UMA Founder Shrankhla Holecek on the Intersection of Beauty & Wellness


Spring is on the horizon! Earth Day is around the corner, daylight savings is about to begin, March Madness is coming up, and don’t forget, it’s Women’s History Month! Even though we don’t need a reminder to celebrate the strong women all around us, we’ll take every chance we can get to shine a spotlight on them. Throughout the month of March, we’ll highlight female powerhouses that are a true inspiration, so be sure to keep up.

To kick off our Women’s History Month series, we’d like to introduce you to Shrankhla Holecek, founder of UMA—the brand behind some of the finest essential oils on the market. Essential oils offer everything from beauty to therapeutic benefits, so we chatted with Shrankhla about the intersection of beauty and wellness.

How do you think beauty and wellness connect? Is it possible to have one without the other?

I’ve never thought it possible to have beauty and wellness without each other. Wellness is at the very root of beauty, and beauty–especially in the broader sense that it should be interpreted in–is a huge catalyst for wellness. The need for treatments that truly feel “holistic” are growing, because people are desperate to seek solutions that go deeper than solving for mere symptoms (like anxiety or poor sleep). The demands on our time and performance have grown. We’re strapped to the point that ignoring our emotional health is no longer an option, because it is tangibly impacting something we can’t ignore—our physical health.

To me, the pursuit of beauty, or wellness, is an integrated approach and lifestyle that emphasizes interconnectivity of the mind, body and environment to deliver the results you seek. For example, better sleep for glowing skin or balancing hormone triggers to battle acne.

Which is why UMA has always created Ayurvedic products that are not only targeted towards rejuvenating the skin to ensure a radiant glow, but also to allow you to rest better and feel more positive. Our products are free of endocrine disruptors and toxins, because you should never have to compromise your health for better skin. Within Ayurveda, that approach simply doesn’t work.

Is a true balance possible in life? How do you find balance and equilibrium in your life?

In my opinion, the pursuit of balance is one that must be embarked upon with a sense of moderation. Overly dissecting how “true” your balance is can be oddly distracting. In a hyper-competitive, achievement oriented environment like ours, it’s important to honor your individualism and accept that your balance may look different from someone else’s balance.

I have an Ayurvedic background and an Ayurvedic line, so I know that what a vata (one of the three Ayurvedic doshas, or life forces, characterized with air and space elements) individual needs is vastly different from a kapha (the Ayurvedic dosha characterized with water and earth elements) individual. From sleep to activity to diet, to be in balance differs for people.

[Ed. Note: According to Ayurveda, each of us has a unique balance of three doshas, but we tend to have an abundance of one or two of them.]

You’ll thrive when you honor who you naturally are, define what balance means for you in this period of life, and don’t lose sleep over not having fulfilled someone else’s criteria for balance. I’m the biggest fan of working every day to remain in a state of balance while respecting what seems sustainable for you. So, you do it every day, and with joy.

Personally, I derive balance from travel, spirited debates, reading fiction, periodically doing a pitta-pacifying diet, and journaling when I can.

Favorite ancient Ayurvedic ritual everyone should incorporate into their routine?

Incorporate a “daily detox” habit. Start mornings by cleaning your tongue and with a cup of hot water with lemon squeezed in it. You’ll marvel at the increase in your immunity and overall vitality (Jennifer Aniston swears by these ayurvedic tips!). Additionally, add oil pulling (swishing sesame or coconut oil around your mouth for 10 minutes in the AM) and dry brushing a few times a week, and you’ll feel like a new person!

Current beauty/wellness obsession?

I’m really into my ILIA Multi-Stick right now. I’m the worst person in the world about wearing makeup or even having any on me in clutch moments, and I’m digging how this one product can do so much!

Biggest beauty trend prediction for 2020?

Great love for the skin you’re in? Maybe more a wish than a prediction.

Which female founder inspires you?

We’re fortunate to be in a time to be inspired by so many. Reshma Saujani comes first to mind. Gender equality is a topic very close to my heart, and I really believe in what she’s doing through Girls Who Code.

Any advice to other female founders and entrepreneurs that are just starting out?

Find your passion. Trust your instincts. Don’t take shortcuts. Do take a healthy number of calculated risks. Hire smartly in your development opportunities or in areas you’re not the most passionate about in your company.

Ready to jumpstart your holistic approach to wellness and beauty? Start with UMA’s high-quality essential oils and check back for more Women’s History Month features.

All images courtesy of UMA