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All in the Family: 29 Cosmetics Launches Grape Seed Age Protection

By: Leslie Benson
Posted: August 5, 2008, from the August 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.
Anita Wilbanks and Lydia Mondavi, 29 Cosmetics

Anita Wilbanks and Lydia Mondavi, 29 Cosmetics

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Lydia Mondavi: I have been the guest speaker for many wine dinners for our wines and worked at many tastings for our winery and our wines.

GCI: Prohibition brought the Mondavi family to California. Do you think creating 29 Cosmetics’ line could have ever been possible if prohibition had never ended? How do you think things might be different now, business-wise?

Lydia Mondavi: Definitely. You would have a much harder time finding grape seeds, so the supply and demand would be greatly affected.

GCI: How important has your face-to-face national product launch tour since February 2007 been to your business?

Lydia Mondavi: Incredibly important. Anita and I launch every Neiman Marcus store together, working the sales floor. We spend every day in store with the sales associates, product specialists and clients, showing the features, advantages and benefits of each product. We love getting to know the stores, the demographic areas and the clients. It is an amazing experience. We wouldn’t launch any other way, and Neiman Marcus is an incredible partner for us.

GCI: Other than the national launch tour, what is another way you market this cosmetics line?

Lydia Mondavi: We do a lot of runway shows with Neiman Marcus. 29 Cosmetics photograph well.

GCI: What have been some challenges to launching this line?

Lydia Mondavi: You have to make sure in each product the grape seed has different functions. The biggest challenge in launching a line is the wait. We were in formulation for four and a half years!

Ingredients

GCI: From what specific region do the grapes used in your line come?

Lydia Mondavi: The red wine grapes are the most concentrated form of antioxidants and are enriched with a high concentration of polyphenols.

GCI: You also co-run Spellbound and Medusa Wines. Do you use the discarded grapes from your wine business for your cosmetics, as well, or do you ever borrow grapes from the Mondavi wineries in the Napa Valley?

Lydia Mondavi: We use grape seeds from various vineyards, as well as ours. It depends on what the harvest is like.
GCI: Which types of grapes do you prefer to use in your cosmetics line, and what do those specific types of grapes offer, performance-wise?

Lydia Mondavi: Red wine grapes are the most concentrated form of antioxidants, rich in polyphenols.

GCI: Which parts of the grapes do you salvage and how quickly must this process begin as to avoid the raw materials rotting, etc.? What’s the basic process of preparing the grapes for use in your line?