Benefits for Soap & Cosmetic Handcrafters
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
General & Product Liability Insurance [Professional in US / Canada only]
Professional Handcafter membership in the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild, Inc. automatically includes $1 million product and general liability ($2M in Canada) 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 Insurance FAQ for detailed information about the insurance coverages.
Canadian Members: Canadian members have the option to purchase product and liability insurance. The cost is C$400, with a small additional tax due for members residing in British Columbia, Ontario and Manitoba. The insurance is not available in Quebec. See the Canadian Insurance FAQ for more details..
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 at SoapGuildStores.com [Professional, Vendor and Private Label Members]
The HSCG has arranged for members to have a free webstore at www.soapguildstores.com. The store is fully customizable and may be used to actually sell products and take orders or as a brochure site directing visitors to your main eCommerce site.
Merchant Services [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.
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.
Office Depot Discounts [All Members]
HSCG has partnered with Power Purchasing, the group-buying experts, to provide a Business Savings Program that will bring you significant savings on products you use every day including up to 80% off on 300 most-preferred products, 3,000+ products at 15% off retail web pricing and 93,000 additional products discounted below retail. Free, next-day delivery on orders of $50 or more.
Renaissance Online business Planning Classes [All Members]
The HSCG has partnered with the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center to offer members a tuition discount for Online Business Planning Classes. These classes can help you turn your ideas into concrete steps for starting or growing your business. The classes are co-sponsored by the SBA (Small Business Administration).
Discount on eCommerce Site [Professional only]
The HSCG has negotiated with Words In A Row Website Services to get HSCG members a special price (over 20% off normal rates) on setting up a fully-featured eCommerce Site. Words In A Row will customize an X-Cart shopping cart to your design and get it set up for you, including domain name registration and website hosting, if desired.
CraftMaster News [All Members]
The HSCG has partnered with CraftMaster News to bring you a 20% discount on this fantastic publication. Find craft shows, street fairs, festivals, county & state fairs, home & garden shows, music festivals & more!
OnLine Listing [Professional Members]
The Find a Soapmaker, linked to from the home page, allows soap consumers to locate soapmakers by company name, state, country or soap type. Listings include the company name, website, city-state-zip, and a brief description. There is a "More Info" link which takes the visitor to a detail page displaying more information and contact information.
Soap Gallery [Professional Members]
The Soap Gallery displays images of soap made by Professional members. All images are linked to the Soapmaker's "Find a Soapmaker" listing and are displayed whenever the soapmaker's listing is shown. Soap Gallery images also used at various places on the website where pictures of soap are appropriate. Images are always shuffled and displayed randomly so all images get the same exposure.
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.
Use of Why Handcrafted Soap Brochure [All 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.
Use of the Member Badge
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.
Soapmaker Certification Program [All 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.
HSCG Teacher Program [Certified 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.
On-Going Soapmaker Education & Soapmaking Tools
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 demonstrations and how-to's). 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.
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.
Journal Back Issues Library [All Members]
For many years the HSCG published The Handcrafted Soapmaker, the Journal of the HSCG. All the back issues are indexed and available to all members at any time. There is a wealth of information at your fingertips.
Regular Association Updates via HSCG 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.
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
The senior managing body within the HSCG is the membership and the membership determines who should serve as President or sit on the Board of the Directors. The membership also approves major policies and activities of 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). All members have the right to vote on issues presented at the Annual Meeting or in ballots by mail (one vote may be cast by a Vendor Member, 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 Soap and Cosmetic Maker Members]
The Board of Directors are elected at the Annual Meeting and serve for two year (staggered) terms. Professional or Retired Soap and/or Cosmetic Makers 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 Soapmaker 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).