Monday, July 6, 2015

In Memory of Burt Shavitz

Burt's Bees died today.  No...really.  The company, as it exists is the complete opposite of anything Burt Shavitz would have endorsed.  So I feel like, it has come to rest.  The name is out there, but Burt is gone.  He was the only thing that gave the company the tiniest little bit of "natural."  At last he won't be there to talk about his bees and amaze folks by approaching hives completely unprotected.

The fact is, I don't like Burt's Bees, the product line.  It's owned by Clorox, and to me, it is absolutely everything about what can go wrong when ethics are set aside and greed takes hold. This is not a "clean" product though it touts itself as such.  It has some "natural" ingredients, but it is not at all, in my mind, what it started out to be.  I had thought it was Mr. Burt who sold out to "bit pharma" and it just so happens, I had the story all wrong.

It turns out that Burt helped Roxanne Quimby, a girl he picked up hitchhiking, a single mom on the road.  She had some recipes, he had wax and a bunch of business sense.  The business became a "machine" and he knew they needed people and space. They grew, and then as Burt was getting a bit older, Roxanne bought him out, for $130K.........and then sold it for millions.  And then Clorox bought it.  Seems Clorox knew what they had in Burt - the "brand" of the product.  They had him doing appearances and speaking gigs - so he lived a comfortable life.  As I understand it - he just preferred to be on his land with his dogs.

To me - this is an example of an entrepreneur gone haywire.  I have no issue with making money.  I do have issue with taking "natural" and tweaking that definition so much that you can market a product with very little "natural" about it, that is produced in mass by a company that has some questionable ethics, to say the least.  This product, that started out as small batch, handcrafted, made by locals with local ingredients.  It is a sad sad story......Cynthia @ MoonMaid Botanicals

1 comment :

Witch of Stitches said...

I had no idea that Clorox owned Burt's. I won't be using their products and I'm going to spread the word.