Margot Grant Witz started working for Elizabeth Grant International Inc. in the Public Relations and Marketing division, where she swiftly rose to prominence by utilizing her artistic skills and sound business judgment to attract new clients to the company’s brand. Elizabeth Grant Skin Care products are frequently hailed as “beauty favorites” by top editors throughout the world because of her public relations know-how. Margot has a profound awareness of the global economy and a natural grasp of the value of a good brand.
Margot significantly advanced the brand during her initial years with the firm, making it a well-known one on a global scale by redesigning the corporate logo, creating new product packaging, and developing new and inventive items.
Below are highlights of the interview conducted between World’s Leaders and Margot Grant Witz:
Tell us about the inception of the company. How did it all start?
My grandmother, Elizabeth Grant (currently 99 years young), was a makeup artist at Elstree Studios in London, England, when she suffered from bomb blast damage from a V2 Rocket. The side of her face was left damaged and war torn. All she wanted to do was feel beautiful enough, and confident enough, to go back to work so she could make other people feel beautiful. Her skin was a constant source of personal shame and embarrassment—to the point where she avoided going out in public and living her life fully. All of that changed in 1948, when Elizabeth discovered a natural substance that was used to treat war wounds. She had it specially formulated with other ingredients and began applying it to her damaged skin. Gradually, but very noticeably, the transformation occurred. Within eight months, Elizabeth’s skin had improved remarkably. In her work as a makeup artist, one of her clients complimented her on her skin’s fresh, healthy, and youthful appearance. Flattered and shocked that someone would actually comment on her skin… Elizabeth told her client about the miracle serum that she had created. Elizabeth gave the woman a sample, and she returned not too long after asking for more.
In the 1950’s in London, England, it was most unusual for women to run companies. Elizabeth launched her own skin care treatment line to share the secret formulation she had created. On the strength of her miracle blend, TorricelumnTM, and her own determination and perseverance, Elizabeth evolved the company from a home-based business to a multi-million dollar global corporation which sells directly to our customers via e-commerce, select retailers and teleshopping networks in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Australia, New Zealand and other countries.
What has made you successful? What do you value?
What made us successful was the products we make—they really work. We are one of the only privately owned skin care companies in the world, owned and operated by three generations of women who make, manufacture, and formulate every product in-house in our privately owned manufacturing facility in Toronto, Canada. We do not outsource formulations and put our name on them; we carefully craft them from scratch, because we are customers too.
I value the lessons my grandmother has taught me along the way: never take no for an answer. You are going to hear a heck of a lot of “no’s” in this world, but all it takes is one yes. And sometimes “no” just really means “not right now.” It’s important to know who you are and to know your voice. No one will stand up in this world for you better than you. Also, to always realize you have to grow and evolve in terms of who you are and what you are doing. We have been around for 72+ years (and counting) not only because we make a phenomenal product, but because we value adapting, listing, and growing with the community and world around us.
What is the significance of innovative ideas in the company?
You always have to adapt in terms of production, whether it’s creating the latest and greatest, or investing in machinery to up your productivity. Innovation is the key to success and longevity. That doesn’t mean constantly starting over, but it does mean being willing to if necessary, or knowing when to evolve. What I love is that every employee has the floor to help us become better in whatever opportunity there is. Sometimes if you are not close enough to a situation, you can’t see the need to improve that area. That’s why we rely on our supervisors, managers, and employees that can see things that help them versus senior management just changing policies.
Give us your opinion on; do organizations rely heavily on individual heroics or team processes?
I think great companies should rely on both. Processes need to be the norm for the day-to-day for the health and safety of your team, helping to increase efficiencies and make the work flow easier (in the long run). But processes can only be implemented when we can work hand in hand with our employees. Processes are the foundation for the safety of things to occur. Heroics are the opportunities to evolve, adapt, and grow.
What are your responsibilities as the Founder/CEO of the company? What is the happiest part of your daily routine?
I am the Vice President of Elizabeth Grant Skin Care. My mother, Marion Witz, is the President, and my grandmother, Elizabeth Grant, is the Founder and CEO. My responsibilities day to-day are sales and growth, alongside customer positioning and marketing with my incredible marketing department. But realistically, my responsibilities are to whatever is needed to get done and whatever support is needed. The happiest part of my daily routine is connecting with our Torricelumn™ community and hearing people really love who they are becoming while aging and how they feel. This is why we do what we do. From teenagers to grandmothers, helping someone look in the mirror and love who they are, giving them space to enjoy life and not worry so much, there is no better feeling. Helping to encourage self-love and self-confidence as part of someone’s journey is beautiful.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Ask questions, leave your ego at the door, get to know every department and what they do, listen to your team and remember, communication and respect is key. It’s so important to take the time and really understand your strengths, weaknesses and your goals, then to take the time to plan how to achieve your goals knowing what you are good at and what you need support in. Anyone can lead, but that doesn’t mean you have created an environment where people will want to listen or follow. Also ask yourself, what kind of leader you really want to be, not just in the good times, but in the tough ones too.