Espresso Yourself

Coffee has a venerable history in the soapmaking world.  In another edition of nearly wordless Wednesday, we’re bringing you some of our members’ coffee-inspired soaps.  Settle in with a cup of joe (or your favorite non-coffee beverage) and check out these beauties:

Customers love Green Cow Studio’s kitchen soap so much, they introduced Bar o’ Joe, a coffee and sea salt scrub bar:

Blue Orchid Body Care makes a Hazelnut Macchiato Coconut Milk Soap infused with finely ground coffee beans:

P.S. I Love Soap Co. offers a mocha-scented kitchen coffee soap that comes fully loaded with coffee, cream, sugar, and coffee grinds:

Heaven Scent Beauty recently introduced a Kitchen Koffee Soap with triple strength coffee topped with a sprinkling of grounds:

Java Lava, from Stella Marie Soap Company, uses cocoa powder and locally roasted coffee beans:

Eddie & Eva makes a hard working Coffee Scrub soap that cuts grease and gnarly onion and garlic odors:

Thanks to our members for sharing these stimulating soaps.  I’m feeling perky already.  Do you make a coffee-inspired soap?

Meet the New Board!

July is a month of change in the Guild.  A new board took office in July: some new, some continuing their 2 year terms, and some taking on new roles.  We caught up with the board members to find out a little bit more about the women serving the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild this year.

2012 HSMG Board of Directors in Saratoga Springs, NY
From left: Beth, Julie, Jen, Cathleen, Feleciai, Barb, and Tami

President Sr. Cathleen Timberlake has served on the board since 2008.  “From our longest standing vendor member to the newest soapmaker member, I absolutely love the effort that everyone makes to ensure the success of individual members.”  When not leading the board, she runs Monastery Scents from Clyde, Missouri, most recently making batches of Gardenia and Rose Petal soap for a Canadian order.  One piece of advice she gives members is to “Be sure to take advantage of all the wonderful benefits that are available to you through your HSMG Members.   If you’re not sure what they are feel free to ask any one of us who are serving you on the Board of Directors.”

Vice President Feleciai Favroth makes her home in Oakland, California, where she runs Skincare by Feleciai and has been serving the board for three years.  If you’ve enjoyed any of the last three conferences, it was due in large part to Feleciai’s amazing work as Conference Chair!  As co-chair of the newly combined Membership and Programs and Services committee, she is working on implementing an exciting new loan program for members.  The last soap Feleciai whipped up was Eucalyptus Peppermint (yum!).

Treasurer and Membership and Programs and Services Committee Co-Chair Julie Koenig, owner of Kreative Kraftwerks, in Malone, Wisconsin, is working to increase and retain HSMG membership.  In her two years on the board, Julie has most loved interacting with people across the country united by similar interests.  Her last soapy creation was a Creepy Crawly Snake Soap.  “Volunteering for the HSMG,” Julie says, “has been an awesome experience, and I think everyone should consider it.”

Barb DeLosSantos, owner of Barb’s Homemade Soap and More in Adrian, Michigan, was re-elected to the board this year and is currently serving as secretary and chair of the Certification Committee.  Her last soapmaking session was a blur, including creating guest-sized Buttermilk Citrus ponies, Amore Coffee Lovers, Eucalyptus, Ginger Oatmeal, Passion Vanilla/Citrus/Ginger, Oatmeal Cinnamon with goats milk, and Peppermint Pumice bars.

Beth Byrne, who owns Soap and Garden in Rochester, New York, co-chairs the Public Relations and Social Media Committee.  Beth is hard at work not only ensuring Canadian soapmakers know that the Guild offers a wonderful insurance program, but also interacting with members and all soapmakers on various social media forums.  Beth recently finished a batch of North Woods, a soap with a cedarwood and patchouli blend.

Jennifer Grimes was elected to the board at the 2012 Annual meeting and is co-chairing the Public Relations and Social Media Committee.  “I am so excited to keep our members up to date and to help the Guild take advantage of the dizzying array of social media options that exist.”  She runs Loft Soap in San Francisco, California, and recently restocked a batch of soap called Urban Bonsai, a “fresh unisex scent that captures a little bit of city life in a hot processed bar of soap”.

Tami Thornton was appointed to fill the vacancy on the Board left by the President’s shift to Executive Director in 2012 and will be co-chairing the Membership and Programs and Services Committee.  She is the owner of Beehive Soap and Body Care in South Jordan, Utah and last made a soap scented with peppermint, eucalyptus, and tea tree essential oils called Herbal Blast.   About the Guild, she says, “I adore the conferences!  It is an amazing experience to be in a room with 300 other people who are as passionate about soap as I am…. and to drink that in for three full days!  The guild provides this opportunity to come together, to learn, and to lift the standards for our whole industry.”

So there you have it…we hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak peek into the newest Board of Directors.  From west coast to east, this board is hard at work and ready to serve you.  Have an idea? Curious what’s happening?  Get in touch with us right here on the blog, on twitter, facebook, or via email.   With your support, the Guild will just keep getting better!

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Take a Bow!

Next week, we’ll introduce the new board (and believe us, we can’t wait!).  Until then, here’s one last look at the July 2011- June 2012 Board of Directors:

July 2011-June 2012 HSMG Board of Directors
From left: Feleciai Favroth, Cathleen Timberlake, Leigh O’Donnell, Donna Pixton-Hacker, Julie Koenig, Barb DeLosSantos (not pictured: Beth Byrne)

And the tireless 2012 Conference Staff:

2012 HSMG conference crew
Standing, from left: Cathleen Timberlake, Janette Mitchell, Tami Thornton, Al Gerhold, Wanda Gillen, Tom Koenig, Robin Schmidt, Jennifer Grimes, Donna Pixton-Hacker, Feleciai Favroth, Barb De Los Santos, Teri Kalgren, Cheryl Peterson. Front row, from left: Stephanie Craig, Leigh O’Donnell, Camryn O’Donnell, Julie Koenig

This conference staff pulled off the biggest conference in HSMG’s history at The Red Lion on the River, a gorgeous venue on the scenic Columbia River, just minutes from downtown Portland, Oregon.  We hope all of you had as much fun attending as we did putting it on for you.

Did you miss the conference?  Check out this post for a great round-up of re-caps.

We want to see you at next year’s conference, in beautiful Raleigh, North Carolina. What are you waiting for?  Go sign up now!