2013 Conference Speaker Sneak Peek

Are you joining us in Raleigh next May for the 16th annual HSMG Annual Conference?

Let us tempt you with a sneak peek at some of the amazing speakers you will see at the 2013 conference:

Discover the joys of working with pourable silicon to make your own, custom molds with Amanda Griffin of Lovin Soap in her session: Make Your Own Single Cavity Silicone Molds

Allison Kontur of AliMar Labs, LLC will demystify private labeling in her session: Private Label: Making the Leap From Home Formulating to Outside Manufacturing

Michelle Rhoades of Mossy Creek Soap & Studio will show you how to fully exploit SoapMaker software in her session: Design, Formulate, Organize Using the Soapmaker Program

Find out if you should extend your business into natural haircare products with Marla Bosworth of Back Porch Soap Company in Natural Shampoo Market: Trends, Opportunities and Formulating.  Marla will also be leading a special half-day seminar on wholesaling and branding the day before the conference formally starts.

Dean Mayes of Alabu Skin Care will share his secrets to scaling up production as efficiently and cost effectively as possible in his session: Production Solutions For Your Handcrafted Business: Build It or Buy It.

Learn how fatty acids in your oils impact the final bar of soap and how to tweak your recipe to get desired lather characteristics with Kerri Mixon of Pallas Athene Soap, Certified Lye, Ace Soap Molds and A+ Soapmaking Studio in: The Chemistry and Properties of Fatty Acids and Oils

Ruth Esteves of Sirona Springs Handmade Soap will teach you how to create soap that looks like it came from a bakery in her session: Soap Cupcakes and More: Decorative Piping with Cold Process Soap

Stay tuned for even more speaker announcements.  Don’t forget, an installment plan is available to members who sign up before November 30, which means you have just under a month and a half to hop to it.

212 days and counting…bring on the 2013 conference!!

This Guild is YOU

The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild is a trade association, but have you ever wondered exactly what it means to be part of the Guild?  We thought Executive Director Leigh O’Donnell gave a pretty amazing definition in her final President’s Report at the 2012 HSMG Annual Meeting.

Family Group

Photo by Flickr member anyjazz65. Used under a Creative Commons License.

Here’s how Leigh explained the Guild to the members present:

The definition of a “Guild” is:

guild (noun)

  1. An organization of persons with related interests, goals, etc., especially formed for mutual aid or protection.
  2. Any of various medieval associations, as of merchants or artisans, organized to maintain standards and to protect the interests of its members, and that sometimes constituted a local governing body.

“Protection” makes me think of organized crime and we are certainly not a “medieval” association but these definitions really do get to the basis of what the HSMG is.

The HSMG was started in 1998 by a group of women that loved soapmaking, had small businesses and wanted an organization that would represent them on a larger scale.  From those small beginnings we have grown to over 1,600 members, with members in all 50 states and in 29 countries.  Just to name a few: Canada, Mexico, Norway, Australia, Ireland, Taiwan, El Salvador, Guatemala, Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Trinidad and Tobago.

We are the ONLY non-profit trade association for handcrafted soapmakers.

The “Guild” isn’t one person, it isn’t the Board of Directors, it isn’t the people that attend the Annual Conference.  It is ALL of the over 1,600 members, it is the group, it is the people in leadership, the people who are vocal and in the spotlight and the people who are not.  It is the member who joined in 1998 and is still with us and the member that joined yesterday.  It is all of us, collectively.  This is so important because it is our diversity, individual strengths and experiences that make up the backbone of the association.

We couldn’t have said it better.  What does the Guild mean to you?

Show me the Bubbles!

Have you ever heard of HSMG’s Golden Soap bubbles?  No, this is neither the latest soapmaking technique nor a batch gone horribly wrong, but the Guild’s referral program.

Simply put, if you refer a soapmaker who becomes a member of the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild, you’ll receive Golden Soap Bubbles.  And what, you may ask, do you do with Golden Soap Bubbles?  You can save them up and brag about how many you have or you can redeem them in the HSMG store for discounts on merchandise, gear, and even conference registration.

Soap bubble

Photo by Flickr member dorena-wm. Used under a Creative Commons License.

For all the details on how the Golden Soap Bubbles work, check out the Referral Program page.

For a limited time, HSMG is offering double Golden Soap Bubbles.  Between now and September 15, every member who joins within 60 days of your referral will garner you ten Golden Soap Bubbles instead of five.

This offer applies to both soapmaker members and vendor members.  We think you’ll know a potential soapmaker member when you see him or her, but knowing a good vendor member is not as straight forward.  Talk to your favorite supplier about membership.  Vendor members could be general soapmaking suppliers or specialize in packaging, printing, social media, marketing, branding, business software, shipping, and just about anything related to making your soapmaking business a success.

Remember, you have a month from today to take advantage of double bubbles.  Log into your Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild account and follow the link to the Referral Program page to get started.

Who was instrumental in you joining the HSMG?  We’d love to hear your story.