Behind the Scenes: Constructing HSCG’s Library

If you follow us here on the blog (or Facebook or Twitter, you faithful stalker, you) or were lucky enough to join us in Tucson earlier this year for our 17th annual conference, then you may remember hearing about a project we’ve been working on for the soap and cosmetic-making community.

One super important part of the Guild’s mission is to foster the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry. To that end, we’ve been working on an online library to house all sorts of resources for members and the community at large. There you’ll find everything from instructional videos to the various toolkits we released earlier this year to helpful links and articles covering all aspects of your indie business.

Wondering what this content will look like? (Yes, we couldn’t wait, either.) While we are oh-so-impatiently waiting for this library to be built, we couldn’t resist sharing one of the first instructional videos, taught by bath don’t-call-it-a-bomb master Holly Port. In this video, filmed by Monster Productions, Holly, owner of Lotion Bar Café, teaches you how to make (what else?!) fail-proof bath fizzies.

And, if you really want a glimpse behind the scenes (and a newfound appreciation for what it takes to translate instructions to film), check out the blooper reel.


We can’t wait to bring you an entire library full of content like this. Members, keep an eye on your e-news to get the latest and greatest scoop.

Thank you, Holly, for sharing your expertise and your bloopers! What are *you* hoping to see in the HSCG Library?

Roll That Tape!

Were you lucky enough to join us last week in Tucson, Arizona for the 17th annual HSCG conference? Yes, there was an awful lot of demonstration last week (this desert spa-inspired six layer exfoliant soap by Charlene Simon  was an excellent case in point), but that’s not the only thing we were up to.

char exfoliant vid set up

Oh yes, there was the perfect bath fizzy (those are Holly Port’s hands and her amazing technique),

HSCG_2014-1 fizzy perfection

there were fearless batch-splitting into impressionist-worthy multiple colors (as calmly and very cleanly demonstrated by Erica Pence),

HSCG_2014-4 multicolor pour

and there was even some mica on mica swirling action (as demonstrated here by a safely gloved Tanya Rasley).

HSCG_2014-10 tanya mica swirl

But despite all these lovely demos happening, you may not have seen all of these things if you attended HSCG’s Annual Conference last week.

Wondering why? Here’s a hint, courtesy of Marla Bosworth and a jammin’ Lisa Frank-esque tidal wave soap:

marla and finished soap

Not helping much? How about this?

erica and soap

Getting warmer??

mcginnis behind the scenes (2)

Wonder what we were up to last week? That’s right, we were shooting video (witness rare behind-the-scenes shot above of producer Adam Grogin of Monster Productions). Holly Port of Lotion Bar Cafe, Catherine McGinnis of Soaping101, Erica Pence of Bath Alchemy Lab and The Bonnie Bath Co., Tanya Rasley of Baby Duck Soap Co. and Canard Labs, Charlene Simon of Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium, and Marla Bosworth of Back Porch Soap Co. all donated their time and mad cosmetic-making skills to film tutorial videos that will eventually land in HSCG’s Learning Library. The Learning Library will be a vetted source of tips, tricks, techniques and creative inspiration for members…and it will be free.

Thanks to these amazing ladies and a killer production and behind-the-scenes crew (can’t forget the dish washers!), we’ll have tutorials on how to layer your soaps, use exfoliants, combine swirling techniques, make amazing bath fizzies, utilize spoons and condiment bottles in your swirling technique, and more. We are still collecting and producing content for the Learning Library, so stay tuned. We will keep you posted on Learning Library progress – we just couldn’t resist sharing these early behind-the-scenes shots! (And while you are oh-so-patiently waiting, allow us to distract you with kittens a time-lapse video of the hard-working conference crew setting up for registration last week.)

What would you love to see in your own personal soap and cosmetic reference library?

Calling all Recruits

As a non-profit trade association, the HSCG is run largely by volunteers and we have some awesome, hardworking volunteers! Several of our standing committees are looking for a few more volunteers to help bring our goals to fruition. Whether you have an hour a month or several hours a day, we’d be happy to put you to work. Read on for what each of the committees are looking for and email to get involved.


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Public Relations Committee

Got a penchant for public relations? The PR Committee wants YOU! We need individuals who will:

–        sniff out publicity leads for our members to promote

–        make the HSCG known to the general public. We’re looking to be mentioned in several major publications this year.

–        have contacts and the persistence necessary to get media coverage of the 2014 conference!

If this description has your name written all over it, contact us today!


Photo credit: Karpati Gabor from

Social Media Committee

Calling all pinterest mavens, vine fanatics, twittering fools, blogging pros, and facebook fiends. HSCG is the place to be – we need your help spreading the word online. The Social Media Committee engages the membership and the industry and we’re ramping up our presence online this year. We’re looking for bloggers (both one-time and ongoing) and members passionate about interacting with our online community on Facebook and LinkedIn. If you’re looking for a safe, fun place to test and grow your social media skills, you’ve come to the right place. Help make the HSCG bigger and better; get social with us!


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Membership Committee

We’re seeking a few task-oriented volunteers to assist with the 2013-2014 goals, including recruiting additional members (both Professional and Vendor) by creating a reward-based membership drive. The Membership Committee will also be responsible for creating membership registration packets, submitting exciting news and information to the Social Media Committee and increasing our member retention stats.

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Programs & Services Committee

We need YOU! We are looking for volunteers for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. We will be looking to bring new programs, services, rewards to our members, i.e UPS, Office Depot. Do you have some ideas? Some suggestions? Some time to help? We already know you are creative and talented!


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Learning Library Committee

The Learning Library Committee is a brand, spanking new special committee kicked off this year. This Committee will be setting up the structure and parameters of an online learning library. Once this structure is in place, the Committee will work towards filling the library with helpful and instructive articles and videos.


Photo credit: taliesin from


Certification Committee

Proctored testing was developed in order to make it possible for HSCG members who cannot travel to the Annual Conference to still become HSCG Certified Soapmakers. By utilizing a proctor to oversee the examination, a member can take a Soapmaker Certification Examination anywhere in the world. Every HSCG member can take advantage of the HSCG Soapmaker Certification Program.

Proctor: a person appointed to keep watch over students at examinations.

Are you a certified soapmaker? Would you be willing to act as a proctor for a soapmaker in your area? Become a volunteer proctor location for the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild.


Thanks for making HSCG the strongest organization we can be. Long live handcrafted soap and cosmetics!!