Raquela was born in Zurich, and was educated in Switzerland and Canada. She studied Biochemistry and Food Science, completing an MSc at McGill University. As part of her MSc she undertook research on novel sunscreens and cosmetic preservatives, based on botanical extracts at a leading laboratory in Milan, Italy under the direction of Dr. Rigano. She was inspired to create a line of scientifically based holistic, natural and organic skincare.
In 2015 she was a finalist in the McGill Dobson Cup, and decided to turn an idea into a business. She committed to creating products that work well and do good, and was drawn to finding novel, innovative ways to use rare, traditional extracts. She was inspired to produce functional, ethical, and elegant products backed by science, and committed to fair trade and environmental conservation. With it’s French heritage, and France being the leaders in skincare, Montreal was the perfect place to develop Étymologie with a touch of that je ne sais quoi.
She set out to source botanical oils from ethical suppliers, committed to sustainable agriculture and giving back to their local communities. The production of these oils is free of harmful pesticides and fertilizers and creates jobs in the local economy, empowers women and increases family’s standards of living.
From talking to women, she found a lot of people were unsure as to what products worked, how many products they should use, what works for their particular skin type, and if they should use natural and organic products. This inspired her to create a line of essential products that address the fundamental needs of all skin types; cleansing, hydration and antioxidants for protection. The products have been tested on several focus groups in Montreal to optimize the function and sensory aspects of the products, to ensure they were meeting the needs of real women.