Friday, May 18, 2012

And speaking of the Conference ...

The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild, a.k.a. HSMG, hosts a soapmakers conference each year.This year the 15th annual conference was held in Portland Oregon May 9 - 11, and yours truely was so blessed to be able to go! There's just something that happens to a lone soapmaker who is suddenly engulfed in an international group of over 300 soapmakers - I have been empowered!!

Alas, I have no pictures - didn't even think about bringing my camera. But I have so many fond memories and a wealth of new information that will hopefully push my craft from hobby to business. Essential oil blending, the influence of social media, chemical composition of handcrafted soap, what women are NOT saying, product photography, the art of good copywriting, good manufacturing practices, new techniques in soapmaking - these are just some of the topics that were addressed. Did I mention the more than 300 other soapmakers in attendance? While waiting for a session to begin I started talking to the lady seated next to me only to find that it was Pam - we've been commenting on each others soaps during the Great Cakes Soapworks Challenges over the past few months - how fun was that?!  Linda, who I first met on the Soap Bar facebook page was fun and her enthusiasm is so contagious. And my conversation with Donna, whose faith and life views are very similar to mine, inspired me to trust  that God has a plan for me, even in my soapmaking, and it's a better plan than I could ever come up with for myself.

Yes, if you're a soapmaker and you've never been to an HSMG conference, you really should consider going to one. It's definitely worth the investment. Many THANKS to all those hardworking people who put it on!!


  1. I enjoyed this read. I'm thinking next year might be my year and it would be so nice to get a group together from these challenges. What are the dates. I saw that it was in Raleigh. So what are women NOT talking about?

    1. Tina, you would love it, and connecting with others from the challenges would be so fun. Next year it is in Raleigh May 17-19. Mary Lou Quinlan was the keynote speaker this year; the tag line on her book is 'why women hide the whole truth and what marketers can do about it.' She talked about how women will tell you a half truth (ex. 'I am happy with my looks,) instead of a whole truth (given the choice I'd like to look better than I do) Women are the major purchasers of the household. When we are selling we need to be careful that we don't half-listen. When we fully engage we will get a better understanding of what our customer's whole truth is and then that customer is more likely to become a loyal customer. I found it to an entertaining and enlightening presentation.