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Monthly Archives: June 2018

Pillow Talk with Shrankhla Holecek of UMA Oils

When it comes to beauty and wellness, here at DIANI Living we believe that self care comes from the inside out. We understand the importance of clean living and therefore seek out only the best in organic, all-natural products. Which is why we are excited to launch the new line of highly coveted Ayurvedic wellness oils from UMA Oils!

Featured in Vanity Fair, Forbes, Vogue and Goop, among others, UMA is crafted from pure botanical oils that have long been used in the beauty regiments of Indian royalty. Harvested from the founder’s family farm in India, these oils are based on centuries-old Ayurvedic traditions and tailored to address the stressors and ailments we face in the modern world.

Raised in India among her family’s farm, UMA Oil’s founder Shrankhla Holecek has always immersed herself in Ayurvedic traditions and holistic medicine. Caroline Diani was lucky enough to catch up with Shrankhla for our Pillow Talk series, where we chatted about career success, work-life balance and sleep rituals.

When you were in school, what was your favorite subject and what did you want to “grow up” to be?

Terribly predictable for a person of Indian origin – it was Math! I’ve always admired the logic and the elegance of mathematical solutions. Is it terrible that I don’t exactly remember what I wanted to be? I did a lot of theater and debate in high school – so I think I definitely considered law at one point (I ended up studying engineering).

What contributed to your goal of becoming the wellness/skincare businesswoman that you are today? 

I think a part of Uma was born when I was – in that my family has farmed and distilled some of the world’s finest essential oils, literally for centuries – so as a child, I spent long summers at our organic rose farms, learning about our sustainable farming or 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 and moved to the States, got an MBA and worked with management consulting  firm McKinsey for 5-6 years. So I’d be lying if I said there was one precipitating moment – it was the sum of my education, experiences and heritage that led me to found Uma.

How has your Indian heritage and Ayurvedic background influenced your career and shaped your life? 

A lot of Ayurveda is just a natural part of Indian life. The use of turmeric, or tongue cleaning, or practicing Abhyanga were things we all just grew up with! I remember overnight hair oil treatments on Saturday. Our scalps were rubbed (and then steamed!) and we couldn’t wash our hair until the next morning. All varieties of herbs were brought into the mix – hibiscus, yerba de taco, amla – and laid on prolifically into our scalp and hair. Second was the Sunday body exfoliation treatment. A paste of gram flour and turmeric blended with honey and milk, was layered on my arms and legs and I was supposed to lay still for thirty minutes until it was sloughed off by my beloved aunt (oh the agony of staying still as a 6 year old though!). So what’s traditionally considered a modern day “self care ritual” – has always been a big part of my life, and how I’ve approached ideas of health, wellness, balance or beauty.

What do you think is the single most important ingredient to success?

Believing that you can do anything you set your mind to do.

What’s the most challenging part of your professional life?

I think reconciling with the fact that all the awesome opportunities for UMA cannot be had here and now – and that I must wait, or make time for play, or even sleep – is challenging when running a small business, with real resource constraints, but I think there’s a bigger life lesson in there somewhere!

How do you try to manage your work/life balance?

Fortunately there are a few things I love as much as work and seeing UMA thrive – spending time with my husband and a few close friends, travel, wine, working out – so I let the chips fall a little organically, as it were. Though, do I constantly feel guilty about not doing enough of each, including work? Absolutely.

What do you see yourself doing next to express yourself professionally?

I think we have been able to lay the foundation of doing beauty differently, more indulgently, more meaningfully, through UMA and I think the next step would be to really go global with this education and approach to give people a real toolkit to have the skincare and wellness results they seek – in a highly simplified but powerful, results-oriented fashion. I think making Ayurveda bite sized and contemporary- and universally applicable in the smallest or biggest way you choose, is the next chapter. And UMA as a product line is just a part of that great big picture!

How do you manage the fear and doubt that inevitably creeps in when you’re paving a less trodden path?

I think it’s part enjoying the challenge of creating something entirely new, and part reminding yourself to not take yourself too seriously. Failure is often catastrophized much more in one’s head than by the rest of the world.

