Originally created as The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild, the association was formed in 1998 when a small group of enterprising soapmakers who were looking for a way to connect, network and jointly promote the handcrafted soap industry met at the Woodspirits Farm in Ohio. The first annual conference was held in Brainerd, Minnesota the following year.
Since its formation, the association has steadily grown in terms of both numbers of members and outreach into the community and now has over 3,000 members located in nearly every US state and territory, and many other countries.
While many handcrafted soapmakers make, in addition to soap, handcrafted cosmetics including lotions, creams, salt or sugar scrubs, bath fizzies, perfumes and other similar products, membership in the association was initially restricted to those who made handcrafted soap or provided products or services for soapmakers. In February, 2013, the membership voted to expand the scope of the association to include those who make only handcrafted cosmetics, but not handcrafted soap, and to change the name of the association to The Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild.
The HSCG is registered as a non-profit 501(c)(6) trade association serving the industry of handcrafted soap and cosmetics, which includes those individuals who make handcrafted soap and cosmetics, the vendors and suppliers who serve them, and the private label companies that sell handcrafted soap under their own label but do not manufacture it.
1. To promote and educate the public about the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry.
On the website, we have a section For Consumers which gives information About Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetics and provides ways for consumers to find handcrafted soap and cosmetics to purchase by using the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Directory, Soap Gallery, Cosmetic Gallery, or Store Locator.
2. To act as a center of communication among, and to circulate information beneficial to, members of the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry.
The HSCG works to provide important information to everyone in the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry through the website. In addition, any person may Register on the site to receive any of our eNewsletters and/or get News and Updates via our social media outlets. In addition to our main FaceBook page, we have a Member’s Only Facebook Group and our Cut To The Trace Facebook Group which welcomes all soap and cosmetic handcrafters.
3. To foster the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry through education and training.
Education and training for all members of the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry is of major importance to the HSCG. Soap and cosmetic making classes are listed on the HSCG website. The Annual Conference is open to both members and non-members and provides 3 days of classes and sessions at all levels on many subjects of interest. Other upcoming events can be found on the Calendar of Events. The How-To Library offers year-round access to articles and videos on a variety of topics and is adding new subject matter regularly.
For members, the HSCG offers a Soapmaker Certification Program with three levels (Basic, Advanced and Master) along two tracks (CPHP and MP).
4. To represent the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry in matters concerning legislation and regulations affecting the industry.
New legislation at both the Federal and State levels is a major concern for the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry. The HSCG has been involved with Legislative Advocacy for nearly 10 years, representing the industry in over 100 meetings with Members of Congress and others in Washington DC.
The many activities of the HSCG are funded by membership dues and donations. The operations of the association are overseen by an elected Board of Directors who serve in a volunteer capacity and manage in accordance with the Corporate Bylaws. The HSCG has four full-time staff and two part-time staff who take care of the day-to-day activities of the association.
The HSCG maintains an Administrative Office in Saratoga Springs, NY, but most of the business and communications of the organization are carried out through this website which includes a Members Only section. You may contact us by phone, fax or email.
The HSCG is based in the United States and uses English as our primary language. At present we do not have the resources to offer our services in other languages. If you need to access our website in another language, we recommend using the Google translator, which can be accessed in the Chrome browser by right-clicking the web page and selecting the option to translate the page.
Code of Ethics
All members agree to abide by a Code of Ethics. Members, vendors, suppliers and consumers may file a complaintwith the Ethics Committee if they feel a member has violated the HSCG Code of Ethics.