Member Spotlight: Simmons Natural Bodycare

For Simmons Natural Bodycare, it all started with a classic soapmaking tome: Ann Bramson’s Soap – Making It, Enjoying It. Allergies and sensitivies to the fragrances and colors available commercially drove Dottie Simmons and her husband to make their own. It became gifts, then an easy addition to their craft fair table, eventually launching into a business.


32 years later, Dottie relates, “we still love our soap making. I am the experimenter/perfumer and my husband does the main production now.” True to their initial inspiration, you’ll find products catering to customers with allergies as well as soaps, shaving soap and salves. “While all our soaps are rich and gentle and mild, several are specifically made for those with severe chemical sensitivities or allergies.” You must try the woolies. Dottie explains: “A tie in to our previous hand-spun business “Sheep Thrills”, woolies are natural wool felted around our soap for suds and scrubbie all-in-one!”


Regardless of what you choose, Simmons Natural Bodycare provides body care basics of the highest quality, including certified organic oils as the starting point of their soaps and salves. Something you may not realize, as you lather up with Simmons’ fantastically affordable soap, is just how sustainable their operations are. “Not only is our business part of a self-sustaining rural homestead,” Dottie relates, “it is entirely powered by self-generated alternative energy (solar photovoltaic panels, wind and micro-hydro). We also donate to and Trees for the Future to offset our carbon footprint and are very active in volunteering and donating in our community.”


Simmons Natural Bodycare has been a member of the Guild for 15 years, very nearly from the establishment of the HSCG! What keeps them coming back? “We really appreciate the networking, the product liability insurance and general access to the community of soap makers.” Follow along with their daily adventures on the Simmons Naturals twitter feed and Facebook page, as well as the Simmons Naturals blog.

Thank you, Simmons Natural Bodycare, for your long time support. We hope you keep sudsing on for decades to come!

Two Days ‘Til Early Bird Flies the Coop!

Can you believe how  quickly time passes?

In less than 3 months, we’ll be holding our 17th Annual Conference. We rotate the conference to locations all around the US (next year’s will be in Indianapolis) and this year’s just so happens to be in Tucson, Arizona, at the fabulous Loews Ventana Canyon. There, we’ll be welcoming 400 soap and cosmetic handcrafters, business owners, private labelers, and vendors in a 3-day flurry of classes, demonstrations, networking, eating, and night time entertainment.


In December, we opened the application period for 2 scholarships (a full ride including registration, hotel stay, and travel costs) provided by Veracity Insurance Solutions. The judges have worked their way through many, many applications and narrowed down the numerous worthy applicants to the final two winners. Without further ado, we are pleased to congratulate our conference scholarship winners for 2014:

  • Chris Cullen from Catie’s Bubbles in Forked River, New Jersey
  • Dawne Vrabel from Dynamic Roots Enterprises LLC in Carbondale, Colorado

Chris and Dawne, we’ll see you in Tucson! Scholarship competition was especially fierce this year, but if you didn’t get in, there’s still time to register at the early bird rate and pay your registration costs over six months, interest free, with PayPal’s Bill Me Later service.


We’ve steadily introduced the speakers and topics you’ll experience at this conference here on the blog, through our e-news, website, and social media accounts. Although we may still be one quarter away from the start of the conference, you have just 2 days (count ’em – 1, 2!) to snag your registration at the early bird rate. We’ve filled 95% of the available space at this year’s conference and are on pace to sell out. Don’t wait to sign up – you may just miss the early bird discounts and the last available spots.

Check out the website for full details on topics, speakers, schedules, pre-conference sessions, hotel discounts, competitions, and all the other salient details and register for the conference here.

Have you had the opportunity to attend an HSCG conference? What do you want to know about this year’s conference?


Member Spotlight: Radiant Fettle

Quiet, radiant soulfulness emanates from skincare and wellness company Radiant Fettle. You truly get a sense for Radiant Fettle’s heart in talking to owner Kelly Jacobi. Soapmaking is Kelly’s way to honor her mother’s long ago “dabblings in the creation of soaps and other skincare products” and to keep her mother’s spirit alive after her untimely passing. Kelly explains, “I want to keep myself feeling lovely, inside and out. I also want to help other people glow: be it an encouraging word or a wonderful bath experience, I want to help them create lives they love.”


Radiant Fettle products are currently available online. Aside from soaps, you’ll find handmade ceramics and mala in the Radiant Fettle shop. Should you have the opportunity, Kelly recommends the patchouli and sandalwood soap, which includes both colloidal oatmeal and bentonite clay. “Using it is an absolutely brilliant experience!”


We can’t wait to see what this fledging shop introduces next. Follow Radiant Fettle’s journey through their lovely, photographed blog. Find special appearances and product sneak peeks through Radiant Nettle’s Twitter and Facebook pages and get to all of it from their website.


Aside from crafting a product “to create a small, daily paradise and self-healing ritual” for customers, Radiant Nettle loves collaborating with customers. “Please feel free to contact me to let me know what you love,” Kelly says, “especially in regards to your favorite scent combinations and tactile qualities you simply adore.”

Happy 1 year anniversary, Radiant Fettle, and thank you for providing a sneak peek into your inspiration!