What have you been most afraid of trying in your career, but you did it anyway?

Trite, but it was leaving McKinsey to go found UMA.

Was there any opportunity that you had in your life that you didn’t take?

This is a little broad – but I think I passed on a few great opportunities to travel by myself or even go live in a different city for a few months when I was a little less fettered as it were (not that I mind the old ball and chain terribly as it were!).

What is something you’ve accomplished personally or professionally that you never dreamed possible for yourself?

If I’ve to be really honest – not really. And this doesn’t come from vanity or arrogance – it comes from a general insecurity about never being good enough, I suppose.

Any sleep rituals that you use to help quiet the mind after a long day?

When I can, I practice Transcendental Meditation. I’ve had a lot of trouble with other meditation types – it’s the only one that works for me.

What’s the biggest gift you give yourself to recharge?

Travel

What’s the first thing you do after you wake up?

Does “try to go back to sleep” count? More seriously though – I drink water and check my phone for about 15 minutes before rolling out of bed.

What’s the last thing you do before bed?

I rub my feet with Pure Calm Wellness Oil. If I’m feeling benevolent, I do the same for my husband.

Any recurring dreams that you have?

A plane crashing in the distance and me running away from it. That, and of course, not having taken enough credits to graduate on time!

What do you love most about your bed?

While I adore sleeping, I particularly enjoy drifting off watching a great show in bed.

How do you make your bedroom a sacred space?

I’m slightly maniacal about bedroom, and sleep hygiene, overall. I insist on absolutely clean feet in bed, and no shoes around the bed area (I have a ridiculous number of hotel slippers, yes). I can’t sleep in an untidy room and have been known to go on an unpacking frenzy at midnight after long travel. I change sheets often, pillow covers even more often. I burn organic candles, bring in fresh flowers as often as practical, disinfect the light switches and door knobs – so yep, pretty sacred I’d say!

Thank you Shrankhla, we are excited to have your amazing wellness products at DIANI Living!

Photo of young Shrankhla courtesy of UMA Oils

 

 

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Pure Energy Wellness Oil, $85

Pure Bliss Wellness Oil, $85

Wellness Oil Starter Kit, $45

Absolute Anti Aging Lip Oil, $32

 

Pure Energy Wellness Incense, $16

Pure Calm Wellness Incense, $16

Pure Rest Wellness Incense, $16

http://dianiliving.com/shop/all/wellness-incense-pure-energy-2506.html

Pure Bliss Wellness Incense, $16

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Pillow Talk with Caitlin Flemming

DIANI Living is rooted in beautiful interiors and well-crafted home and lifestyle pieces (just take a look inside our store), but what really inspires us is connecting with fellow female entrepreneurs. To celebrate creative women and their talents, we are excited to announce our new Pillow Talk series, which features a fun and intimate Q&A with the women that inspire us.

To kick things off, we visited  Sacramento Street blogger and interior designer Caitlin Flemming inside her newly refreshed, DIANI Living-inspired bedroom, where we talked career success, work-life balance and sleep rituals.

When you were in school, what was your favorite subject and what did you want to “grow up” to be?

As a little girl I dreamed of being a travel photographer. We traveled quite a bit for my dads work in conservation that took us to remote places around the world. Capturing the places we went to was how I was able to connect with each place. In college, I was drawn immediately to my entrepreneurship class. The fact that I could pave my own way and journey was intriguing.

What contributed to your goal of becoming the taste maker businesswoman that you are today?

Since a young age I’ve had this entrepreneurial spirit. My parents have always told me to follow my heart and do what I love. I remember them saying “you only live once, don’t waste it doing what you don’t love.”

What do you think is the single most important ingredient to success?

Hard work and a positive attitude.

What’s the most challenging part of your professional life?

Right now things are changing so quickly. In social media you have to be at the pulse of what is happening. In interior design it’s become more challenging because clients have access to everything via the internet.

Which female entrepreneurs do you admire?

