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On this episode of Behind Her Empire, Vintner's Daughter founder and CEO April Gargiulo discusses word-of-mouth marketing, natural ingredients and her entrepreneurial north star.
As a child, Gargiulo’s parents wouldn’t let her eat Chef Boyardee ravioli—instead, they gathered the ingredients and made the meal from scratch. Gargiulo said her parents laid the foundation for her refusal to cut corners with cheap ingredients. That ethos first came to fruition when she helped her parents launch a winery, and later became the bedrock for her own company.
“I have this very true vision about the kind of skincare we're gonna make, and it comes from the world of winemaking,” Gargiulo said. “If you're trying to make the finest wines in the world, you have to start with the finest raw materials. You have to honor those raw materials [with] very thoughtful, meticulous diligent craftsmanship.”
Gargiulo didn’t delve into skincare until she was pregnant with her first daughter and found that the luxury products she was using had very few active ingredients. A woman at an apothecary in Morocco gave her an unlabeled bottle of oil for her active acne. After nervously putting the product on before she went to bed, Gargiulo said she woke up with an appreciation of what oil can do for skin.
“That was literally how I fell in love with oil,” she said. “And why an oil-based serum was our very first product.”
This led to her to found Vintner’s Daughter in 2013. The company initially sold only the oil-based Active Botanical Serum. When she was initially researching how to make her formula at a large scale, she said the labs she approached tried to convince her to swap ingredients to shorten the three weeks it takes to make one bottle. She said she kept her initial vision of quality ingredients for individual products in mind as she launched the company.
“Understanding what your north star is is so important because you're going to talk to 10 people, and you're probably going to get six different answers,” she said. “You have to just have such a firm understanding of that north star to understand what feels right for you [and] for your business.”
dot.LA editorial intern Kristin Snyder contributed to this post.
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