Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild, Inc. Lives the American Dream

On May 18-20, 2011, the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild, Inc. will assemble in Miami to celebrate its 14th Annual Conference as attendees continue to live the American dream of owning their own business. Approximately 300 members and non-members will convene to attend hands-on craft classes, demonstrations and workshops in soapmaking and other craft specialties and to hear expert speakers in their respective fields.

Conference Speakers

Hosted by HSMG President Leigh O’Donnell and her colleagues, here are just a few of the outstanding, informative, and creative conference speakers (www.soapguild.org/industry/conference2011.php):

  • Keynote Speaker, Barbara Corcoran sets the stage for this exciting event. Founder of The Corcoran Group, Chairman of Barbara Corcoran Inc., and author of If You Don't Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails (subtitled) & Other Business Lessons I Learned From My Mom, Ms. Corcoran turned a $1,000 loan into a multimillion dollar business, selling it for over $70 million in 2001. During her 28 years with the company, she learned everything necessary to establish, run and grow a business: marketing, negotiating, innovation, surviving the lean times and thriving in good times.

  • Innovative entrepreneur of several soapmaking businesses, President and CEO of Wholesale Supplies Plus, Debbie May is one of three opening speakers with her presentation Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Melt and Pour, followed the next day by Customer Service. In addition to her business acumen, Ms. May with her husband Dave established the Life Center for Autism Foundation, whose mission is to socially enhance the lives of those who struggle with autism spectrum disorders.

  • Elliott Professor of Chemistry, Kevin Dunn (Hampden-Sydney College, VA) is the author of Caveman Chemistry, which he uses as a classroom textbook. It captured the attention of handcrafted soapmakers and led him to a series of research projects which resulted in his second book, Scientific Soapmaking, published in the spring, 2010. Professor Dunn has also appeared on the Learning Channel and the History Channel. His presentation is The Secret Life of Soap.

  • Philosopher and soapmaker, Larry Plesent is the owner of Vermont Soap, the third certified processor in the U.S. for topical products (2003) and maker of the first USDA Pet Shampoo, Shower GEL, Foam Soap, Spray Cleaner, Nontoxic Cleaner Concentrate, Shampoo Bar. Mr. Plesent’s presentation topics include Organic Certification: What is it, What Does it Cost and Do I Need it? and Manufacturing vs. Batchmaking, Lessons in Efficiency and Production.

Other HSMG Speakers and Topics

  • Marla Bosworth, retailer and wholesaler of handmade, sea-inspired bath and body products: Successful and Profitable Wholesaling

  • Kayla Fioravanti, Chief Formulator, Certified & ARC Registered Aromatherapist: Soapmaking

  • Alicia Grosso, founder and creative director of soapmaking products: Colorants Use in Soapmaking

  • Kathryn Hackney, expert soapmaker making over 300 batches of cold process soap: Advanced CP Swirling

  • Tina Howard, founder, owner and supplier of raw materials to the handcrafted soap and cosmetics industry: Zen Marketing: Promoting Your Brand While Calming Your Nerves

  • Susan Kaymon, co-founder of a mobile marketing services company based on mobile marketing software: Mobile eCommerce

  • Jeff Many, CPA business owner specializing in small business accounting and taxation issues: Understanding Quickbooks for Profits

  • Bryan Mazzarello, creative graphic designer specializing in identity packages and web design for small business and non-profits: Packaging

  • Joan Morais, natural and organic body, hair and skin care formulator and Certified Aromatherapist: Natural Lotion and Cream Making

  • Daryle Stafford, instrumental in the development and implementation of programs providing products liability insurance to the health and beauty trades: Understanding Your Product Liability Insurance

  • Robert Tisserand, esteemed aromatherapy advocate instrumental in bringing widespread professional and public recognition to aromatherapy: Essential Oils: The Good, The Bad or The Ugly

  • Jen Welch, soapmaking entrepreneur of soaps and lotions from goat’s milk: How to Copy a Product

In addition to the above, there will be Certification Testing and an Expert’s Panel, along with other business and social venues.

Expectations are high for all guests attending HSMG’s 14th Annual Conference as participants share their collective voices, creative secrets, and talented products. Whether you're a contributing presenter or a spellbound member of the audience, a repeat attendee or a first-time ticket holder, knowledge and training are there for the taking.

Visit www.soapguild.org/industry/conference2011.php and all of the menu options for complete conference details. If you attend, allow yourself to be inspired to create the business you want and fulfill your American Dream.  


CYNTHIA BULL (www.cynrje.com) is an internationally published writer and editor who helps international authors, marketers and speakers add greater value to their products through her top-quality writing, editing and transcription services. She is the author of How To Be A Medical Transcriptionist and Winning At Work While Balancing Your Life, a contributing author of Walking with the Wise Entrepreneur (Mentors Publishing House), cited in Make BIG Profits on eBay (Entrepreneur Press), and Managing Editor of Mentors Magazine Think & Grow Rich Edition. Cynthia has created over 200 book products in the past two years for her clients and, as mentor, helps clients reach their goals through her products, experience and genuine caring. Cynthia writes this feature article exclusively for Debbie May (http://www.debbiemay.com/), an organization dedicated to helping small businesses succeed.