Marla Bosworth is the founder and owner of Back Porch Soap Company. She teaches classes, corporate events and experiences including candle making, soap making, organic skincare and perfumery.

December 29, 2008

Restore Dry Skin and Sore Muscles with Our Jacuzzi & Tub Bath Salts

This time of year I get inquiries from customers who are suffering from dry skin, excema, psoriasis and sore muscles. They are frustrated with their skin condition, have tried products that haven't worked, and come to me looking for a remedy.

Several years ago a woman in Brant Rock, Massachusetts asked me to make a sea salt soak that would be safe for her jacuzzi. She wanted a moisturizing salt soak; that would soothe her sore muscles and alleviate her dry skin.

I spent many days in the studio experimenting with various sea salts and essential oil blends. The end result? A fabulous bath and jacuzzi soak that is therapeutic and moisturizing. I've taken a special blend of Caribbean Sea Salts and combined them with a moisturizing cocoa butter. This is a proprietary blend and is only available here at Back Porch Soap Co. After soaking in these salts your skin will be refresh and rehydrated.

Soaking in sea salt helps remove toxins from your body. Toxins are small molecules, and can cause disease on contact with or absorption by body tissues. By eliminating toxins, we enjoy a healthier, glowing body and overall increased energy. Drink plenty of water after your soak to help your kidneys and liver flush the toxins out of your body. The results are very similar to a full-body massage.

I've created three blends for the salts: Lavender, Lemongrass & Eucalyptus, and Peppermint & Eucalyptus.

Lavender ~ Relaxing, soothing and calming. The perfect night soak.
Lemongrass & Eucalyptus ~ Renewing, cleansing, and uplifting.
Peppermint & Eucalyptus ~ Invigorating, stimulating, and rejuvenating.

So what happened to the woman who helped me invent these products? Well, she's turned out to be one of my best customers. She's put herself on autoship and gets all three salts shipped to her every four weeks. She starts her day with a jacuzzi, and chooses whichever essential oil blend suits her mood for that morning.

If you don't have a jacuzzi, you can still enjoy these incredible salts in a long, relaxing soak in a bathtub. Here's to your health and relaxation!

December 18, 2008

A Crafty Gift: Boston Soapmaking Classes, Gift Certificates and More

Haven't finished your holiday shopping yet? Or have you resigned to the fact that this year your gift may be a little late? And what about those December and January birthdays?

How about sending a gift certificate for great sea-inspired bath and body products, fun kids toy soaps, organic bodycare, or soapmaking and business classes!

Short on time and need a gift sent directly to a friend or family member? We'll tie it up all pretty and include a personalized note from you - all for free!

Hurry! Visit Back Porch Soap's website now to get it that special gift on its way!

Also, check out our upcoming Boston soap making classes:
January 11, 2009
Totally Green Organic Bodycare

January 17, 2009
Soapmaking Bootcamp

January 24, 2009
Glycerin Soapmaking

Or join in a class from the comfort of your own home.
Teleseminar Class:
January 11, 2009
Launching Your Dream Business Bootcamp

November 25, 2008

This Holiday...Put Their Name in Soap!

Looking for something different to give to friends and family this holiday season? How about putting their name in soap? Or their picture, or dog's name, or dog's picture. We could go on and on. Don't forget the kids, the grandkids, and the grandparents. You're getting the picture, right?

This past weekend we had record holiday sales of personalized soaps! Some customers went crazy over dog breeds while others swayed toward friends and family names (including the ever popular "Nana", awwww...). Also on the top of the list are pictures of family boats (kind of cool, right?), monogrammed soaps, words of gratitude (Love, Believe, Unity, etc.), company names, bride and groom wedding favors, and family surnames.

These personalized soaps are exclusively made by Back Porch Soap Company. The image is made of a skin-safe material that I place in the middle of the bar of soap. It will stay with the soap throughout its use. They are moisturizing and long-lasting soaps, made with palm oil and coconut oil. To accommodate everyone, we make them unscented for even the most sensitive skin. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

So get out your list and start thinking. Whose name would YOU like to see in soap? You can start creating right here.

November 17, 2008

Join Me in Palm Springs for HSCG!

