Member Spotlight: A Wild Soap Bar LLC

Walking through Soap Bartender Maggie Hanus’ production area recently, you may have stumbled over several hundred pounds of soap in process. “Inspired back in 1995 by Sandy Maine’s “The Soap Book”, I taught myself how to make soap through trial and error and haven’t been able to stop ever since!” Maggie is part of the team behind Texas-based A Wild Soap Bar, a family-operated company offering native organic soaps, body balms, and gift sets.


A Wild Soap Bar truly displays a regional influence, incorporating native plants into many of their products. Stuck on which soap to try? The Sea Scrub Soap is packed with sea salt and other goodies from the sea and is the number one seller on the site. Not looking for a scrub-down? Try the soothing lavendin-scented Bluebonnet Soap, or the charcoal, tea tree and eucalyptus essential oil-infused Black Willow Bark Soap, both best sellers on the site.a-wild-soap-bar-dog-soap

Aside from the retail website, A Wild Soap Bar specializes in custom manufacturing and has a thriving wholesale business. Check the website to see where you can check out A Wild Soap Bar’s soap in person.

When not selling soap, A Wild Soap Bar gives back, donating portions of their profits each year to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and Clean the World. A Wild Soap Bar also pays it forward with Wild About Good ™, a charitable arm of the company that provides a helping hand through Kiva microfinance loans. They’ve made 42 loans in just under 2 years. Check out what they’ve been up to on Kiva – you can even join the Wild About Good team!


You can connect with A Wild Soap Bar all over the web. Follow along with their adventures on Twitter and Facebook. A Wild Soap Bar’s Pinterest boards spotlight Austin, healthy eating, and many of the natural ingredients that go into A Wild Soap Bar’s soaps. Maggie also shares company news and insights on thoughtful living on the blog.

About the HSCG, Maggie says, “My favorite benefit by far is the annual conference (when I get to go)…loads of fun & a great way to stay in touch!” We hope to see you at conference soon, Maggie!

We’re so glad to have you, Maggie – Thanks for the sneak peek into A Wild Soap Bar!

Announcing 2014 HSCG Conference Keynote

We may be knee deep in snow, but we are already dreaming of May as we happy-soap-dance our way through the final stretch of planning for HSCG’s 17th Annual Conference, being held May 20-22 in Tucson, Arizona. We are proud to announce Professor Dr. Vijai K. S. Shukla as this year’s conference keynote speaker.

Vijai K.S. Shukla

So who is Prof. Dr. Shukla? Aside from authoring over 100 original scientific publications, Prof. Dr. Vijai K. S. Shukla has edited six books and contributed book chapters in topics ranging from cosmetics to modern analytical techniques for the separation of lipids and proteins. He also founded International Cosmetic Science Centre A/S in Denmark. You could say he’s a master of fats!

Prof. Dr. Vijai K. S. Shukla’s keynote at this year’s conference will be on Nature’s Gift to Soap & Cosmetics. We look forward to a fantastic kick-off of this year’s conference. If we’ve tickled your interest, you can read all about Prof. Dr. Shukla on the website.


Never been to a Guild conference? Whew, boy, do we have a lot to fill you in on. Suffice it to say, HSCG conferences are 3 days’ worth of the best business investment you can make. For 3 days each spring, we convene on a different location within the US,

–        sharing best known methods in soap, cosmetic-making, and business through classes and networking, (including special pre-conference seminars)

–        bringing together buyers and suppliers,

–        updating the membership on the state of the organization,

–        certifying members as soapmakers,

–        holding a competition for soapers to show their stuff,

–        collecting donations for a local charity,

–        raffling off loads of prizes,

–        and unwinding each evening with night time parties,

–        not to mention keeping everyone well fed along the way!

Check out blog highlights on the speakers covering cosmetic, business, and soapmaking topics as well as special seminars being offered this year.


P.S. You have 2 more days to get an application in for a scholarship to the 2014 Annual Conference, covering registration, hotel, and $500 of your travel costs. Huge thanks to Veracity for sponsoring 2 of these amazing scholarship opportunities!

Member Spotlight: K.I.S.S. Keeping It Simple Soap

Shock, fear, and anxiety typically accompany the loss of a full time job. For Kathy Bosk, owner of Keeping It Simple Soap (K.I.S.S), it was the impetus to start a company. And oddly enough, it was her daughter who introduced Kathy to soapmaking.


Two and a half years after its genesis, New Hampshire-based Keeping It Simple Soap carries lotion bars, lip balms, and olive oil-based soaps. Kathy not only keeps it simple, she keeps it local. K.I.S.S. re-uses printed paper destined for the recycle bin from a local school and recreation department, a local school’s milk cartons, and excess grocery store paper bags for labels and molds. A local chocolate store supplies K.I.S.S.’s coconut oil, and the olive oil comes from a New England-based grocery store. For those ingredients that must be outsourced, K.I.S.S. favors purchasing from a company that raises money and awareness for autism.


Get a quick look at Keeping It Simple Soap’s product range on pinterest and browse and buy K.I.S.S.’s product selection online. While soap may be in the name, don’t neglect the lip balms. As one customer raves, “I highly recommend the lip balms! I won’t go back to the store stuff!” Check K.I.S.S.’s website calendar and Facebook page, as well as follow the K.I.S.S. twitter account to see where they’ll be vending and when that next batch of soap will be ready to go.

Thanks, Kathy, for sharing the story of Keeping It Simple Soap. Here’s to your success!!