Roxanne Quimby

Former CEO and Founder of Burt’s Bees

Roxanne Quimby was born in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1950. Growing up in the northeast, she moved to San Francisco CA to attend San Francisco Art Institute and graduated with a BFA in 1973.

Radicalized by the social upheaval of the late sixties, Roxanne joined the “back to the land movement”, described by Helen and Scott Nearing and others, and moved to Maine to lead a self-sufficient lifestyle removed from mainstream America. Without the amenities of electricity and running water, living in a hand-built cabin in a forest setting, Roxanne learned many simple but immutable lessons Mother Nature has to offer.

Those lessons served Roxanne well as shaped her vision of simply packaged, hand made personal care products created from the fruits of the earth, many of which she grew in her garden and wildcrafted in the woods around her. Those products came to be known as Burt’s Bees, a fast-growing nationally recognized brand in the HBA sector (health and beauty aids).

Roxanne retired as CEO of Burt’s Bees in 2004 and has been an active environmentalist, part-time farmer, and aspiring pastry chef during these last 15 years. She looks forward to sharing her story with students, entrepreneurs and environmental activists from all walks of life.