Member Benefits: 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!

Behind the Scenes: Constructing HSCG’s How-To 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 how-to 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 how-to 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?

Just (whole)sale it!

So you’ve set up your online shingle and your soaps are flying off the shelves. Or you’re up every Wednesday at 4am slinging fancy facial creams from your booth at the local market. Maybe you have a raving group of fans who search you out from Renegade to the local high school show. Your branding is tight and your COGS are on lockdown. The only thing you’re missing now is seeing your product on the shelves of local stores (and heck, stores nationwide)). But how to make that leap to wholesaling?

We have just the toolkit to help make your entry into wholesaling smooth sailing. Whether you are a professional or private label member, log in and check out the Wholesale Toolkit we’ve put together.

look how happy you'll be after securing that wholesale deal!

There, you’ll find a checklist that includes:

–       Wholesale insurance considerations

–       For the US, links to IRS forms your wholesale accounts may need

–       Important UPC considerations and links to UPC issuers by country

–       A sample letter of introduction to spark your creative juices when pitching a retailer

–       How to fill out a vendor information form and why it’s a great first step to a contract

–       A sample wholesale agreement (hallelujah!)

–       A sample order form for those times you’re not hooked up to the web

–       Price sheet guidelines and all the three-letter acronyms you want on it: UPC, VIN, SRP, and more

–       Guidelines on producing a wholesale catalog

–       Why you should care about electronic funds transfer

Most importantly, keep breathing. You got this!! For more great advice on wholesale, check out some of our favorite posts from Lucky Break Consulting, Modern Soapmaking, and the Soap Queen, who have all generously shared loads of business advice.

Check out the HSCG website for links to all the sample documents. From the Guild home page, navigate to Members –> Wholesale Toolkit. The website will prompt you to log in if you aren’t already prior to taking you right to the goods. Getting into wholesale may entail a whole lot of paperwork, but it doesn’t have to be scary.

What do you wish you knew when you started wholesaling? Did we miss your favorite wholesale post?