Quick Tips: How to Make it Big

The handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry is one talented bunch and the collective wisdom from the scores of intrepid entrepreneurs and budding business owners is truly astounding. However, it’s easy to miss out on that business savvy when you’re just getting started and aren’t part of any industry groups, pages, or forums. And that’s where the Guild comes in. We wouldn’t be fulfilling our mission if we didn’t try to connect you, our readers (members or not!) with some of the savvy we witness in the industry. Today, we bring you a simple sliver of advice on the (often completely frightening and icky-feeling) topic of selling, generously shared by HSCG Board of Directors member Benjamin Aaron, co-founder of non-profit Lovin’ Soap Project and co-owner of Prairie Soap Company, LLC, in Lees Summit, Missouri.


When you get the chance to get in front of a customer (or even via email / phone), you HAVE to make a proposal. Whether it is wholesale, retail or farmer’s markets…You have to make a proposal. You have to ask for a sale. For whatever reason, society tells us to play it a bit safe rather than to go all in with every customer, every opportunity. And even further, us makers will give the excuse that since we are the creative type we aren’t good at selling or whatever…hogwash.
Be willing to go for it with every customer, every time. All in. Put food on your table by actively engaging with your customers. I can’t tell you how many times I get nos, but I will reload my chips and play again.

Buying Hats

The more you commit, the higher your level of your own delivery and abilities naturally becomes…I really believe that. If other folks are making it successfully in our industry, so can you. But if someone else wants it more than you, than you will resolve yourself to working really hard for very little return.

Hope everyone is doing well and that business is good. Keep expanding your efforts and you will see the benefits. It’s super simple, but you gotta ask. Take MASSIVE action towards what you want and you’ll get it cuz what you want wants you back…real bad.

Your turn – have you put yourself on the line by asking for the sale? Got any tips to make it easier?

There’s a New Store in Town!

Did you catch the news earlier this month? We are excited to announce a new discount, exclusively for members, on your very own website (yup, no more sharing your ecommerce site with someone else or lots of someone elses. You can hog, I mean, have this one all to yourself, bwa ha ha haaaa). HSCG has partnered with Volusion to provide members with exclusive discounts on all the services you need to build a custom site and get your online shop up and running.

this could be you after signing up for a new webstore

Build your store through Volusion and get discounts on hosting fees, premium templates, merchant services, and SSL certificates. If you’ve taken the plunge into online commerce but are itching for a completely custom look and feel as well as a slick customer experience, drop what you’re doing (unless it’s breakfast, the most important meal of the day – we don’t want you fainting through this) and take a look at Volusion.


HSCG Member Deal

Store (monthly hosting fee)

25% member discount

SSL (1 year certificate)

20% member discount

Premium Templates

20% member discount

Merchant Services

2.05% member rate

Volusion has lots of different options, with dozens of free templates as well as fancier premium templates and even in-house design services. Likewise, hosting plans range from minimal monthly expenditure to premium plans with all the bells and whistles. Sign up for a 14-day free trial and have one of their ecommerce consultants guide you through the process.

Is an online store the missing link to your success?

If you spaced out at the mention of SSL and get the sweats just navigating the Volusion template options, don’t worry. You still have the option of a free Soap Guild store hosted by The Template Place. These webstores are the easiest and fastest way to establish your online presence, allowing you to open up shop with minimal effort. Read all about how to sign up for Soap Guild stores here.

If you’re salivating, read up on all the Volusion discounts and find out how to get your discounts here.

Your turn – do you sell online? Give us a shout out so we can give you some love!

9 Reasons Insurance is Worth Pondering

If you sell your soap, you need insurance.  Despite your careful formulation, good manufacturing practices, and thorough testing, liability claims can happen to any business.  Here are nine reasons why having general, product, and professional liability insurance is a good idea:not having insurance is quite the headache

9.  Mold infiltrates your beautifully packaged finished soap

8.  A student is hurt while following directions you gave them

7.  You are demonstrating soap making and an audience member is splashed with caustic soap

6.  Your shipment is lost by a 3rd party carrier en route to customer

5.  A fire wipes out your inventory at a retail shop

4.  Show organizers claim you’ve damaged a rented booth

3.  A customer’s dog chokes on your doggie shampoo bar

2.  Your soap falls from a retail shelf and takes out another company’s product

1.  A customer’s child tries to eat your slightly too realistic ice cream cone melt and pour soap

We hope you never have to use it, but the general and product (and professional, should you so choose) liability insurance that is part of your HSMG membership is ready to back you up….just another benefit of being a member in Canada and the US.

Check out other benefits of HSMG membership here.