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House of Portalatin celebrates expansion

When she was a little girl, Carmen Portalatin-Booker would taste the flowers. Her sisters were confused, but young Carmen was overwhelmed by the smells and flavors she experienced.

She spent her childhood working in her garden, which inspired a lifelong love of plants and their odors. In 2018, Portalatin-Booker founded the Reading-based House of Portalatin, a “lifestyle and ecommerce experience” selling beard oil, bath soaps and shower gels with her signature scent blends.

“It’s medicinal, therapeutic and it creates memories,” Portalatin-Booker said. “And when you go ‘mmm,’ you can’t be angry.”

Portalatin-Booker’s friends, family and associates gathered for hugs, congratulations and a House of Portalatin ribbon cutting ceremony at Mi Casa Su Casa Restaurant on Penn Street Tuesday. One of her biggest hugs went to her “master marketing guru,” Limarys Rodriguez.

“I’m kind of honored that she reached out to me, another woman entrepreneur, to start her business,” Rodriguez said. “Her personality and passion, her knowledge about the brand, is really what’s exciting to me. There’s CEOs who really don’t know a lot about their brand. She’s really all-in.”

The ribbon cutting celebrated the launch of the House of Portalatin’s website and Portalatin-Booker’s international business forays. On Instagram she met a French model who agreed to help advertise her scents (with the help of Google Translate) and House of Portalatin products are now for sale in Paris and the West African country of The Gambia. Portalatin-Booker wants to “use the business as a platform to build resources and sustainability work in underdeveloped countries.”

“When I acquire things,” she said, “I make sure that I’m able to get food, vitamins and clothing for different countries.”

The House of Portalatin bills itself as being for “the classical man,” and their slogan is “Always keep it classy.”
“It can be any type of man,” Portalatin-Booker said. “A vintage man, an antique man, a modern man. Timeless.”

Rodriguez calls the classical man “any man that takes the time and attention to provide that look.”

“Any guy that wants to take care of himself,” she said. “Obviously this isn’t aimed at someone who doesn’t really care about hygiene.”

Portalatin-Booker thanks several men for her success.

“First, I thank God for his creativity,” she said. “I feel He has given me some of His creative self. And then my father, when he would cook, he would use a lot of olive oil and herbs and spices and because of that, the scent would draw me in. It would envelop me.”

Her father told her that she had good hands for gardening. At first she didn’t know what that meant, but she now grows champion roses, aloe, mint, lamb’s ear and Black-eyed Susan in her own garden.

“It’s exciting,” said Portalatin-Booker’s husband Evans Booker, who Carmen calls “a classical man.” “She’s always on the go trying to get it together, always out and about. It intrigues me and it excites me and motivates me also.”

The “face of the brand” is Portalatin-Booker’s nephew Joel Ellison, who she chose for the symmetry of his face and his humility.

“It’s new to me,” Ellison said. “I get to see all the hard work that goes into developing a brand. It’s inspiring.”

House of Portalatin

Phone: 484-797-1434

Website: https://houseofportalatin.com/

Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Source: Berkshire mont

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