Going Way Back: The Journal

Bummed that you’re missing out on conference (just about 19 days and counting, you guys!!)? Looking for some best known methods? Wish you had some soapmaking tips and tricks up your sleeves? Just looking for a way to kill some extra time (try not to snort when you read that one)?

Have a look at the archived Journals. From 2000 through 2011, the HSCG (then the HSMG) published a journal approximately twice a year. With the rise of social media forums and our member access to email, publishing a journal was no longer the best way to get information out to the membership. Those of us who love to read shed a tear for its passing, but there’s good news – the Journal lives online for members (and not in that creepy zombie way, okay?!).

Archived Journals are your secret pot of gold

The Guild uploaded every single issue, as well as providing a linked list of all articles arranged by author (so you can find all your favorite experts) and by title (great for general browsing). Every link opens up the entire issue, so get ready to dive on in and learn tips and tricks while you also locate the article you’re interested in. Each file is a PDF, ready for reading online, saving to your hard drive, or printing to read offline. To access, navigate to Member Resources –> Journal Back Issues under the Members tab. Once you log in, you’ll have the option to open an archived issue directly, or browse by article title or author.


Get a sneak peak of many of our 2014 conference speakers by checking out their past work in the Journal. Need some ideas? (Boy, are we glad you asked)

–        Acquaint yourself with Kevin Dunn’s work, from DOS to gel to an exploration of superfatting versus lye discounts, as you gear up for his conference session on the role of Protein in Handcrafted Soap.

–        Prepare for Lori Nova-Endres’ Natural Perfume and Cologne session with her classic article covering 10 essential oils for soap.

–        You’ll find loads of articles from Marie Gale, covering soap history, controversy, and practical advice. This year, she’ll be handing out loads more practical advice in her Getting Started With Your Record-Keeping and GMP conference session.

–        Get a taste of Kerri Mixon’s colorant knowledge in her early articles on natural micas and understanding colorants before attending her Comprehensive Color and Scent for Soap and Cosmetics session (or LACK of color, in Making Transparent Cold/Hot Process Soap).

–        Read Jackie Thompson’s primer on unsaponifiables as preparation for her Neutralizing Liquid Soap and Soap Gels and Jellies sessions.

Do you have fond memories of the Journal? What’s your favorite online reading these days?

Showcase Your Soaps and Send Them to a Good Home!

When you show off your soaps and compete for victory at the Soapers’ Showcase during HSCG’s Annual Conferences, you’re also being altruistic. The Guild has a tradition of donating soap to a local non-profit women’s center in our conference host town and this year is no different.


This year, we are collecting soap and toiletries for donation to Sister Jose Women’s Shelter, in Tucson, Arizona. This four year old shelter focuses on serving women in Tucson’s homeless corridor. Named for Franciscan nun Sr. Jose Hobday, a tireless crusader for the marginalized and close friend of Cesar Chavez and Dorothy Day, the Women’s Shelter is growing by leaps and bounds and already looking to expand into a new facility. By the end of 2013, the shelter had provided thousands of meals, clothing, showers, and personal care products to their clients. They are unique in maintaining an organic garden and having both day and seasonal night programs available (as well as a weekly spa day!). This year, we intend to supply enough personal care products to help this year be another record-breaking year in the shelter’s annals.

Attendees hard at work judging Soapers Showcase at conference

If you’re not already signed up, read all about Soapers’ Showcase and the categories in which you can compete here. Sign up now and make sure you deliver your soap entries to the Soapers’ Showcase table by noon on May 20th. The great news is that you don’t have to be competing in the Soapers’ Showcase to donate to the Women’s Shelter. Bring as much extra soap (and other toiletries) as you can carry – we’ll have a donation box near the Soapers’ Showcase area.

Last year, we donated 400 pounds of soap to the Women’s Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. Help us blow that record out of the water this year. Pack a few extra bars in your suitcase (handy side effect: it leaves room for some of the goodies you’ll be acquiring at conference!!) and we’ll see you there!

See you in Tucson next month – it’s almost here!!

Member Spotlight: Sugarloaf Soaps

Sugarloaf Soaps, in Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania, is truly a wonderland. Wandering the shelves, you’ll find a plethora of bath, body and gift items, including glycerin soaps, lip balms, lotions, sugar scrubs, soaking bath crystals, bath bombs, shampoo (for humans and pets), tarts, candles, incense, friendship balls, wooden roses, and antiques. Owner Rose Cunfer credits Debbie May with sparking her interest in creating bath and body products. “A medical life event caused me to leave my long time administrative job in education. Looking for a complete 360 degree turn, I became interested in soap by watching Debbie May’s videos on Wholesales Supplies Plus website. Then in 2010 I joined HSCG and met so many amazing people!”


While you’ll find plenty lining the shelves of the store to tempt you, Rose insists you try the sugar scrubs, which are most amazing and come in very unusual flavors. And of course, you still have time to pick up Easter-themed soaps and scrubs. If you aren’t close enough to stop by in person, keep in touch with  Sugarloaf Soaps on Facebook.


“I am truly blessed”, Rose relates, “to have an opportunity to own my business, work in a brick and mortar shop next to my house, and travel to meet new friends and formulate new ides. The sky is the limit in this trade and everyone helps one another to be successful!”

Thank you, Rose, for that little shot of inspiration and thanks for giving us a sneak peek into Sugarloaf Soaps!