Now Bubbling Up: Brochures en Français

The Why Handcrafted Soap? brochure has long been a resource for members to use with English-speaking customers. The brochures are a wonderful introduction to handcrafted soap, explaining the differences between commercially prepared and handcrafted soaps and spotlighting the wide range of handcrafted soaps produced by our members. Today, we’re excited to announce the “Why Handcrafted Soap?” brochure is available in French as “Le Savon Artisanal”. At long last, members with French-speaking customers can take advantage of this beloved HSCG publication.

_Flashmob Bubbles @ Grand Place Bruxelles-4027

Members can download both the “Why Handcrafted Soap?” and “Le Savon Artisanal” brochures from the Members section of the website by logging in and navigating to Marketing Tools> Handcrafted Soap Brochure. You can also choose to have the Guild print them in full color for you, by ordering through the Guild store.

Thank you to Guild member Helene Metivier and her spouse Daniel Tate, for their help in translation!

What language should we tackle next?

If You Start Me Up, I’ll Never Stop

That’s what we’re hoping, at least. Do you make the most bodacious bath bombs? Perhaps you’ve perfected a body butter? Or maybe your soap swirls are ready for prime time. If you’ve been thinking about moving beyond a cosmetic-crafting hobby into a business, we have a little something to help start you up.

Start Starting Line Americorps Cinema Service Night Wilcox Park May 20, 20117

Introducing the Business Start-Up Toolkit, accessible from the Soapmakers dropdown on the HSCG’s home page. This toolkit is available to everyone, member or not, free of charge. This toolkit (one of many we are rolling out) will be part of our new resource library. While the library isn’t ready for prime time, we couldn’t keep this toolkit from you any longer.

Why introduce a resource? Part of the Guild’s mission is to foster the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry through education and training. We believe the more you know about getting your business off the ground, the better positioned you are for success!

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On to the good stuff…so, you’re wondering, what kinds of things will you find in this toolkit? Today, we’ve broken the toolkit into six key areas, including quick guides to:

–        Types of business structures and their respective advantages and disadvantages

–        How to choose a business name, including pitfalls to avoid

–        How to get an employer identification number from the IRS

–        What the heck an assumed name is and how to handle it

–        Various types and sources of insurance for your business

–        What you need to do to start your business finances on the right foot

Take a look at the website and check out the toolkit for all the juicy details. Starting a business can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. We hope this guide helps give you the kickstart you need to build your business! This is by no means a static guide, so do let us know what other start-up advice you’d like to see.

What did you wish you knew when you started your business?

Quick Tips: How to Make it Big

The handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry is one talented bunch and the collective wisdom from the scores of intrepid entrepreneurs and budding business owners is truly astounding. However, it’s easy to miss out on that business savvy when you’re just getting started and aren’t part of any industry groups, pages, or forums. And that’s where the Guild comes in. We wouldn’t be fulfilling our mission if we didn’t try to connect you, our readers (members or not!) with some of the savvy we witness in the industry. Today, we bring you a simple sliver of advice on the (often completely frightening and icky-feeling) topic of selling, generously shared by HSCG Board of Directors member Benjamin Aaron, co-founder of non-profit Lovin’ Soap Project and co-owner of Prairie Soap Company, LLC, in Lees Summit, Missouri.


When you get the chance to get in front of a customer (or even via email / phone), you HAVE to make a proposal. Whether it is wholesale, retail or farmer’s markets…You have to make a proposal. You have to ask for a sale. For whatever reason, society tells us to play it a bit safe rather than to go all in with every customer, every opportunity. And even further, us makers will give the excuse that since we are the creative type we aren’t good at selling or whatever…hogwash.
Be willing to go for it with every customer, every time. All in. Put food on your table by actively engaging with your customers. I can’t tell you how many times I get nos, but I will reload my chips and play again.

Buying Hats

The more you commit, the higher your level of your own delivery and abilities naturally becomes…I really believe that. If other folks are making it successfully in our industry, so can you. But if someone else wants it more than you, than you will resolve yourself to working really hard for very little return.

Hope everyone is doing well and that business is good. Keep expanding your efforts and you will see the benefits. It’s super simple, but you gotta ask. Take MASSIVE action towards what you want and you’ll get it cuz what you want wants you back…real bad.

Your turn – have you put yourself on the line by asking for the sale? Got any tips to make it easier?