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Created in the Corridor: Eco Lips
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CBS 2 / FOX 28) - When you hear the word 'lips' you might think of romance. And love is precisely what led to Eco Lips, a natural products company Created in the Corridor.
“I had a crush on this girl back in 1994,” recalls Steve Shriver, President and CEO of Eco Lips. That's when Steve met Andrea, who had been making herbal lip balm on her stove top.
Andrea, who had recently graduated from college remembers,“As a gift I gave him some lip balm and he’s like, ‘this is great, I can sell it’.”
Steve says he fell in love with Andrea...and the lip balm. “We took it on the road and we were literally in a hotel room making lip balm as we were progressing across the country.”
That love story produced Raining Rose, the successful, private label company that Shriver sold in 2003 to create his own brand.
Eco Lips is now the 7th leading brand in the natural products industry. Boasts Steve, “We’re sold in seven countries around the world. We have about 3,000 retail stores.”
Eco Lips offers more than 40 organic lip balm products using raw materials from all over the world. The newest is 'Mongo Kiss' featuring Mongongo Oil from Zambia, and it's proving to be popular.
“We just launched this two months ago and it’s rapidly making its way to our top selling product.” Shriver even has a partnership with Dagoba chocolate. “All of our products are using food-grade,
edible ingredients. We’ve always looked at it as what goes on your lips goes into your body.”
Operating in Cedar Rapids' NewBo District, Shriver says he'll stay in the historic Cherry Building as long as possible, even though sales are growing at 42% this year.
"Because of the size of the product that we’re making we don’t need 42-percent more space to grow at that rate.” And Shriver's vision for the future?
“I will have succeeded when there are no more petroleum lip balm on the market.”
In addition to the Eco Lips brand, Shriver's private label products offer promotional opportunities for other companies and non-profits can raise cash through Eco Lips' "Cause Balm" program.
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