It's November, and I'm already looking forward to May 2009 when I'll be speaking at the Handmade Soapmakers Guild Conference in Palm Springs, California. Held May 12 - 14 at the Miramonte Resort and Spa, the conference draws bath and body companies from all over the U.S. together for lectures, classes, workshops and networking. I will be speaking on "Differentiating Yourself in the Market" which, of course, is vital for any business.

The keynote speaker for the 2009 Annual Conference will be well-known environmentalist and award-winner, Erin Brockovich. I'm looking forward to meeting Ms. Brockovich. She is a mover and shaker, which I admire. I'm thrilled to see she is currently working on bringing out the truth about Gardasil. It is shocking to me that 16 million doses of Gardasil have been administered nationwide. Apparantly parents across the U.S. are simply saying "Yes" to physicians without researching the cons to this vaccine. There is simply not enough information on long-term effects and more for me to give my 14 year old daughter's physician the nod in giving this vaccine. (Note: I'm digressing and will save this for another blog.)

Back to the HSCG Conference and the bath and body industry. Within the past three years the soapmaking industry has become a highly competitive market. Companies selling "just another bar of soap" are suffering from decreased sales. Attendees will learn how to increase sales by targeting niche and vertical markets. I'm presenting several interesting case studies - businesses who have focused on these niche opportunities and as a result have increased profitability. I'll also share my tricks and tips on developing an "eye" for demands and trends in other industries to stay ahead of the competition.

In addition to owning Back Porch Soap Company, this year I celebrate my 20th year as a business consultant and market research analyst. I have been consulting for companies of all sizes in the area of market opportunity, product development and positioning, as well as sales and marketing. My clients range from large companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Canon, IBM, and Xerox as well as small businesses. Contact me for more information on how I can help your company strategize and increase sales.

So, the HSCG conference looks fabulous and I'm looking forward to meeting up with industry colleagues. I've already check out the spa menu, and am putting in a reservation for Suprema Experienza - a 90 minute massage of choice, followed by a 45 minute bath, a 45 minute scrub, finished with a 90 minute Action Sublime Facial.

Hope to see you in Palm Springs!

October 27, 2008

Organic Bodycare Gift Sets Ready to Ship!

I love the holidays - especially the planning and anticipation. Over the years I've found that the more prepared I am with gift-giving, the more I am able to relax a bit more and enjoy celebrating the season.

If you love organic bodycare, you'll love the holiday gift sets I created! If there's a time to give the gift of pampering, this is the year. There is something about burrowing down in one’s home that is so enticing - especially with handmade and certified organic products! They're up on the website and ready to ship. Remember those special Scorpio, Sagittarius and Capricorn birthdays over the next two months, too!

I must digress for a moment...I'm a Capricorn. December 28 to be exact. To not upset us Caps, remember to use non-holiday gift wrap.
Seriously (smile). The same is true for my Sagittarius friends. And Scorpios? Don't combine their gifts with Thanksgiving drumsticks.

Without further delay, here are some incredibly, fabulous, organic gifts!

Organic Bodycare Gift Set ($34) is a beautiful way to give the gift of organic body luxury! This is a gift of pampering - great for women or men! Our soap is long-lasting, moisturizing and soothing. The Caribbean sea salts (enough for two tub soaks) will relax even your most stress-out friend. Our 100% shea butter is a luxurious treat for the skin, offering both moisture and protection during the long winter months.
This elegantly packaged set includes a 5 oz. organic soap, a 4. oz. matching Caribbean salt soak and a 4 oz. 100% organic shea butter.

Coconut Soap Dish Gift Set ($12) includes one of our mild and long-lasting organic soaps wrapped up beautifully with a natural coconut shell soap dish - a natural, sustainable, packaging solution that supports small businesses in Thailand. These are great as hostess or teacher's gifts, and convenient to have on hand when someone unexpected comes to visit.
Our organic soaps are made of 100% certified organic palm and coconut oils, purified water, glycerin, sorbitol, and essential oils. They may contain natural, ground herbs or oxides for natural color.

Sisal Gift Set with Two Organic Soaps ($16) Shown here in our popular Provence Lavender and Almond & Shea Butter. Packaged in a sisal gift tote - another one of our natural, sustainable, packaging solutions that supports small businesses in Thailand. A wonderful and easy-to-mail gift for relatives and friends across the country or to have on hand for hostess gifts.

All gifts are available with the following essential oils:
Almond - protects the skin, softens and soothes
Eucalyptus - rejuvenates, invigorates and uplifts
Lavender Spearmint - a new twist on lavender, beautifully blended
Patchouli - beneficial for dry skin
Provence Lavender - relaxes and calms
Rosemary - uplifts, balances, promotes mental activity
Tea Tree - for problem skin (acne, oily, skin irritations)
Unscented - for those with extra sensitive skin

My recommendation? Shop early, give the gift of organic, and be good to yourself too. Enjoy!

October 12, 2008

Top 10 Tips for Alleviating Dry Skin, Excema and Psoriasis

This time of year many people complain about dry, itching skin - from arms to legs. It happens when we head into fall and winter. Homes and businesses start turning on the heat, which means less moisture in the air and less for our skin. Among other things, we tend to drink less water than in the warm summer months.

The good news is that there are 10 tips I'd like to share with you for bringing life back to your skin. (BONUS...scroll down to the bottom for a special promo on my handmade shea butter moisturizers.) Here's to an itch-free winter!

1. Nix the long, hot shower. I know, it feels good. Especially on a cold day. But you are robbing your skin of moisture and oils. So cut it short - 5 minutes is plenty - and use warm water instead. Besides, you'll save on your utility bill. And if you can, switch to showers every other day (for skipped days, wash your hair in a sink). You'll notice a difference in your skin.

2. Take your Omega 3 EPA/DPA Fish Oils. In capsules, liquid, whatever it takes. Not only will it help your skin, your ligaments and joints are going to love it. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends two grams of fish oil daily. Also, flaxseed oil is a wonderful supplement for keeping skin healthy and glowing. Check with your M.D. Even simply switching from salad dressing to extra virgin olive oil is another good move to putting good oils in your body for the benefit of your skin.

3. Drink plenty of water. Yes, it's true and you've heard it all before. Drink eight to 10 8 oz. glasses throughout the day. Your skin is the largest organ and needs to flush the toxins out daily.

4. Turn on the humidifier. Home heating takes the moisture out of the air during the winter months. A $30 humidifier will aid your skin and sinuses. Most come with an indicator. Try to keep it at 35%.

5. Moisturize after your shower. This is the best time, since your pores are open and ready for protection.

6. Choose wisely what you put on your skin. Our 100% shea butter (the pulp from Africa's karite trees) coats and protects the skin and is my first recommendation for those of you with a tendency toward super dry skin or even excema and psoriasis. It is a concentrated, therapeutic balm. You can find our certified organic shea butter here. I recommend Unscented for men and highly sensitive customers. For those of you who love fragrance, White Tea is my bestseller. It is light, sophisticated and rich. Do you have mildly dry skin? Then I recommend our shea butter body cream, which also contains soy, silk and aloe.

7. Skip the drying soaps and shampoos. Start reading the labels of these products and your skin will thank you. Don't use any products that have sulfates in them. It is an irritant and drying agent that literally strips your skin of its precious oils. Think of it as something you would use to degrease your car engine. While you're at it, throw out any products with parabens or dyes.

8. Take care of those hands and feet. Remember to moisturize them as well. Keep hands protect with gloves or mitten when outdoors. Protecting them from the elements makes a world of difference. Moisturize hands and feet when stepping out of the shower too, then again at bedtime. I recommend soaking your feet for a bit at night, then massaging them with shea butter and finishing off with a pair of cotton socks. You'll wake up with super soft feet.

9. Exfoliate twice a week with an inexpensive loofa or bristle brush. It aids circulation (start from the outer limbs and work toward your heart) and removes the surface layer of dead cells. Just think of it as prep work for applying moisturizer.

10. Cut down on Starbucks or your coffee of choice. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it removes water from the body. A good rule of thumb is for every cup of coffee you drink, tack on another 8 oz. of water (in addition to the 8 glasses you should be drinking daily).

So you made it through all 10 tips! They will get you through the winter with soft, hydrated skin.

