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Franklin company celebrates 75th anniversary of Carmex

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FRANKLIN -- The look has changed, but when it comes to lubricating lips, one of the best products can be found in Franklin at Carma Laboratories. It's where Carmex is made -- and workers there are gearing up to celebrate the product's 75th anniversary.

Carmex was created out of necessity back in 1937. The man behind the lip balm was Paul and Eric Woelbing's grandfather, Alfred.

"He lost his job during the Depression, and he made this product for himself that we now call Carmex, and he thought, 'You know, maybe if I can sell one-per-pharmacy or drug store, I could make a living,'" Paul Woelbing said.

Carmex makes up about 15% of the lip balm market in the United States. The company is expanding its reach overseas -- and particularly in Taiwan, where Carmex is the top-selling lip balm.

"We sell about 80 million units a year and we make about 300,000 units a day. That's an average," Woelbing said.

Carma Labs plans to release a few new products in the coming months. Among them -- a pomegranate-flavored click stick and a new moisturizing lip conditioner.

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