Meet the Three Generations of Women Behind This Female-Led Skincare Company

Plus, get our editors' favorite products to gift for Mother's Day.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

These days, the companies we buy from are just as important as the products we're buying. I've made a conscious effort to shop from women-owned businesses whenever possible, and I love when I find a female-led company that also has an incredible product. Several of the Better Homes & Gardens editors have been using and loving the skincare products from Elizabeth Grant, a family-owned company run by three generations of women.

To learn more about the company, the products, and what it's like to run a business with family, we chatted with mother-daughter duo Marion Witz and Margot Grant Witz. They explained the challenges of starting and operating a business in a man's world, the perks of working closely with family throughout the pandemic, and why Mother's Day will always be their favorite holiday.

margot marion and elizabeth grant
Marion Witz, Elizabeth Grant, and Margot Grant Witz. Courtesy of Elizabeth Grant

Building a Family-Owned Beauty Empire

In the 1940s, London makeup artist Elizabeth Grant launched her own skin care line, which included Torricelumn, or what she called her "miracle blend." In 1948, a woman launching her own company was practically unheard of—but she didn't let that stop her from building what has now become a multi-million dollar beauty brand.

Elizabeth refined her formulas and marketed her products all over the UK. In the mid 1990s, Elizabeth recruited her daughter-in-law, Marion Witz, to head the company. They re-launched and moved the headquarters to Toronto, Canada. A decade later, Elizabeth's granddaughter Margot Grant Witz joined the company, solidifying that the company would always be a family affair.

Margot explained that while they've had great success, it wasn't always a smooth road—and the challenges they've faced have made them appreciate success even more. "I always think of us as the little engine that could," she says. "We have a 72-year history, but when we re-launched 24 years ago it was my mother and my grandmother who said 'why not.' We're a predominately word of mouth company because we really truly believe there's a value in trying something and believing in something and actually using something."

On Running a Female-Owned and Operated Business

According to the duo, one of their greatest challenges has also been the thing they love most about the company: Being female-owned, led, and operated. Of their hundred or so employees, 85% are women.

"What's so nice about our environment is that it's created and cultivated an atmosphere where all of these women can find their own unique, powerful, independent voice that they feel that they are confident to bring up ideas, are confident to maybe voice challenges that they're feeling or experiencing, and it's a safe space where they know that they're being heard and listened to because they know what they're talking about and they know what they're doing," Margot says.

Marion credits this workplace culture to her own personal sense of perseverance. "I never stopped to think about the fact that I couldn't do something because I was a woman, I just went step by step by step and made it happen," she says. "And I think I've brought that culture into the company."

Marion Witz

I never stopped to think about the fact that I couldn't do something because I was a woman, I just went step by step by step and made it happen.

— Marion Witz

"I can go on the production floor and here I am interacting with women, and there's a camaraderie there," she says. "It's a feeling of, 'we're doing something together,' and that's the company that I always wanted to establish. I wanted to create a company that people enjoy coming to work. It's a place where I want people to feel comfortable and enjoy their day-to-day while they work."

And while the culture of the company is something they pride themselves on, it hasn't always been easy, especially on the business side. "We have felt that growing up in the industry we're in, sometimes men around the table can make you feel small," Margot says. "Even though we are a predominantly female-owned, operated, and run company, we're still playing in a world where men still have the bigger seat at the table or make the bigger voice known."

But despite the added challenges they face, they've never let any circumstance stand in their way. They're confident because they know they're creating high-quality products. "My mother has been doing this for 24 years, and my grandmother for 72 years," Margot explains. "There's a world of experience that they have learned and achieved and created, and that knowledge and expertise needs to be heard regardless of the associates we're working with."

She says the success they've found in the beauty industry is a testament to the fact that at their core, they're a company that focuses on building up women with products that make them feel confident. "It's an unbelievable feather in our hat to say we created a product not just to create a product, that we created a company not just to create a company, but because we truly wanted women at the age of 40, 50, 60 (and now even my grandmother at age 98) to feel like they still matter, that they're still beautiful, that they're still relevant," she says. "That they still have so much life to give, and I think that by having that little-engine-that-could mentality, it's made us speak to that the ethos of our company is to create really wonderful products that work, and always remembering that our customers are an extension of our family."

margot marion and elizabeth grant
Margot Grant Witz, Marion Witz, and Elizabeth Grant.

On Working Together as a Family

From the outside looking in, it's easy to assume that working with family could add an extra layer of stress to the job, but Margot and Marion say working together has actually brought the three women closer.

"When I started off all those years ago working for Elizabeth, we started off as daughter-in-law and mother-in-law, but we've become best friends," Marion says. "I treasure my relationship with Elizabeth, I really do. We've had so much fun together. We have laughed, we have cried, we have worked hard, and we've succeeded. I don't know many daughters-in-law who can say 'my mother-in-law is my best friend.'"

"Working with Elizabeth has been an absolute treasure and it's just been so enlightening," she says. "She has taught every one of us the importance of being independent, the importance of being assertive, and the importance of asking what you want and going after your dreams, and I think she really set the tone for everything we've accomplished."

Especially during the pandemic, Margot and Marion have appreciated their close relationship. "I think for me personally in this time of distance, as much as I miss my mother and my grandmother, I spend so much time with them at work and that's not something everyone gets," Margot says. "My mom and I or my grandmother and I can have a disagreement in terms of an idea at work or whatever, but I will always have their back. I will be fiercely on their side and protective of them."

Margot says that they've been guilty in the past about bringing their work home to the dinner table, because they're so passionate about what they do every day. At the same time, she says it's easy to separate their working relationship with their family relationship. "It's easy for us to separate it because there's such fun and camaraderie in having a family owned business," she says. "My mother has always instilled in all of us that your business can come and go, you'll get highs and lows, successes and losses, just the same. But if you're not strong as a unit together, no amount of success in the world will ever be enough."

Why Mother's Day Is Their Favorite Holiday

Since working as a family is one of the things they love most about their company, Margot and Marion say Mother's Day is their favorite day of the year because it allows them to combine their personal relationship with their brand's core values.

They pride themselves on creating products that have no age limit. Their goal is for someone like me, in my mid-twenties, to find a product I truly love and be able to gift it to my mother or my grandmother knowing they'll love using it on their skin too.

"There are certain products that you don't want to give your mother because they are targeted for a younger demographic," Margot says. "The beauty of our products is that my grandmother at 98 years old is the most stunning, fashionable, funny, outrageous human being I've ever been blessed to know. And if she wants to give me or teach me anything, I am going to sign up and say 'yes please and thank you.'"

The reason that they don't create the typical products targeted toward an older generation that promise to remove wrinkles or diminish crow's feet is because they believe in celebrating skin of all ages—and they don't believe in hiding or covering up those features.

"As much as we don't love the wrinkles because we've been told not to love the wrinkles, the crow's feet and the laugh lines—each one are a memory, they're a moment that you've laughed or you've cried," Margot says. "They're a reminder of your wedding or the birth of your child. And those are the moments that we want to encourage people to feel and experience because that's what life is."

Margot Grant Witz

We love just being able to say, 'growing older is a blessing,' because it truly is.

— Margot Grant Witz

She says Mother's Day is their favorite holiday because they love being able to see and create moments between a mother and a daughter, a granddaughter and a grandmother, two sisters, or an aunt and a niece. "Whatever the relationship is, it's a way that we can celebrate the multi-generations together," Margo says. "We love just being able to say, 'growing older is a blessing,' because it truly is."

"My grandmother has always said 'fashion doesn't last, style is forever,'" Margot says. "That's an ageless concept, and that's what we put into our business."

Our Editor's Favorite Elizabeth Grant Products

If you're looking for products to gift your mom, grandmother, or even yourself, these are a few of the products our editors have tried and loved.

01 of 03

Supreme Cell Vitality Eye Pads

supreme cell vitality eye pads in gold packaging
Courtesy of Elizabeth Grant

For the ultimate at-home spa experience, these eye pads will instantly refresh your under-eye area with the help of added Torricelumn and blue-green algae. They're ultra-hydrating and ultra-relaxing to wear around the house.

Buy It: Supreme Cell Vitality Eye Pads, $30

02 of 03

Derma Roller Micro Needling Tool

gold micro needling tool
Courtesy of Elizabeth Grant

This lightweight, portable tool brings the salon-quality experience of micro needling straight to your home. This tool stimulates the skin (gently roll across the skin from top to bottom a few times per week) to help your skin better absorb creams, serums, and oils.

Buy It: Derma Roller Micro Needling Tool, $40

03 of 03

Wonder Effect Progressive Peeling Treatment

wonder effect peel of four bottles
Courtesy of Elizabeth Grant

This peeling treatment is the perfect gift for anyone looking to take their skincare routine to the next level. Skip the expensive salon visit and treat yourself or a family member to this 4-week peeling treatment. The bottles are numbered by week, so it's a fool-proof way to revitalize your skin.

Buy It: Wonder Effect Progressive Peeling Treatment, $50

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles