August 12, 2018

This month, we are shining the spotlight on some of our favorite female entrepreneurs. So let’s kick things off with Alison Ragusa, founder of Bogavia. Her zest for life is contagious and her passion for her products and our community is beyond…she is a true inspiration!

What inspired you to start this business?

Originally I was a chef, and my passion was to create dishes and drinks to help my clients eat and drink their way to better skin and hair. I opened a cafe with a plant-based menu dedicated to skin and hair health, named “The Beauty Bar,” inside my family’s beauty boutique and spa. This led to me running our beauty division with my sister [seven years ago]. We saw a void in the market for luxurious, natural, plant-based beauty products, and this inspired me to create Bogavia. My goal was to create an organic, natural, better-for-you version of Kiehl’s. So I blended my background as a plant-based Mediterranean chef with my knowledge in the beauty and spa industries to create Bogavia.

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Stay adventurous and go after everything you are passionate about. Don’t stay stuck on one thing. You are going to get to evolve and change. Go explore!

As a female entrepreneur, what are the pros of being a woman in charge of your own business?

I get to use my instinct and intuition in choosing who I want to work with and where I want to place my brand.

How does your product appeal to all different types of women?

Bogavia appeals to all different types of women because of the lightweight feel. No woman wants to feel weighed down. Bogavia products have a refreshing, weightless feel that I think every woman desires.

Name three things that guided you to success.

Dedication, passion and working with my family and our friends, all of whom are true artists.

Describe your brand in 3 words.

Lightweight Plant-Powered Beauty

What does balance mean to you?

Balance to me is harmoniously fulfilling my responsibilities and passions.

What three things can you not live without?

I can’t live without my Bogavia Nourishing Facial Cleansing Oil+Makeup Remover, Firming Body Serum and Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment!

What is one piece of advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Creating a brand is a way of life. It is not something that is “work” and then you have “life.” It is an amazing experience to have it be your life, so just make sure it is something that you love to have turned on all the time.

What’s your superpower?

I asked my sister and best friend Ariana [she knows me best] and she said it is my “wonder and passion.”

One wellness hack that everyone should know

DeSouza’s Liquid Chlorophyll. An instant dose of greens, alkalinity, oxygen, detox. I swear by it. I mix it with water and drink every single day.

Where did your passion for health and beauty come from?

My passion for beauty started as a really young girl, at nine years old I started putting lotion on everyday and loved having a showering ritual with tons of products–I just knew showering was something magical, some type of transformation. My passion for health began when I was doing my Masters studies in Gastronomy at Boston University. I took a course on Chinese Medicine and researched the healing powers of plants and it changed my life. I became a believer that through plants we truly have magic at our fingertips.

What makes you feel beautiful?

Showering with my Bogavia products and taking a really long time in the bathroom with my Bogavia serums, lotions and potions. It’s my favorite part of the day and night.

Who are 3 inspirational women we should follow and why?

Lita Lewis @followthelita  She is the epitome of strength and sweetness. Her positivity sparkles in her eyes, and she is such a healthy representation of fitness and beauty.

Kat Fowler @katfowleryoga  She is a spiritual gangster. She is cool, sweet and supernatural.

Dr. Organic Mommy  @dr.organicmommy She is the smartest Mommy I know!

What is the title of your autobiography?

“My Aim Is True.” Again I asked my sister and best friend Ariana, and this is what she said! I was named after the Elvis Costello song “Alison” and this is the line he repeats throughout it. As I navigate through the world, I have always been and am always seeking truth, to get to the root of things, to question things, to present my truth and find the truth in others.

What do you love about Erewhon 🙂

I love that there is so much love for Erewhon from everyone walking through the aisles in each store. I have never been anywhere in the world where there is that much love. Erewhon is a force of nature. And it is a place where everyone browsing the aisles is on a magical mission to better themselves. You really feel that when you are there. It’s one of my absolute favorite places in the world.