We currently live in a time where women are taking initiative and paving their own way. What I love most about this day and age is the fact that we can create our own path. There have been many that had a huge influence on me – one that had the largest impact was Erica Tanov who I worked for in college and who mentored me. She truly brought out the creative spirit I now have.

How to you try to manage your work/life balance?

There is no right way to manage being a mom, a wife and a business owner. I’m constantly putting on many hats throughout the day. Some days are easy and others I feel like a hurricane is going off in my head and I’m not doing any role perfectly.

What’s the biggest gift you give yourself to recharge?

Honestly, an hour Pilates class or a long walk with a girlfriend or kids is all I need. Being in nature always helps me think about what’s truly important in life.

What’s the first thing you do after you wake up?

Make my husband and I a cup of tea.

What’s the last thing you do before bed?

Go into each kid’s room to say goodnight even when they are sleeping.

Any sleep rituals that you use to help quiet the mind after a long day?

Technology off at 9pm. It’s helped me unwind from a long day of work and life as a mom.

Handwoven Batik Pillow, SOLD, similar styles available here

What do you love most about your bed?

The layers. I love linens and pillows. I’m obsessed with switching up my bed linens each season for the different temperatures. In the summer we have to add layers because of our foggy nights!

How do you make your bedroom a sacred space?

It’s a serene space. I believe that your bedroom should be calming and quiet all the noise in your head. The neutral palate makes it feel like a little oasis from how hectic our days can be.

What do you see yourself doing next to express yourself professionally?

Writing a book. It’s been a lifelong dream to work with my mom on writing a book. We are currently photographing homes around the world and I can’t wait to show everyone the final product!

What is something you’ve accomplished personally or professionally that you never dreamed possible for yourself?

This book. We went through years of what to write about and I was always worried that a publisher wouldn’t understand our vision. Luckily one did!

Thank you Caitlin, we wish you all the best in your new endeavors!

 

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Grain Sack Pillow, Double Blue Stripe, $150

African Batik Blue Pillow, $165

Dark Grey Batik Pillow, 22×22, $175

Dark Grey Batik Pillow, 18×18, $150

Dakhla Throw Blanket, $375

Kesh Bed Cover with Large Pompoms, $350

Drapey V Sweater, $370

The Stunner Zip Ankle Step Fray, $210

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At Home Summer Spa Essentials

 

While summer has its perks – blue skies, beach days and poolside lounging – it can easily become one of the busiest times of the year. Unwind your mind and relax your body by transforming your bathroom into a spa-worthy space. From plush organic towels to an exfoliating body scrub, we have gathered our favorite at-home spa essentials that will keep you rejuvenated all summer long.

 

 

A fresh take on bathroom textiles, the Marine Body Towel features terry cloth inside, fabric outside for a comfortable feel and elegant look that is well suited for the pool, the gym and your home. Crafted from 100% cotton, our super soft, highly absorbent Organic Turkish Towels are the perfect bathroom staple. Choose from a variety of sizes, from a wash cloth to a body towel or opt for the entire set!

For a true at-home spa experience, drape yourself in our super plush Organic Bath Robe. This post-shower essential is both eco and skin friendly and is made in Turkey using 100% organic cotton.

 

 

Start your morning or end your day with the ultra rejuvenating Wellfit Bath Brush. Known to tighten the skin, stimulate circulation, and strengthen the nervous system, body brushing is one of our favorite at-home rituals. Follow it up with the Coffee & Mint Body Scrub, made with organic, fair trade, hand ground coffee beans packed full of antioxidants to revive and firm the skin’s appearance.

While you might think moisturizing is important during the colder months, it’s even more important during the summer, when the sun leaves the skin dry and damaged. For an all natural body moisturizer in a bar, The Daily Stone works wonders. For a deeper, more regenerative approach, opt for Susanne Kaufmann’s Body Oil. The combination of precious oils supports the skin in retaining moisture and saves against damaging environmental influences.

 

Shop all of our favorite at-home spa essentials, plus more towels and apothecary products in-store or online at DIANI Living!

