2015 Conference Speakers

Deborah Bruijn

2015 Conference Speaker, Deborah Bruijn

Deborah Bruijn is a chemist, soapmaker, mother and owner of Fairhope Soap Company, LLC. She has a BS in Chemistry and has worked as a Biochemist and a GMP Analytical Method Development Chemist in the pharmaceutical industry for 10 years.

Deborah quit the lab and now soaps full time doing the only legal "work from home" job a chemist can do. She is an HSMG Certified Advanced Soapmaker, the Secretary of the Alabama Soap and Candle Association and a member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists. She founded Fairhope Soap Company 4 years ago in Fairhope, Alabama on Alabama's Gulf Coast and now has a brick-and-mortar shop in downtown Fairhope in addition to its online store.

Active in the community, Deborah is a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary International and volunteers with her Basset Hound, Dudley-Do-Right, in Elderly Care facilities.

Deborah will be speaking on Bubbles Bubbles Bubbles: Bubble Bars, Bubble Scoops and Bubble Frosting.

Sharon Czekala

2015 Conference Speaker, Sharon Czekala

Sharon is the owner and founder of The Great Lakes Natural Soap Company and has been selling soap, bath and body, and home fragrance products, wholesale and retail, for the past eleven years. Sharon's company employs other stay-at-home moms, just like herself.  This allows for flexibility on both sides, a balanced work and family life, and keeps motivation and creativity high.  Sharon continues to work out of her home in Canton, preferring low overhead to ideal working conditions.

Sharon is a certified soapmaker in Advanced CP/HP and MP processes, as well as an HSCG certified teacher. She is a long-time member of the HSCG, and loves to work with those who are just beginning their soapmaking journeys.

Sharon will be speaking on MP Soap: From Playful to Profitable.

Dr. Elham Eghbali

2015 Conference Speaker, Dr. Elham Eghbali

Dr. Elham Eghbali is the Founder of SkinChakra (Cosmetic specialty ingredients) and co-founder of Green Alchemy (cosmetic business & formulation consultancy).

Elham is a cosmetic chemist with almost 20 years of experience in cosmetic science and has been working with raw material suppliers, brand owners and manufacturers of consumer products as a consultant and formulation chemist. Her special field covers "natural cosmetics" and regulatory affairs in the EU. She has two regular courses for formulators of natural & organic cosmetics via Formula Botanica, an online formulation school based in the UK.: "Certificate in natural cosmetic preservation" and "stability testing of natural cosmetics." Elham lives in Bavaria, Germany.

Dr. Elham will be speaking on Natural Gums in Cosmetics.

Andee Howard

2015 Conference Speaker, Andee Howard

Andee has been immersed in the world of soap and scent since childhood, she has the DIY gene that keeps her nights short, her days long and her craft closet full to the brim.  When she is at work, you can find her helping customers, getting messy in the testing lab, or working on projects for the blog, "Adventures With The Sage".  In her personal life, Andee loves cooking, dogs, writing and hunting for mushrooms in a province far-far away.

Andee will be speaking on How to Unlock the Secrets of Frangrance Blending.

Alyssa Middleton

2015 Conference Speaker, Alyssa Middleton

Alyssa Middleton has been professionally handcrafting soap, spa products and candles since 2007, when she purchased Vintage Body Spa.  At the time, it was only sold at local craft shows.  She steadily grew the company and now she has thriving international retail and private label programs.

As she began fielding more questions from others on how to start of grow their beauty business, Alyssa opened Bath and Body Academy in 2011.  There, she and her team provide resources, courses, coaching and done-for-you services to help beauty entrepreneurs at all levels.  She is an Amazon and Kindle bestselling author and has written both how-to soap making books and a series on business building tips specifically for the beauty industry.  There are four more books planned for release in 2015.

Never one to sit still for long, in 2014, Alyssa launched A.J. Murray's, her men's grooming products company.  She lives outside of Louisville, KY with her husband and two children.

Alyssa will be speaking on Multiple Revenue Streams to Strengthen and Build Your Business.

Lisa Kimball and Trista Page

2015 Conference Speaker, Lisa Kimball and Trista Page

Trista Page is the CEO and Chief Saponificologist at Indigo Bee, Inc.  She has been a soapmaker for nine years, earning the Advanced Soapmaker designation from the HSCG in 2012.  A lifelong entrepreneur, she started her soap company, Indigo Bee in 2006, and has been featured on local and national TV programs and magazines.  She started making soap in her kitchen, opened and closed a retail location, moved to the garage and currently has a soap factory in the Tampa Bay Area.  She most recently started a new division of Indigo Bee called "Bad Ass Beer Soap Company", and manufactures beer soap for several regional and national breweries.  While she has done everything from banking and finance to working for a paving company, she believes that combining soapmaking and craft beer is a whole lot more fun!

