|Known for||Burt's Bees|
Quimby was originally from Lexington, Massachusetts, a daughter of an engineer and salesman father. Although her family was business oriented, she initially took a different path, going to art school in San Francisco, where she was influenced by the "back to the land" ideas of Helen and Scott Nearing. In 1975 she and her boyfriend, George St. Clair, moved to Maine, bought a tract of land near Guilford, built a cabin and outhouse, and lived a rustic lifestyle. In 1978, the couple had twins; a little later, St. Clair left the family. Eventually, she met Burt Shavitz and in 1984 began selling candles made of his beeswax at local fairs. After achieving a $20,000 profit the first year, the business grew steadily; in 1991 it introduced its best received product, a lip balm. In the 1990s, Quimby acquired Shavitz's stake in the company; in 2007 Quimby sold the company to Clorox.
After turning Burt's Bees over to outside investors, she used her new fortune to deepen her long running conservation advocacy. The most visible action was the purchase of over 120,000 acres of Maine forest, which she then placed off limits to hunters, loggers, and other users. She has since proposed a donation of 70,000 acres of her land towards a new Maine Woods National Park. An additional donation of 30,000 acres would be managed like a state park and would allow activities such as hunting and snowmobiling. This plan is controversial to some Mainers.
- Associated Press. "Burt's Bees Founder Wants to Donate National Park" nytimes.com Retrieved March 27, 2011.[dead link]
- Clark, Edie. "Roxanne Quimby: Controversy in Maine", Yankee Magazine, March 2008. yankeemagazine.com Retrieved April 23, 2011.
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