It's been just over a week since I got back from the 2010 HSMG (Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild) Conference in Denver, CO and I am still adjusting to my 'normal' life (moving doesn’t help ease the transition)! I looooved my time at the conference. It is a great opportunity for crazy soapmakers to meet each other, share and learn. It's wonderful to find a group of people who are as passionate as you are about the same things – it kind of feels like summer camp for adults!
soapers showcase entries, can you spy my geranium patchouli? hint: its next to a showcase winner
There were wonderful presentations ranging from Liquid Soap Making (Soap Queen Anne-Marie Faiola) to Branding (fellow bay area girl Alison Covarrubias) to The Nature of Chemistry (Dr. Cindy Jones). I really enjoyed Kayla Fioravanti's (Essential Wholesale co-mastermind, fabulous mom and all around awesome lady) presentation on formulating your dream business; Donna-Maria Coles Johnson's (Social Media guru and Indie Biz Champion) simple breakdown of social media strategies; Jamilla White's (E-Commerce Diva and all around kick ass lady) energetic E-Commerce talk; Kevin Dunn's (soapy mad scientist - I won his latest book Scientific Soapmaking and got him to sign it) hilarious breakdown of Trace; Robert Tisserand's (Aromatherapy Icon) insightful discussion of essential oils and fragrance oils (I was ready to move to Ojai so I could become his apprentice)
me grinning like a fool next to Josh Onysko
and Joshua Onysko's story of Pangea Organics (I got chills while the man was talking! His passion was completely infectious and his values hit so close to home…I considered packing everything up and camping outside the Pangea facility until the man hired me). The whole conference was filled with amazingingly energetic successful woman (and men) who generously shared their stories and support, which makes the conference a wonderful uplifting informational experience.
When I wasn’t filling my head with business info, I got the chance to meet some new folks and spend some time with people I met last year like my fabulous award winning (HSMG Soapers Showcase Best Melt and Pour Scent) roomie Jenn Hardaway from KLEAN SPA (photo below is Jen with her certificate) and the hilarious incredibly successful Lela Barker of Belle Lucce.
There were parties (Wild Wild West extravaganza sponsored by Kayla and Dennis Fioravanti), networking meet ups (where my table really got loud and I met some fab ladies like super funny Amy Kalinchuk – the Old Crone herself :), Kristen Bowen and Rose Cunfer) and had a few drinks at the Spotted Dog with Debbie Chialtas (Melt and Pour soap star), Erin Pikor (amazing cold process soap artist with killer arms), Bill and Val from super lovely Piper Tate and my pal Lori Nova (super bath and body teacher and creator of The Nova Studio).
I had a great time and can't wait till next year's conference in Miami (I swear I am starting my workout and savings plan now).