HSCG Member Spotlight: Master Certification Recipients

HSCG Master Certified Soapmakers

Are you exited? Because WE’RE excited! I must say that I do love the fresh smell of ambition in the morning…

For those who may not know, one of the many Member Benefits of the HSCG is the opportunity to partake in the Certification Program.

 Long story short,  there are  3 levels of certification: Basic, Advanced, and Master.  Each available in either the CP/HP -or- the MP category, and each a bit more difficult/involved than the last (and no, you can’t just skip ahead & start at the Master level. You are required to start at the bottom, and pass you way up!)

The Master Certification level is the third and final level of Certification that an HSCG Member can achieve.

Comprised of 4 separate parts & allowed up to 2 years to complete it, this test is not for the faint of heart, people.  Just think of it as the SAT’s of HSCG soapmaking certification.  The Master level was implemented in 2012 to further evaluate the knowledge & experience of the soapmaker, along with their ability to research & investigate new areas, & expand the awareness of the handcrafted soapmaking community.  

If you were able to join us in Indianapolis, IN this past April for the annual conference, then you had the pleasure of helping us congratulate the very first 2 HSCG members ever to be awarded the HSCG Master Certification: Anne-Marie Faiola of Bramble Berry Inc., & Jackie Thompson of Gaily Rebecca Soaps!

HSCG President Feleciai Favroth presents Anne-Marie Faiola with her Master Certification award at the 2015 HSCG Conference.

“Completing the master certification has brought me the confidence in knowing that Bramble Berry and I can complete even the most daunting of soap challenges. We also gained much applicable knowledge in regards to lye production and transparent/melt and pour soap production.” ~ A.M. Faiola 

Having started making soap when she was 16 years old, it’s no surprise that this evolved entrepreneur was one of the first to complete this process.  However even with so much experience & success, when asked if she learned anything new that she might not have otherwise known before deciding to take the Master Certification, Anne-Marie gladly shed some light:

          “…There were many things! To name a few: the history of lye production, the chemistry of melt and pour and what the components do, how cream soap differs from something like bath whip, as well as the production methods for these items that could be applied to house made items at Bramble Berry.”

HSCG President Feleciai Favroth presents Jackie Thompson with her Master Certification award at the 2015 HSCG Conference.

Jackie Thompson, most well known for her adventures & experiments with liquid soapmaking,  was also kind enough to answer a few post-certification questions for us!  When asked about the process as a whole & whether or not she would recommend it to another soapmaker member, her answer was resoundingly positive:

“Of course I would recommend and have recommended other soapmakers complete the Master Certification! If nothing else the Master Certification creates a feeling of accomplishment as well as the understanding there is still so much more to learn.  It also gives the soapmaker a chance to understand the avenue of expertise they are especially equipped to focus in their soapmaking journey…beneficial for the soapmaker as well as the soapmaking community.”

(To read the entire Q&A with these lovely ladies, click here!)

So what are YOUR thoughts? Are YOU an HSCG Certified Member? What do you feel that you got out of the Certification process? We want to know! Drop us a line in the comments below to share your Certification story!

Proudly Announcing: Cut to the Trace

HSCG Introduces New Blog!»We’re back!«

 Bonjour everyone! I am happy to announce that the HSCG blog, now known as “Cut To The Trace”, is officially up and running (soapmakers, you can definitely appreciate our punny new name, right?) and I must say, we have missed you so!

 You may have noticed that we look a bit different than before – We got a fancy shmancy new makeover!  Don’t worry, all of our past posts are still available for your re-reading pleasure.  But more importantly, I am incredibly excited to finally be able to serve up some fantastic material for you on a regular basis again!

 While this post will be short & sweet, you can look forward to our next feature article later this week, so stay tuned & subscribe! You can receive our new posts right to your inbox!

What do you think of our new look?  What topics do you want to see covered first? Have you missed us too? Drop us a line in the comments below – We can’t wait to hear from you!

Sincerely happy to be back serving you,


Use ‘em, Don’t Lose ‘em

Are you getting the most out of your membership? Sure, we advocate for the entire handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry and we offer some pretty killer insurance to professional US and Canadian members as well as a not-to-be-missed yearly conference. But if you’re just here for the conferences or the insurance, you’re missing out on so much more. As we head through the season of holiday madness and into the end of the year, it’s the perfect time to take stock of your business and plan for the new year.

Family Heirloom

With that in mind, check out some of the perks for *all* members (including vendors, private labelers, and handcrafters just starting out)

Reminder: To get to all of these goodies, make sure you log in on the website before you get click-happy (otherwise, these links take you nowhere and nobody likes to be in a sad corner of the internet).

>>Save on your supplies with ongoing and special monthly deals from our Vendor members.

>>Save on printing, office supplies and much more by registering for a Power Purchasing account.

>>Expose your products to the world with HSCG’s Beauty Box Program.

>>Learn how to start your business with the HSCG Small Business Start-up Toolkit.

And check out some of the perks for all *pro* members (this is our most common category of membership – for all the peeps who make and sell goods to the public).

>>Help consumers find your company by filling out (or updating!) your online listing.

>>Let consumers know where you’re selling by listing your stores, wholesale accounts, craft shows and farmers’ markets on the HSCG Store Locator.

>>Learn how to wholesale your products with the HSCG Wholesale Toolkit.

>>Get yourself in the news with HSCG’s Public Relations Toolkit.

You can get to the full list of benefits right here and of course, get in touch with us online or in the office if you need help accessing any of your benefits.

Here’s to a phenomenal fourth quarter and a great start to your 2015 business planning!