 

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Meyzer Tassels Hand Towel, $35

Marine Body Towel, $100

Organic Contrast Bathrobe, $235

Organic Turkish Towel, starting at $15

Wellfit Bath Brush, $25

Coffee + Mint Body Scrub, $30

Body Oil, $44

The Daily Stone, $45

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Our DIANI Living Refresh for Sacramento Street

 

Known for her impeccable style and eye for interior design, Caitlin Flemming is one of our favorites when it comes to creating inspiring spaces. Hailing from San Francisco’s city streets, Caitlin travels around the world looking for her latest source of inspiration.

On a recent trip to Santa Barbara’s shoreline, Caitlin stopped into DIANI Living and discovered the perfect home pieces for a living room refresh. This week she featured her new and improved space on her lifestyle blog Sacramento Street, where she posts on interiors, style, travel and photography.

Here’s a peek inside Caitlin’s light and airy living room, where she has layered her space with DIANI Living pillows, baskets and more!

 

 

Caitlin layered our custom made African Mudcloth Tribal Print Pillow, Dotted Line Pillow and Dark Grey Batik & Brown Poms Pillow on her sofa as accent pieces. Crafted from vintage handmade fabrics, these pillows feature a soft French linen backing. The grey and light blue hues add a beautiful contrast to her bright white space.

 

 

With little ones running around, this mother of two needed a stylish, yet efficient space to store toys that get scattered around the house. Not only is the extra large Woven Reed Basket practical, it also serves as a beautiful textural piece for her living room.

We love how Caitlin included two of her own amazing rugs to keep with the light blue and grey color story. DIANI Living carries a similar handwoven Raw Jute Rug and a variety of one-of-a-kind vintage Turkish rugs in store and online. Layering them up is a great way to tie a room together, while making the space comfortable and cozy.

 

Thais Sandal by Ancient Greek Sandals

Thank you Caitlin! We can’t wait to see your bedroom refresh on Monday!

Stop by DIANI Living in-store or shop our products online.

Photos By Andreas Posadas

 

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African Mud Cloth Tribal Print Pillow, $130

Dotted Line Pillow, $150

 

Dark Grey Batik & Brown Poms Pillow, $350

Woven Reed Basket, $450

 

100% Raw Jute Rug, $195

Thais Sandal, $320

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The Essentials: Spring Getaway

 

Whether you’re jetting off to the Greek Islands or laying low on our local coastline, make sure you’re headed to your getaway destination in style. From a breezy shirt dress to a refreshing facial mist, we have gathered the travel essentials that will make packing your bags a breeze.

 

 

Start with a statement piece and add on neutrals that can pair with any look you choose. The Harshman Harlow Shirt Dress is versatile and easy to wear, whether you’re heading to the beach or out for a casual dinner. Throw it on as a swim suit cover up with Ancient Greek Sandals or wear unbuttoned over an Isabel Marant tee and white MOTHER denim.


We like to keep it simple when it comes to packing accessories. Choose two or three favorites that tie your look together and feel effortless (you are on vacation after all). The palm straw Outback Hat is a beach day must-have and provides the best form of SPF, while the Oliver Peoples Floriana Sunglasses play double duty – blocking the sun’s ray and keeping you beach-chic all day long.

Aloe + Rosewater Balancing Mist, $35

Conscious Coconut Oil, $18

Maison Louis Marie Perfume Oil, $58

Deo Stick, $59

Inflight Travel Case, $250

Last but not least, traveling with clean, effective skincare products is a must. After a day in the sun, freshen up with Susanne Kaufmann’s Deo Stick, spritz on the hydrating Aloe + Rosewater Balancing Mist and lather up with the ultra-moisturizing Conscious Coconut Oil. Keep all of those skincare essentials where you can see them, in the ultra chic Anya Hindmarch Inflight Travel Case. Just toss it into your bag and and set off on that much needed getaway!

 

Visit DIANI Boutique and DIANI Living online and in-store for all your travel essentials and much more!

(Top image via Luxury Retreats)

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