Javier Folgar has always enjoyed taking a bubble bath after a long day of work or competitive swimming, but he hasn’t always been keen on the scents most bubble baths come in.
“I feel like I jump into a rose bush whenever I take a bath based on what’s out in the market,” he said.
That inspired the Frederick man to create his own line of bubble baths with more rugged scents, drawing from aromas like cedar wood, citrus and tobacco. TOA Waters, his own brand, launched at the end of September and is available online.
“We provide a line of, I would say, brawny scented bubble baths that are really rich in ingredients like whole milk, different flower extracts or aloe that’s all meant to really rejuvenate or moisturize the skin,” Folgar said.
The ingredients still allow for the bubble bath to lather, creating a luxurious experience, Folgar said. And while he describes the scents as rugged or brawny, he does not market the products exclusively toward men.
“When I say it’s rugged scents, it’s not meant for one gender,” he said. “Because I’ve seen a spectrum of both different genders enjoying the line of products, so I think [floral scents] were out there and what people were used to, and I’m introducing a different side of it.”
The name “TOA Waters” comes from the Toa River in Cuba, where Folgar’s family is from. The river is considered to be the strongest and mightiest in Cuba, which Folgar thought would make it a good fit for his brand.
“I really wanted to pick a company name that not only embodied what I wanted the company to be all about, but also something that paid homage to my heritage,” he said.
Folgar works in conservation full time and has made TOA Waters into his “fun” project, turning his Frederick basement into an assembly line, where he creates, stores and ships his products. Having studied marketing, he enjoys creating the brand and building its social media presence.
“I would say I’m definitely relying a lot on word of mouth,” Folgar said. “And we’re building up a strong presence on social media, just sharing those fun little stories or snippets about the product on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter.”
Folgar’s products are currently available in five scents as well as gift boxes. Folgar is excited about the upcoming holiday season, especially with online sales expecting to be more popular this year than ever.
He’s also looking forward to releasing a few new scents, including one which is a combination of citrus and agave. Additionally, some customers have asked for different types of products, including bath salts and bath bombs.
“I’m excited to try my hand at it and really develop a product that’s worthy of the TOA Waters line,” he said.