Behind The Brand: Uma Oils Founder Shrankhla Holecek

July 7, 2017

Since ancient times, oils have been prized for their head-to-toe beauty benefits. Early adopter Cleopatra was an avid almond oil enthusiast, while Grecian women promoted olives to their vanity routines centuries ago. Today, despite no shortage of modern lotions and potions, we remain just as enamored with nature’s answer to everything from fine lines to bad hair days.

Shrankhla Holecek knows the power of a proper oil better than most. For centuries, her family has crafted some of the world’s finest at their organic farm and distillery in in Chhattisgarh, India. Now, after a stateside career in consulting, she’s launched her own line, Uma Oils, using the luxurious, potent ingredients of her homeland.

We caught up with her to talk entrepreneurship, the family business and which products she couldn’t live without.

UMA Oils Interview with founder Shrankhla Holecek

Why did you want to begin making your own oils?
I think, in part, Uma was born because I spent long summers at our organic rose farms, learning about our sustainable farming and extraction processes. And yet, another part of me wanted to get as far away from the family business as I could, so I studied engineering, moved to the States, got an MBA and worked with a management consulting firm for five years. It wasn’t an emotional decision to move into this category. It was the fact that consumers were finally, and very rightly, questioning the ingredients and the formulation of their products that gave me the confidence to believe that our story, and our absolute dedication to ingredient purity, would resonate.

What makes Uma oils special?
The entire process, from the organic growing to the harvesting to the extraction and blending process, is managed by our estate. This means we can entirely control the quality of our essential oils from start to finish. Our farming practices are pesticide-free, and we repurpose and recycle our waste to minimize our environmental footprint. In addition, we foster a number of gender equality initiatives, as well as programs to help our staff and community with basic needs.

What would you say are your three must-have oils?
First, it’d probably be the Ultimate Brightening Face Oil. The minute you apply it, you can feel it going to work. Second, I can’t live without our Pure Energy Wellness Oil. It’s a great substitute for coffee in the morning if you’re looking to eliminate caffeine—though I must say I don’t have that discipline! Last, I’ll have to pick the Pure Calm Wellness Oil. Not only is it great for calming nerves, but it’s wonderful for relaxation at the end of the work day.

Get glowing: shop the full Uma collection.