On paper, Furtuna has pretty much everything going for it. A luxury Italian skin-care line, co-founded by a model, made using wildcrafted ingredients grown on a family-owned estate in Sicily. It's the total package. It's a brand that's been on Jess' radar, but one that she hadn't had a chance to really dig into to see if she wanted to carry it—the brand debuted in 2019 and then there was that whole pandemic and trying to keep Shen's doors open and all. No biggie.
But, once things settled and she had a chance to review it, she knew it was something special. "When I tried the products and learned more about the line and the founders, Agatha Relota Luczo and Kim Walls, I fell in love," says Jess. "From the luxurious simplicity of the products to understanding their view on sustainability and learning they have their own vertically integrated farm, I discovered this is truly a brand that is 'farm to table,' in the best possible sense."
Furtuna is centered around the idea of using science to enhance traditional beauty remedies made from high-quality ingredients that are grown sustainably. The line currently features four products total, for a simple yet highly effective routine that delivers all of the benefits of a more complex and involved regimen with none of the excess.
We asked Agatha to tell us more about how Furtuna came to be, as well as what makes the brand unique (hint: there are sound baths involved in the creation of the products), in this week's Behind The Brand. Keep reading to learn the story of Furtuna, plus the product that Agatha swears is "heaven in a bottle."
Brand Name: Furtuna Skin
Founders: Agatha Relota Luczo and Kim Walls
Date Founded: September 2019
What was the inspiration for the line?
Our La Furtuna Estate — a certified organic 800+ acre farm in the hills of Corleone, Sicily is the heart of our brand. For me, olive oil has always been an essential part of my life, so it also serves as a huge inspiration for Furtuna. My parents are both from Croatia and they used it for everything from creating shiny hair to solving earaches. I also knew that olive oil is so good for your health and super potent.
As an olive oil farm owner, it was imperative to use the scientific process to prove what I always knew. When it came to creating a high-performance, organic skin-care line, it was so important that we have the data behind any of the claims that we might make. When I met my co-founder Kim, I showed her all of the ingredients on the farm and she was like a kid in a candy store. We immediately sourced the top labs worldwide to start proving the skin-specific benefits of our olive oil and other wild-foraged plants from the farm.
What is the Furtuna philosophy?
It really is simple: We believe in science and its ability to enhance Old World wisdom to provide elite product performance. We know that by sourcing high-quality ingredients, we can provide luxurious and results-driven products that are good for us. We're rooted in our passion for family, nature, science, and socially responsible business practices. Kim and I have set out to demonstrate that beauty businesses can be successful through honesty and transparency, from sourcing ingredients to product performance and company policies.
What was the first product you developed?
Our Porte Per La Vitalita Face & Eye Serum. As a model, I was lucky to learn from some of the best makeup artists in the world and I live by their tips. A go-to for them was to use eye cream on other areas of the face to lift, plump fine lines, and awaken the face. I thought to myself, we need this for the whole face. Eye cream is packed with nutrients for the most delicate skin, so we turned that into a serum that benefits the whole face and is safe for the eyes. It can be slotted into any skin-care regimen across all skin types. The name means "gateway to vitality,' which is true for the results you see, but it was also inspired by the gates of the La Furtuna Estate. They open up and you enter a magical, energetic, and uplifting land — just how the serum makes you feel.
What's your favorite product in the line?
I can't live without any of them. Truly, we launched with these core products because they were non-negotiable in my routine. They combine the results of a 10+ step regimen in four simple steps. As a mother of four with two businesses, this is a complete necessity for me. That said, since you're making me pick, I have to say that the Due Alberi Biphase Moisturizing Oil is truly the best product I've ever used. From the smell to the light texture, it really is heaven in a bottle. It's moisturizing, hydrating, nourishing — I love it so much.
What is your bestselling product?
The Porte Per La Vitalita Face & Eye Serum. I think it's so easy to fall in love with because you literally see results within minutes and it only gets better the longer you use it. If you need something to de-puff and even your skin tone for the day, it's a must have, but then it nourishes your skin so that when you don't use it, you really feel naked. It hooks you and your skin just drinks it up because it's packed with so many nutrients.
What makes Furtuna unique?
We always say that what truly sets Furtuna Skin apart is that we've gone all in on research to solve the natural beauty industry's age-old problem: Providing the highest-caliber results without having to compromise health or ethics for product performance. We spent four years before launch working with some of the world's best labs, botanists, and experts to get where we are today. In the end, it really comes down to these three things:
Extremophyte Plants - The potency of our ingredients is unparalleled and that is what drives the performance of our products. Our plants are grown on fertile, lush soil that has been untouched for 400 years, fed by mineral spring waters, and strengthened by growing wild in their own plant communities. Over time, they evolved into what we call Extremeophyte plants: Wildly potent botanicals that thrive where others cannot, allowing the plants there to survive the toughest of the world's climate conditions, strengthening them with nutrient levels that are off the charts.
Green & Sustainable Farming - By allowing plants to grow naturally in their wild plant family communities, they grow stronger, more nutritious ingredients that we pair with wild foraging. This harvesting technique allows us to gather plants in a way that keeps their jam-packed nutrients intact for us to extract and incorporate into higher-performing products than cultivated ingredients.
Sound Bath Extraction - This is the kicker! Our proprietary gentle extraction process utilizes the power of sound to bathe raw plant materials in sound waves to burst the cell walls and extract the bioactives and nutrients at full potency — no heat is used. This quick, green technology allows us to get consistent levels of extraction of bioactives that results in a healthier, purer, and cleaner products, since no harsh solvents are used.
What's one surprising thing people might not know about Furtuna?
We are part of a family of purpose-driven brands that all started from the Furtuna Estate. The first brand, Bona Furtuna, was founded by my husband. It's an artisanal food line that has international award-winning olive oil, ancient grain pastas, and the best seasonings. The second brand was one I founded with my children's pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene. It's called Bambini Furtuna and it's a beautiful children's wellness line with topical remedies and family rituals like our Gratitude Journal.
What do you want people to think of when they think of Furtuna?
I want them to think of our tagline, Wildly Potent! We want to be known for sourcing only the best wild-foraged ingredients from around the world and using science to deliver those formulas in mind-blowing products.
What was one of the biggest challenges you faced when you launched?
There are ups and downs with everything, especially a start-up. It's all exciting, even when it's challenging — it's part of the ride. We launched right before the pandemic and that was a particularly hard hit. That said, I try to find the light in the dark and I do think the pandemic has helped people today to reframe what's important and focus on taking care of themselves and each other.
How did you know you'd made it as a brand?
Success is in the reviews, personal messages, press coverage, and the genuine love and appreciation that our customers have for the line. The awards have been pretty nice, too. We've humbly received four "Best of" awards from major media outlets that we love. Of all the brands and products in the world, they think our product is best and we should let that sink in. That is truly motivating and important for the team as recognition for their hard work!
What is your proudest moment as a founder?
I have so many every day. When my team tells me they love what they do. All the great sustainability efforts we are making. It's like watching your kid grow up — there isn't just one proud moment. It's constant.
What can we expect from Furtuna in the future? Any exciting news you can share?
We have a list of products we're excited to bring to market in the months and years ahead. At the moment, we're most excited for the launch of our Eye Revitalizing Cream this spring. It features lilac stem cells and 20+ other wildly potent ingredients that form our Spectrum of Light technology, which brightens skin, smooths fine lines, reduces undereye circles, and brings an all-around glow to the eye area. It's really an incredible, groundbreaking product and I can't wait for everyone to try it!