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Burt's Bees Founder Still a Maverick at Age 79

Burt's Bees Hand Salve

Burt Shavitz, the 79-year-old founder of Burt's Bees cosmetics, lives the life of a recluse. And he's very happy about it.

"There's no noise," Shavitz, 79, told the New York Times by way of describing his 40-acre spread in northern Maine. "There's no children screaming. There's no people getting up at 5 o'clock in the morning and trying to start their car and raising hell. Everybody has their own idea of what a good place to be is, and this is mine."

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Burt's Buzz, a new documentary, chronicles the retired beekeeper's unconventional success in the business world. Shavitz turned in his life as a photojournalist in New York City for a peaceful existence near the beehive. While he later sold his share in the company and no longer keeps bees, he still acts as a spokesperson for the personal care company he founded. He lives frugally, uses a wood stove and has no running hot water.

He's living the life he always knew he wanted from a young age, when he first went to Maine. "There were all these lakes, ponds and streams, and zero restrictions," he said. "I promised myself that one day I was going to come back. That's what I did."

The documentary is screening in select theaters.


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Photo: WesportWiki via Wikipedia


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