Just got back to my room following the banquet. So sad to see the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild conference come to a close. It was an amazing four days (or three for the main part).
Here I am sporting a new T-shirt! LOVE IT! I purchased this shirt, another one, and an apron from Amanda. All proceeds go towards the Beauty in Haiti Project where she volunteers as a soapmaking teacher. What a great cause!
We had 327 people in attendance and some were from as far away as Pakistan, China, and Australia. Donations of soap were accepted for a local womens' shelter here in Raleigh. The final total was 400 lbs. of handmade soap. Fantastic!
There was the Soapers' Showcase where there were 175 entries for Best Scent, Best Packaging, Best Appearance, and Best in Show. What talent! I loved so many of the soaps! My favorite category was Best Packaging. People are so creative!
The vendors were wonderful! The guild sold their T-shirts, aprons, visors, and caps, books, pamphlets, jewelry, etc. The Chemistry Store, Lebermuth, Essential Depot, Marie Gale, National Shrinkwrap, etc.
The classes / lectures I attended include - Good Manufacturing Practices, Search Engine Optimization, Advanced Swirling - The Peacock Swirl, Labeling, Natural Fragrances vs. Synthetic
Fragrances, Make Your Own Single Cavity Silicone Molds, Advanced Colorants, The Chemistry and Properties of Fatty Acids and Oils, Retail Realities:
What it Really Takes to Open a Store, and Design, Formulate, Organize Using the SoapMaker Program. WOW! And, this list didn't even include the morning speakers!
Then, there were the evening activities and the vendors. Friday night, Wholesale Supply Plus sponsored a game show party. All of the attendees were given devices to click in with the correct answers and we were divided into five teams. Then, the top two players from each team competed against each other. Graually the were down to one team's two players and they competed against each other. First place prize was a $250.00 gift certificate and second place was a $100.00 one. The game show set-up was so professional! It was like Pat and Vanna! Why didn't my guidance counselor in high school mention anything about jobs that travel the country hosting game shows!?!
Last night, Essential Depot hosted an English Village Fete. It was great! Traditional food - Steak / Chicken and Kidney Pie, Bangers and Fingerling Potatoes, different cheeses and fruit, Mulled Wine, Hard Apple Cider, etc. There were five games to play - ring toss, ping pong ball toss, bean bag throw, stack the molds, and bocce - and take a chance to win prizes. I won five prizes! Two of their red silicone molds, avocado oil, castor oil, and sodium hydroxide!!!
Throughout the conference, raffle tickets and door prizes were drawn. I won a great doorprize - similar to what was in our goodie bags - an assortment of butters, oils, fragrances, spatula, etc. from several vendors, and a small mold, coupons, and other goodies from Bramble Berry. It might be time to implement my coupons with Bramble Berry and take care of some of the items I've placed on my wishlist.
There was a luncheon yesterday for guild members where officers were elected and business was taken care of. When we checked in for the lunch, we were given a spatula. I loved it that we voted by a show of those spatulas. How perfect!
A group of us on Facebook got together and organized a soap swap. We were from all across the US - Oregon, Arkansas, Virginia, Ohio, Tennesee, Texas, Wisconsin, etc. Each person brought a soap or other body product they made and we swapped. I took each person a bar of my Sunrise, Sunset soap boxed and in a muslin polka-dot drawstring bag. Everyone brought such nice things!!!! I can hardly wait to get home to try everything.
One of the girls, Charlene (black and white top in the center), is a soapmaker and a cupcake baker. Watch for her (Fat Bottomed Girl's Cupcakes) on Cupcake Wars on the Food Network channel on June 16th.
The banquet tonight was awesome! People were recognized for their years of membership, passing their certification exams, etc.
Then, the big moment where the 2015 dates and location were announced. GUESS WHERE IT'S GOING TO BE!!!!! Indianapolis, Indiana! That's within just a few hours!
The 2014 conference is scheduled for Tucson, Arizona. Time to start saving my pennies!
Tomorrow, I'll be heading back to Ohio. Wish I could twitch my nose or click my heels and zip back to Ohio!