Meet April Gargiulo, the San Francisco-based founder of Vintner's Daughter. Vintner's Daughter transforms whole plants such as aloe, apple, coconut and papaya, among others, into a one-step skincare solution for all skin types. After years of working in design in New York and at her family's vineyard in Napa, April took winemaking's philosophy (of honoring raw materials and making them something more through a meticulous process that celebrates quality at all costs) and applied it to skincare.
After speaking to April in October as part of our Renewal Live, I sat down with her, wearing our VNeck Dress in Brown Coconut Tree, to talk about all of the ways in which Vintner's Daughter has turned the beauty industry on its head.
After such experiences in design and wine making, what gave you the courage to branch into beauty?
To be honest, I'm not sure I had a choice. I was actually parallel-pathing three different business ideas at the time and Vintner's Daughter was the one I could never get out of my mind. It was the one that I was most passionate about. Thankfully, I am as passionate about it today as I was then.
Were there certain pieces from your past experiences that you took with you when creating Vintner's Daughter?
Vintner's Daughter is 100% built off of the same philosophical foundations as the fine winemaking world I come from. We value the craftsmanship, quality and the time it takes to make the very finest skincare. Uniquely, we begin with whole plants and every bottle takes between 3-5 weeks to produce. This is unheard of in the world of traditional beauty made from off the shelf synthetics and extracts that take six hours or less to produce. Without having grown up in winemaking, I would not have had the resolve it took to go our own way and produce the kind of skincare that is able to truly and deeply speak to the skin the way we do.
I love that Vintner's Daughter stays away from traditional skincare marketing scare tactics such as "anti-aging." What else about the beauty industry did you want to do differently right off the bat?
You are right. We would never use fear-mongering words like "anti-aging" or "age-corrective" (Why does my age need to be corrected exactly?). It is antiquated, destructive and creates insecurity, which is the exact opposite of the effect we want to have on our incredible customers. We believe aging is a privilege and we want our community to have confidence in that knowledge. We also go against industry norms in the way we formulate with whole plants versus cheap, fast synthetics. We go against the fast beauty model where you introduce a new product every 3-4 months to stay relevant to the newness industrial complex. Ultimately, we believe that fewer, but better-made products not only serve your skin better, but also service our environment better as well.
As a relaunch, Coco Shop is interested in the process of taking something old and making it new again. How does renewal play a role at Vintner's Daughter?
I love this philosophy and share it in so many ways. First, quite literally in how our products help to renew the skin. Both Active Treatment Essence and Active Botanical Serum help to create cellular turnover for brighter, firmer and healthier skin. We also share a renewal philosophy in the ways in which we honor old-world techniques and craftsmanship in our formulation processes. This have been lost in our fast fashion/fast beauty world. We are also committed to sustainability in a big way (we just gained our California Certified Green certificate!), which we hope will help renew our natural world.
Is there anything that makes you feel personally renewed and ready to take on what’s next?
Mindfulness, morning tea, spending time with my family, big laughs with friends and being in nature. Lucky for me the list is long. Beauty is renewal and it is everywhere, if you are open to it.