Wednesday, May 12, 2010

HSMG Conference 2010

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).


Soapylove said...

I agree - it was definitely summer camp, and if they had dorms with bunks we'd never get any sleep! It was super fun hanging out with you and all of the lovely ladies there. Can't wait 'til next year!

sironasprings said...

It was soooo hard to come back to the "real world" after spending all that time geeking out on soap! Everyone involved did a great job and I am also looking forward to next year!

Anonymous said...

See you in Miami, Alana! :)

Leigh O'Donnell

Alana said...

Debbie - too true!!!

Ruth - tell me about it! It was so well planned and packed with amazing speakers/events - I am sure next year will be just as amazing.

Leigh - Yeah!! :)

Cindy said...

Summer Camp for Adults! Good Analogy. It was great meeting you.

Alana said...

Cindy - it was great to meet you too! Hopefully we will see each other again at next years conference. Did you ever check out that Soapmaker Software I was telling you about?