Bryan Baer

Bryan Baer graduated from the University of Georgia in 1996 with a degree in Economics. Prior to law school, Bryan worked as a business consultant with Andersen Consulting, now Accenture where he helped business improve their processes and procedures to become more efficient.

Bryan returned to the University of Georgia for law school in 1999. Beginning in his second year, he focused his studies on intellectual property issues, specifically trademarks and copyrights. In his third year of law school, he served as Editor-In-Chief of the Journal for Intellectual Property Law.

Since law school, Bryan has focused his practice on trial work and advising clients on trademark and copyright issues. He was chair of the Intellectual Property practice of his former firm before recently starting his own firm with his good friend, Tony Kalka.

Bryan's intellectual property clients primarily consist of entrepreneurs and privately held businesses, and he especially enjoys assisting entrepreneurs in creating and protecting their one-of-a-kind brands.

Bryan has spoken to a variety of trade groups and professional organizations regarding the fundamentals of intellectual property law. Last Spring, he gave a seminar to professors at the Atlanta campus of Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD)

When he is not practicing law, he typically spends time with his wife, Holly, and their two little ones, Ellison who is 5, and Brooks who is 16 months.

Bryan's topic will be Trademark Strategies for Small Businesses

Jamie Bentley

After graduating from the Univeristy of North London, Jamie's career began in the chemicals industry working for major chemical distributor Univar, initially as a sales rep and then progressed to running the commercial side of their distribution center after completing their management development program.

In 1997, he joined his family business, Stephenson Group, a supplier of specialty chemicals to the rubber, textile and paper recycling industries. His role was to try to build and develop a business within the group to supply the personal care industry raw materials based on natural / organic ingredients and formulations.

That goal was achieved and now Stephenson Personal Care now comprises about 80% of the overall Group. Jamie is now CEO of the wider company, which has twice won the Queens Award for Enterprise and Export. The company continues to grow and develop based on good chemistry, flexible manufacturing, and innovative products. They recently signed a deal with New Britain Oils Ltd that makes them the first personal care product manufacturer worldwide to use Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

Jamie's topic will be The Soap Opera; 150 Years of Making Soap.

Marla Bosworth

Marla Bosworth is the CEO and Founder of Back Porch Soap Company. She combines 30 years experience in retail sales, marketing and market research with her love of natural beauty products and shares her knowledge in beauty startup workshops.

Marla conducts workshops in Boston, NYC, San Francisco as well as private venues including Wellesley College and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. In addition, she also provides product, brand and marketing consulting for beauty companies.

She is a published author of several self-published books as well as articles for The Saponifier Magazine. Her DIY ebooks for making natural products include Natural Spa Products, Rejuvenating Face Products for Aging Skin, Organic Body Butters and her best-selling ebook, How to Run a Successful Bath & Body Business.

Marla's topic will be Natural Shampoo Market: Trends, Opportunities and Formulating and she will also be presenting an In-Depth Serminar on Wholesaling and How to Determine Your Pricing.

Rob Brown

The story of Rob Brown, President of The Lebermuth Company, began over a century ago when his Great Grandfather moved to a small town in Northern Indiana to cultivate, collect and distribute peppermint and spearmint oils. Over the last four generations Rob and his family’s passion for aromatic plants and the magical elixir they extract has resulted in an expansion of our technical capabilities. Today, Lebermuth products are comprised of a broad spectrum of ingredients from fragrances, flavors, and essential oils, to enriched, high impact natural materials and concentrates.

Along with the extensive family history in the fragrance, flavors and essential oil business, Rob has personally been involved in the industry since 1991. He has held every title at The Lebermuth Company including Head of Purchasing, Head of Sales, and Head of Research and Development. Rob became the President of Lebermuth eight years ago, replacing his father as the CEO. He is recognized as an expert Perfumer from the American Society of Perfumers along with countless other awards and recognition. Rob is one of the longest standing members of the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild and has been a member since its inception. Rob graduated from Indiana University and has been married for fourteen years. He currently resides in South Bend, Indiana with his wife and five children.

Natural Fragrances vs. Synthetic Fragrances

Kevin Dunn

Kevin Dunn is the Elliott Professor of Chemistry at Hampden-Sydney College. His book, Caveman Chemistry, brought him to the attention of handcrafted soapmakers and because of this he has undertaken a series of research projects on the chemistry of handcrafted soap. This research has culminated in a second book, Scientific Soapmaking, which was published the Spring of 2010. Professor Dunn has appeared on the Learning Channel’s "Mysteries of Magic" and the History Channel’s "Modern Marvels", and he has been a regular speaker at the HSMG Conference.

Kevin's topic will be Superfat or Discount? Identical or different?

