Looking at Burt Shavitz, co-founder of Burt’s Bees, you wouldn’t think that he was once a big shot in the corporate world.
Burt is now the subject of a documentary, entitled Burt’s Buzz, which chronicles Burt’s intimate life after leaving Burt’s Bees.
In an interview posted by Gazette Net, Shavitz revealed that he did not leave the company. Instead, Roxanne Quimby, the co-founder of Burt’s Bees, ousted him after learning that he had an affair with an employee. As a result, Sharvitz ended up having 37 acres of land in Maine, and a large sum of money in his pockets.
Shavitz, who is now 79 years old, served for the Army in Germany and shot photos for Time-Life magazine. After leaving New York where he grew up, Shavitz settled in the backwoods of Maine where he made a living selling honey.
The simple man’s life changed when he chanced upon Quimby, who was hitchhiking in Maine. Their partnership started in 1984 when Quimby used excess beeswax from Burt’s honey business in order to make candles. Burt’s Bees was born, and soon, their product line increased to 200 natural personal care items including exfoliants, moisturizers, soaps, and lip balms.
Burt Shavitz became the face of the brand, with his bearded face appearing on the company’s logo.
After being ousted by his co-founder, Burt lived a simple life in Maine where Burt’s Bees was born.
“In the long run, I got the land, and land is everything. Land is positively everything. And money is nothing really worth squabbling about. This is what puts people six feet under. You know, I don’t need it.”
When asked about his co-founder, Burt chose not to comment. Instead, he said, “What I have in this situation is no regret. The bottom line is she’s got her world and I’ve got mine, and we let it go at that.”
Burt’s Buzz revolves around two story lines. One tackles Burt’s day-to-day life, while the other revolves around the story behind Burt’s Bees.
Although Burt has not been in control of Burt’s Bees for a time now, he still makes occasional promotional appearances in behalf of the company that once was his.
On a trip to Taiwan, fans sporting bee costumes and carrying Burt’s Bees signs at the airport mobbed Burt, as seen in a video from TIME.
Throughout his life, the Burt’s Bees co-founder has been an environmentalist, a beekeeper, a journalist, a photographer, and an icon.
Today, Burt resides in his home in Maine where he spends his time with his three golden retrievers.
“I had no desire to be an upward-mobile-rising yuppie with a trophy wife, a trophy house, and a trophy car. I wasn’t looking for any of those things. I already had what I wanted,” said Shavitz in the documentary.
Burt’s Buzz opens on Friday in cities including Cleveland, Phoenix, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, and New York.
[Image via Inc]