Unable to find the right product to help with her cystic acne, April Gargiulo set out to create a skin care product that was effective and made with only the highest quality ingredients. Thus, Vinter’s Daughter was born.

Below, Gargiulo shares how she used her background in winemaking to develop her serum and how she stayed true to her vision despite negative feedback.

If there’s one thing I know, it’s that you will never achieve success if you do not identify and tirelessly follow your North Star. Maybe your North Star is writing a book, running for office, or running a marathon, or maybe you don’t even know what it is yet. But once you have discovered it (which is hard enough to do), you have to always keep it in your sights if you want to accomplish it.

I became part of the skin care industry by what I lovingly call an accidental vocation. I come from the world of fine winemaking in Napa Valley – not the beauty world. I had always struggled with my skin. I tried everything to help my acne-prone skin. After realizing that the “luxury” products I was using were ineffective and full of inactive, unsafe filler ingredients, I decided I had to create a serious solution for myself and other women.

My North Star from day one has been to create skin care that delivers uncompromising quality, performance, and safety. I only want to create game-changing, category-defining skin care, and that means cutting zero corners. Period. I know this is a revolutionary thing to say, but we are not revenue-driven. We are 100% skin-driven.

This uncompromising commitment to performance, quality, and safety has been tested time and time again and proved to be one of our first hurdles to overcome.

First, finding a lab to produce the formulation of what would become our award-winning product, Active Botanical Serum, was rough. After two years of research and development, I had a very clear formula in mind and did not want to compromise to achieve it. Every lab turned me away and said I was crazy for wanting to begin with whole plants. It was unheard of. They said they had “cheaper, faster” ways to produce the product using extracts, freeze-dried materials, and powdered materials.

These were not compromises I was willing to make – no matter what the cost or time saved. It was a rude awakening, but it ultimately allowed me to draw a clear line in the sand about what was at the heart of Vintner’s Daughter. I learned that staying true to your North Star – in this case, not backing down from a time-consuming, labor-intensive formulation process that is the heart and soul of our formulations — is invaluable.

How do you find your true path? Your North Star is all your own. Try to get as specific as you can with it because when you are met with challenges – and there will be many – you can hold them up to the light of your North Star. Does the opportunity make your star shine more brightly? Does it bring you closer to your goal? The opportunities that are great for your business someday, but not today, are the hardest to turn down.

However, discipline is critical. There are several retailers that I would love to work with, but I know that we are not ready yet. It had been heartbreaking to say no to those incredible opportunities, but I also know that timing is everything. If you let your North Star be your guide, it will all unfold as it should.

xx, April Gargiulo

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