Thursday, June 9, 2016

Back Porch Soap Company Celebrates 18th Year in Business!

Woo hoo it's our birthday and we're celebrating 18 amazing years! Thank you to all of our customers - those of you who are new and those who have been with us since our first official day.

To celebrate use promo code "Confetti" and receive 10% off your entire order, including NYC classes! Valid through June 14, 2016.

Visit our website at http://www.backporchsoap.com


Saturday, February 27, 2016

March 2016 Workshops: Learn to Make Your Own Natural Skincare Formulations in New York City

Join me in New York City to learn how to formulate natural and organic skincare products. Our event takes place March 19-25, 2016. Choose individual workshops or the entire week of Bath and Body University. We have students join us from all over the world to learn how to create products for personal use and business. Most of our students have no formal training in skincare formulation.

Join cosmetic formulator Marla Bosworth for classes ranging from essential oil blending, herbal infusions, body butters, soap making, emulsified body scrubs to a skincare formulator's business seminar. Our courses range from intermediate to advanced, but Marla's teaching style and comprehensive materials makes it easy for the novice to feel comfortable in class as well.



The full schedule is as follows:

March 19 - Growing Your Beauty Brand with Social Media

March 20 - Creating Signature Essential Oil Blends and Blending Services

March 21-25 - Bath & Body University

March 21 - Organic Face and Body Creams

March 22 - Herbal Infusions in Body Butters and Balms

March 23 - Organic Luxurious Body Scrubs and Bath Soaks

March 24 - Organic Soapmaking

March 25 - Build and Grow a Successful Bath & Body Business Seminar

These workshops fill up quickly. We post number of spots left in each workshop on our website. Workshops are held on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with easy access from all parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Can't make this series of workshops? Join our Facebook page for upcoming announcements and be sure to sign up for our email newsletter.

Marla Bosworth is an award-winning entrepreneur, author of many ebooks and articles for the indie beauty industry. She is a world-renowned teacher of natural skincare formulation. Marla has been using social media and the internet to grow her online presence for 20 years (yes, back in the days of America Online). She teaches workshops throughout the U.S. and has had the pleasure of consulting and working with students from all over the world.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

January 2016 Workshops: Learn to Make Your Own Natural Skincare Formulations in New York City

Winter in New York City is magical, and the perfect time to join us to learn about formulating natural and organic skincare products. Our event takes place January 25-29, 2016. Choose individual workshops or the entire week of Bath and Body University. We have students join us from all over the world to learn how to create products for personal use and business. Most of our students do not have any formal training in skincare formulation.

Join cosmetic formulator Marla Bosworth for classes ranging from herbal infusions and butters to a skincare formulator's business seminar. Our courses range from intermediate to advanced, but Marla's teaching style and comprehensive materials makes it easy for the novice to feel comfortable in class as well.

The full schedule is as follows:

Day 1 - January 25
Herbal Infusions in Body Butters and Balms

Day 2 – January 26

Soy Candles and Luxurious Massage Candles

Day 3 – January 27
Liquid Soaps and Shower Gels 

Day 4 – January 28
Organic Cold Process Soapmaking

Day 5 - January 29
How to Run a Successful Bath & Body Business Seminar



These workshops fill up quickly. We post number of spots left in each workshop on our website. Workshops are held on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with easy access from all parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Can't make this series of workshops? Join our Facebook page for upcoming announcements and be sure to sign up for our email newsletter.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

How to Achieve Accurate Bar Size in Soapmaking

There are three ways to cut cold process soap loaves into bars: by hand, with a manual cutter, and with an electric cutter. The disadvantage to cutting soap by hand is that it is challenging to get consistent bar size and accuracy. If you currently cut soap by hand, try weighing each bar and see how close each one is in weight. Surprisingly they can be as much as .5 oz or more different. Also, it's next to impossible to scale your soap business with cutting soap by hand. Imagine cutting thousands of bars by hand.