Ruth Esteves

Trained as a laboratory research scientist, Ruth Esteves started making handmade soap as one more in a long line of hobbies. Soapmaking for her is the perfect blending of chemistry and art. But as her interest for soapmaking grew, so did her enthusiasm – and her inventory. Starting her own soap company, Sirona Springs Handmade Soap, seemed like a good way to justify designing and making even more soap. Then in 2009, Ruth’s passion for soap met with her calling to teach, and she become a teacher at The Nova Studio in Point Richmond, California. Now her time is split between exploring the magic of soapmaking and sharing her knowledge with other soapmakers from around the world.

Ruth's topic will be Soap Cupcakes and More: Decorative Piping with Cold Process Soap

Marie Gale

Marie a soapmaker, long-time supporter of the HSMG and the author of Soap and Cosmetic Labeling and Good Manufacturing Practices for Soap and Cosmetic Handcrafters (both available at www.MarieGale.com). She is also a web programmer, specializing in inter-active websites, and has been the HSMG webmaster since 2003.

Marie's topic will be Search Engine Optimization: Tips and Tricks to Get Your Website Found. She will also be delivering a half-day seminar on Good Manufacturing Practices.

Amanda Griffin

Amanda Griffin is a Texas soapmaker, author and blogger who began her soap making journey with melt and pour soap and quickly fell in love with cold process soap, hot process soap, liquid soap and everything in between. She finds inspiration from handcrafted marbled paper, latte art, vintage fabric, photographs, art, nature and landscapes, and loves coming up with new soap designs and soapmaking techniques. She shares these designs and techniques on her blog, Lovin’ Soap. She also teaches soapmaking classes in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Austin, New York and at various conferences and intensives around the country. www.lovinsoap.com

Amanda's topics will be Make Your Own Single Cavity Silicone Molds and Advanced Swirling - The Peacock Swirl

Kathryn Hackney

Kathryn Hackney is a professional soapmaker from Washington State representing Bramble Berry and Otion. She started out selling soapmaking supplies part-time and was hooked after making her first batch of cold process soap. Part-time turned into a full-time passion, and she ended up managing Otion and teaching classes nationwide. With a background in fine art, Kathryn is naturally drawn to the creative process of soapmaking and is affectionately called the "swirling ninja." She has taught at multiple venues including Mother Earth News Fair, Soap Weekend Intensive, Herban Wellness, Soap Guild Conferences in Miami and Portland, and judged at the ADGA Body Product Competition in Idaho. She has become an expert in soap colorants and loves building confidence in students at all experience levels.

Kathryn's topic will be Cold Process Colorant Master Class

Jerell & Elissa Klaver

Elissa and Jerell Klaver are the founders and owners of Salus, a privately held natural bath and body care company comprising of two retail locations, internet and wholesale business. After starting online in early 2007, they opened their first retail store the same year in Manitou Springs, CO, and a second retail location in Fort Collins, CO in 2012.

Elissa earned a BA in Marketing and is the creative driver of Salus, while Jerell holds a MBA, and has led business projects and programs for fortune 100 companies.

Jerell and Elissa's topic will be Retail Realities: What it Really Takes to Open a Store

Allison Kontur

Allison B. Kontur is an inventive scientist and educator specializing in natural cosmetic formulation and short-run, private label skincare. Since 2005, she has worked as chief cosmetic formulator, business consultant and CEO of various skin care companies. Allison is the co-founder of AliMar Labs, LLC, a private label manufacturer specializing in ultra-low minimums, as well as co-founder of the Vegan skincare line, Sydni Monique.

Allison's topic will be Private Label: Making the Leap From Home Formulating to Outside Manufacturing

Debbie May

Debbie May entered the handmade soap and cosmetic industry over 16 years ago, not by chance but by necessity. Her determination, drive, and passion for handmade soap have guided her career from creative artisan to accomplished CEO of Wholesale Supplies Plus, a leading supplier of quality ingredients to the handmade industry. Debbie is well respected throughout the United States for her knowledge of formulation composition, good manufacturing practices, consumer trends, and handmade small business needs.

Debbie's topic will be UPC Codes.

Dean Mayes

As President and Chief Executive Officer of Alabu Skin Care, Dean is responsible for leading Alabu towards becoming an industry leader in the handcrafted natural skin care market.

Dean’s background includes mountaineering culminating with an accent of Mt. McKinley (Denali), ten years teaching computer science courses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system and 18 years as the CIO managing the IT shop for a 10,000 student school district. These experiences provided their own unique set of problem solving opportunities along with cultivating an attitude of never giving up. Combined with these traits is Dean’s unique talent to visualize and construct gadgets to solve problems that arise when growing your business.

Dean graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a degree in Economics. Currently Dean resides on his upstate NY farm with his wife Maryclaire.

Dean's topic will be Production Solutions For Your Handcrafted Business: Build It or Buy It?

Kerri Mixon

Kerri Mixon is a 16th generation soapmaker and is the owner of Pallas Athene Soap (founded 2000), Pandora’s Artistic Soap (founded 2009), Certified Lye (founded 2005), Ace Soap Molds (founded 2009), and the A+ Soapmaking Studio (founded 2008). Eight full- and part-time employees currently run the businesses she has founded.

