Some of today's biggest players in the beauty industry just happen to be the underdogs. Indie beauty brands are hotter than ever and in our new series, Indie Beauties, we're chatting with the powerhouse women behind these brands to learn how they made their dreams a reality. This week, we're chatting with April Gargiulo of Vintner's Daughter.
What was your first job in the beauty business?
"CEO and Founder of Vintner’s Daughter."
What was the biggest challenge you faced starting out?
"My biggest challenge has also been my greatest strength. Coming from a fine winemaking background I had no knowledge of the beauty industry. Fine winemaking is all about honoring the quality of the ingredients and the importance of a methodical process. Production moves at the speed of quality and so does Vintner’s Daughter. Traditional beauty is anything but quality focused."
What inspired you to start your own company?
"I started reading labels and was appalled at how low quality and toxic the ingredients were. When I looked in the natural world for replacements I couldn’t find the one product I needed– a powerful, multi-correctional serum that was good for acne-prone skin. I spent the next two years working with the best formulator and lab to create Active Botanical Serum. It is my desert island product."
How did your background and experience in winemaking help you during the process of formulating your serum?
"It has been everything. Fine winemaking taught me what it takes to make one of the finest products in the world. You have to be committed to quality at every step, small and large. No short cuts can be taken when we produce my family’s wine or Vintner’s Daughter. I believe woman deserve nothing less."
It took you two years to create the serum. What were those two years before the release filled with?
"Lots of ups and downs. Once we developed the final formula I thought the hard work was done, but finding a lab that would work with us was a whole other challenge. Most labs want to use inexpensive extracts, fillers and powders as substitutes for whole plants. Whole plants are the key to our formulation. This way of formulating is more expensive and time consuming, but it delivers unparalleled nutrition and results. It took a while before I could find a lab who understood the importance of our old-world techniques."
Where did you see yourself at 20?
"As an architect or designer."
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
"Deeply grateful and in love."
What empowers and fulfills you as a businesswoman?
"The woman and men who purchase Vintner’s Daughter are endlessly inspiring. I love hearing from them because unlike most businesses, beauty is very intimate. People share their stories and struggles and allow us to help which is rewarding."
What is the best business advice you've received?
"I’m fairly risk adverse, so 'no risk, no reward' was best for me. I imagine something different resonates for everyone."
What is the best beauty advice you've received?
"Beauty is a light from within. Shine your light."
What would you tell anyone who thinks switching to a natural skincare routine is too difficult?
"It’s actually so much easier. Take a product like Vintner’s Daughter. Because it is so powerful and multi-correctional you don’t need a complicated routine. It is part of a simple, but super effective three step process. Cleanse, tone, apply Vintner’s Daughter. Drop the mic. Walk away."
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
"Getting my kids to school on time with breakfast, brushed hair, teeth, and clean clothes. It’s not easy."
What is one piece of advice you'd give other women looking to break into the beauty business?
"After you have done the proper due diligence and have a strong business plan, just do it! This industry is filled with the most brilliant and passionate woman who will support you."
You share two percent of every purchase with charities. Why is this idea of giving back so important to you?
"I believe we all have a responsibility to give back in some way. There are so many charities doing really important work that need funding. We are currently building a well in Ethiopia with Charity: Water that will provide an entire village access to water. Water has a generational impact, especially on woman and girls. They can go to school and start businesses instead of walking hours every day in search of water."
Right now you only have the Active Botanical Serum, any plans to expand?
"Slowly, thoughtfully and with integrity."
What's the best business or beauty advice you've ever received? Share with us in the comments!
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