2018 Canadian Conference Speakers

We strive to provide a wide selection of speakers and topics during each conference and from conference to conference. These are the speakers scheduled for the next conference ... so far! Check back to see what additional speakers you can look forward to.

Tia Alkazaz

2018 Canada Conference Speaker, Fatheih Alkazaz
Fatheih Alkazaz

Tia Alkazaz is currently the Marketing Manager at Active Micro Technologies. Fueled by her interest in cosmetic microbiology, Tia focuses on the study of innovative peptide technology and other alternative antimicrobial materials that are effective, safe, and stable to both chemists and consumers. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Mount Union and a Master of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Science with a Concentration in Cosmetic Science from the University of Cincinnati.

Tia will be speaking on Fighting Bac! Keys for Successful Aqueous Product Preservation

Ariane Arsenault

2018 Canada Conference Speaker, Ariane Arsenault
Ariane Arsenault
Soaping since 2003, Ariane C Arsenault is established in the Magdalen Islands, Canada. Born on an island and raised on a sailboat, Ariane’s product lines are inspired by the seaside. Always in search of local products to add to her soap formulations, she uses local honey, kelp, sand as well as other hand picked botanicals and additives.

Ariane has specialized in both Cold Processed and Melt & Pour soaps as well as other cosmetics. Making soap is part of her daily job and she always seeks to gain more knowledge.

In Canada, she is known as a leader in the industry, she was an occasional writer for the Handmade Magazine as a Cold process author, she was published in the collective "Naturally Saponified, An International Gallery of Artisan Soaps", she is a contributor with "Modern Soapmaking" and "Lovin' Soap" blogs. She is very active on social media and soaping forums.

Selected by YouTube NextUp, Class of 2017 to take part in a full week of training at the YouTube Space New-York, her YouTube channel is ranked among the top in the soapmaking community.Both her channel and her Facebook page are places where soapmakers go for inspiration.

Ariane will be speaking on Additives in Melt & Pour? Yesss!

Susan Barclay-Nichols

2018 Canada Conference Speaker, Susan Barclay-Nichols
Susan Barclay-Nichols

Susan Barclay Nichols is better known as SwiftCraftyMonkey, author of the blog "Point of Interest", and author of five eBooks: Lotion Making 101, Formulating Lotions & Creams, Hair Care, Facial Products, and Back to Basics (anhydrous products). A failed batch of bath bombs during a youth group led to the life changing discovery of an amazing forum where she fell in love with chemistry and making products at home. Not content to keep this information to herself, in 2009 Susan started her blog.

Her passion for researching, formulating and instructing has led to a monthly column at "Handmade Magazine" and teaching seven wildly popular skin and hair care workshops at Voyageur Soap & Candle that are often full before they're announced! Although Susan claims to love all her products equally, she admits to having a soft spot for cold process emulsifiers and surfactants.

In her spare time, she runs a series of free youth programs with her husband in her hometown of Chilliwack, B.C.

Susan will be speaking on Hair Care Products and Cold Process Emulsifiers

Lela Barker

2018 Canada Conference Speaker, Lela Barker
Lela Barker

Lela Barker sits on both sides of the table: she's a successful maker with 14 years of experience building a creative business. Lela began bootstrapping her apothecary brand, Bella Lucce, in 2003 and has since cultivated 1400+ wholesale accounts in 27 countries, generating more than $10 million in revenue.

Lela is also a business strategist who's wildly passionate about helping creative entrepreneurs bring their products into the marketplace. She's parlayed her time in the entrepreneurial trenches into a series of innovative entrepreneurial teaching programs and a robust private consulting practice. Through Lucky Break Consulting, Lela has had the privilege of helping hundreds of creative entrepreneurs with product pricing, brand development and wholesale strategy.

While these facets of business are what many naturally shy away from, Lela knows that these pieces of the entrepreneurial puzzle are that fine line between running yourself ragged and building a sustainable empire. Lela's products and personal story have been featured in more than 100 publications worldwide and her flagship teaching programs - LBU for wholesale strategy and Brick House Branding for brand development - consistently sell out within days each time registration opens. She teaches and speaks regularly, from conference rooms in Austria to cruise ships in the Caribbean and "almost" everywhere in between.

When not arming makers with tactical business approaches, you'll find her collecting passport stamps, perfecting the ultimate lemon meringue pie recipe and clinging tightly to her sanity while raising four children.

