industry that was missing: a space where many of us felt our voices were not only recognized, but valued. In order for this message to be authentic, a new product and brand was imperative. Creating aavrani is so much more than just skincare for me—it’s who I am, what I believe in, and everything I stand for.

What was your biggest obstacle with launching a brand?

The biggest obstacle with launching a brand was creating these all natural, efficacious, ancient Indian rituals into a shelf stable product that met the highest standards of clean beauty. We did over 9 months of R&D and testing with over 500 women to get to our final formulations.

What motivates you to grow your brand?

We are innovating a space for millions of South Asian women in the US, while celebrating and representing all women. We have positioned ourselves at the cornerstone of 5 key skincare brand attributes: (1) high-quality luxury; (2) bespoke solution for a specific growing consumer segment; (3) brand identity and vision that inspires across cultures; (4) certified all-natural, 100% non-toxic, dermatologist and allergy tested, and; (5) and purpose-driven with a double-impact focus (we pledge to donate a portion of our annual revenues to the Shanti Bhavan school, which provides education and social mentorship to impoverished children in India.)

Any tips and tricks on using your products?

The aavrani Glow Activating Exfoliator can be used as spot treatment for acne (apply and leave on overnight) and the Eye Rejuvenating Elixir can be used as primer before you apply concealer.

Does your brand give back? How?

Yes, aavrani pledges to donate a portion of our annual revenues to the Shanti Bhavan school, which provides education and social mentorship to impoverished children in India. The organization is truly breaking the cycle of poverty and changing the lives of hundreds of families.