HSCG conference

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Joined
Nov 1, 2020
Messages
1,368
Reaction score
4,992
Location
New Hampshire
Hey! As promised, an update. I’m not hiding in my room, rather I’m sitting at the bar with a beer. (By myself. Is that worrisome? Don’t care.)
Day one was pretty good. The sessions don’t all float my boat, a little heavy on the candle making and business building - which is okay, but not really in depth enough to provide more than a broad brush. I kind of wish there were more soaping demos. The keynote speaker started a company called Pure Placid. It was… ok. I went to an excellent talk about the new MOCRA regulations. Arianne Arsenault gave a great soap demo making straight layers. I would have watched anything she did. I just listened to a talk about what not to do when starting a soap business. It was pretty good. I skipped the last session of the day, I could have listened to one about beard care (not interested) or how to get soap on shelves of local stores. (Meh.) Lunch was great as they assigned tables so I didn’t have to ask anyone if I could sit with them. (Because, introvert.) Belinda from Love Your Suds was at my table, so that was fun. Oh and Alex from Custom Craft Tools was at my table too.
Tonight they have a vendor “street fair.” Not sure what that will bring.
So there’s your virtual Day 1 soap conference summary! 😉
 
Thank you for the update - keep them coming :) I think you drew a lucky card with your table mates. I would love to sit with both of them! Was it he Alex or she Alex? I'm not a beer drinker, but I wish I was sitting there with you and a glass of wine. 🥂
 
Thank you for the update - keep them coming :) I think you drew a lucky card with your table mates. I would love to sit with both of them! Was it he Alex or she Alex? I'm not a beer drinker, but I wish I was sitting there with you and a glass of wine. 🥂
She Alex! She was great. Oh also Debi Olson - medoitmyself. Also great. 😊
 
Hi all! I think my conference info is now in two threads. Anywho here is today’s update.
Day two!
Today started with a demo by Belinda Williams. She made a sculpted layer soap in a loaf mold - she was demoing new wider scrapers she is making. It was a great demo even if I’m unlikely to buy the scrapers - all the tips she gave along the way and just the fun of watching her in action made it worthwhile. Arianne Arsenault assisted her. The two of them were adorable.
Next I went to a talk by Marie Gale about Good Manufacturing Practices. Marie is the expert on cosmetic regulations - and soap - and it was a good talk, but I wished she had had a slide deck as I am a visual learner. She just published a book on the topic which I’m sure is great. The upshot was: document all your standard operating procedures, track the lot numbers for each batch of everything you make, develop your own batch numbering system, and put your batch number on each product you sell. She was talking specifically about cosmetics but suggested it was a good idea for soap as well.
The next talk I attended was about “natural” and the ISO standards for natural products in cosmetics. The speaker was very knowledgeable but it was a bit over my head tbh. Also I was struggling with post lunch sleepiness.
The last talk I went to was on “Email: the untapped business booster” and it was SO good! I am not at the point where I even have a website but the speaker, Alana Rivera, gave me a lot to think about.
Now I am skipping the last talk of the day, on insurance
😴
or frankincense which probably would have been good but I needed a break. And a sit in the bar with my beer.
I have met some really great people here - some experienced soap business owners who have been super generous with their knowledge. It has been worth it.
 
Last conference update!
I heard from others that the insurance talk was very good, so shame on me for assuming it would be boring.
Yesterday morning was a talk by Cassi Hall from Candle Science about telling your product’s story and about using social media. It was pretty good and she gave good tips but based on the email talk it sort of conflicted with some of Alana’s points - Alana had talked about email being the best means to turn contacts into sales rather than social media. I suppose it’s all helpful. I feel like I can barely keep up with what I do already which isn’t much. But Cassi was young and energetic and I enjoyed listening to her.
The last talk I went to was with Jackie Thompson on “Making the Perfect Bar.” Jackie talked about fatty acids and soap properties - all great info even if I have heard it before. The best thing she did was make examples of single oil soaps - each was a different color, and they were long skinny pieces sitting in plastic cups of water. It was fascinating to see how each oil behaved. IIRC there was castor, babassu, lard, canola, olive, cocoa, tallow, coconut, sweet almond, hmm can’t remember the rest. She then had us come up with a group recipe based on available oils and had us each submit our votes for percentages of each oils. There were some flaws in the methodology, but I wasn’t that into that part of the talk anyway. She was funny and moved quickly through her material.
I left at this point as I had a long drive home and wasn’t staying Saturday night. Terrible driving with blinding rain. There were two more sessions planned plus closing ceremonies. If I were to it again I might have stayed another night but it was already pretty expensive.
There were many vendors and lots of free samples, which was fun. And as I mentioned, really fun meeting other soapmakers, even for little old introverted me.
The conference next year is in Reno which isn’t very convenient for me, so I’m not sure I’ll go. But who knows!
 
Based on what you shared, @Vicki C, I just may go next year. Reno is only a 7-hour drive from my house, and I have relatives who live just south in Washoe. I can’t fly there any faster than driving there (unless they reinstate the direct flights that were canceled for Covid).

Plus, if @cmzaha has moved to Winnemucca by then, that’s the perfect mid-way stopping place. Maybe I could talk her into going with me!
 
Last conference update!
I heard from others that the insurance talk was very good, so shame on me for assuming it would be boring.
Yesterday morning was a talk by Cassi Hall from Candle Science about telling your product’s story and about using social media. It was pretty good and she gave good tips but based on the email talk it sort of conflicted with some of Alana’s points - Alana had talked about email being the best means to turn contacts into sales rather than social media. I suppose it’s all helpful. I feel like I can barely keep up with what I do already which isn’t much. But Cassi was young and energetic and I enjoyed listening to her.
The last talk I went to was with Jackie Thompson on “Making the Perfect Bar.” Jackie talked about fatty acids and soap properties - all great info even if I have heard it before. The best thing she did was make examples of single oil soaps - each was a different color, and they were long skinny pieces sitting in plastic cups of water. It was fascinating to see how each oil behaved. IIRC there was castor, babassu, lard, canola, olive, cocoa, tallow, coconut, sweet almond, hmm can’t remember the rest. She then had us come up with a group recipe based on available oils and had us each submit our votes for percentages of each oils. There were some flaws in the methodology, but I wasn’t that into that part of the talk anyway. She was funny and moved quickly through her material.
I left at this point as I had a long drive home and wasn’t staying Saturday night. Terrible driving with blinding rain. There were two more sessions planned plus closing ceremonies. If I were to it again I might have stayed another night but it was already pretty expensive.
There were many vendors and lots of free samples, which was fun. And as I mentioned, really fun meeting other soapmakers, even for little old introverted me.
The conference next year is in Reno which isn’t very convenient for me, so I’m not sure I’ll go. But who knows!
Sounds like fun. Thanks for sharing.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top