The Influence Factor in Sales and Marketing: Discovering Your REAL Edge in Your Business

Presented by Ann Evanston

Let’s face it. You can make all the soap in the world, but if you forget to MARKET it, SELLING it becomes like riding the roller-coaster of stress. More vendor tables, more farmers markets, more TIME (which is money) to try and sell a bar of soap.

Something has to give.

In this power packed presentation you will gain insight into:

  • The one thing you are not doing to grow your sales base.
  • Why what you do now seems to attract more competitors than customers.
  • How dramatically changing your approach can lead to greater PRESS, yes, press!
  • What a marketing/sales cycles are desired by customers of the future and why you may be "so 2000 and late"
  • How creating your best self, will improve your business and bottom line.
  • And much more!

Ann M. Evanston is a "Chief Breakthrough Officer," teaching other Business Warriors how to slow down and find the most unique part of their business that makes them stand out among the crowd. She has been named one of the top marketing consultants by, and takes pride in moving you from "blah, blah, blah" to "BOOM, BOOM. BOOM!"

Superfat or Discount? Identical or different?

Presented by Kevin Dunn

Handcrafted Soapmakers often apply a "lye discount" or "superfat." When using a lye discount, they use less lye than is needed to saponify their oil. When superfatting, they use more oil than can be saponified by their lye. Are these two practices identical? In either case, are the excess oils saponified or partially saponified? Does it matter whether "superfat" oils are blended with the base oils, or added at trace? These are the questions to be explored this year in the continuing saga of Scientific Soapmaking.

Natural Shampoo Market: Trends, Opportunities and Formulating

Presented by Marla Bosworth

Have you considered a natural haircare products line? In this session, Marla Bosworth will discuss current trends for men and women, opportunities, natural ingredients and shampoo formulating suggestions in a live demo format.

The market for natural haircare was the fastest-growing category within the natural health and beauty sector from 2005-2011. The growth is forecast to continue, propelled by consumer demand, consumer engagement and successful new product launches. Join in this lively presentation to determine if natural haircare products are a good sales boost for your company.

Make Your Own Single Cavity Silicone Molds

Presented by Amanda Griffin

Making silicone soap molds is almost as addictive as making soap itself! During this presentation you’ll learn how to work with pourable silicone to make your own custom single cavity silicone molds. You’ll learn tips and tricks on how to choose mold negatives, prepare your negatives and setup a mold box. The demo will include all of the steps to successfully make a silicone mold from start to finish so you can walk away with the knowledge to do it yourself! Making custom molds can open up more opportunities for marketing to wholesale clients by giving you the ability to offer unique or one-of-a-kind products. I’ll have plenty of samples on hand to look at so you can see what you can create with pourable silicone.

The Soap Opera; 150 Years of Making Soap

Presented by Jamie Bentley

Jamie will be discussing how businesses evolve and change, the challenges of growing your own business. Stepping back and analysing your business, and goals especially when family are involved. After growing, sustaining and developing a traditional British soap making factory he will look at how to deal with hard times in your business, getting the right people on the bus, and asking why you do what you do?

We have faced drastic challenges over the 150 years, it’s been a drama at times, and we want to help you to learn from our triumphs and mistakes, along with dealing and adapting to change in your business and market.

Soap and making soap is a passionate business, Jamie will be discussing your story, and taking a Q&A session on why you do what you do, do you tell your story? The future of soap making, and what’s round the corner…

Private Label: Making the Leap From Home Formulating to Outside Manufacturing

Presented by Allison Kontur

Who uses private label manufacturers? What is the difference between private labeling and contract manufacturing? When do I make the leap from kitchen formulating to outside manufacturing? Where do I find a private label partner and how do I choose the right partner? Why private label my product? How do I certify my private label products organic/natural/vegan/gluten-free? Get the answers to these questions and more when you attend Allison’s session on Private Labeling.

Production Solutions For Your Handcrafted Business: Build It or Buy It?

Presented by Dean Mayes

Dean’s wife, Maryclaire, started making soap as a hobby for family and gifts in 1997. When it became clear that this was developing into a business success; there was a need to upscale the batch size and figure out how to do it without breaking the bank or the soap makers back.

Dean will walk you through the different gadgets and widgets that he has built to keep up with their growing business. Starting from moving from cereal box molds to his first oval soap mold through today where he employs a mix of commercially purchased equipment and homemade equipment. The goal all along is to solve production challenges as cost effectively as possible, with easily sourced materials, while allowing the business to build to the point that commercial equipment is affordable.

Natural Fragrances vs. Synthetic Fragrances

Presented by Rob Brown

One of the most complex topics encountered in the personal care and consumer goods markets is the discussion or argument that centers around the word natural. Rob Brown, President of Lebermuth will discuss what "natural" is and how it relates to essential oils, fragrances and flavors in the United States.

