Something I absolutely love about being in San Francisco: there are so many incredible women who are doing things, building things, helping others and beyond. It’s inspiring and motivational, and I feel grateful to be surrounded by these fearless, thoughtful women. Which is why I’ve teamed up with Uber to celebrate such empowering women and inspire others.
I met April Gargiulo in person over two years ago, but my “fangirl” status for her had originated months before our first coffee/tea date, after I tried Vintner’s Daughter for the first time (and subsequently every day since then). It’s funny when you finally meet someone in person – especially someone I was so keen on meeting. She was at once charming, super-smart and interesting. But beyond that, she was interested. She has that rare ability to make you feel like your conversation with her is the only thing on her mind when you’re speaking with her – there is no doubt that she is fully engaged and focused in the moment.
Suffice it to say, my admiration for her was cemented that morning after our first coffee date.
April founded the company Vintner’s Daughter, with its namesake product being one of my favorite beauty products ever. It has garnered an unbelievable amount of press – and I assure you it is worthy of all that and more. It’s made from nutrient rich botanicals and essential oils, working to restore the skin’s balance, texture and radiance. It’s definitely a luxury product and I treat it like gold. Just a few drops a day to make the bottle last as long as possible. And my husband loves it too – he’s in love with the scent.
Read on for my interview with April on building her brand, lessons learned and a few fun facts too:
Can you tell us the story behind Vintner’s Daughter? How did it get its start?
Vintner’s Daughter began when I opened my eyes to the lack of quality and safe ingredients in traditional skincare. I was shocked to find out that active ingredients accounted for less than 1% of a product and the rest was low quality and often toxic filler. I dreamed of a 100% active product that would seriously treat all of my skin issues – acne, discoloration, clarity, tone, elasticity and health. When I couldn’t find it on the market, I spent the next two years developing it with a team of formulators. My goal was to create the highest quality face oil with the ultimate multi-correctional activity. My background was in fine winemaking, so I understand a total dedication to quality and the steps one must take to achieve it. Shorts cuts are not allowed when you are making the very finest wine. Vintner’s Daughter is absolutely built upon this same philosophy. We are uncompromising about quality and efficacy.
After all this success so far, what do you struggle with now?
Vintner’s Daughter is a very unique kind of company. We put product and brand above everything, including revenue which sounds crazy, but I just don’t know any other way to build something truly great. This path is not about world domination and outrageous growth. Its about slow, thoughtful on-brand growth. So, my struggle is feeling a bit like the odd duck in a world where faster and more is what is rewarded.
What have been some of the most important lessons learned in your path so far?
The most important lesson I have learned is a simple one, establish your north star early on and do not waiver. Even when the glittery, sparkling opportunities arise, stick to it. That’s not to say that pivots can’t be made, but I do believe that without a guiding principle in place that everyone in your company understands and knows, it is far harder to be successful.
What advice would you give to women dreaming of entrepreneurship?
I think sometimes it feels very overwhelming to start a company if you have never done it before. My advice is to start small. Make it your side hustle for a while while until you are ready to go for it. Find people who provide good council. Understand your finances and do something you love!!
To me, you are the epitome of the multi-faceted, inspiring woman who manages to juggle it all: work, family, life. How do you do it?
I set my priorities and I ladder back all my activities to support them. Its very simple but not easy and I almost never achieve it on any given day, so I look at it weekly, monthly and annually.
Thank you SO much for taking time out of your day to chat with me April – I am truly your forever fan.