About the HSCG

Originally created as The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild, the association was formed in 1998 when a small group of enterprising soapmakers who were looking for a way to connect, network and jointly promote the handcrafted soap industry met Woodspirits Farm in Ohio. The first annual conference was held at the Brainerd, Minnesota the following year.

Since the formation, the association has steadily grown in terms of both numbers of members and outreach into the community and now has over 3,000 members located in nearly every US state and territory, and many other countries.

While many handcrafted soapmakers make, in addition to soap, handcrafted cosmetics including lotions, creams, salt or sugar scrubs, bath fizzies, perfumes and other similar products, membership in the association was initially restricted to those who made handcrafted soap or provided products or services for soapmakers. In February, 2013, the membership voted to expand the scope of the association to include those who make only handcrafted cosmetics, but not handcrafted soap, and to change the name of the association to The Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild.

The HSCG is registered as a non-profit 501(c)(6) trade association serving the industry of handcrafted soap and cosmetics, which includes the individuals who make handcrafted soap and cosmetics, the vendors and suppliers who serve them, and the private label companies that sell handcrafted soap under their own label but do not manufacture it.

Mission of the HSCG

The object and purpose of The Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild is:

  • to promote and educate the public about the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry;
  • to act as a center of communication among, and to circulate information beneficial to, members of the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry;
  • to foster the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry through education and training; and
  • to represent the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry in matters concerning legislation and regulations affecting the industry.


Membership is open to those who make any type of handcrafted soap or cosmetics, the vendors who provide products and/or services to them and businesses which private label handcrafted soap and/or cosmetics.

To serve these different participants in the industry, the HSCG offers several different types of membership:

  • Handcrafter: for those who make handcrafted soap and/or cosmetics. There are 3 different types of Handcrafter memberships:
    • Professional: For those who make and sell handcrafted soap and/or cosmetics. Insurance is included for members within United States, and is and optional benefit for those in Canada (except Quebec).
    • Associate: For those who make handcrafted soap and/or cosmetics, but do not yet sell to the public.
    • Retired: For those who were members but no longer sell handcrafted soap or cosmetics, yet wish to maintiain a connection with the industry.
  • Vendor: For those who sell products and/or services to those who make handcrafated soap and/or cosmetics.
  • Private Label Distributor: For those who purchase handcrafted soap and/or cosmetics and market those products under the private label distributor's own label(s)

Benefactor levels are also offered to members who wish to provide a higher level of support to the association.


The many activities of the HSCG are funded by membership dues and donations. The operations of the association are overseen by an elected Board of Directors who serve in a volunteer capacity and manage in accordance with the Corporate Bylaws. The HSCG has a full-time Executive Director who manages the day-to-day activities of the association with of one full-time and one part-time office staff.


The HSCG maintains an Administrative Office in Saratoga Springs, NY, but most of the business and communications of the organization are carried out through this website which includes a Members Only section. You may contact us by phone, fax or email.


The HSCG is based in the United States and uses English as our primary language. At present we do not have the resources to offer our services in other languages. If you need to access our website in another language, we recommend using the Google translator, which can be accessed in the Chrome browser by right-clicking the web page and selecting the option to translate the page.

Code of Ethics

All members agree to abide by a Code of Ethics. Members, vendors, suppliers and consumers may file a complaint with the Ethics Committee if they feel a member has violated the HSCG Code of Ethics.