One of the benefits of buying artisan products (like handmade soap) is that you know exactly who is making your goods. An artisan is a person. Not a factory. Not a conglomeration. A real, live person that you can know, communicate with and hold accountable.
Artisans are also people who love what they make and strive to only make the best quality product possible. We never stop learning, experimenting, and consulting with other artisans. And artisans love a good challenge.
So I decided this year to sit for the Advanced Soapmaker Certificate exam during the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild Annual Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. The certification program was set up to encourage and promote the highest professional standards among HSCG members and establish a standard in the industry. I got my basic certification four years ago in Denver. But the Advanced Level Certificate took a bit more work.
I had to take a written exam, sure. But I also had to turn in a finished and packaged bar of my soap, with a record of the recipe, how I made it, how it looked as it cured and information about all the ingredients. It’s all the things you need to do to maintain professional standards.
The Guild judged my soap to be fine, I passed the exam, and I got my certificate!
And, oh yes, I am definitely already thinking about that Master Soapmaker certificate!