This entrepreneur's personal struggles with skincare were the foundation for a business that caters to dark skin.
Grego Minot embodies the concept of joie de vivre in everything she does. Perhaps it’s because she’s been on stage since she was very young, as an actress and a dancer. The busy mom and wife of nightclub owner and restaurateur Pierre Jutras is the recent star of The Real Housewives of Toronto, the franchise’s first Canadian offering, and she sparkles onscreen. Minot tells us how she maintains balance in her life and how her unusual upbringing prepared her for her current success.
What was the experience like being filmed for The Real Housewives of Toronto?
The experience was amazing. It was, for me, the first time I’ve done a reality show. It was a surreal experience (laughs) with different challenges, of course. I joined the cast of RHOT last minute, so I didn’t really have much time to prepare myself for the wild adventure but also that was sometimes in my favour because I had no expectations. I believe I stayed true to myself and that is what I’m most proud of. If there’s a Season 2, I hope people will get to know me even better.
Did you find that your acting career kind of prepared you for having cameras on you all the time?
Having grown up with cameras all my life, I was very comfortable having cameras around me, but to have cameras every day? (Laughs) It was definitely a different experience, but the crew was amazing! We worked with the best crew in Canada and they became like a second family to us.
What is routine like to get camera ready?
I’m a full-time mother of two and I’m always on the go with the kids, so I don’t wear too much makeup during the day, but in the evening I’ll always go with a more glam makeup look. But my everyday look is just a really clean face. I moisturize my face every day with a good cream, and then I put on a bit of makeup.
You used to do dance, is that right?
I studied ballet at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal. I was in the professional school from nine years old to 18, so every day we would train, even weekends. I learned modern dance and jazz as well, but I wanted to do classical ballet. I danced the Nutcracker and some other shows with the company, but at 18 years I stopped to focus on my acting career. Working as a child actor and training to be a ballet dancer, I didn’t really have a normal childhood.
Are there any fitness habits you learned as a dancer that you carried into your present life?
Even though I don’t dance anymore, I still walk like a ballet dancer. Posture and everything, it stays with you forever. At ballet school you have to be very disciplined – you train a lot, you have very long days – and for me I incorporated this discipline from a young age into my life today. I have a balanced life, but I’m also someone who enjoys life as well. It’s all about balance.
As a mother and a wife, how do you make time for yourself? How do you practice self care?
This weekend I’m going with my very good friends and actually one of the cast members of RHOT, we’re having a yoga retreat in Muskoka. It is three days of just being with other women who are also moms, working moms, busy career women. We have two yoga teachers who are coming and we’ll do meditation in the morning and yoga classes, and after we’ll just celebrate our friendship. I need that moment for myself. You get inspired by others and you reconnect with yourself as well.
Do you go to the spa?
Not quite as much as I would like to, but I do. Here in Toronto I enjoy the Hammam spa on King Street. I had a coffee scrub not long ago and it was such an amazing experience (laughs). I felt like I had baby skin afterwards! Not too long ago we were in Thailand – I went back to meet my birth mom for the first time. We were in Bangkok for the first week and afterwards we went to Koh Chang Island. We stayed at Siam Royal View and of course I went for the Thai massage every day and that was quite an experience, but had the best pedicure ever! I had new feet after that!