HSCG Advocacy: Your Voice in Government

As a small business owner, we know it’s hard to stay up to date on laws and regulations affecting the handcrafted industry. That is why the HSCG serves as our members’ voice in government. As a non-profit trade association, the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild (HSCG) advocates at both the state and federal level.

Since 2008, at least one bill has been introduced every year in Congress that directly affects the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry.

Working closely with a professional advocate in Washington, DC, we are constantly monitoring legislative activity, keeping members up to date on important issues or changes. And if action is needed reach out to key lawmakers to share how their vote could affect your business.

As the handcrafted industry continues to grow, it is more vital than ever that makers are recognized stakeholders in any government action. As an HSCG member, you are investing in important advocacy to protect you and your business today -- and for years to come.

How the HSCG Advocates for our Members

Educating Lawmakers

We’ve arranged hundreds of meetings to educate lawmakers about our growing industry, including the local economic impact it has on their district, state, and region. Regular discussions with U.S. Senators and Representatives have helped establish the HSCG as an important stakeholder in legislative action.

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Among our key messages:

  • The handcrafted industry is largely comprised of small and emerging businesses
  • More than 95% of handcrafted soap, cosmetic and candle companies are women-owned, with three employees or less.
  • While individual businesses may be small, together, there are more than 250,000 of them nationwide, employing more than 750,000 people.
  • Soap and cosmetic businesses do not invent new ingredients. Our members use safe ingredients, blending them into small batches of custom, handcrafted products.
  • Most ingredients in handcrafted products are food grade and can be found in any grocery store.

By changing perceptions and informing lawmakers about issues affecting the industry, the HSCG has been able to provide valuable feedback in shaping laws and regulations.

Supporting FDA Safety Regulations

Because handcrafted soap, cosmetic and candle makers use safe, often local ingredients, we support regulations that protect consumers as well as our members' small businesses.

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We recently submitted a Citizen Petition to update FDA labeling regulations to protect our members. The change in language would allow small, home-based businesses to omit their personal address on packaging to ensure their safety.

In addition, the HSCG supports current cosmetic legislation that makes it illegal to manufacture any unsafe, adulterated, or misbranded product.

We agree with the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and other industry experts that cosmetics manufactured in the U.S. are among the safest consumer products available in the country.

The HSCG is deeply committed to all FDA effort to protect consumers by establishing which cosmetic ingredients are safe. If an ingredient is deemed unsafe, we alert members right away so they can ensure it is not used in their products.

Our Washington Advocate

The HSCG partners with Debra Carnahan, principal of Carnahan Global Consulting, to represent our members in Washington, D.C. A former judge and prosecutor, she brings strong relationships on Capitol Hill, provides regular updates, and shapes our legislative strategy.

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A former U.S. attorney and judge, founding partner of a law firm, and political participant and advisor for almost four decades in American politics, Debra is a former state and federal prosecutor. For many years, she served as an adjunct professor of legal studies at Columbia College. In 2005, she received the school’s highest award of Distinguished Alumni.

Elected to serve on the Board of Governors for the Missouri Bar Association, which governs the legal profession in that state, she was also honored by the City of St. Louis for her service to the community and her work as a judge with the Problem Properties Court, one of the first of its kind in the U.S.

A regular commentator on the international PBS show, "To the Contrary" she has traveled extensively as a participant in global conferences and meetings with heads of state and other dignitaries.

Debra brings extensive experience in fundraising and has served on local, state and national boards. She is currently she is a principle and founder of Carnahan Global Consulting.

Keeping You in the Loop

To receive updates about regulation changes and legislation affecting the handcrafted industry:

Register here

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