Burt’s Bees co-founder dies at 80
MAINE — Burt Shavitz, the iconic, bearded beekeeper who co-founded Burt’s Bees in 1984, has passed away. He was 80 years.
“We remember him as a bearded, free-spirited Maine man, a beekeeper, a wisecracker, a lover of golden retrievers and his land. Above all, he taught us to never lose sight of our relationship with nature,” the company stated on its Web site. “Thanks for everything, Burt. You will live in our hearts forever.
The Burt’s Bees story began back in 1984 when Shavitz saw Maine artist Roxanne Quimby hitchhiking and stopped to offer her a ride. The two hit it off and it wasn’t long before Quimby started making candles with unused wax from Shavitz’s beehives. They made $200 at their first craft fair and, within a year, raked in $20,000.
Facing increasing demand, the company relocated in 1994 from Maine to North Carolina to focus on health and beauty.
Starting in 1999, the company set its sights on international growth and began opening offices in the U.K., Ireland, Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
In 2003, Quimby sold 80% of the company to an investor group for $170 million.
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Unilever to acquire Murad skin care brand
LONDON and ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Unilever remains hot on the acquisition trail as it has signed an agreement to acquire clinical skin care brand Murad, which was developed by Howard Murad, a dermatologist, pharmacist and UCLA professor. Terms of the deal were disclosed.
This follows the recent acquisitions of Dermalogica, Kate Somerville and REN, which jointly position Unilever as a key player in the personal care prestige segment.
“We are delighted to welcome Murad to our portfolio of prestige personal care brands. As an expert ‘Doctor brand’, Murad offers products in a differentiated clinical and holistic well-being segment. It has a loyal following that gives it excellent potential for expansion, and wonderfully complements the brands recently acquired. We look forward to working with Dr. Murad and his team to continue to grow the brand,” stated Paul Polman, Unilever CEO, in announcing the deal.
Founded in 1989 in Los Angeles, Murad has a significant presence in the United States through professional salons and spas such as Massage Envy, and specialist retailers such as Sephora, Ulta Beauty and Nordstrom; as well as through direct sales. It also has a regional hub for Europe located in the United Kingdom, and the brand can be found in more than 42 countries, in department stores, pharmacies, spas and salons.
“We’ve always looked for opportunities to reach more people with our message of Inclusive Health and to touch more lives with our targeted, high-performance products. With Unilever, we can broaden our reach and significantly grow our brand, while remaining faithful to the founding principles of Murad. There is a very bright path ahead and I am excited to work with Unilever to share our products with the world—together we can inspire every person that the Murad brand touches to live life beautifully,” Murad stated.
The brand, which had a turnover of $115 million in 2014, will be incorporated into Unilever’s prestige division, which is exclusively dedicated to select distribution and premium personal care brands.