2015 Conference Topics

See also information on our Keynote Speaker, Andreea Ayers who will cover "Growing your Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetics Business Through Publicity".

Swirling Made Easy

Presented by Erica Pence

This class introduces you to swirling. You will learn about the types of swirling and the effect of soap consistency and tools on your designs. See the step by step process of many popular designs, which are the basis for more advanced techniques. Learn pot swirling, funnel and faux-funnel swirling, drop swirling, linear swirling, hanger swirling, and simple marbling, plus combo methods. The Advanced Swirling class is an excellent follow up to this course.

Advanced Swirling Made Easy

Presented by Erica Pence

This class dives into advanced swirling. Get a brief overview of how to use various tools and soap consistency to your advantage. Learn to juggle many colors and work within a time frame. Then see multiple advanced techniques. Learn to make zebra stripe swirls, mantras, hidden feathers, nonpareils, peacocks, bouquets, butterfly swirls, and more. The Swirling Made Easy class will give you the foundation for this course, however it is not required.

Melt & Pour Like a Pro

Presented by Arianne Arsenault

This presentation will help you break the ice and get serious about making Melt & Pour for your business.

You will learn how to get started to make Melt & Pour in larger batches and be guided on how to choose the right equipment and tools. Coloring, layering and embedding Melt & Pour in multiple 12 to 24 inches loaves made easy! You will also be given tips and tricks on wrapping & labeling the final product for retail.

Hybrid Soaps: The Best of Both Worlds

Presented by Sharon Czekala

Create stunning soaps by combining Melt and Pour and Cold Process soaps and techniques. MP soap adds a whole new dimension to your CP soaps, allowing you to use colors, swirls and embeds in whole new ways. In addition, using MP allows you to use colorants and fragrance oils that morph or disappear in CP. This demonstration class will cover embedding, layering, MP swirls and using MP soap to anchor embeds and botanicals to CP soap.

Custom Packaging: Componetics May Be The Answer!

Presented by Jack Leitman

Jack will show you tips on how to take stock packaging components and make them look different to create a unique brand, and how to get minimums as low a 12 units from a stocking location in the USA.

He will discuss how custom molds from China for small bottles and jars are not expensive if you have the required volume (which may not be as much as you think).

Are you ready for custom packaging? Jack will discuss and answer questions so you can decide if you are ready to take the leap.

Marvelous Moisturizing: Making Basic Lotions and Creams from Scratch

Presented by Beth Byrne

Lotions and creams are easier to make than you think! With just a few ingredients and equipment you probably already own, you too can create luxurious lotions and creams. Using oils and butters, emulsifier and distilled water, see how simple this product really is. We will discuss preparation of your work surface, procedure and packaging, as well as a bit about formulating your own creations. You’ll return home confident in your ability to whip up a marvelously moisturizing batch of your own.

Transforming the Face of Preservation: Peptide Technology in the Personal Care Industry

Presented by Kathleen Norris

Parabens and synthetic preservatives have been demonized by the media. Instigated by a research paper issued from the University of Reading, parabens are now associated with cancer. Although parabens are the most frequently used preservatives in cosmetics and beauty care products, the media’s reaction coupled with sensationalism have made these materials a now avoided, albeit it, effective, low cost product.

Changes within the personal care market, specifically, bans on different preservatives are forcing formulators to look at alternatives for their products. Materials such as alcohols, organic acids/salts, multifunctional additives (like caprylyl clycol) and natural flavors and fragrances are the proposed antimicrobials.

The problems surrounding these options are the lack of safety and efficacy data, instability and incompatibilities, supply and source, sensation potential and cost. We need to focus, identify and develop antimicrobial ingredients that provide effective, safe and stable options for formulators. Using innovative peptide technology with added cosmetic benefits, there is a new alternative created that restricts antimicrobial activity. Using Lactic Acid Bacteria, one can produce novel antimicrobial peptides, bacteriocins. These proteinaceous materials inhibit grown of bacterial strains and are structurally, functionally and ecologically sustainable and diverse. Peptide technology next generation of proactive, innovative and efficacious antimicrobial materials.

The Psychology of Color

Presented by Michelle Rhoades

Learn how to level the playing field with the big box companies. What if you knew which colors to use to stimulate potential customers into buying from you instead of your competitor? Understand how color influences customers to buy, information on what triggers emotional buying and how to increase sales based on color. Understand the psychology of color through chromotherapy and how to apply it to your designs. Learn how color can stimulate learning, perception, buying; how colors attraction certain buyers and emotional buying based on color. Tie in your branding colors from your website right down to your soap designs. Gain confidence when choosing colors, color pallets and combinations. Keep the color moving to create visual interest.

Learn about colorants, micas, pigments, and natural colorants, and how to:

  • use color and sell like a pro.
  • color blend micas
  • create color profiles
  • add natural herbs, flowers, powders to create new colors.

The key is to learn how "see" the color and understand how your customer responds to it.

How to Open a Soap Shop…Everything You Need to be Retail Ready

Presented by Charlene Simon

This is a how-to workshop on what it takes as a handcrafter to secure and run a retail shop while selling your products successfully.

