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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What do bees make?

My sister used to love Burt’s Bees, she’s the one who introduced me to their products. The company was founded in 1984 by Roxanne Quimby and Burt Shavitz. Burt had a honey business and provided the beeswax for Roxanne to make candles. Here’s the timeline: They made $200 initially, selling their candles at a high school craft fair. By the end of their first year they had made $20,000. Five years later, they were up to 40 employees after a NY shop ordered hundreds of their products. Roxanne began to research how to make homemade personal care products after she found a 19th century book of recipes. They didn’t become incorporated until 1991. In 1993, Roxanne bought out Burt and she changed the focus of the company to mainly personal care products, including their most popular item lip balm. By 1998, sales were at $8 million. In 2004, Roxanne sold 80% of the company to a private equity firm, and by 2007 sales were over $250 million. Clorox is said to have bought Burt’s Bees at the end of 2007 for $925 million. Not too shabby.