|Founded||Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, U.S. (1984 )|
|Headquarters||Durham, North Carolina, U.S.|
|Craig Stevenson (Vice President, General Manager)|
|Products||Natural personal care products|
|Revenue||US$250 million (2006)|
Number of employees
Burt's Bees is an American personal care products company that markets its products internationally. The company is a subsidiary of Clorox that describes itself as an "Earth friendly, Natural Personal Care Company" making products for personal care, health, beauty, and personal hygiene. As of 2007, they manufactured over 197 products for facial and body skin care, lip care, hair care, baby care, men's grooming, and outdoor remedies. Since then, their products have been distributed in nearly 30,000 retail outlets including grocery stores and drug store chains across the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Taiwan and New Zealand from their headquarters in Durham, North Carolina.
Burt's Bees manufactures their products with natural ingredients using minimal processing such as distillation/condensation, extraction/steamed distillation/pressure cooking, and hydrolysis to maintain the purity of those ingredients. In addition, every product has a "natural bar" which gives a percentage of natural ingredients in that product, often with detailed ingredient descriptions.
Originating in Maine in the 1980s, the business began when co-founder Roxanne Quimby started making candles from Burt Shavitz's leftover beeswax. This eventually led to their bottling and selling of honey, a practice that slowly diminished as the company evolved as a corporation. Eventually, other products using honey and beeswax, including edible spreads and furniture polish, were sold, before a move into the personal care line. In late 2007, Clorox purchased Burt's Bees for $925 Million USD.
Burt's Bees originated in Maine in 1984 as a candle making partnership between Roxanne Quimby and Burt Shavitz. Shavitz had a honey business which provided the excess beeswax needed for the candles and Quimby's focus on maintaining high quality helped to grow their business from an initial $200 at the Dover-Foxcroft Junior High School craft fair to $20,000 by the end of their first year. Their first headquarters was an abandoned one-room schoolhouse rented from a friend for $150 a year.
Burt's Bees increased production in 1989 after a New York boutique, Zona, ordered hundreds of their beeswax candles. Forty additional employees were hired and an abandoned bowling alley became their new manufacturing location. During this time, Quimby read one of Burt Shavitz's 19th-century books about bee-keeping which included home-made personal care recipes and Burt's Bees entered into the personal care products industry.
1990s: Incorporation and diversification
Burt's Bees became incorporated in 1991 and had a product offering including candles, natural soaps, perfumes, and eventually lip balm, which became their best-selling product. The lip balm comes in various flavors including beeswax and strawberry.
In 1993, Quimby threatened to sue Shavitz over personal issues and essentially forced Shavitz out of the company's operations. Increasing demand and product offerings necessitated a move from Maine headquarters to North Carolina where other personal care product manufacturers were also situated. Burt's Bees changed its focus to exclusively personal care products.
In 1995, the company moved its manufacturing operations into an 18,000-square-foot (1,700 m2) former garment factory in Creedmoor, North Carolina. Although Burt's Bees continued to focus on the "home-made" product theme, automated machines, such as a former cafeteria mixer from Duke University, were introduced to increase production, . Chapel Hill was the site of the first Burt's Bees retail store, which offered 50 natural personal care products. Distribution and demand of products had also reached the Japanese market.
In 1998, Burt's Bees was offering over 100 natural personal care products in 4,000 locations with sales in excess of $8 million. Distribution had reached national retailers such as Whole Foods Market and restaurants like Cracker Barrel. New product offerings branched into travel-sized skin care and hair care products. In 1999, with increasing demand and an increase product offerings, including sugar and milk-based body lotions and bath products, Burt's Bees relocated to Durham among the many other enterprises located in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. An eCommerce website was launched allowing distribution in a much larger, nationwide scale.
In 1999, Quimby bought out Shavitz's one-third stake in the company in exchange for a house in Maine, worth approximately $130,000.
2000-06: New products and AEA
In 2002 and 2003, Burt's Bees launched its first toothpaste, first shampoo, and successful Baby Bee product line of infant personal care products. The co-founder, Roxanne Quimby, also used company-earned profits to preserve 185,000 acres (750 km2) of forest land in Maine, marking the beginning of a relationship with The Nature Conservancy, an international organization engaged in environmental protection and conservation.
In 2004, private equity firm, AEA Investors, purchased 80% of Burt's Bees for $173,000,000 US, with co-founder, Roxanne Quimby, retaining a 20% share and a seat on the board. Upon seeking compensation from Quimby after the deal, Shavitz was paid $4 million. In 2005, Douglas Haensel, a former GE executive, became Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Michael Indursky, a former Garnier and Unilever executive, joined Burt's Bees in July to head Burt's Bees marketing and public relations group. In 2006, John Replogle, a former general manager of Unilever's skin care division, became the Chief Executive Officer and President, effective from January 19, 2006.
2007–present: Clorox acquisition
As of 2007, they manufactured over 197 products for facial and body skin care, lip care, hair care, baby care, men's grooming, and outdoor remedies distributed in nearly 30,000 retail outlets including grocery stores and drug store chains across the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Taiwan and New Zealand from their headquarters in Durham, North Carolina. In late 2007, Clorox acquired Burt's Bees for a reported sum of $925,000,000 USD. The company subsequently released a statement to their customers.
Replogle left Burt's Bees to become CEO and President of Seventh Generation Inc. in February 2011. In 2011 Nick Vlahos, a 15-year veteran of The Clorox Company was named Vice President and General Manager of Burt's Bees, effective April 2011. In 2013, Vlahos was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, and Craig Stevenson was named as the Vice President and General Manager of Burt's Bees. Stevenson, a 19-year veteran at Clorox, was previously the head of Clorox’s Professional Products Division.
By February 2014, the Clorox Company had increased "advertising and sales promotion spending for Burt’s Bees, particularly for its lip care lines." At the time, "Burt’s Bees sales [were] outpacing volume due to price increases."  In August 2014, a documentary detailing the story between the two co-founders was released. Co-founder Shavitz died in July 2015 at the age of 80, and was buried in Bangor, Maine. In his final years, he had lived on a 37-acre (15 ha) plot of land in Parkman, Maine.
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