Lela will be speaking on The Art of Pricing: Nice + High

Sharon Czekala

2018 Canada Conference Speaker, Sharon Czekala
Sharon Czekala

Sharon Czekala founded The Great Lakes Natural Soap Company in 2004 as a primarily Michigan-focused wholesale business, and quickly grew to selling to stores and boutiques throughout the state. Her unique Michigan-themed soaps are popular in gift shops, hotels, and tourist destinations as well as a natural grocery chain and a major retail chain of stores.

In 2012, Sharon began teaching a full slate of soapmaking and cosmetics classes. She is a certified advanced level Soapmaker and Teacher, specializing in Cold Process, Melt and Pour and Hybrid soaps.

Inspired by her own travels, in 2016 Sharon launched a new brand of soaps, Places, which appeals to customers beyond the Great Lakes region.

Sharon has taught soapmaking at the HSCG conferences for three years running and serves as a member of the Board of Directors.

Sharon will be speaking on Hybrid Soap

Kevin Dunn

2018 Canada Conference Speaker, Kevin Dunn
Kevin Dunn

Kevin Dunn is the Elliott Professor of Chemistry at Hampden-Sydney College. His first book, Caveman Chemistry, brought him to the attention of handcrafted soapmakers. His second book, Scientific Soapmaking, explores the chemistry of soap at a deep, but accesible level. Professor Dunn's ongoing research continues to uncover fascinating details of the behavior of fats, oils, soaps, and synthetic detergent.

Kevin will be speaking on Little White Lyes

Kerri Mixon

2018 Canada Conference Speaker, Kerri Mixon
Kerri Mixon
16th generation soapmaker Kerri Mixon has worked as a professional soapmaker for 18 years. Holding a degree in Organizational Leadership, this owner of multiple soap-industry businesses also consults with larger manufacturers and teaches soapmaking at high school and college levels. A Guild member since 2003, she is thrilled to bring the secrets of making soap from wood ashes to Toronto.

Kerri will be speaking on Soap From Ashes

Caroline Payette

2018 Canada Conference Speaker, Caroline Payette
Caroline Payette
Caroline Payette is a Senior Regulatory Policy and Risk Management Advisor in the Cosmetics Unit of the Consumer Product Safety Directorate at Health Canada. She has been working for the Government of Canada for 10 years. She started her career with the Natural Health Product Directorate, where she worked as an Assessment Officer for 5 years and then transitioned to the Cosmetics Unit in 2014, where she has been working for the last 5 years. Caroline holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from Sherbrooke University and a Master’s degree in Nutrition from Laval University.

Ms. Payette will be speaking on Regulation of Cosmetics in Canada

Joe Shwarcz

2018 Canada Conference Speaker, Joe Shwarcz
Joe Shwarcz

Dr. Joe Schwarcz is Director of McGill University’s "Office for Science and Society" which is dedicated to demystifying science and separating sense from nonsense. He is well known for his informative and entertaining public lectures on topics ranging from the chemistry of love to the science of aging. Professor Schwarcz has received numerous awards for teaching chemistry and for interpreting science for the public. He is the only non-American ever to win the American Chemical Society’s prestigious Grady-Stack Award for demystifying chemistry. He hosts "The Dr. Joe Show" on Montreal radio, writes a weekly newspaper column entitled "The Right Chemistry", has appeared hundreds of times on television and is the author of 16 best sellers. Also an amateur conjurer, Dr. Joe often spices up his presentations with a little magic.

Dr. Joe's topic will be Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Charlene Simon

2018 Canada Conference Speaker, Charlene Simon
Charlene Simon

Charlene Simon is a soap, cosmetic and beauty addict. She’s been handcrafting soaps and cosmetics for 16 years and sharing 8 of them having her own retail boutiques. When you step inside one of her charm-filled apothecary boutiques you’ll experience an adventure in indulgence…sampling aromas and textures of gourmet, hand-blended bath treats and enjoying personalized service that’s so rarely seen today.

Charlene's retail business portfolio is one of her greatest accomplishments. She now has 4 retail soap boutiques in 3 states. Her retail shop portfolio also includes Fat Bottomed Girl’s Cupcake Shoppe (featured on Food Network's "Cupcake Wars"!)and Evilo Oils & Vinegars. She considers she is extremely lucky to get to work with her husband Justin, along with their three children Mackenzie, Dude, and Farren!

She is beyond proud to also serve on the Board of Directors for the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild.