Beauty Boss: How April Gargiulo Created the Beauty Industry's Most Buzzed-About Serum
Welcome to Beauty Boss, a reoccurring series in which we spotlight the power players driving the beauty world forward. Consider this your chance to steal their get-ahead secrets, and grow from the real-life lessons they’ve learned on the job.
April Gargiulo, founder of the natural skincare brand Vintner's Daughter, didn't grow up in the beauty industry. She is, well, a vintner's daughter who learned from an early age that the best wines come from the richest ingredients. So when her skincare routine wasn't cutting it, Gargiulo concocted a new recipe—a serum made of 22 organic extracts, designed to boost radiance and combat multiple signs of aging.
Less than three years later, Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum ($185; neimanmarcus.com)—the sole product the brand currently offers—has a cult following, from beauty editors to makeup artists to celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow (who stocks the product on Goop.com). Here, Gargiulo shares what's next for her buzzy brand.
How did Vintner's Daughter come to be?
Vintner’s Daughter started because I realized how low-quality and unsafe many of the beauty products I was using are. Even luxury products were filled with non-active, synthetic toxins. My background is in fine winemaking, and I applied that same dedication to top quality to the formulation of Vintner’s Daughter. I did not want to compromise. I wanted a skincare product that was 100% performance-driven, delivered serious multi-correctional results, and was made from the finest ingredients in the world.
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What was the product's first break?
I was turned away from so many labs that wouldn't adhere to our strict quality control standards, both in ingredient sourcing and formulation methods. The day that our current lab agreed to produce our formula was a huge day. The other game-changing day was when Into The Gloss published a piece called “The Face Oil To End All Face Oils.” We didn’t have a publicist, marketing team, or connections in any way, so it was written completely based on the strength of the product. The writer, Victoria Lewis, totally understood how exceptional and different Active Botanical Serum was. That felt really good.
What's the next big development in beauty that you're excited about?
I think and hope a new paradigm of beauty within popular culture is taking shape for women, one that emphasizes a more natural, healthy, and individual sense of beauty. Spending precious time trying to adhere to unrealistic expectations of beauty is just a waste of an incredible opportunity.
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What are you most proud of professionally?
Maintaining our commitment to the absolute finest quality and efficacy. In the face of pressures to expand beyond what that commitment would allow us to do, we have stayed true to our core principles.
What’s the question you get asked most about the line?
“When is the next product coming out?” My simple answer is that we will never introduce a product that isn’t a category-defining, game-changing one just to fill up space on a shelf. When we introduce a new product, it will deliver unparalleled results, be made from the finest ingredients, and be totally safe.
On that note, what’s next for Vintner's Daughter?
We want to educate and inspire our amazing customers by creating a rich and immersive world of Vintner’s Daughter. We have such a unique point of view and complex product that we have endless stories to tell. Through emails, blogs, videos, and social, we want our content to be engaging and beautiful. Even if someone doesn’t use Vintner’s Daughter, we hope she finds something she loves in our communication. We might have a new product up our sleeves too!