For blog readers, save 20% on orders of $40 or more. Hurry, this offer is only valid until Saturday, October 18! Simply use Promo Code SOFTSKIN upon cart checkout. In addition, spend $60 or more and get FREE SHIPPING! Now is the time to stock up for holidays and long winter months. This offer is valid for continental U.S. orders only.

September 28, 2008

Why Would a Bath & Body Company Teach Soapmaking Classes? Good Question!

One of my followers on Twitter asked me a great question yesterday. She wanted to know why I teach soapmaking classes when my primary business at Back Porch Soap Company is making bath and body products. It made me pause and think about my reply.

I'll digress for a bit for those of you who don't know much about Twitter. Twitter is a social marketing site with a bit of a twist: you can only post 140 characters at one time. This makes communicating challenging at times. So responding to my follower's question in only 140 characters made me think of a condensed response. But there was so much more I wanted to say!

So here are my thoughts on teaching soapmaking classes and what it does for everyone involved: my students, me and my business.

First, teaching soapmaking and entrepreneurial classes gives me the chance to work one-on-one with great students. Just as soapmaking is therapeutic for me on days when I'm cranking out hundreds of bars, it is also therapeutic for my students in more ways than one. They leave proud, with a smile on their face, having been creative for the day and with bars of soap in tow.

Second, it builds my brand. Sure, I help my students make their own soap and their creations are a result of their masterminds. That is why it results in great marketing. Most of the soaps that leave my class become gifts. And with those gifts come bragging rights. "I made that soap," will inevitably come proudly out of the giver's mouth. "You did? Where?" will most surely be the response from the recipient. Are you getting the picture? Even if gift recipient doesn't take a soapmaking class, they will probably at the very least peruse my website and very possibly become my NEXT best customer!

Lastly, it's true what is said about teaching. Sometimes the teacher can learn more than the students. Even though I consider myself to be an expert soapmaker, I enjoy seeing soapmaking through someone else's eyes. I don't have classes to "steal" my student's ideas. Far from it. Instead, watching fearless students mixing fragrances I would never consider makes me realize over and over again how important it is to experiment and not get too comfortable in the way we are doing, making, and selling.

So thank you, Twitter friend, for asking me why I teach soapmaking.

If you're in New England sign up for one of Back Porch Soap Company's Soapmaking, Natural Skincare, and Entrepreneur classes held in the Boston, Massachusetts area.

September 16, 2008

Visit Back Porch Soap This Weekend at Boston's South End Open Market

If you love Boston - and shopping in an open-air market for wonderful, indie-made products - then stop by and say hello this weekend at the South End Open Market Studios.
I'll be there 10-5 on Saturday and Sunday, selling fantastic handmade soaps, shea butters, creams, kids toy soaps, gift sets and much more. You can also stop by and pick up information on soapmaking and small business classes as well. You can find more class information here on my website:
The weather forecast is for a cool and dry weekend, perfect for strolling the market and grabbing a bite to eat in the South End.
With an ever-changing group of artisans, a hip location and the chance to feel the sun on your face while you browse, it's a trip worth making. The Market offers the opportunity to meet the artists and vendors behind the work, and is fast becoming part of the South End's well-known artist's community. Every week offers shoppers something different and unique - you won't want to miss it!
The Market hosts a wide variety of vendors, whether you're looking for hand-crafted accessories, original art, antiques or just a fresh loaf of bread, you'll find painters, sculptors, photographers, clothing and jewelry designers, milliners, handbag designers, house wares, antique dealers, florists, bakers, local farmer's produce, and much more every week!
For directions and more info on this weekend check out:

June 23, 2008

This weekend...Newport, RI Flower Show!

This weekend (June 27-29) Back Porch Soap Co. will be exhibiting at the Newport, Rhode Island Flower Show, located at Rosecliff Mansion. The event is spectacular, and includes a tour of the entire estate. There is live music all weekend, a seaside cafe, 60 boutique vendors, as well as horticulture experts who will be demonstrating and sharing gardening and landscaping ideas all weekend long.
My tent will be near the sea wall on the lawn toward the right side. The weather looks great for this weekend, so come say hello!
There is a cocktail reception on the lawn Friday evening, which I am eagerly anticipating.
So for the past several weeks it's been extra busy here in the studio preparing for the show. We will have lots of sea glass soaps, seashell soaps, our bestselling bars, 100% shea butter, shea butter lotion, gift sets, beautiful sea-inspired wreaths, starfish planters, organic products, jacuzzi and bath salts and kids toy soaps.
If you haven't been to Newport, it's a great getaway destination with fabulous shops, hotels and restaurants. Check out
Hope to see you there!

