2015 Conference: Soap Highlights

Happy (nearly) Halloween! Have you inserted pumpkin into your product lines? Are you ingesting pumpkin, spices, and all things orange for the season? Are you layering chai lip balm over your pumpkin seed oil-based sugar scrub and pumpkin body butter? How about registering for the 2015 HSCG conference? [cue record scratch and music coming to a screeching halt] Just like carved pumpkins are being thrown out post-Halloween festivities, early-early bird discounts fly out the window October 31st at 1pm Pacific and 4pm Eastern time.

With that out of the way, we wanted to let you in on some of the soap-related sessions in store for you at the 2015 annual Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild conference. This is, after all, a soap and cosmetic guild, so we couldn’t leave soap classes off the menu.

Arianne Arsenault, owner of La Fille de la Mer , will show you how to take it to the next level in Melt and Pour Like a Pro. Master layering and embedding in large batches as well as prepping all that soap for retail.

Arianne Arsenault

Erica Pence, founder and CEO of Bath Alchemy Lab, will be teaching all the basic soap swirls in Swirling Made Easy and building on it with a discussion of tools, soap consistency, and techniques like the hidden feathers, nonpareils, peacocks, butterflies, and zebra stripes in Advanced Swirling Made Easy.

Erica Pence

Sharon Czekala, founder and owner of The Great Lakes Natural Soap Company, will help you understand why combining soap methods can take your soap to the next level – and help you overcome process limitations in Hybrid Soaps: The Best of Both Worlds.

Sharon Czekala

In Soaping for the Specialized Customer, Soaping101.com’s Catherine McGinnis will teach you how to tap into new markets by serving customers with allergies and ingredient sensitivities, as well as those who are socially and economically conscious.

Catherine McGinnis

Topic not yet announced, but Guild soap whisperer and Hampden-Sydney College Elliott Professor of Chemistry Dr. Kevin Dunn never disappoints. Past topics include investigations on milk and silk in soap, dreaded orange spots, gelling, partial saponification, water discounts, and effects of time and temperature on soapmaking.

Kevin Dunn

Check out the newly released schedule as well as all of the speakers and topics planned for this conference from the embedded links or from the 2015 conference pages on the HSCG website.

Can’t wait to get our soap on with you next year in Indy! Calling all soapers, did you learn something new about soapmaking this year?

2015 Conference: Extra Learning

Conference not enough for you? Add on one of our four half day seminars the day before the conference starts. This year, we’re covering social media, branding, product photography, and a hands-on soapmaking class.

We think you’ll learn plenty at conference, but these seminars offer an additional learning opportunity, particularly useful if you don’t have access to local classes or don’t usually get to take the time off for them. Each seminar takes place from 10am to 3pm on Friday, April 17, the day before conference starts and includes lunch. Don’t wait until the last moment to register – each seminar is capped at just 30 attendees to maximize the personal attention you’ll receive. Should you decide to arrive the night before these seminars, you’ll still be able to check in to the Westin at the special discounted conference attendee room rate. So, wondering what seminars are in store for you this year?

Catherine McGinnis, the guru behind www.Soaping101.com, is back with her wildly popular Cold Process Soapmaking Intensive Class. Learn all about soapmaking and dive into making your own batch. This is great preparation for the Basic Cold Process Certification exam.

Catherine McGinnis

Adam Grogin, Monster Productions owner and the hardworking man behind the camera at past conferences, is introducing Product Photography: Perfecting the Shot. Not only will he share the nitty-gritty of what you need, how to set up your studio and how to process your shots, you’ll get to practice with your own camera. Whether you’re sporting a smartphone or a fancy-schmancy DSLR, Adam will help you learn how to get a drool-worthy shot with experience born of years of exposure to the handcrafted cosmetic industry.

Adam Grogin

Lela Barker, empire-builder behind Lucky Break Consulting, is back with a seminar on Branding for Badasses. Learn why branding is the soul of your company and then let Lela guide you to your unique selling proposition, target audience, and figure out just what to say to be recognized for the badass company you are.