When we move to a manual or electric cutter, our accuracy increases and so does the professional appearance of our soap bars. I prefer a manual cutter to an electric one, the reason being is that it takes so much time to replace cutter blades from loaf cutting to bar cutting.

In the following video I'll show you how we easily cut loaves into bars. This particular batch yielded 27 loaves, which in turn produced 378 bars of soap.

How do you cut your soap? Do you have any tips to share?






Thanks for watching!
~Marla

Friday, December 18, 2015

Large Batch Soapmaking Equipment: Molds and Cutter

Two years ago I invested in soap making equipment for large scale production of cold process soap. The cost was over $10,000. The investment is well worth it if you are looking to grow your soap business. My company already owned a water-jacketed soap melter, plenty of stainless steel tables, bakers racks and utility shelving. But what we needed was a system to produce thousands of bars of soap per week with ease.

Equipment for increase production can be costly. Factors to consider when contemplating a purchase in equipment include:

  • How is this a wise investment for your company? (In other words, prove it to yourself.)
  • Do you plan to grow this segment of your business for at least 5 or more years? 
  • Will the equipment retain its value for resale?
  • At what capacity will your equipment investment allow your production to grow? Then what
  • As your production grows, can you add on to the equipment or will you have to purchase a completely new system?
  • Is there considerable growth from your current production volume and that in which you estimate your equipment will provide? How long will you start to see return on investment (ROI)?
  • How will you finance your equipment?
  • Can you grow areas of your business to help pay for the equipment (such as adding or increasing wholesale capabilities, private label, etc.)?
In the following video I'll show you the large mold (pictured below) and electric cutter. The cutter hoists the soap mold onto the platform. From there the mold block is secured and the soap is released from the mold by removing all four sides. The large soap block is then positioned under the wire cutters and the soap is cut into loaves. The loaves are then cut into bars.





Have you ever seen soap making equipment in action? Do you have plans to grow your business? What questions about large-scale production do you have?

Thanks for watching!
~Marla

How to Make 100 lb. Batch of Handmade Soap

Like many soapmakers, I started my business in my home kitchen, making small batches of soap. As demand for my products grew, I found myself outgrowing a stockpot, then a 5 gallon pail. Stickblenders were no longer large enough to emulsify a batch of soap.

After much research, I invested more than $10,000 in soap making equipment: water-jacketed electric tanks to melt oils, large stainless steel mixing pot on tipping stand, 350 bar molds, drill with paddle attachment to replace stick blender, electric soap cutter, more stainless steel tables and baker's racks.

In this video I'm making a 100 lb. batch which will yield approximately 400 bars of soap. I'm mixing my oils and lye water together and getting ready to add essential oils and herbs. Let me show you how I combine 10 lbs. of lye, 73 lbs. of oils/butters and 56 oz. of essential oil!






As a business, we need to be mindful of operating efficiently. What areas of your production would you like to improve?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Upcoming Natural and Organic, Hands-on Skincare Formulation Workshops in New York City



Our next series of natural and organic skincare formulation workshops in New York City will take place October 26-30, 2015. Choose to take classes individually or the entire week of Bath and Body University workshops.

Join cosmetic formulator Marla Bosworth for classes ranging from custom essential oil blending to a skincare formulator's business seminar. The full schedule is as follows:

Monday, October 26
Mastering the Art of Custom Essential Oil Blending

Tuesday, October 27
Organic Luxurious Body Scrubs and Bath Salts

Wednesday, October 28
Herbal Healing Body Butters, Salves and Balms

Thursday, October 29
Organic Cold Process Soapmaking

Friday, October 30
How to Run a Successful Bath and Body Business Seminar

These workshops fill up quickly and it is advised to sign up in advance. We post number of spots left in each workshop on our website. Workshops are held on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with easy access from all parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Can't make this series of workshops? Join our Facebook page for upcoming announcements and be sure to sign up for our email newsletter.

Marla Bosworth has been teaching natural skincare formulating workshops along with running her skincare business, Back Porch Soap Company, for more than 17 years. She has 35 years retail experience and a strong background in market research and marketing.