This coming January 2018, luxurious skin care brand Elizabeth Grant International Inc. marks a milestone for the Canadian company as Elizabeth Grant herself turns 95 years young!
Granddaughter Margot Grant-Witz, was welcomed into the company several years ago with open arms and began in the public relations and marketing department. Her mother, Marion Witz also serves as President of the company and both have continued the legacy of the beauty brand that is often heralded as a ‘beauty favourite’ amongst celebrities and top beauty editors worldwide.
Today, as Vice President, Margot Grant-Witz’s time is spent travelling the globe opening up in new markets and, as a popular public personality, she is often be heard on air chatting about the world, family and yes, the biz. She also spends much time in workshops with women who are living with cancer, providing them with products as she heads the EG Care’s initiate at Elizabeth Grant International — an organization that provides education and gifts in-kind to non-profit and charitable organizations.
We had a chance to speak with Margot about the business of beauty and what’s she’s learned along the way…so far!
Your grandmother started the company and then your mother joined in as well. What made you decide to jump into the family business?
What’s funny is at first I didn’t, I was thrown into it, and felt a little frustrated at the time that I wasn’t able to “choose” my path. I first worked for the company when 12/13 years old with my friends in the basement. After university I was thrown into it full time. It took me a minute to really appreciate it and more so, to be grateful for the opportunity that was presented to me. I was able to learn the business from the ground up and have a voice in the company. That’s something that I think not everyone has the chance, to have, to be heard, and valued (especially women in the workforce). If I could go back to my younger self, I would brush off the angst and jump in wholeheartedly.
What kind of beautiful stories have they shared with you about being in the businesses that has always stuck with you?
Two jump to mind,
Never take No for an answer. My grandmother always said, “if someone says no and closes the door, go through the window.” One of her most famous stories to me was when she applied for her first job at 13 years old at a local ice cream shop. The sign in the window was looking for “Women who are: tall, slender, blondes with blue eyes” my grandmother was anything but; she was: short, pitch black hair and hazel eyes. When she walked in the shop, she announced she was here for the role of the ice cream girl. The owner, a gentleman, aggressively asked: “Can you not read? You are nothing like the qualities I asked for” to this my grandmother replied, “Exactly. Every ice cream shop around is looking for the tall, slender, blonde, blue eye girls. You, You now have someone different, you have me, I will catch everyone’s eye and make you stand out.” She got the job.
People will do unto you as you let them, and it is not what is between your legs that matters, it is what is between your ears. If you let someone treat you less than you deserve, less than what you are able, less than who you are….then how can you ever expect anyone to take you seriously or give you a chance if you don’t take a chance on yourself?. This is the greatest lesson of them all, it’s ok to stand out, it’s ok to take chances, it’s more than ok to be different. What’s not ok is someone making you feel bad about who you are, or the chances you are willing to take.
It was a surprise to learn the Elizabeth Grand Skin Care is a 60 year old Canadian brand! Amazing! Can you tell us about your clientele? We know it’s a celebrity favourite amongst Hollywood elite.
Elizabeth Grant Skin Care is actually close to 70 years and counting now and we couldn’t be more proud. ( Elizabeth Started privately supplying our Essence of Torricleumn™ to her Hollywood clientele in 1948/1949 and publicly in stores in 1958). Our Clientele are amazing regardless of if they are in Hollywood or not, our clients mean the world to us. Our clients are made up of men, women, teenagers, all around the world in 8 countries and counting. They are real people, with real concerns, just wanting to have a beautiful looking skin. Our hashtag is #Getintoyourskin because we want you to love your skin, we want you to know it’s never too early, and never too late.
What has surprised you the most about being in this business?
How negative it can be. The fact you have to look a certain way or be a certain background for you to be considered “beautiful”. This year we have seen a lot of strides for different types of beauty staring back at us. We have a long way to go but to see men and women, of different ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities being embraced is a landscape I am excited to be a part of. I mean my grandmother is 95 in January, in today’s beauty standards, she should have been forgotten decades ago, but she’s still here, encouraging each of us to find our beautiful.
Tell us about beauty cult favourites, or your personal favourites?
Wonder Effect Concentrate – Game-changer for your skin. It’s your at-home dermatologist and has really helped me feel protect my skin after abusing it heavy on air makeup. It is my little vacuum of skincare that sucks out all the dirt, the debris, the wrinkles etc. It’s like the wonder woman of skin care it just rolls up its sleeves and gets it done with a healthy dose of glycolic acid ( without the hurt or redness or flakiness something my sensitive skin loves).
Cell Vitality Night Serum – I have been using this product since I was 17 ( I am now 33 in December) I don’t know what I would do without this product. I don’t know what my skin would look like without this product. It’s fragrance free, oil free, paraben free, silicone free, hypoallergenic …aka all the skin love none of the fillers.
The Essence of Torricelumn™ – This was the first product ever made by my grandmother to treat her bomb blast damage on her skin. It is also the star ingredient of every single one of our products. The Essence is something that has fundamentally helped me stave off the “aging process” and given me control of how my skin looks. Plus, what I love about it, other than it helps a myriad of concerns from head to toe, is it’s it’s an amazing treatment beyond the issues you are using it for. We are so obsessed with wrinkles but the Essence of Torricelum™ is obsessed with all five signs of aging ( and everything in between from ouch moments in the sun to my husband’s aftershave).
What life advice did your grandmother or mother give you that you’ll never forget?
My grandmother has taught me a few things. That “it is never too late to start again.” Life at times for the most part never pans out how you planned, and that’s ok because new opportunities present themselves. My mother redefined her career 20 years ago with my grandmother completely changing her corporate career path, where she was a speech therapist to jumping right in to skin care. My grandmother redefined her career and her life after bomb blast damage in WWII. It’s important to know it will be ok if you can find some aspect to be grateful for.
Take chances, communicate, have a sense of humour and enjoy every single minute that you can because as my grandmother says “we are not going to get out alive”; and no matter what, know you can handle everything. Even if you think you can’t, you can. You just have to make it work. My grandmother has always taught me, that time goes very quickly, before you know it, you’re 95 ( my grandmother is turning 95 in January 2018). Every cliché you can think of is true but its our choices that help steer our path to curating our happiness, not what we think we have to do.
My mother’s lesson though is slightly different, my mother always taught me the importance of being kind. That no matter what you wear, what you do, who you are, people who never forget how you made them feel (shout out to Maya Angelou as well over here). My mother’s valuable lesson has always been, if I am lucky enough to have two coins in my pocket, it’s important to give that second coin away. To help someone not for the glory, but to know you helped someone who needed it. Because at any given moment you might be the one needing the help and support, because life doesn’t always go as planned.
Amazing advice! Thank you to Margot for taking the time to chat!