Social Media for the Sisters

In July 2009, Donna Maria Coles Johnson, Indie Beauty Network, HSMG Member, led a three day Training in Social Media for the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, MO.
Sister Cathleen Marie Timberlake, HSMG, Programs and Service Chair for Membership, reports that it was fantastic and helpful in every way.

As always, Donna Maria was most generous in the sharing of her expertise and time. She brought everything down to a level of understandability for those of who might not be as computer savvy as they would like to be! Continue reading

2009 Conference Video is here!

2009 HSMG Palm Springs Conference Video
The HSMG Annual Conference is an excellent source of information about soapmaking, and a great place to network with other soapmakers and vendors. The Conference is open to both members and non-members.

The 2009 Annual Conference of The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild was held on May 12-14 at The Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, California. Over 200 soapmakers, suppliers and industry supporters met in the toasty desert to discuss business, legislation, marketing and above all soapmaking!

Interested in attending the 2010 conference? Check out our website for more information.

Maria Gelnett
Social Media

Member Spotlight – Little Bitty Soap Company, Gillian DeConto

Gillian had her first encounter with a bar of handcrafted soap at her sister’s house over a decade ago. Well, that was it. It was love at first smell. It was a peppermint goat’s milk bar and it was fabulous. Being a thrifty do-it-yourselfer, Gillian figured if other people could make soap, then surely she could learn, too.



A trip to the library was in order. Unfortunately, the local library had only one book on soapmaking, but it did give the basics, so off to the store to find everything. After assembling all the ingredients, Gillian created her first magic batch of soap. That first batch was nothing special, and boy has she learned a lot about formulating since that first batch, but it was SOAP.

After perfecting formulating, Gillian was eager to play with colors and design. Being a cold process soapmaker, Gillian wanted to see what could be done with colors and techniques in cold process soaps to make them as attractive and interesting as some of the fancy melt and pour soap bars.


Gillian’s company, Little Bitty Soap Company, now specializes in fun and funky designer cold process bars. The creative process is so much fun, and fits Gillian philosophy perfectly….that everyone needs a little fun in their lives.


In 2007, Little Bitty Soap Company and Gillian joined the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild. After attending the 2008 Conference in Vermont, Gillian new she wanted to serve the Guild, so, she volunteered for the Membership Committee, the Scholarship Committee and also served as Vendor Coordinator at the 2009 conference in Palm Springs. This year, she has been appointed to the Board of Directors and is serving as the Membership Committee Chair. Gillian and her committee of dedicated soapers will be working hard this year for the betterment of the the Guild.

Maria Gelnett

HSMG Vice President