We’ve spent Women’s History Month catching up with and celebrating the women that are making history in the beauty world. We’re wrapping up our series with an insightful chat with April Gargiulo, founder of Vintner’s Daughter. On a mission to create skincare with the finest ingredients using time-honored techniques, April took her knowledge of wine making and translated it to the world of skincare. As with most founders, the unwavering support of women was essential to the success of her company. Here’s more about how her brand and vision came to fruition.
I had struggled with my skin my entire life—I had acne, discoloration, and of course all of the other fun things that come along with getting older. I was using what I thought were the very best “luxury” products. They were the most expensive and were written about often in glossy magazines. One day, I started looking at the ingredients and was shocked to realize that they were .01% active ingredients, and the rest was low-quality filler that was also toxic, in many cases. This didn’t sit right with me.
I come from Napa Valley, a community dedicated to making the finest wines in the world through attention to detail and craftsmanship. Practically every grain of dirt is considered for its quality, and shortcuts aren’t allowed. That to me is the true definition of luxury: to begin with the finest raw materials and honor them through thoughtful formulation practices to achieve something even greater than the parts. These products I was using were anything but.
This was the genesis of Vintner’s Daughter. I wanted to build a true luxury skincare company that made products from the finest ingredients in the world using time-honored techniques in order to bring about profound and lasting balance and health in the skin. It sounds lofty, but I wanted to build a skincare company on the very same philosophical foundations and principles as fine winemaking.
It has meant everything to us! We have never done any paid marketing. Our growth rests entirely on our incredible community who has graciously shared their experiences with their friends, families and even people on the street when asked about their glow. Ultimately, it’s about the deep communication our products have with the skin and the results that brings about. So much of the beauty industry is hype; I’m very proud that we have grown the old fashion way through organic word-of-mouth.
When I started Vintner’s Daughter six years ago, I could never have imagined the successes and hard-won lessons that lay ahead. One of the greatest surprises and gifts was the emergence of an incredible community of passionate, smart and engaged women in the beauty world and beyond. From customers to fellow founders, they seemed to magically rise up around me, determined to empower all women by supporting this one. It reflected that truly special form of solidarity between women, grounded in the idea that success for one was a triumph for all.
I believe we have a responsibility to give back in whatever ways we can. From day one, Vintner’s Daughter has been proud to support charitable organizations at the heart of the effort and create real change for women and children around the world. We donate 2% of every purchase to a group of amazing organizations including Every Mother Counts, Vitamin Angels, The Edible Schoolyard, Futures Without Violence, Girls Not Brides, OLE Health, National Women’s Law Center, Black Mamas Matter, and Tipping Point.
Embrace ambition in yourself and others instead of being scared or intimidated by it. Help inspire and foster it in every person around you.
Anita Roddick was the visionary founder and CEO of the Body Shop, one of the very first businesses to insist on fair sourcing and cruelty-free practices in their supply chain. Her commitment to the health and safety of ourselves and the planet has been an inspiration since I was a young girl.
Skin positive beauty will follow in the footsteps of body positive beauty. We are all taught to struggle with our skin, but I want everyone to celebrate their beautiful skin.
Check out Vintner’s Daughter’s natural and effective serums and essences, and catch up on any articles you may have missed! We kicked off our series with UMA Founder Shrankhla Holecek and followed with conversations with Lit Cosmetics Founder Jodie Perks, Danessa Myricks, Sonia G., and Indie Lee.