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!
“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.”
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!