INTERVIEW: APRIL GARGIULO, FOUNDER VINTNER'S DAUGHTER
words by LUCY BULLING • Beauty
April Gargiulo is a breath of fresh air. The founder and creator of the cult beauty brand, Vintner's Daughter, has a natural appeal and it's instantly clear why her wonder serum does too.
Right away we bonded over our country-girl roots, motherhood, and a shared love of wine: she coming from a family of winemakers, me coming from a family of wine drinkers (thank you, Mom & Dad).
We ended our delightful chat on a couple of very important notes. One, I received a personal invitation to the family vineyard in Napa Valley. And two, that Vintner's Daughter is set to release their first new product in five years (An Active Treatment Essence). So that's probably the more important note to end things on! And it's coming very, very soon (join a waitlist now!).
Julia von Boehm: In a nutshell, who is Vintner's Daughter?
April Gargiulo: "At the core...what we do is so different...in the world of beauty, we are a much more complex product."
JVB: Love that response. So what inspired you to start a beauty line with just one product - a serum?
AG: "I was always someone who struggled with their skin...and one day I just started looking at the ingredients in all the products I was buying. I then realized that most of the time there was only 0.1% active ingredient - the rest was filler.
I started also thinking, why was I paying a heavy price tag for something that doesn't have true value?"
JVB: Did your experience as a winemaker help you to realize you could create a product that did add value?
AG: "Winemaking takes attention to detail to another level...I wanted a product that was uncompromising and performance driven…and I thought if I could apply that same attention to detail [to a beauty product] I could make something really great for the skin.
Our serum is not put together in an hour...it takes three-plus weeks to make each and every bottle. One bottle is able to do what it does because of the time we take...it has over 60 of the most optimal nutrients needed for the skin - vitamins, minerals, omegas, antioxidants - everything that the skin already knows and recognizes and can put to work straight away."
JVB: What makes Vintner's Daughter so special?
AG: "We're not tricking the skin with synthetics. We get to the foundational level of the skin so it can be it's best…[our serum] amplifies what the skin should already be doing.
JVB: How do various skin types benefit from using your Active Botanical Serum?
AG: "It depends on the person's skin - but let's say you have inflammatory skin due to acne or rosacea, once you start using Vintner's Daughter your skin will become balanced.
People who suffer discoloration from acne or hormonal fluctuations say they notice a brighter, more even-toned and youthful complexion, after using the Antioxidant Serum.
For others, it's all about hydration and just getting healthier, brighter and more radiant looking skin."
JVB: Who was the serum developed with in mind?
AG: "It's a serum for everyone! All skin needs the same nutrition, the same requirements. We were GQ product of the year! Many men are using it with great success….but it really depends on the person and skin condition.
I would never encourage anyone just starting out [using serums] to go directly to ours (it is expensive) but if you are going to have a drawer full of five or six $40 products, you're better to have a bottle of Active Botanical Serum - because what it delivers to the skin is of value."
JVB: How do you respond to the cult following Vintner's Daughter has received?
AG: "I was excited when we sold 10 bottles a day...this is beyond my wildest imagination…it is so incredible to be a part of so many women's lives, even in this small way.
The skin is this intimate thing...you don't realize how immediately it can connect you with someone else. You have nothing in common, you don't know them, but you are dealing with the same skin condition - it can just connect you. It is nice to know that we can help bring people together in this way."
JVB: What does your beauty routine look like?
AG: "So simple! I cleanse - first of all, I try to drink enough water, exercise, and I meditate - but from a product standpoint I cleanse, essence, then Active Botanical Serum! That's it!"
JVB: And your personal style? Simple, like your beauty?
AG: "No! Actually the opposite. My friends are always saying how funny it is - my style is a little more exuberant. For my home life, I like high quality but very simple things. But for my clothing, it's a little more exuberant."
JVB: We are both mothers of two young children so I must ask - how do you go balancing your work life with home?
AG: "I have really strict guardrails...my family is my priority and I make sure to maintain those guardrails. It is definitely not always easy, and I do have to say ‘no' to a lot of opportunities, but I have to prioritize!"
JVB: Were your family surprised you moved away from winemaking and into the beauty industry?
AG: "Everyone knew I was always into beauty - so it was not a big surprise given the struggles I had with my skin. I honestly don't think any of them were that surprised! I am an entrepreneur at heart! So they knew anything was a possibility."
JVB: What is more challenging - running the winery or Vintner's Daughter?
AG: "Well wine is a family business, so that's always a bit more challenging!"
JVB: Help answer a very important question - is wine actually good for you?
AG: "Ha! That is a good one - there are many antioxidants in wine! I mean, you can overdo anything - but red wine (not in excess)...there are some incredible antioxidants present!"
JVB: Please tell me you have plans to expand on this one great product?
AG: "Keep your eyes open! We are going to be releasing our first new product in 5 years, in early 2019 - that's all I can say about it right now."
*Update*: Vintner’s Daughter are releasing their Active Treatment Essence very soon. You can join the waitlist now! If it’s anything like their Active Botanical Serum, you know you will want to add it to your beauty routine ASAP.