Benefits for Soap & Cosmetic Handcrafters
On in February, 2013, the membership voted to accept cosmetic handcrafters into the association. This change is effective immediately. As our webiste and materials are being gradually updated, please note that any reference to a "Soapmaker" member now also includes those who make cosmetics.
Soapmaker Membership in the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild is open to all individuals who make any kind of handcrafted soap at any level. There are several levels of Soapmaker Membership based on whether or not the soapmaker is selling soap to the general public, where the soapmaker is located and if he/she already has insurance coverage.
Benefits for Soapmaker 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 HSMG and the handcrafted soap industry as a whole.
For Your Business
General & Product Liability Insurance [Professional in US / Canada only]
Professional Soapmaker membership in the Handcrafted Soapmakers 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 soapmakers within the United States and Canada; for soapmakers from other countries the insurance is excluded from the membership and the membership price adjusted accordingly.
Existing Insurance Coverage: For soapmakers 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 HSMG 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. HSMG 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.
Merchant Services [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]
HSMG 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 HSMG 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 HSMG has negotiated with Words In A Row to get HSMG members as 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 HSMG 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 Soapmaker 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 HSMG 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 soapmakers who can provide a particular type of soap. These \"Public Info Requests\" are published in the \"Members Only\" section where Professional Soapmaker members may respond to them directly.
Special Promotional Opportunities [All Members]
From time-to-time the HSMG 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 HSMG 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 HSMG has developed and printed a high-quality brochure, Why Handcrafted Soap 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 Logo
Qualified HSMG Members may used HSMG Member Logo on print, packaging and/or web materials to promote the fact they are a member of the HSMG, thereby increasing customer confidence.
Soapmaker Certification Program [All Members]
All members have the option to participate in the HSMG 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.
HSMG Teacher Program [Certified Professional Members]
Professional members who have achieved an HSMG Soapmaker Certification level and who have experience
teaching soapmaking may apply to participate in the HSMG Teacher Program.
HSMG teacher members may use and
display the HSMG Teacher Logo, include a listing on the Find a
Soapmaker Teacher pages and list upcoming classes on the Find Classes
On-Going Soapmaker Education & Soapmaking Tools
Conference Registration Discount [All Members]
Every year the HSMG 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 HSMG 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]
HSMG 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 HSMG published The Handcrafted Soapmaker, the Journal of the HSMG. 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 HSMG eNews [All Members]
eNews issues are sent by email to members to keep them up-to-date on news and activities of the HSMG, 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 HSMG Vendor members.
Referral Program [All Members]
Members receive credits (called \"Golden Bubbles\") when they refer other soapmakers or vendors to join the HSMG. Golden Bubbles may be used toward membership dues, conference registration, advertising or HSMG merchandise. For Vendor Memberships, the Golden Soap Bubbles accrue in the name of the person designated as the owner of the company.
Directing the Organization
The senior managing body within the HSMG 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 HSMG Annual Membership Meeting is held during the Annual Conference every year. All members may attend (whether or not they are attending the conference) and all members have the right to vote on issues presented at the Annual Meeting (one vote may be cast by a Vendor Member, by the designated owner or representative at the meeting).
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 Soapmaker Members]
The Board of Directors are elected at the Annual Meeting and serve for two year (staggered) terms. Professional or Retired Soapmakers 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).