“I believe that nature holds the answers. I believe it has this innate and extraordinary wisdom that we need to tap into.” 

Nature’s essence has always been a captivating subject; marvelled in the 18th century by the Romantics for its mystical qualities and by environmental activists in 2020 as proof as to what can happen when we stop harming our planet. This thought could easily have been uttered by John Keats or Greta Thunberg, but instead, these are the words from the founder of Vintner’s Daughter, April Gargiulo.

Gargiulo is isolating with her family in Napa, which she tells me over a Zoom interview, “my mom and dad actually live at the winery, thankfully I'm down the street so close enough that we can keep check on each other.” Her roots are grounded within wine making, growing up in a community that was trying to break through the traditions was what put her in the position she’s in today. “Coming from where I was, I got to grow up around this generation of women and men who were just audacious and had this crazy, crazy goal that Napa Valley was going to compete on the world stage for the finest wines. And they accomplished it,” speaks Gargiulo. “It was this incredible world that I grew up in, and for me, it was the definition of true luxury. It wasn't about a price tag, it wasn't about a kind of glossy image. It was really about the passion and the dedication and the work and craftsmanship.” It’s these techniques that go into the process of making the two (and only) products the brand has, the Active Botanical Serum and the Active Treatment Essence. The formulation of these two products is inspired by the process of making wine; beginning with the whole plant they extract the plant nutrition in such a lengthy process that’s unheard of within the beauty world. “Most skincare is made in six hours or less, but because we begin with whole plants every bottle of Active Botanical Serum takes 21 days of active formulation and every bottle of Active Treatment Essence takes 35 days of active formulation.”

This attention to detail and meticulousness comes from Gargiulo’s endeavour to stay true to her brand’s ethos. “We're not a marketing driven or ultimately a revenue driven company. We are a skin driven company,” shares Gargiulo, and it’s her desire to branch out of the traditional structure of a beauty brand that makes her viewpoint refreshing and necessary. Vintner’s Daughter has been running for seven years, but Gargiulo has never given into the pressure to churn out products for the sake of keeping her brand relevant. In fact, she actively goes against that. “We focus on nutritional skincare, we focus on the true balance and health of skin,” explains Gargiulo, as she delves into why her brand is still in demand, without obsessive marketing tactics. “When you're focusing on true beauty and the foundational aspects of beauty, which I think comes from confidence and health that’s derived from balance, all of these things are timeless. They are multigenerational.” This transparency is clearly effective, which is evident in the strong community base the brand has. Along with the A-list fans – the likes of Tracie Ellis Ross and Hailey Beiber – Gargiulo is extremely proud of the range of differences her customers have. “People always ask, who is the Vintner’s Daughter customer? And I always rejoice because it's always such a joyful answer because like he, she, they cannot be identified in any age group, any skin tunnel, in any gender, in anything,” exclaims Gargiulo. “The one thing that unites our community is their appreciation and recognition of the substantive quality of the work that we're doing. These are individuals, who really appreciate and recognise craftsmanship and quality and you know, maybe that is what attracts them to the brand. But ultimately it's about what it does to their skin.”

It’s easy to get swept away with the story of the brand; her passion is as powerful as the plants in her products. Each ingredient is investigated, looking into what are the best climate and conditions specifically needed for each ingredient to grow to their optimum effect, leading them to get sourced from that location. These botanicals can come from all corners of the world, which begs the question as to how sustainability plays into the brand’s identity. “As a company we're constantly working to decrease our footprint. From our packaging to buying carbon offset credits. We’re also very focused on the human aspect of our production cycle too, and we make sure that there is a living wage consideration and uphold state working conditions for everybody throughout the life cycle. We do all of that and all of that is very important, but ultimately there is nothing we do that is more sustainable than less,” says Gargiulo. “Ultimately, that is the answer. It's something that we considered from day one and are working to improve every day. But the fact that we're not producing new products every three seconds shows we're far more thoughtful, far more diligent, far more considerate about what we put out in the world.”

As the world slowly starts rerunning its engines after being at standstill, Gargiulo’s hopes for the future of beauty consumption will undoubtedly be at the forefront of the consumer’s minds as well. “This has created a bit of a vacuum in terms of questioning a lot of the things that filled their life before. I hope that we're all far more intentional about what we put back in it.” And as we question our actions to our planet, let that filler be something that encourages and appreciates nature, as Vintner’s Daughter products do so well. 

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