A while back at a flea market in Mumbai called the Mystic Lotus, Manjula Bahadur unsuspectingly sold her original home-made, natural hair and skin care products. As befitting miracle cures - this immediately resulted in an outburst of positive feedback, repeat orders and requests for more home-remedies for other specific problems.
Today these products are sold under the brand name SAO, and having started with 5 hair oils and 2 face oils, the brand soon included face/hair packs and gels as well, currently selling 30 unique products. SAO also provides customized solutions which have shown great results for people with Alopecia, pigmentation, blemishes, joint pains, psoriasis, varicose veins, and more.
So how did it all come about?
Seeing the potential in his mother’s home-remedies, which she used to prepare un-labelled and heal friends and family with, Vivek Bahadur quit an eventful career in advertising to start-up with her. Having worked with names such as Ogilvy and Lintas, Vivek realized his skills would be better put to use, by helping market his mother’s product to a wider audience. So together – mother and son – created the brand SAO which stands for “Sacred Anointing Oils”.
Why - sacred – you ask? Well, that’s because the secret behind every SAO natural beauty product, which is hand-made by Manjula, is that it’s also prayed over by her. Manjula believes the herbs and oils she uses captures the soul of the plant, and by speaking to them through prayer and chanting, correct energies release to make the products all the more effective.
Manjula’s products, which use a combination of Indian herbs and essential oils, stem from a near lifetime of studying and experimenting with herbal cosmetics in India and overseas.
Each SAO natural-remedy come from 200+ unique recipes, which Manjula’s created and hand-written over three decades, after helping people with severe hair problems, skin problems, joint pains, stress-relief and natural beautification.
However, for - Manjula – going strong on 70 now, whether it was enhancing her herbal care skills through the years, or being part of a theatre group in Mumbai till 2012, it has all been a spiritual journey. And so even though SAO expands each day, for Manjula it’s all about the customers she chats with and prepares customized solutions for, and her products which she uses herself to successfully keep wrinkles and age at bay.