I'm attending the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild's annual conference. This is my second conference - the first being Raleigh, NC in 2013. The conference site moves around the United States every year - last year it was in Tucson, Arizona and next year, it is scheduled for Tampa, Florida. I was so tickled when I found out it was going to be held in Indianapolis - about 2.5 hours from home. The conference is a real treat! It is three jam-packed days with lectures classes, vendors, vendor sponsored events at night, certification exams, and more.
I picked up two other soap friends, Margaret and Lynne, early Friday morning and we arrived in time to register and get to our special session class with Cathy McGinnis of Soaping 101. Cathy's class was Cold Process Soapmaking. Yes, I know how to make soap but I wanted to take a class from Cathy!
The class was a great review of the material I had been studying in preparation for my Certified Soapmaker's exam. There were about 30 people in the class - one person who had never made CP soap before. Essential Depot generously donated a soapmaking kit for each participant. Each kit contained the oils, lye, fragrance oils, and molds needed. Some kits had lavender essential oil and others had coffee bean fragrance oil and peppermint essential oil. I got the kit with the coffee bean and peppermint which I never would have thought of combining. I also got a spoonful of coffee grounds from the hotel Starbucks and sprinkled them on top.
Friday evening, I took my Certified Soapmaker's exam and guess what? I PASSED!!!!!!!! I'm so relieved to have that behind me.
Saturday, the soaps came rolling in for the contests - Best Scent, Best Packaging, Best of Show, Something Different, etc. Being a fiberholic, this entry was my favorite for Something Different and Best of Show. It is a crochet pod with three felted soap "peas". So so cute!!!!!!
Subject matter for the group lectures Saturday discussed marketing. Then, I chose to attend sessions on Copyright and Cause Marketing. Tomorrow, I'm thinking of attending sessions on Mission Statement and two technique classes on Swirling Made Easy - basic and advanced. By the time I leave on Tuesday morning, my head will be swimming with new information and so many ideas.
The conference is a wonderful way to meet other soapmakers. This year, a couple from Hong Kong traveled the farthest. There are also soapers from Belize, Canada, the Bahamas, Alaska, and others. It's so interesting networking with the other attendees to share tips and business ideas. We're very lucky to have such a great organization / event to help increase our knowledge and make us better soapmakers. It definitely provides a professional and polished edge to our art.
Stay tuned for more!!!!