The public always thought that Burt Shavitz of Burt’s Bees left his own company in order to live a private life in Maine.
Shavitz is the subject of the upcoming documentary Burt’s Bees and he revealed the real story behind his sudden escape from his corporate life. According to Shavitz, he was ousted by Burt’s Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby after his affair with one of their employees.
When he left the business, he was given 37 acres in Maine and a sum of money. “In the long run, I got the land, and land is everything. Land is positively everything. And money is nothing really worth squabbling about. This is what puts people six feet under. You know, I don’t need it,” he said in an interview.
In the interview, Shavitz refused to discuss his relationship with his former business partner. He only said, “What I have in this situation is no regret. The bottom line is she’s got her world and I’ve got mine, and we let it go at that.”
Shavitz, 79, served in the Army as a photographer for Time-Life. When he got back, he made a living by selling honey in Maine. His chance encounter with Quimby changed his simple life. Quimby started to make products from Shavitz’s beeswax.
In the documentary Shavitz said, “Roxanne Quimby wanted money and power, and I was just a pillar on the way to that success.”
Quimby sent an email to the Associated Press and said that everyone in her company was treated fairly “and in some cases very generously.”
Shavitz now resides in a small house with no hot water. His life today is very different from the life he had when he was running a business. He is happy with his life now, living with three golden retrievers in a wide expanse of land. “No one has ever accused me of being ambitious,” he said in the documentary.
Image via YouTube