Cold Process Colorant Master Class

Presented by Kathryn Hackney

Learn how to color your soap perfectly every time. In this class, you’ll see and touch over 50 examples of a wide variety of colorants in soap (clays, oxides, dyes and micas). You’ll learn how the FDA treats natural colorants, explore labeling regulations and leave with an understanding of how to create gradient color layers, how to mix your colorants for optimum results and how to get a contrast line cleanly in your soap. You will feel confident in your ability to achieve the optimal hue, shade and saturation of color in your cold process soap expertly every time. Fearless coloring is within your mixing bowl!

The Chemistry and Properties of Fatty Acids and Oils

Presented by Kerri Mixon

In this presentation, learn the magical recipe for the best bar of soap ever created! Use the information on an Oil Specification Sheet to create a truly great bar of soap. Improve your soap by simply changing which oils are used. Understand the physical structure of fatty acids and the role fatty acids play in lather characteristics. Be able to substitute expensive oils with less expensive oils having identical fatty acid profiles to save on the cost of ingredients and increase profits. Witness antioxidants at work and see how they may be used to extend the shelf life of specific oils. Stop repeating the same soap formula in all batches; create unique soap formulations, such as gentle soap lather for facial/baby soap and an extremely efficient lather for mechanic's hand soap.

The Peacock Swirl

Presented by Amanda Griffin

The peacock swirl is an old paper marbling technique that was brought about near the end of the 18th century. This technique is easily adaptable when working with cold process soap. During this demo you'll learn how to create a slow tracing recipe that will give you plenty of time to create this stunning swirled soap. We'll also go over coloring, molds and how to make your own soap raking tools to easily execute the design. Then you'll see exactly how to do the peacock swirl. Although the swirl looks complicated and very technical... you'll be amazed at how simple it is to do with the right tools.

Creams, Lotions & Emulsions

Presented by Debbie May

Creams, lotions & emulsions are a great way for soap makers to enhance business sales. This course covers the principles of safely developing emulsions formulas and producing under good manufacturing practices. Agenda includes:

  • Common base ingredients and purpose
  • Preservatives
  • Common additives and purpose
  • Industry trends
  • Good manufacturing practices
  • Formulary sheets and batch tracking
  • Demo of new formulas (exact recipes will be a surprise!)
  • Question and answer session

Soap Cupcakes and More: Decorative Piping with Cold Process Soap

Presented by Ruth Esteves

Make your soaps look as delicious as they smell! With some easily available tools and simple techniques, you can make your cold process soaps look just like frosted cakes, cupcakes and pies. Learn about which tools and supplies you’ll need and where to find them. Watch as Ruth demonstrates the simple techniques that can turn a simple soap into an eye-catching and mouth-watering treat. Why let bakers have all the fun?

Hassle-Free Milk Soapmaking

Presented by Joanna Schmidt

Join soapmaker Joanna Schmidt as she demonstrates her technique for making milk soaps without the added work of freezing the milks prior to adding lye. She’ll take you through her process step-by-step as she makes both coconut milk and buttermilk soaps, explaining the reasoning behind her easy method.

Design, Formulate, Organize Using the Soapmaker Program

Presented by Michelle Rhoades

Design, formulate and organize your own recipes using the Soapmaker Program. Don't get stuck in front of the computer trying to figure out how much Lye you need to use, whether or not the new soap you're formulating will have good lather. Get organized and increase your profit with these time saving methods.

Trademark Strategies for Small Businesses

Presented by Brian Baer

Learn how to make your brand more distinctive and protect it in the marketplace. Bryan Baer, who represents numerous small and medium size business owners in a variety of intellectual property matters, will share his knowledge of practical, effective and cost effective strategies for protecting your most valuable asset, your brand.

Search Engine Optimization: Tips and Tricks to Get Your Website Found

Presented by Marie Gale

Search engines (Google in particular) are constantly updating and changing the way they determine website placement in their results. Marie will go over what's known about how the algorithms work, and steps you can take to make sure your website ranks as high as possible.

Debunking the Mystery of MP Soap

Presented by Debbie May

Many people think of mp soap as "machine-made" detergent soap. That isn’t necessarily the case and in this class we uncover the mystery of MP soap. Agenda includes

  • Common base ingredients and purpose
  • Hot process MP soap making with pictures/video
  • Common additives and purpose
  • Trends in mp soap designs
  • Demo of new mp soap designs (exact designs will be a surprise!)
  • Question and answer session

Retail Realities: What it Really Takes to Open a Store

Presented by Jerell & Elissa Klaver

You love making soap, you love your craft, and you’ve poured your heart and soul into your products. Your family and friends love the magic you create and now you keep thinking about opening the store of your dreams.

So is opening a retail store really for you? Elissa and Jerell take you on a journey for what it really takes to open a retail storefront. Together we will explore everything in simple to understand concepts including location selection, product mix (now that’s a lot of soap!), leases, proformas, business cases, government regulations, cost of employees, financial requirements, and more to make it happen. You’ll have your own toolbox of knowledge to have the head start you need!

Organic Certification: To What Standard and Why?

Presented by Gay Timmons

There are numerous certifications available today: organic, natural, Fair Trade, Cruelty Free, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, etc. Where does it all end?

What is the value of certification? What make s a certification program valuable to your market? Most importantly: is any certification worth the costs?

We will answer these questions and explore the world of certification, certifiers and standards.