May 31, 2008

Beach Wedding Themes and Favors

Recently I was reading about wedding facts for 2008 at

I was surprised to see that June 2008 is not the most popular month this year for weddings. Then I did a little more research and found that August wins in 2008 for most booked weddings. Maybe you already know why...August 2008 has a special date that matches the year, which is 08/08.

An estimated 233,413 brides will say "I do" this August. Seaside-themed weddings are more popular than ever, with themes ranging from Luau to Yacht to Sand and Surf.

Our gorgeous, handmade sea glass guest soaps have been one of most popular favors for brides to give their guests. Turnaround time for favor orders is just 10 days. We customize hangtags with bride and groom names and their special date. Enjoy special pricing on 50 or more (regular retail is $12.00), free personalization and free shipping. Email me for details on the best pricing I am able to offer.

Order a sample online at You'll receive your sample within 3-5 business days. Once you receive your sample and decide to place your favor order of 50 or more, I will gladly credit the price of the sample plus shipping to your account.

Your guests will be so glad you didn't opt for Jordan almonds. :)

May 15, 2008

Heading to Boston's South End Open Market this Weekend!

If you're in Boston this weekend stop by the Sound End Open Market and pick up some goodies from us! We'll have lots of soaps, shea butters, shea butter lotions, bath salts, kids toy soaps and of course lots of sea-inspired goodies.

For directions or more info head over to:

May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Be good to mom. Send her a little love with our special promo. It's okay if you're late. She will forgive you. ;)
This pretty graphic was sent to me by one of my wholesale customers. I made a bunch of personalized soaps for her. They were so pretty!
Head on over to our site and enjoy the 20% promotion and free shipping until May 15!

May 03, 2008

May Promo - 20% off and Free Shipping!

In honor of Mother's Day and all the celebrations that come around in May (think birthdays, teacher's gifts, graduation gifts, early Father's Day presents...hey, Dads like soap too!), we are offering 20% all retail orders over $60 and free shipping within the continental U.S.
This offer will run until May 15, 2008, so get yourself over to to get yourself a great deal and enter promo code PAMPERMOM at checkout.

One of our most popular gifts, this two-soap set with seashell potpourri (for only $24.00) can be found under Gifts From the Sea. In addition to the fragrant seashells, it contains two best-selling soaps, our 5 oz. Sea Glass and Sea Salt bars, both long lasting and moisturizing. They are scented with Ocean Mist, a clean, soft fragrance.

Need a custom gift set or special gift giving needs that need extra attention? Simply email us at and we'll make your gift giving fast, easy and fun! We'll even tuck in a personalized note to your gift recipient at no extra charge.

While you're there be sure to sign up for our newsletter. We send out our best sales, specials and news to our beloved newsletter subscribers. Don't worry, we won't share or sell your info!

April 20, 2008

Getting Sea-Inspired on the Cape

I just returned from a day trip to Cape Cod, the eastern "arm" of land in Massachusetts that is surrounded by water. For me, it is just a short 30 minute drive from Duxbury to the Sagamore Bridge and viola, I'm "on Cape" as the natives say. To drive the full length of the Cape takes about an hour and a half, with little to no traffic. In July it could take twice or triple the time.

But today was a perfect day, reminding me that summer really is just around the corner. Temperatures hovered in the mid-60's and there was not a cloud in the sky. I made a mental list of my favorite Cape things that I want to do this summer.

Cape Cod is known for its magnificent beaches and sand dunes. It's the perfect summer getaway, whether for a week or weekend (visit So on my list is a trip to the National Seashore in Chatham along with a stop in downtown Chatham for some great shopping.