For five years, she worked more than 80 hours per week managing the Business Education Department of a college in Fresno, while also teaching at the same college. After studying Organizational Leadership at Chapman University, she completed specialized training in Nutrition, Herbology, and Aromatherapy and currently teaches more than a dozen soapmaking and business classes at the A+ Soapmaking Studio in San Diego, California.

Kerri's topic will be The Chemistry and Properties of Fatty Acids and Oils

Michelle Rhoades

Michelle Rhoades, Owner of Mossy Creek Soap & Studio, who was an accomplished Independent Direct Sales Leader in a national at home Bath and Body Company. She received national attention with her Coffee Soap by appearing on the FOODNETWORK.com online Holiday 2011 Gift Guide, and received local TV recognition along with a 3 page spread in the Telegraph newspaper. Her soap also appeared in the Handcrafted Soapmaker’s Guild Soap Calendar 2012 and Georgia Family Magazine June, 2012. In April, 2012 she participated in a Celebrity Gifting Opportunity for Earth Day 2012 and her soaps also appeared in the 2012 MTV Gifting Guide and the 2012 Primetime Emmy’s Gifting Guide by the Artisan Group. Michelle is a Certified Soapmaker and Teacher by the Handcrafted Soapmaker Guild. She teaches all forms of Soapmaking, offers private classes, training on the Soapmaker Program and business consulting to those interested in starting their own business.

You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook or go straight to her website, www.mossycreeksoap.com for information or to sign up for a class.

Michelle's topic will be Design, Formulate, Organize Using the Soapmaker Program

Joanna Schmidt

Joanna Schmidt is founder and co-owner, with her husband Bradford, of Absolute Soap (formerly Product Body), a handmade body product company they formed in 2004. Absolute Soap has been raved about in both blogs and print publications from Bust Magazine to Real Simple. Joanna expanded Absolute Soaps's offerings to include handmade soap after starting the popular blog, The Soap Bar, to garner exposure for the soaping community. It was her readers that encouraged her to begin soaping herself, and she hasn’t looked back.

Joanna's line of original, handcrafted soaps, Absolute Soap, has been the recipient of consistently glowing reviews and is available in spas, markets, and specialty shops, as well as online at Absolute Soap. In addition to her work at Absolute Soap, Ms. Schmidt still writes The Soap Bar and can often be found at her extremely popular Facebook group, Soapers’ Retreat, which she created to provide an environment of support and shared knowledge for soapers around the world. A New Yorker for the first three decades of her life, she now lives and works in West Palm Beach, Florida with her husband and two children.

Joanna's topic will be Hassle-Free Milk Soapmaking

Jackie Thompson

Jackie began making soap in 1998 and formed Gaily Rebecca Soaps with daughter Gaily to control a growing inventory and continue her passion of soapmaking. In 2000, she branched out from cold process to liquid soap and has been trying to tame its temperamental nature over the course of her soapmaking career! After finally achieving satisfactory results and making new discoveries in the handcrafted liquid soapmaking field, Jackie has decided to share her insights and inroads in her upcoming book Liquid Soapmaking, to debut at the 2013 Annual HSMG Conference.

Jackie is an avid supporter of the Handcrafted Soapmaker’s Guild. A member since December, 2000, she has attended every conference since the 2001 conference in Virginia Beach and has been a speaker on several of those occasions. She has served as a member and officer of the HSMG Board of Directors and is currently serving on the Policies, Procedures and Bylaws Committee, Certification Committee and Nominating Committee. Jackie is very proud and honored to have been voted a Lifetime Honorary Member of the HSMG.

Jackie's will be presenting an in-depth seminar on Liquid Soap Making Solutions: An Intensive, Hands-On Liquid Soapmaking Workshop

Gay Timmons

Gay Timmons owns and operates an organic and specialty ingredient distribution company. Her first career was as the first American woman to manage vessel operations, loading and unloading cargo on the Oakland and San Francisco docks, and international traffic management. This segued into sales of California agricultural products.

Since 1991, she has worked as a producer and marketer of organic ingredients and an advocate for regulatory protection for organic producers and consumers. Her introduction to the field began as a ten-year job co-managing an organic farm and production facility. In 2000 she founded Oh, Oh Organic, Inc., a company committed to the development and delivery of sustainable agricultural ingredients for the cosmetic and personal care industries. She also supports ASCO, a USDA accredited certifier to oversee internal compliance and policy.

Gay served as the Chair of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee, serving on that committee for twelve years and served as Secretary on the CCOF Board of Directors and Chair of the Processor Chapter for eleven years. She graduated from UC Davis, has an MS in Physiology and lives with her two daughters in Los Gatos, CA.

Gay's topic will be Certification: To What Standard and Why?