Back Porch Soap Co. was founded in 1998 by me, retail and beauty industry expert and analyst, Marla Bosworth. I'm a Massachusetts resident who is inspired daily by life in and around Duxbury Bay, Cape Cod and anywhere my travels take me. For as long as I can remember, I have been inspired by nature to create beautiful things. As a young girl, I grew up in central Illinois and later in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Understanding retail sales and products at an early age (I began working in retail at 16 in the resort town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming), I developed a keen eye for how to differentiate consumer products and began uncovering the secrets to successful selling techniques – from trendy gift shop boutiques to ski apparel. Understanding the retailer point of view paid off for me when I first began wholesaling in 1998.
In addition to selling handmade bath and body products, I consult with beauty and cosmetic companies of all sizes in the area of soap, cosmetic, bath and body - from gift industry to gourmet food industry. As a consultant I research and design personal care products. In addition, my company can provide private label to clients.
My love of retail prompted me to open my store, named Back Porch Soap Co., in the Boston area. I also manufactured product in-store and began teaching cosmetic formulation classes there in 2003.
About my products: every bath and body product on our website is handmade by Back Porch Soap Co.. W use the finest ingredients sourced from all over the world. We import our shea butter from Ghana, West Africa; essential oils from Indonesia and Bulgaria; and our gift sets use natural, sustainable, packaging solutions that supports small businesses in Thailand. All of our products are completely vegan ~ and we do not test on animals - and we use organic ingredients when available.
My credentials include a B.A. in English/Journalism from the University of New Hampshire in 1987. I share with students my extensive background in product and business marketing, market research and manufacturer consulting. As a Market Research Analyst for the leading market research company now known as Forrester Research, I guided product development with Fortune 500 companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Canon, Xerox and IBM to name a few.
I have more than 30 years of expertise in the following areas: Retail Sales, Business Development, Strategic Planning, Market Research, Product Development, and Marketing.
Where to Find Me
Currently I teach business and cosmetic formulation classes in Boston, New York City and San Francisco as well as through online seminars and webinars. I've been a guest lecturer at Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA). I also teach entrepreneurial and beauty startup workshops as well as seminars on how to create natural skincare products at various venues and events.
I am a published author, having written several self-published books as well as articles for The Saponifier Magazine. In addition, I'm a guest speaker at the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Conference in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. This year I presented at the annual HSMG conference on "How to Formulate Creams and Lotions" and lead a half-day seminar on How to Sell to Retailers.
We teach classes in two locations. In NYC we are located (in a temporary space during scheduled classes) at 711 Amsterdam Ave., New York, New York.
In the Boston area, we are located in a private studio at 779 Union Street, Duxbury, Massachusetts. Directions: Take Route 3 to Exit 11 and follow Route 14 West to Union Street.
If you would like to take public transportation, the commuter rail line leaves from North Station in Boston:
It travels southeast of Boston along the shoreline. Plymouth is the last stop you'll see on the map.
OR...you could take the bus from South Station in Boston:
Taxis are available at both stations to bring you to our studio, which is about a 10-15 minute ride. Or call ahead to reserve at Mayflower Taxi (508.746.TAXI).