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!!

Soap Angel Investors

Angel investors are a well-known concept in Silicon Valley, where their deep pockets help start up cash-strapped businesses. Have you ever heard, however, of the soap angel concept?

AngelPhoto by Flickr member Paul Esson. Used under a Creative Commons License.

Soapmakers are a generous bunch, as the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild has witnessed many times over. This past week, that generosity of spirit surfaced again, when HSCG member, Scentability owner and soap angel Tricia Samundsen mobilized the soapmaking community to raise a record-breaking $1300 in 11 hours for fellow soapmaker Sonya Black.


Sonya is the owner of Luxuriously Natural Soaps, a soap, candle, and handcrafted personal care product company based out of North Carolina. She met Tricia through online networking forums for soapmakers, where she is a frequent presence. Sonya had been saving for many months to be able to attend the 2013 HSMG conference in Raleigh when a breast cancer diagnosis turned her world upside down and canceled her conference plans.

With the HSCG conference quickly selling out, Tricia was inspired to make sure that Sonya was one of this year’s participants. She kicked off her secret mission Easter Sunday, using Facebook to invite all of her soapmaking friends to a group called “Soap Sisters and Brothers Unite!” Within an hour of the first invites, Tricia had raised over half of the conference fee. Bolstered by her early success, she decided to raise not only the conference fee, but also enough money to cover Sonya’s hotel stay and an extra meal ticket, should Sonya decide to travel with company. Hundreds of soapmakers pitched in their verbal and monetary support to help send Sonya to the conference.

Ultimately, the group raised almost $2000, enough to meet all their initial goals, provide Sonya with extra spending money for the conference (gotta enter those raffles!), and purchase her an HSCG membership with insurance. Reflecting on the experience, Tricia shares “the love and sense of family and a true tight knit community was so present that night, I cried tears of joy a couple of times!!”

Copyright usage granted to: Tricia Samundsen

Says Tricia, “Sonya is such a sweet, loving and special woman. Just having her around on the FB Groups has been a treasure! Now being able to meet her in person and to be able to say I was one of many people to help her get to this year’s conference is great! I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the response I received from my idea! SOAPERS ROCK!” Truly, a story of a soap angel if we’ve ever heard one.

Thank you, Tricia and Sonya, for allowing us to share this story. We can’t wait to see you BOTH at this year’s conference!!


Come on down to the Soapers Showcase!

When you hear “soapers showcase”, you may think, “sounds a bit like a category that didn’t make the cut for The Price Is Right”, but don’t be fooled. This is one opportunity you don’t want to miss. The Soapers Showcase is your annual chance to have a friendly competition with soapmakers worldwide.

At this year’s Annual Conference in Raleigh, enter up to three of your favorite soaps to compete in these categories in the Soapers Showcase:

–        Best Scent (Melt & Pour)

–        Best Appearance (Melt & Pour)

–        Best Scent (Cold and Hot Process)

–        Best Appearance (Cold and Hot Process)

–        Best Packaging (all)

–        Something Different (all)

Even better, entry is free! Winners of each category will compete for a Best in Show prize. Winners, determined by popular vote, will be announced Sunday, May 19 at the Annual Awards Dinner.

All conference attendees receive a Soapers Showcase ballot in conference registration packets, so even if you are not entering a soap into the competition, the showcase is a lot of fun. Make sure to stop by early to start sniffing your way to a vote (trust us, noses get tired and you will want plenty of time to ponder your options).

This year, Soapers Showcase entries will be donated to the Women’s Center of Wake County, a center bridging the gap between despair and hope for women and families by offering a wide variety of services to those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Visit the Women’s Center at to learn more about their mission.

What to do next:

–        Check out HSCG Conference Info on this year’s showcase to find out more

–        If you’re raring to go, access the Soapers Showcase entry form

–        For inspiration, check out last year’s Soapers Showcase winners

What are you waiting for? Start plotting your entries now…you even have (just enough) time to make a fresh batch of soap for the competition.

We’ll see you in Raleigh…44 days until the official 2013 Conference begins and Soapers Showcase entry opens