Lela Barker

Melissa Ward, managing parter at NewWard Development, is introducing The Social Media Sales Funnel. Social media should be more than a Bermuda triangle of time investment and a rabbit hole into cat videos. Social media marketing master Melissa will show you how to keep your brand on your customers’ minds and how to get your fans from your social media pages onto your website.

Melissa Ward

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your business to the next level, one of these seminars can help you out. Register today to make next year’s conference extra-intense. Your hardest choice just may be choosing one of the four!

P.S., early-early bird rates expire before trick or treating’s begun. Get thee to the registration page before October 31 to get the hottest deal on 2015’s conference!

2015 Conference: Business Highlights

April 18, 2015: Where will you be? The Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild will be in Indianapolis, welcoming 450 lucky attendees to our annual conference. And what, pray tell, happens during this conference? Oh, we are so glad you asked…we’ll be packing nearly 2 dozen speaker sessions covering topics ranging from business to product-making, an exhibitor hall, a product showcase and competition, HSCG merchandise, networking lunches, lots of snacks, a killer raffle, nightly events, and opportunities to take certification exams into 3 days (plus a half, if you come early for optional seminars). Woot! If you’re not tired just reading that sentence, please send some of your energy our way, thank you very much.

We have a slew of speakers lined up for the 2015 annual conference who will be addressing all aspects of your business. Keep reading for a sneak peek of speakers who are going to help you rocket your business to the next level.

Bella Luce and Lucky Break Consulting founder Lela Barker will help you dissect what makes a brand successful and how to apply it to your brand regardless of your cash flow in The Anatomy of a Compelling Brand.

Lela Barker

About.com’s David Fisher will explain why your mission statement guides your business and help you draft one in What’s Your Plan? Creating a Working Mission Statement For Any Size Business.

David Fisher

Lovin’ Soap Project’s co-founder and co-director Amanda Griffin will explain different ways your business can give back and inspire you to philanthropic action in Cause Marketing, Empowered Consumerism and Why Doing Good is Good for Business.

Amanda Griffin

Dave Purdue, trademark attorney at Purdue Law Offices, is back to help you separate copyright fact from myth and register your claims without stepping on any legal toes with Copyright: Protect What’s Yours – Respect What’s Theirs.

Dave Purdue

Rising Tide Capital’s Community Business Academy teacher and Nyah owner La Shonda Tyree will show seasoned makers how to boost their bottom lines and capitalize on their knowledge in Monetize What You Know: Start Teaching for a Profit.

La Shonda Tyree

Learn all about The Psychology of Color, from choosing colors that sell to coordinating colors across your entire brand from Mossy Creek Soap Studio CEO and founder Michelle Rhoades.

Michelle Rhoades

Soapmaker and multi-book author Marie Gale is back with a two-session class covering the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act and the requirements from all the agencies with authority over soap and cosmetic labeling in Product Labeling: Regulations as of 2015.

Marie Gale

Packaging expert Jack Leitman of The Leitman Group is ready to show you both how to get a custom look with US-based stock packaging and how to affordably source custom molded packaging in Custom Packaging: Componetics May Be The Answer!


Once you have a packaged, branded product, learn just what it takes to wholesale it in Prairie Soap Company and The Imperial Drifter owner Benjamin Aaron’s How to Wholesale: Selling Your Products to the Broader Marketplace.

Benjamin Aaron

From start up costs to leasing and employees, Bathhouse Soapery and multiple retail shop owner Charlene Simon is back covering all the bases with How to Open a Soap Shop: Everything You Need to be Retail Ready.

Charlene Simon

Social media marketer and web development thought leader Melissa Ward will teach you how to use your business’ culture, values, and individuality to market your business and stand out from the crowd in Naked Marketing: A Return to Intimacy in the Digital Age.

Melissa Ward

Quite the list of speakers, right? Check out the entire conference schedule here and register here.

If you’ve never attended an industry event, attending a conference feels like quite the investment, but this is one that we think will prove more than worth your while. Don’t forget, through the end of October, we offer early-early bird pricing for HSCG members. Sign up today and spread your conference payments over 6 months, interest-free through PayPal Credit.

185 days until Indy! What business classes do you wish you could take??