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Made in Eastern Iowa: Ecolips

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CEDAR RAPIDS - It's a lip smacking business in the heart of the NewBo district. Ecolips has been quietly making thousands of tubes of lip-balm every day in the Cherry building. The company is currently shipping out product to12 countries.

"This is the Mongo Kiss product we're selling to Whole Foods," says founder and President Steve Shriver. "This could make up to 30 thousand lip balm a day," Shriver says, showing TV9 a giant kettle used to whip up the ingredients.

About 20 employees hand craft each batch of tinted, medicated, and flavored lip balms. "We pour the molten lip balm into trays that we've preset with empty lip balm sticks." It's then cooled, excess is scraped off, and it goes through to be capped, sealed, labeled, and sent off. The company is a USDA certified organic manufacturing facility.

"All the oils, every ingredient that we use is food grade, certified organic," said Shriver. "We keep everything at a really low temperature we try to preserve the ingredients in their natural state as possible."

Ecolips' products are popular. The company grew by 50 percent last year, but Shriver says they want to make sure to preserve the integrity of the product.

"We're looking for slow 'organic' growth," he said.

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