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Eco Lips has purchased Columbus Junction-based Simply Soothing, the manufacturer of the Bug Soother bug repellent.
Eco Lips, manufacturer of organic lip balm, will grow Bug Soother's distribution following the acquisition, Eco Lips founder and owner Steve Shriver said.
Eco Lips is in the process of moving from Marion to a larger facility in Cedar Rapids, which Shriver expects to be completed by late May.
Bug Soother's operations eventually will move from Columbus Junction to the Cedar Rapids facility, Shriver said. He's in 'no rush” to make the move, though.
Bug Soother repellent gained popularity during the 2008 floods, according to a news release Monday, and since has expanded to be sold in thousands of retail locations across the country.
Simply Soothing's retail offerings now also include candles and fire starters, among other products.
Shriver said Eco Lips and Bug Soother's retail footprints do not have much overlap. Now that the brands are part of one company, it could lead to 'cross-selling and introductions between the product lines,” Shriver said.
The products also have significantly different peak sales seasons. Eco Lips lines have their highest demand in the fall and winter, while Bug Soother has its biggest surge in the summer.
'We hire temps in the winter time. They hire temps in the summer time,” Shriver said.
'When we bring them together, we can create more full-time, permanent jobs.”
Shriver said it will maintain the Bug Soother branding and product line.
'One question that I think people are going to ask is, ‘Are we going to change anything?'” Shriver said. 'The answer is, ‘Heck, no.'”
Shriver did not disclose terms of the sale.
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