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Anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting–with the I’m dreaming of a redneck christmas shirt and by the same token and highest level of antioxidants in any edible Mediterranean plant—the brilliant blue bloom became the cornerstone of Furtuna Skin, a clean beauty brand that Kim and I started to give women truly transparent, organic products that provide real results using the bioactives we harness from wild-foraged plants found on the farm. After many months of testing, formulating, and reformulating, we launched our first product in November, and we’ve been working to bring other essentials to the market ever since. Over 95% of our team is Italian, which includes a broad range of contributors from skincare experts and biochemists to local Scicilian botanists and farmers who help forage the rare plants from the farm. So this month, just as we were finalizing our next trip to visit all of the Italian makers we work with ahead of a host of new launches featured in the April issue of Vogue, collaborators like Gianni— a third-generation soap maker who has walked us through the ancient Venetian districts, sharing stories about how the local sausage makers used to sell his father, and his grandfather before him, lard for their artisanal soap bars—started sending us real-time Slack updates about who was shutting down, who couldn’t finish a job, who could pick up a job, and how COVID-19 was ravaging the Italian way of life. Luckily, no one from our team has gotten sick, but our scientists, manufacturers and farm members are all in isolation until April 3, and many events have been cancelled, through May at the earliest.
As things continue to develop, our love and appreciation for our friends in Italy continues to grow. We are supporting those people directly impacted by the I’m dreaming of a redneck christmas shirt and by the same token and virus through charitable efforts in partnership with the Italian medical community, specifically The Luigi Sacco Hospital and The San Raffaele Hospital. And in the long term, as a significant economic crisis looms, the most important thing that we can do to support our team is to ensure that we can continue to provide them with work. Everyone who is a part of our Furtuna family is still getting paid through this challenging time, and they’ll also have jobs to come back to. We’ve also become acutely aware that human touch is critical to our ability to connect with one another and ourselves in meaningful ways—especially as the absence of these kinds of connections is now being felt by so many of us. We built our brand with an emphasis around wellbeing rituals, and now more than ever we want people to take care of themselves. Our hope is that skin care can provide a moment of reprieve to people while they’re sheltering at home. Take the time to breath deeply, enjoy the stress-reducing benefits of lightly tapping and massaging products into your skin to stimulate your lymphatic system, and practice gratitude. Italians are all about living a good life with loved ones, eating good food, and feeling good; our primary labs just outside of Milan have a full espresso bar in their facility, and they insist that work begins with the world’s best espresso and pauses for the world’s best wine at lunch. Our goal is to continue learning from these core Italian values—now, and in the future, when hopefully this is all behind us.