You will learn:

  • Business Planning
  • Start Up Costs
  • Insurance
  • Trademarks
  • LLC
  • Leasing
  • Employees
  • Marketing / Selling

Monetize What You Know: Start Teaching for a Profit

Presented by Lashonda Tyree

This advance "how to" workshop is designed for seasoned soap and cosmetic makers who own creative businesses but are losing out on capitalizing the knowledge they possess about their craft or skill. No longer struggle to see how a "do-it-yourself" service can be implemented to your product line and boost your bottom line.

By the end of the workshop, you’ll have developed the draft for your first class concept that you can incorporate when you get back to your office.

Product Labeling; Regulations as of 2015 (Parts 1 & 2)

Presented by Marie Gale

Labeling soap and cosmetics isn’t difficult, but it is detailed. While the rules and regulations haven’t changed much over the years, the interpretation of them has altered a bit.

In the Part 1, Marie will cover the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, which is the underlying authority for how all consumer products (including soap and cosmetics) must be labeled and defines where the regulations come from

In Part 2, we'll go into the details of which agencies have authority over soap and cosmetic labeling, what their regulations and requirements are, and how to stay in compliance.

How to Wholesale: Selling Your Products to the Broader Marketplace

Presented by Benjamin Aaron

From knowing the margins on your products to product return policies to closing a sale, "How to Wholesale" explains the logistics and foresight it takes to sell handmade bath and bodycare products to both local boutiques to national retail chains. Wholesaling is inherently a long-term investment and partnership with another selling entity, therefore much planning and forethought is required in the branding and marketing capabilities of your company, as well as the availability and readiness it takes to complete several large orders on a recurrent basis. As a wholesaler, you must be many things to many people, and this presentation will outline what it takes from paperwork to investing in the people who run major retail operations.

Copyright: Protect What's Yours – Respect What's Theirs

Presented by Dave Purdue

Copyright can protect your web site pages, labels, logos, pictures, illustrations, and more. Learn how to use copyrights to protect your stuff, how to register your copyright claims, and how to avoid infringing on someone else's copyright.

In the class you'll also learn how to distinguish between copyright facts and myths, such as:

  • "Copyright is too complicated for me"
  • "I can use it if I found it on the Internet"
  • "I’m protected because I mailed a copy to myself"
  • "I can use someone’s copyrighted work if I change it by at least 10%"

The Anatomy of a Compelling Brand

Presented by Lela Barker

What makes some brands stand out from the crowd? Why do come companies seem to get all the buzz and gather raving fans and land on the shelves of the coolest stores while others just… sit? Branding is the key to building a successful creative company, but branding is about so much more than simply selecting fonts and choosing a color palette.

Swoon-worthy brands know their customers inside and out. They infuse their products with soul and invite consumers into their world. They create memorable customer experiences and use radically consistent messaging to become the experts in their field and the brands that catch the eye of editors, customers and wholesale buyers.

Join me for an exploration of what makes for fantastically compelling branding. We’ll touch briefly on the elements of brand stories, ideal customers and product packaging before dissecting enormously successful brands to discover what makes them tick and learn how you can apply those same principles to your brand, no matter how deep your wallet or how far you are in your entrepreneurial journey.

Naked Marketing: A Return to Intimacy in the Digital Age

Presented by Melissa

This session delivers an insightful and frank look at online marketing methods and offers actionable tips on how you can stand out from the rest of your industry.

Let's face it, we live in a mass manufacturing, mass marketing world. People expect instant gratification and our newest generation of buyers reacts to the market en' masse. More then anything else, people value being valued. Your consumer wants to know that you are listening and you value their purchase whether they are spending one dollar or a thousand dollars.

International speaker Melissa Ward, brings you through the process of stripping yourself down so you stand out in a crowded market place. Learn how to market your business based on its culture, values and individual uniqueness, creating a win win for you and your customer. You will walk away with insights on the how to provide exceptional customer service, how to handle criticism and increase your market share without compromise.

What’s Your Plan? Creating a Working Mission Statement for Any Size Business

Presented by David Fisher

It is said that "those who fail to plan…plan to fail."

This session walks you through creating a basic guiding/mission statement for your business. We’ll first creatively brainstorm on the "qualities" that embody your unique business – and the personality, talent and passion you bring to it. Using that, we’ll craft a draft of a mission statement that will guide nearly every decision you make in your business.

Cause Marketing, Empowered Consumerism and Why Doing Good is Good for Business!

Presented by Amanda Griffin

Doing good is good for business! Research shows that consumers care about the philanthropic activities of companies in which they support. Empowered consumerism is now driving the necessity for businesses to give back to their communities – local or global.

Learn about the different ways to add a cause marketing program to your business model and how to find a non-profit or good cause to support. We’ll talk about cause products, pin-ups, percentage of sales and other programs you can engage in to do good things through your business.

Beyond E-Wax: Formulating Custom Emulsions

Presented by Deborah Bruijn

When you hear "Glyceryl Monostearate, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Carbomer" does it make your head spin? Throw out the e-wax, this class will try to make sense of it all. We will cover the different classes of emulsifiers and review the (HLB) Hydrophile-Lipophile balance method used as a starting point to formulation.

In addition, we will learn all components of a formulation and review ingredient lists of known and popular products to break down their emulsification systems.