Handrafter Membership in the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild is open to all individuals who make any kind of handcrafted soap and/or cosmetics at any level. There are several levels of Handcrafter Membership based on whether or not the handcrafter is selling soap to the general public, where the handcrafter is located and if he/she already has insurance coverage.
Benefits for Handcrafter Members are geared toward those things that assist in promoting handcrafted soap, increasing proficiency in the trade, improving business skills, encouraging networking opportunities and providing general exposure for the member's business and products.
As one of the most important benefits, members have the opportunity, through elections, participation and volunteerism, to shape the direction and future of the HSCG and the handcrafted soap industry as a whole.
For Your Business
Product & General Liability Insurance [Professional and Private Label Members]
Professional Handcrafter membership in the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild, Inc. automatically includes $1 million product and general liability insurance as part of the membership benefit. The amount of insurance may be optionally increased to $2M. Property and/or professional liability coverage may also be added to the policy. The insurance is effective immediately upon receipt of dues and processing of the membership. See the Canadian Insurance FAQ for more details.
Private Label Members: Special group rates for product and general liability insurance have been negotiated for Private Label Members. The insurance is optional, and must be purchased directly from Veracity Insurance Solutions after the membership has been purchased; Private Label insurance is not included as part of the membership dues.
International Members: The member benefit insurance is only available for soap and cosmetic handcrafters within the United States and Canada; for handcrafters from other countries the insurance is excluded from the membership and the membership price adjusted accordingly.
Existing Insurance Coverage: For handcrafters who already have product liability insurance, the insurance portion of the membership may be waived and the membership price adjusted accordingly.
Free webstore [Professional, Vendor and Private Label Members]
The HSCG has for a free starter webstore for members who need to get started with an eCommerce solution.
The stores are hosted by Volusion, and offer everything you need to set up your initial on-line eCommerce presence. Enter products, take orders and get paid (cart integrates with PayPal). When the time comes to go to the next level, your store can be converted to a full Volusion store (with the HSCG discount) without the need to re-enter your information.
Online Store discount from Volusion [Professional, Vendor and Private Label Members]
The HSCG has teamed up with Volusion Online Stores to bring a high-quality eCommerce option to all HSCG members. Volusion is offering a special deal for HSCG members including 25% off monthly hosting, 20% discount on SSL certificate and much more.
Merchant Services at Group Rate [Professional, Vendor and Private Label Members]
Through ProPay, Inc. HSCG members located in the United States can sign up for merchant services at a remarkably low rate. ProPal provides merchant services allows you to take payments in-person, online, offline or over the phone and provides buttons that can easily integrated onto your website. You also get a FREE ProPay JAK™ to use to swipe cards directly on your phone. [NOTE: US Members only.]
UPS Discount [Professional, Vendor and Private Label Members]
HSCG has partnered with UPS to offer members discounts on shipping services through UPS. Members can get up to 32% off shipping! Even if you already have a UPS account, you can still participate in the program. [NOTE: US Members only.]
Discounts at Office Depot and more [All Members]
10% discount on SoapMaker Software [All Members]
HSCG members receive a 10% discount on any version of SoapMaker Software. The Software, available for Microsoft Windows (7, Vista, XP or 2000), allows you to calculate lye and water for recipes using over 50 types of base oils, calculate costs per batch and bar using your ingredient costs, stores your recipes and organizes them by category, type, date and cost, provides inventory control and more.
OnLine Soap/Cosmetic Handcrafter Listing [Professional Members]
Find a Soap/Cosmetic Handcrafter, linked to from the home page, allows handcrafted soap and cosmetic consumers to locate HSCG members by company name, state, country or product type. Listings include the company name, website, city-state-zip, a brief description, and an image (if any have been submitted). There is a "More Info" link which takes the visitor to a detail page displaying more information and contact information for the member.
Image in Soap and/or Cosmetic Gallery [Professional Members]
The Soap and Cosmetic Galleries display images of soap and cosmetics handcrafted by Professional members. All images are linked to the Member's Find a Soap/Cosmetic Handcrafter listing and are displayed whenever the member's listing is shown. Gallery images also used at various places on the website where pictures of handcrafted soap and/or cosmetics are appropriate. Images are always shuffled and displayed randomly so all images get the same exposure.
Members in the Media [Professional Members]
Members can submit not only media mentions about their business, but also charitable contributions they have made, in order to make their businesses and community support known to consumers (and Google!).
