Pure vegetable substances from India that give life to high quality products for a deep well-being of body and mind. They are the essential oils UMA, designed by Shrankhla Holecek thanks to the Ayurvedic tradition that has been handed down to her by her family. With her strong sense of business and at the same time love for her land, she gave life to this wonderful sustainable ayurvedic line in California. Besides being committed to infusing UMA beauty and well-being through its commitment in the Indian territory, it promotes gender equality and many other initiatives aimed at the community.
Where the idea to create a line of luxury ayurvedic essential oils come from?
The 5000-year old eastern science of Ayurveda, as well as the therapeutic benefits of essential oils are extremely powerful, and deliver real results, all naturally. However, I found that perception of them was shrouded in “mysticism” and a general lack of understanding, often giving them a bad rap. When I moved to the U.S. nearly ten years ago for business school, I witnessed first-hand the plethora of low quality/ diluted natural products that inundated the market, and that customers were paying ridiculously high premiums for. There are few standards, and even fewer honest distributors, and many skincare companies are buying unreliable essential oils from unreliable sources. Having grown up in a family that has farmed and manufactured essential oils for generations and been the exclusive distributor for many prestige skincare companies, I came to believe that our 100% organic, straight from the source oils would be an excellent fit for consumers who want (and deserve!) nothing but the best.” As an engineer, I really appreciate the value of good information that explains how something works before expecting people to adopt it. Which is why Uma is very focused on creating that solid base of education around the science behind our products (and for essential oils and Ayurveda in general) so thinking consumers can understand how and why it is having such great impact on their skin, mind and bodies.
Which is the meaning of the name UMA?
In addition to having a beautiful meaning in Hindi, our brand Uma is also named after my dear aunt who had a pivotal role in raising my sister and me. She stands as a constant source of inspiration to me for her true selflessness (she never married to support her younger siblings after their father passed at an early age), effortless beauty and for her deep classiness in everything she did.
How and where do you produce?
We grow, harvest and formulate our ingredients on our family farms in India, as we have done for centuries. Over the last few decades, my family has earned the prestigious reputation as the world’s foremost essential oil supplier. Uma is our foray into taking that stringent ingredient purity and formulation efficacy directly to the consumer. We are proud to take accountability of every drop of product that touches our consumers’ hands – knowing that we have known and loved every one of its ingredients since it was literally a seed in the ground.
To whom is this line dedicated?
Our products aim to celebrate the Uma in all of us, our ability to find peace amidst chaos, and contentment in the knowledge that everything we need is already within us.
For you, what is the role of essential oils in a person’s beauty and wellness routine?
Essential oils not only deliver powerful antioxidants to the bloodstream, but also nourish the skin at its surface. A lot of people love to mix our face oil in with their foundation for a dewy glow and soft skin! Furthermore, spending a few minutes following the 3-part wellness oil ritual in full, and give yourself a lovely facial massage every time you use our face oils.
What the luxury is for you?
To me, luxury is promising your customer an investment of your time and your absolute best effort. All our products are always handcrafted, and in small batches, with extreme care taken to formulate and package everything right. We use hand-stitched, hand-embroidered silk bags for packaging (also because they generate valuable employment for under-privileged women in India). Most importantly, the Uma regiment was created around giving yourself the ultimate luxury, time. To me that is the age-old idea of luxury we practice in India, and I wanted to bring that to the world through Uma.
Which is the impact of UMA in the Indian Community?
My family is committed to fostering gender equality in India – a nation that is unfortunately notorious for its lack of it – by employing a workforce of over 50% women, and providing them with the consistent and fair salaries necessary to ensure their financial independence. This is in addition to other community initiatives, like providing a free Health Clinic, animals shelters, childcare, scholarship funding, and retirement planning guidance.