Lisa Kimball is the CEO of G3 Consulting, Inc.  She has been in the natural products and consumer packaged goods arena for just under 4 years.  Her experience stems from the financial and mortgage industry, eventually taking her to natural and organic body care after joining the team at Primal Pit Paste as the Director of Sales and Marketing.  Her experience in sales, marketing and brand management spans over the past 17 years giving her a working knowledge of what it takes to make connections and grow in your market.  Lisa has the energy that is unmatched and will inspire you to go big or go home!  After working with several local and national brands, she started a consulting firm that works within the natural products industry but also has clients in fitness, grocery, and health and beauty channels.

Lisa Kimball and Trista will be speaking on Stand Up, Stand Out and Step Off! Marketing Boot Camp.

Kristen Prinzing

2015 Conference Speaker, Kristen Prinzing

Kristen is the owner and founder of Lotion Lady (R), based in Encinitas, California.  She studied Psychology at the University of Redlands and, later, business at the University of Denver.  When her youngest son was born, 23 years ago she gave up her career in corporate banking to be a stay at home mom.  She had a family lotion recipe that she updated and gave as gifts to family and friends.  Soon she was taking orders for more.  Since that time Lotion Lady (R), has grown into a well-known business offering a healthy alternative to commercial skin care products.  In fact, Lotion Lady's Vanilla Body Oil has been sold in the Smithsonian Institutes Natural History Museum Gift Shop for 10 Years.

Kristen works with the Encinitas Community Resource Center collecting and donating products to the women's shelter and elderly residents.  She's also helped establish a transitional living program for former foster children from 18-25 years old.  Kristen is a member of the Soapmaking Historical Guild of San Diego, which demonstrates soaping over an open fire in Old Town State Park in San Diego.

Kristen will be speaking on Making Natural Deodorant.

Carrie & Darren Seibert

2015 Conference Speaker, Carrie & Darren Seibert
Carrie is a HSCG Certified Soapmaker who began making soap in 2011 to assist her daughter in dealing with skincare issues. Her experiments turned into a hobby which then quickly transformed into a part-time business. While their small endeavor began to grow, Carrie continued to crank out soap while Darren began dabbling in the art of traditional wet shaving. Together, the two of them formulated an aftershave balm for men, which was met with great reviews. Spurred by its hearty reception (and a pending trademark conflict), the couple decided to shift gears. Darren closed his laser engraving business and together with Carrie began a new soaping company, specifically geared toward the men’s wet shaving community. In May of 2014 they officially launched Soap Commander with a line of shaving soaps, aftershave balms, lotions, and bath soaps. The year 2015 brought exponential growth for Soap Commander, as their products have received international accolades and are currently carried by over 2 dozen retailers that cater to men (and women) who embrace the lifestyle of traditional shaving. Darren (a retired Navy cryptologist) and Carrie (a former math teacher) currently reside in northern Alabama, where they homeschool and raise their 7 children.

Carrie & Darren will be speaking on Boys and Their B.L.A.D.E.S.: Gaining Edge in the Wet Shaving Community.

Jerrod Sumner

2015 Conference Speaker, Jerrod Sumner
Jerrod is the founder of BRANDtabulous, a boutique branding agency specializing in brand storytelling and styling. Jerrod is a storyteller first and marketer second. With a keen eye for brand identity and styling, Jerrod believes a picture and brand identity is worth a thousand words ... and EVERY word matters. It is about telling the right story for each listener.

As a brand storyteller, Jerrod works closely with his clients to develop brands from the maker's perspective. It is all about getting into the heads, hands, and hearts of your customers.

Jerrod's clients include makers, from butchers and bakers to candle makers ... really. As a sought-after lifestyle expert, Jerrod lends his voice and styling to West Elm, Williams Sonoma, Westin Hotels, Mall of America, American Cancer Society, Share Our Strength, and other "lovable" brands.

Jerrod will be speaking on Beyond the label and Logo :: Are you telling your best story?.

Jackie Thompson

2015 Conference Speaker, 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..

Jackie is an avid supporter of the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic 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 HSCG Board of Directors and is currently serving on the Policies, Procedures and Bylaws Committee and Certification Committee. Jackie is very proud and honored to have been voted a Lifetime Honorary Member of the HSCG.

Jackie will be speaking on Cream Soapmaking: A Practical Approach.

The 2015 Conference is sponsored in part by:

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for the 2015 Conference, see the 2015 Conference Sponsorship page, download our Sponsorship Brochure (.pdf file) or email the Conference Sponsorship Coordinator at