Round ’em up, Social Media Pardners!

Did you attend this year’s HSCG conference in Tucson? You may have caught some of the media coverage (including a live spot on KOLD and coverage in the Arizona Daily Star), but, as usual, attendees were hard at work sharing live updates from conference.

There’s no substitute for being at a conference, but get a feel for some of the content and see the experience through attendee (and volunteer) eyes, with posts from the folks behind Tiki Bar Soap, Baby Duck Soap Company, Nature’s Garden (post 2), The Nova Studio, Avital’s Apiaries (post 2), Adventures in La-La Land (post 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), Burly Stone Soap Company, Horsing Around Soap, SoapArt (post 2), Stephenson, and Empire Rose Soap Company.

Status updates were numerous, and punny. Highlighted here are just a few of the social media postings that came pouring in before, during, and after the conference:

Our best post winner, Denisse Canez, chimed in with:

And best picture winner Kristen Prinzing of Lotion Lady had this to say:

Getting so many new ideas here at the The Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild conference! Can’t wait to get home and start working on new products. Bath Bombs, liquid soap, natural perfumes, on and on. #soapconf14

bestpost photo 2014 - lotion lady

In addition to the #soapconf14 hash tag, something new we added to the mix this year was a tagboard to track posts across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Peruse the tagboard here and keep clicking load more to live vicariously through attendees’ postings!

Pssst, if you’re planning on joining us for #soapconf15 in Indianapolis next April, the lowest registration rates expire at the end of the month (in, oh, say 5 days or so).

What was your favorite post? What did we miss and how do you plan to follow the action next year?


Soapers’ Showcase Winners

Drumroll, please….it’s time to announce the 2014 Annual Conference Soapers’ Showcase Winners.

soaper showcase table

If you were with us in Tucson at this year’s conference, you had a chance to ogle all the entries in person, along with boxes and boxes of soaps and personal care products donated by many, many generous conference attendees for donation to local non-profit Sister Jose Women’s Shelter.

Categories for competition this year included Best Scent in both melt and pour and cold/hot process soaps, Best Appearance in both melt and pour and  cold/hot process soaps, Best Packaging, the always intriguing free-for-all category of “Something Different”, and Best In Show.


Beyond the usual fierce competition for each of the seven categories, soapers continue to defy categorization, creating their own transparent bases, mixing cold process with melt and pour, and mixing cold, hot and rebatch techniques to spectacular ends. Needless to say, our judges (aka attendees) had a tough job ahead of them.

The winners, as determined by attendee vote and announced at the 2014 Annual Awards Dinner were:

JoAnne Somers from Dirty Face Soap Company for Best Scent in Melt and Pour


Dawn Cabral-Quimby from Horsin’ Around Soap for Best Scent in Cold/Hot Process


Shonna Mangeris from The Soap Shop for Best Appearance in Melt and Pour


Emily Shieh from Shieh Design Studio for Best Appearance in Cold/Hot Process


Janey Davies from Scrubology Soap for Best Packaging


Chris Port from Lotion Bar Cafe for Something Different


Jennifer Chaloux from Three Crows Soap and Bodyworks for Best In Show


Congratulations to JoAnne, Dawn, Shonna, Emily, Janey, Chris, and Jennifer for sharing your spectacular winning specimens with us! Thank you to everybody who entered for making this, as usual, an impossible decision and thank you to entrants and attendees for donating loads and loads and loads of soap for Sr. Jose’s. We can’t wait to see what you cook up for #soapconf15 in Indianapolis!

Did you have a favorite soap this year? New categories you wish we’d create? Feel free to sound off here!


Show Us Your Heroes

Soapmakers, Cosmetic makers, and Guild members, let’s gather around the fire or air conditioners, as the weather may currently dictate, and have a mushy moment. It may not be that traditionally “thankful” time of year, but we are feeling pretty darn grateful right now. Why? Because you guys rock. Week after week, month after month, stories roll in from near and far of the quiet generosity of soapmakers to other soapmakers, within their communities, and far beyond. Here at Guild headquarters, we don’t hear about all of the unsung heroes, but we can darn well start trying. And that, my friends, is where you come in.

Magnifying Glass - Brooklyn Flea

We are excited to announce the Member of the Year program, aka “Show Us Your Heroes”. Anybody can nominate an HSCG member to be Member of the Year. Why might you nominate someone? Besides just being generally awesome, a Member of the Year candidate may have:

–        advanced human rights through their soapmaking expertise
–        found a new way to make their operations and other makers’ operations eco-friendly
–        tackled a local social issue
–        or maybe even led the charge to advance cosmetic making methods in their local communities

Our precious Earth.

So just how will you show us your heroes? So glad you asked. Nomination forms are going live on the website soon. You’ll have until the end of the year to nominate a member for Member of the Year. Once nominations close, a special selection committee will have the thankless task of narrowing down the nominations and presenting a final slate of candidates to members. Here’s where it gets awesome. We will share each nominee’s story to HSCG members, and you get to decide on the winner, who will be announced at the annual HSCG conference. All of the candidates who make it to the final slate will win a free registration for the 2015 conference (because, hey, you gotta be there to find out if you’re the big winner!) and the final winner wins a trip to the 2016 conference.

We are beyond excited to find out what good soapmakers are up to in your hood and to share more of those stories. Get your nominations ready!!