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.

April 03, 2012

Student Spotlight: Beth Schillaci of SoapPrizes

The following is an interview with Beth Schillaci, the owner of SoapPrizes, a soap company based in Frederick, Maryland.

Beth Schillaci and her daughter, owners of SoapPrizes.

1. Tell us a bit about your background.

SoapPrizes is a mother, daughter business that we started after our seven year-old founder watched an episode of Shark Tank. She declared she wanted a business like mommy and SoapPrizes was born shortly after. My work background is owning a marketing company for over 13 years which brings a different perspective to SoapPrizes. Julia is currently in second grade and brings her enthusiasm and creativity to the company.

2. How did you get interested in making bath and body products?

We have always been fans of bath and body products and buy them any chance we get. When Julia decided we wanted to start a business, it was one of the first things we researched. Upon research, melt and pour seemed to a great fit for our skills. It is so great to be able to create products that we enjoy so much.

3. When did you launch your company?

We launched in October 2011.

SoapPrizes' fun line of soaps aimed targeted at kids and the young at heart.

4. What do you sell? What sets you apart from other bath and body companies?

We sell fun soaps targeted at kids and the young at heart. Most of our soaps have toys embedded in them, such as rubber ducks and erasers. This was Julia's idea since she thought kids would wash better, if they were trying to get a toy out. Our other soaps come in really fun shapes and make great kids party favors.

Giving back is important to us, so we donate 10% of our profits to the Lab Rescue where we adopted our black lab puppy.

5. What course(s) did you take with us and what did you learn?

I took the How to Run a Successful Bath & Body Business webinar. Having a marketing business is very different from a bath and body business, so this was the perfect information to keep me from making mistakes at the beginning. I feel much more comfortable in making decision and knowing how to approach retailers. We are definitely putting money aside to attend some classes in the near future.

6. What is your favorite part of running a bath and body business?

There really is something very zen about making soap products. In addition, it is fun to spend time with my daughter teaching her the ins-and-outs of business and allowing her creative juices come out. She makes almost all of the creative decisions which makes for some fun soaps.

7. What is your least favorite part?

The accounting part of the business is by far my least favorite part. I look forward to the day, we can outsource that.

8. What are your biggest challenges as a small business owner?

The biggest challenge is balancing producing product with promoting and selling your product. It can be very enticing to spend all your time creating fun products, but you need to make people aware of your products so they buy them.

9. When you have free time how do you like to spend it? Hobbies, sports, travel, etc.?

Running two businesses doesn't allow for a lot of free time, but when I have it I enjoy cooking and spending time as a family. We love to go to Disney and the beach. Julia is active in dance and art.

 Thank you for sharing your story, Beth! Check out SoapPrizes' website and social media sites:
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