Business: The Burt Behind Burt’s Bees

The famous Burt Shavitz of Burt’s Bees passed away on Sunday, July 5th in his home in Bangor, Maine. He reached the age of 80, and was surrounded by friends and family at the time of his passing. Burt’s Bees issued a statement saying that Burt “lived a full life, the way he wanted to live it”. In 1984, Burt was selling honey on the side of the road in Maine when he picked up Roxanne Quimby, a hitchhiker, and they cofounded Burt’s Bees. After she started making candles from his beeswax they began selling them at farmers markets with his iconic picture on the labels. The partnership eventually dissolved, allowing Burt to go back to living off the land, which was the lifestyle that he preferred. In 2007, Burt’s Bees was acquired by Clorox for $925 million, but Burt remained the face of the brand, a travelling spokesperson who would come home from promotional trips to his humble house in Maine, with no hot water. The company ended their statement with “If there is one thing we will remember from Burt’s life, in our fast‐paced, hi‐tech culture, it’s to never lose sight of our relationship with nature…Thanks for everything, Burt. We’ll miss you.”
Contributor: Ines Gerard-Ursin


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