A+ Soapmaking Studio, currently teaching soapmaking, business classes and more to students in the local southern California area and beyond, had an unexpected start. Owner Kerri Mixon had just joined the HSCG as the owner of Pallas Athene Soap and attended her very first conference that same year in Tucson, Arizona. Inspired by the incredible meeting of the minds that happened at the 2003 conference, Kerri started free Soapmakers Luncheons shortly thereafter. “I…decided a gathering of like-minded kindred soapmakers was too precious to have just once a year”.
Her quarterly SoCal Soapmakers’ Luncheons grew and Kerri began bringing in guest speakers ranging from lavender growers to marketing specialists and beyond. It didn’t take long for luncheon attendees to recognize Kerri’s expertise and to start requesting formal classes.
Between Pallas Athene’s growing business and her desire to protect intellectual property, Kerri resisted, but soapmakers persisted until, as Kerri says, “I realized I had an obligation to provide my fellow soapmakers with accurate modern soapmaking technology”. In 2009, bureaucracy conquered and curriculum developed, the A+ Soapmaking Studio opened its doors and joined the Guild as a vendor member.
The Studio quickly took off, bringing students from as far away as Taiwan and Belize, and garnering local media attention. Today, the Beginning Cold Process Soapmaking class (Soapmaking 101, of course!) consistently sells out. “The most surprising aspect of teaching soapmaking classes,” shares Kerri, “is how eager people are to learn. I’m always amazed by what people will endure to learn and I’m grateful for their tenacity.”
Peruse the A+ Soapmaking Studio’s current class list here. You can also catch Kerri in action at the 2013 HSCG conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she will be presenting a two-part session on the chemistry and properties of fatty acids and oils.
Thank you, A+ Soapmaking Studio, for sharing a sneak peek into your past. We can’t wait to see what you come up with next!