Founded in 1998, the association traces its roots to a small group of enterprising soapmakers who gathered at the Woodspirits Farm in Ohio. Recognizing a need to connect, support and promote a growing handcrafted soap industry, they formed The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild. The first annual conference was held in Brainerd, Minnesota the following year.
Thanks to their early foresight, the association has grown exponentially, in size, scope and reach. Today, it is the largest membership organization of its kind, including thousands of members from nearly every US state and territory, Canada and many other countries.
Recognizing that many handcrafted soap makers also produce cosmetics, including lotions, creams, salts, sugar scrubs, bath fizzies, perfumes and other similar products, the membership voted to expand in 2013. Handcrafted cosmetics makers were welcomed as members and the organization’s name was updated to the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild. In 2022, another vote was taken to include handcrafted candle makers.
Founded by makers, for makers, the organization maintains a professional staff, but continues to be governed by a board of directors, elected from its handcrafted membership.
The HSCG remains a non-profit 501(c)(6) trade association, serving the handcrafted soap, cosmetics, and candle industry. This includes those who make product, vendors and suppliers who serve them, and the private label companies who sell handcrafted product under their own name, but do not manufacture it themselves, as well as the public, as consumers of handcrafted products.
The HSCG welcomes new members, including:
- Handcrafters who produce soap, cosmetics and candles
- Vendors who provide products and services to handcrafters
- Businesses that sell private label handcrafted soap, cosmetics and candles
To best serve different needs among those in the industry, the HSCG offers a range of membership options:
Handcrafter: For those who make handcrafted soap, cosmetics, and candles. There are three levels of this type of membership:
For companies who make and sell handcrafted soap, cosmetics and candles. Insurance is available to purchase for those in the United States as well as Canadian Members (except those in Quebec).
For those who make handcrafted soap and/or cosmetics, but do not yet sell to the public.
For those who were members but no longer sell handcrafted soap or cosmetics, yet wish to maintain a connection with the industry.
Vendor: For those who sell products and services to handcrafted soap, cosmetic and candle makers.
Private Label Distributor: For those who purchase handcrafted soap, cosmetics and candles to market under the private label distributor's own name.
Benefactor: This is an add-on to any of the above membership levels, for those who wish to provide a higher level of support to the association.
From the website to events, HSCG activities are funded by membership dues and donations. Operation of the association is governed by an elected Board of Directors, serving in a volunteer capacity and managed in accordance with Corporate Bylaws and our Mission Statement.
A team of professional staff oversee day-to-day operations and fulfill member needs.
All members agree to abide by a Code of Ethics. Members, vendors, suppliers and consumers may file a complaint with the Ethics Committee if they feel a member has violated the HSCG Code of Ethics.
The HSCG maintains an administrative office in Saratoga Springs, NY; most operations and communications are managed through the HSCG website.
Contact us through the website, or by phone, email or fax.
Based in the United States, the HSCG uses English as its primary language. As a not for profit, we do not have the resources to offer our services in other languages.
We recommend using the Google translator via a Chrome browser. Right-click the web page then select an option to translate the page.