Store Locator [Professional Members]
Professional Members of the HSCG have the ability to list brick-and-mortar locations where their products can be found which consumers can search in the Store Locator. The locations are displayed on a Google Map with details on the "pin," including a link to their Online Listing. Locations in the Store Locator can include stores, craft shows, farmers markets and a date range can be specified so that the listing will automatically expire when your products are no longer at that location.
Promotion and Marketing
Public Info Requests [Professional Members]
Within the Consumers Section of the website, there is a form that a website visitors can fill make a special request. Often they ask for handcrafters who can provide a particular type of soap. These "Public Info Requests" are published in the "Members Only" section where Professional Handcrafted members may respond to them directly.
Special Promotional Opportunities [All Members]
From time-to-time the HSCG is able to offers special opportunities to the membership. In the past these have included donations to goodie bags handed out at a large natural products expo and free space in an HSCG booth at wholesale trade shows. Note: These promotional opportunities may be limited to specific memberships, depending on their applicability.
Soapmaker Certification Program [Associate, Professional and Retired Members]
All members have the option to participate in the HSCG Certification Program. Certified members may use and display the Certified Soapmaker Logo, a nice way to increase customer confidence. Certified members who have an OnLine Soapmaker Listing have a "certified" icon by their listing.
Use of the Member Logo [Professional, Vendor and Private Label Members]
Qualified HSCG Members may used HSCG Member Badge on print, packaging and/or web materials to promote the fact they are a member of the HSCG, thereby increasing customer confidence.
Use of the Why Handcrafted Soap? brochure [Professional, Vendor and Private Label Members]
The HSCG has developed and printed a high-quality brochure, Why Handcrafted Soap Cosmetics which explains the benefits of handcrafted soap and contains beautiful pictures. It is available to members for download for free or to purchase at a very nominal fee (about at cost). There is a space to add contact information and personalize the brochure.
Teacher Program [Professional Members]
Professional members who have achieved an HSCG Soapmaker Certification level and who have experience teaching soapmaking may apply to participate in the HSCG Teacher Program. HSCG teacher members may use and display the HSCG Teacher Logo, include a listing on the Find a Soapmaker Teacher pages and list upcoming classes on the Find Classes page.
Annual Conference Registration Discount [All Members]
Every year the HSCG has an Annual Conference. It is 3 days, filled with classes and presentations on a wide array of topics pertinent to soapmaking (including actual soapmaking demonstration and how-to sessions). Conference attendance is open to both members and non-members. Members receive a discount on the registration fee for themselves and up to three additional business associates.
Vendor Tier 1 Members receive FREE conference registration for two of their staff to attend the conference (non-transferable).
Advanced Lye Calculator [All Members]
The Basic HSCG Lye Calculator is available for members and non-members in the "Resources for Soapmakers" section of the website. Within the "Members Only" section, an advanced lye calculator is available which allows the soapmaker to set more detailed information about his/her recipe and the specific oils used.
eNews [All Members]
eNews issues are sent by email to members to keep them up-to-date on news and activities of the HSCG, including legislation and other matters of interest.
Monthly Vendor Specials eNews [All Members]
The Vendor Specials eNews is sent out monthly and contains the current month's specials submitted by HSCG Vendor members.
Referral Program [All Members]
Members receive credits (called "Golden Bubbles") when they refer other soap and cosmetic handcrafters or vendors to join the HSCG. Golden Bubbles may be used toward membership dues, conference registration, advertising or HSCG merchandise.
Directing the Organization
Right to Vote [All Members]
The HSCG Annual Membership Meeting is held during the Annual Conference every year. All members may attend (whether or not they are attending the conference) and any member present at the Annual Meeting has the right to vote on issues presented at the meeting. All members have the right to vote in ballots sent by mail. For all votes, each Vendor Membership may cast only one vote, which must be by the designated owner or representative.
Right to Serve on a Committee [All Members]
All members have the right to volunteer and to serve on a Committee if they so choose.
Right to Serve on the Board of Directors [Professional and Retired Members]
The Board of Directors are elected at the Annual Meeting and serve for two year (staggered) terms. Professional or Retired Handcrafter members may serve on the Board of Directors so long as they will have been a member for one year upon taking office (July 1st after the election).
Right to Serve as President [Professional and Retired Members]
The President is elected at the Annual Meeting in odd-numbered years and serves for two year term. A Professional or Retired Soapmaker may serve as President so long as he/she will have been a member for one year upon taking office (July 1st after the election).
Right to Nominate Candidates [All Members]
All members have the right to nominate candidates for the offices of President and Board of Directors Member.