Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Annual Conference 2010

I really wanted to blog during the conference, keeping readers up-to-date and all that. But, honestly, after all the learning and fun of each day, I just wanted to grab some sleep. So now I’m better able to give you some highlights and share the important things that I learned at this year’s conference.


Making natural liquid soap is one of my goals for this year. Many people like the convenience of liquid soap, but most brands on the market are detergents, not true soap. Anne-Marie Faiola, owner of Bramble Berry, offered a workshop where she showed how easy it is to make a natural liquid soap that can rival any brand on the shelf. It’s for sure that I’ll be trying that soon myself. If you’re interested in trying Anne-Marie’s techniques, she sells a downloadable e-book sharing her process at her website.

Joshua Onysko gave a lively recounting of his life, travels and paths that lead him to found Pangea Organics. He has crammed in enough experiences and adventures for several lifetimes and it was a pleasure to listen to his story. He’s put a lot of research into the company’s line of all natural skin care products, using no artificial or synthetic ingredients. Pretty impressive for someone who left school at 16!

There were also talks on the safe use of essential oils in soap, effective marketing tools including social media, and current legislation affecting our industry, among others. Can you see now why I just wanted to sleep at the end of the day? No? Well, how about all the fun and socializing I was doing?!

Although it was only my second conference, it already felt like a reunion with old friends I met just last year. Soapmakers are really a friendly bunch. And at conferences we’re all just so tickled to find someone else as crazy about soap! Finally meeting some people in person that I have been following on Twitter and Facebook all year was a treat. And there were even some students from my Nova Studio classes there! Throw in some dinner parties and sightseeing and you have yourself a thoroughly enjoyable and productive trip!

Next year? MIAMI! Considering the nightlife there, I’m guessing that I won’t be getting ANY sleep during next year’s conference! 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Annual Conference 2010

  1. Great summary of the conference Ruth! Thanks for including a pic of me. It was fantastic to see you there. I can’t wait to see your liquid soap. My brain is still processing it all….

    • Thanks, Jennifer. It was great to see you there! I know what you mean about processing: there was so much great information! Hope to see you again soon.

  2. Pingback: Speaking at the 2011 HSMG Conference « The Sirona Springs Blog

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