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In a statement, the company said he will be remembered as a “wild-bearded and free-spirited Maine man” and that “above all, Burt was always Burt – an uncompromising individual of his own invention – shaped by the moment and his curiosities rather than his ambitions or someone else’s grand plan.”

The company was started in 1984 after beekeeper Shavitz picked up hitch hiker and artist Roxanne Quimby. The two hit it off and Quimby began making candles with the unused wax from his beehives.

At their first craft fair, they made $200. Within a year, they had made $20,000. In 1991 Quimby began making the company’s iconic Burt’s beeswax lip balm, which is still its best-selling product.

Burt Shavitz, the co-founder and namesake of natural skin care product company Burt’s Bees, died on Sunday 5 July in Bangor, Maine. He was 80 years old.

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