steve shriver

Fabulous People: Steve Shriver

Steve Shriver is a business owner and entrepreneur behind leading lip care brand Eco Lips, SOKO Oufitters and Cedar Rapids’ Brewhemia and The Olympic South Side Theater. Learn about Steve Shriver…

Hometown: Davenport, Iowa

First job: Bus boy at the Moose Lodge in Davenport.

Favorite ways to spend your free time in IA: Bouldering (rock climbing), cooking, playing and listening to live music and camping.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: Eco Lips. Founded in 2003, we have been around long enough to experience some major ups and downs, and learn from them. We are the leading lip care brand offering USDA Organic, Fair Trade, NON-Gmo Verified, Leaping Bunny, certified B-Corporation running on solar power. We distribute to more than 12,000 retailers across the country and continue to create innovations in beauty and sustainable packaging. 

The biggest obstacle you overcame: Being a serial entrepreneur, I’ve put myself in some challenging positions. At one point in my life, I was losing more money per month than some people make in a year and it put me in the hospital and bed-ridden for a period of time. Digging myself out of the financial position while finding a path to good mental and physical health took years. The outcome was a true understanding of the meaning of sustainability and how it applies to the health of people, business and planet.

Someone who inspires you and why: Yvon Chiounard, founder of Patagonia. He was a dirtbag rock climber that created a successful company while creating great life experiences. Chiounard created a brand that has served me at the summit of 22,000-ft. peaks in the Andes, while also influencing my businesses goals and ethos.  

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: What I do is not a career path, it’s a way of life. I’ve started businesses, bought businesses, sold businesses and been absentee owners of businesses. As a self-made entrepreneur, over my lifetime I have created companies that have created $1 billion in sales. No matter what path you are on, you are capable of more than you think. Fear and self doubt are your biggest enemy, so learn to work beyond the mental limitations you have created for yourself. Additionally, risk-taking is exactly what you think it is. I put risk in to two buckets: physical and mental. If something is going to potentially harm me, I take it a lot more seriously than starting a new business that might fail. Understanding the difference between physical and mental risk and pushing yourself to become more resilient and mentally tough will help you in any challenging life situation. 

Favorite quote: “Communicate or deteriorate.” —my grandpa

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I quit school and moved out of my house when I was 16 years old.

What makes someone fabulous: Whatever makes a person feel fabulous should make them a better person, making them even more fabulous to those around them. I like people who do good things, help people out and are there for friends when they need them. Bonus points if they are also there for strangers in need.

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