Burt's Bees cofounder Burt Shavitz has passed away at the age of 80, and fans of his quirky brand are flooding social media with remembrances.
Shavitz was the namesake and face of the brand he launched 31 years ago in Maine with Roxanne Quimby, who teamed with the bearded beekeeper to develop personal care products—most notably tubes of lip balm and tins of hand salve.
His weather-worn face, thick beard and train conductor's cap were core to the company's logo as well as emblematic of its place in American business history as a pioneering artisanal marketing player. Burt's Bees later moved to Durham, N.C., and eventually sold for $925 million to Clorox in 2007.
The brand has sometimes been perceived as "hippie niche," yet its cultural impact had often been underestimated: #BurtsBees trended nationally on Twitter this morning as news of Shavitz's death spread. His products clearly had countless, loyal fans.
Our co-founder and namesake, Burt Shavitz, has left for greener fields and wilder woods, but his spirit lives on. pic.twitter.com/7mTy2988FX
— Burt's Bees (@BurtsBees) July 5, 2015
— Seamus Mullen (@SeamusMullen) July 6, 2015
The creator of the world's best lip balm has passed away. Burt, thank you for dreaming…#BurtsBees
— sharon k roberts (@teachdance11) July 6, 2015
— Vanessa M Neshevich (@VanessaNeshevic) July 6, 2015
— Canadian Living (@canadianliving) July 6, 2015
— Evan Sittler (@ESittlerDesigns) July 6, 2015
Lastly, Twitter being Twitter, there were many folks who—instead of tweeting something solemn—authored corny, pun-fueled jokes. But you never know. The famously enigmatic Shavitz may have found a few of them amusing, and the diverse nature of the reactions to his passing seem to point to the footprint he left in the marketplace more than anything else.
The co-founder of Burt's Bees has died. I don't know why I'm telling you. It's none of my beeswax.
— JustaGuyontheNet (@NoPants4OldMen) July 6, 2015
RIP Burt's Bees Burt. May you live on in our memories, your beard majestically full, your lips un-chapped. pic.twitter.com/2zsMdlTjUh
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) July 6, 2015
The guy who founded Burt's Bees died… What a buzzkill 🙁
— Eli Braden (@EliBraden) July 6, 2015
Now when I put on my Burt's Bees I'll always think of a dead man.
— Jason Gore (@sonicdork) July 6, 2015
The Burt's Bees guy died today. His beard could not save him.
— Marc McDonald (@MarcMcD) July 6, 2015