This time of year resorts and gift shops are gearing up for a busy summer, stocking their displays with beach and island gifts and decor, including lots of our great handmade, sea-inspired bath and body gifts (shameless plug happening now... Brides-to-be from across the U.S. are finishing up their wedding plans for June-August summer weddings that are celebrated seaside up and down the Cape's coast. (If you are a beach bride or know one, be sure to check out our fabulous wedding favors on our site.)

There are so many great restaurants and bars on the Cape. My favorites include the Flying Bridge in Falmouth, Tomatoes in Sandwich, Horizons in Sandwich (spectacular view). If you're up for a splurge, check yourself into Chatham Bars Inn ( for a fantastic place to stay and pamper oneself.

Also on my list this year of favorite things to do on the Cape is to hop a short ferry ride from Hyannis or Woods Hole to Martha's Vineyard ( or Nantucket (, which are both beautiful islands and fun to explore. Martha's Vineyard is the larger of the two islands, and takes much longer to explore. But both offer great sites.

While on Nantucket, check out Best of the Beach. It's a fabulous store on Straight Wharf that carries most of our line.

Hope your travels take you to Cape Cod soon so you can find some treasures for yourself!

April 11, 2008

What Would You Put In Soap?

I just finished the spring Boston Gift Show, a wholesale show where gift shops, hotels and other businesses shop for products to resell. Every year there is a new product that I design (usually days before the show begins under the pressure to have something new and rockin'!) that quickly becomes a bestseller. This year was no exception.
This year's hot soap is a new custom image soap. The image in the soap is made from a new skin-safe material that stays in the soap for the life of the soap! Customers were having fun choosing what they wanted in these 5 oz. bars. Most popular were the words "Beach House." Also selling briskly were town names, quotes and taglines, as well as key destination images. In addition, there are six beautiful fragrances from which to choose.

I had so much fun designing the samples shown here in the picture. See my monogrammed soap? The map is of Martha's Vineyard, my Cape Cod friends love the blue lobster, and the photo in the back left is of Powder Point Bridge near where I live in Duxbury. The ideas are endless. Think business logo to wedding favors to house guests.
All you need to send is a logo or picture in jpeg format (the higher the resolution, the better). There is a minimum of 12 per design. Retail pricing is $8.00 per bar. Wholesale customers should inquire about pricing, etc. at
For more information contact me at or visit and look for the Personalized Soap link.

February 05, 2008

my "meet and greet" at Whole Foods...

Last Saturday was my third "Local Vendor" day at Whole Foods in Hingham, Massachusetts. It's so much fun, because it means taking samples of my organic soaps and shea butters to hand out to customers and shamelessly promote my line (which, btw, is sold at this Hingham location).

I always end up meeting the nicest people, and it's fulfilling to me that I get to help customers with their dry skin dilemmas.

So I made two batches of my most popular organic oils soaps, Lavender & Spearmint and Almond & Shea Butter. Then I sliced them into perfect sample sizes, and packaged them up in nifty little bags with my logo.
I loaded up my Jeep with a few displays, the goodies, and headed out.

The parking lot was packed, needless to say since it was the day before Superbowl Sunday (we'll skip the sore loser Patriots comments here).

There were about 12 vendors, all food related except for me. There was a salad dressing vendor, Chilmark Dressing, also sampling. This is my new favorite dressing! I had to buy a bottle, and it really is delicious. Roasted sesame seeds give it a wonderful flavor and besides making salads extra scrumptious, it is delicious as a veggie dip or on a sandwich. Check them out at

Here's a picture of my table, which blends in nicely with the vegetable and chicken stocks behind it.

I handed out several hundreds of samples of soap and learned that a lot of Whole Foods buyers are restocking their shelves at home with sulfate and paraben free products (which mine all are). Sulfates are drying to skin, and parabens are chemical-based preservatives (there are natural ones such as Vitamin E and more) so check your labels.

I met so many nice people, and so many with dry skin! Everyone needed moisturizing. Good thing I was on hand with my 100% shea butters (quickly becoming my #1 selling product at Whole Foods).

Shea butter is an all-natural moisturizer full of vitamin E that helps heal dry skin, excema and psoriasis. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help alleviate arthritis pain.

So now get yourself over to my website and buy some, will you?

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