2016 US 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.

Jerrod Sumner - Keynote

2016 Conference Speaker, Jerrod Sumner
Jerrod Sumner
Jerrod is the founder of BRANDtabulous, a boutique branding agency specializing in brand storytelling and styling. Jerrod is a storyteller first and marketer second. With a keen eye for brand identity and styling, Jerrod believes a picture and brand identity is worth a thousand words ... and EVERY word matters. It is about telling the right story for each listener.

As a brand storyteller, Jerrod works closely with his clients to develop brands from the maker's perspective. It is all about getting into the heads, hands, and hearts of your customers.

Jerrod's clients include makers, from butchers and bakers to candle makers ... really. As a sought-after lifestyle expert, Jerrod lends his voice and styling to West Elm, Williams Sonoma, Westin Hotels, Mall of America, American Cancer Society, Share Our Strength, and other "lovable" brands.

Jerrod Sumner will be speaking on Beyond the label and Logo :: Are you telling your best story?.

Lela Barker

2016 Conference Speaker, Lela Barker
Lela Barker

Lela Barker has a unique perspective on entrepreneurship because she sits on both sides of the table. She’s a successful maker with 15 years of experience building a creative business. Since launching her bootstrapped apothecary brand in 2003, Lela has guided Bella Lucce’s growth to include 1500+ wholesale accounts in 27 countries, generating more than $12million 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 the privilege of helping hundreds of creative entrepreneurs navigate product pricing, brand development, and wholesale strategy.

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 0 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 Barker will be speaking on Tripping All Over Themselves to Work With You: My Secrets to Charming Wholesale Buyers and Charge What You're Worth! The Art of Communicating Value & Charging a Premium on Your Products and .

Deborah Bruijn

2016 Conference Speaker, Deborah Bruijn
Deborah Bruijn

Deborah Bruijn is a chemist, soapmaker, mother and owner of Fairhope Soap Company, LLC. She has a BS in Chemistry and has worked as a Biochemist and a GMP Analytical Method Development Chemist in the pharmaceutical industry for 10 years.

Deborah quit the lab and now soaps full time doing the only legal "work from home" job a chemist can do. She is an HSMG Certified Advanced Soapmaker, the Secretary of the Alabama Soap and Candle Association and a member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists. She founded Fairhope Soap Company 4 years ago in Fairhope, Alabama on Alabama's Gulf Coast and now has a brick-and-mortar shop in downtown Fairhope in addition to its online store.

Active in the community, Deborah is a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary International and volunteers with her Basset Hound, Dudley-Do-Right, in Elderly Care facilities.

Deborah Bruijn will be speaking on Bubbles Bubbles Bubbles: Bubble Bars, Bubble Scoops and Bubble Frosting.

Sharon Czekala

2016 Conference Speaker, Sharon Czekala
Sharon Czekala

Sharon is the Owner and Founder of The Great Lakes Natural Soap Company in Canton, Michigan. She has been making and selling soap for the last fifteen years to stores, hotels, gift shops, and boutiques throughout the country.

Sharon started the Great Lakes Natural Company in 2004 as a wholesale business. In 2016, she launched a new, upscale cold-process and hybrid soap brand named Places, expanding her business beyond Michigan’s borders and appealing to a much wider customer base.

Married for almost 32 years, Mom to a teenager, and an avid traveler, Sharon gets her inspiration from the beautiful places she’s visited in a lifetime of travel.

Sharon is a Certified Advanced Level Soapmaker, in both MP and CP/HP soapmaking as well as a Certified Soapmaking Teacher and a certified cosmetic maker.  Sharon teaches a variety of soap and cosmetic classes in Michigan and writes for a popular soapmaking blog. She Secretary of the HSCG Board of Directors, and has been a speaker at every conference since 2014.

Sharon Czekala will be speaking on MP Soap: From Playful to Profitable.

Kevin Dunn

2016 Conference Speaker, Kevin Dunn
Kevin Dunn

Kevin Dunn is the Elliott Professor of Chemistry at Hampden-Sydney College. He has been lecturing at HSCG conferences since 2005. When he is not studying the esoteric properties of soap, he may be found playing the bagpipes or launching giant rockets, sometimes simultanously.

Kevin Dunn will be speaking on Crafting with Chemistry.

David Fisher

2016 Conference Speaker, David Fisher
David Fisher

For nearly 20 years, David Fisher has been fascinated and delighted by soap making’s mix of science, senses, cooking, art, and creativity. What started as just a hobby grew into a soap business, and then, in 2005, his work transitioned from making and selling soap to making and teaching about soap as the Guide to Candle and Soap Making for About.com (now thespruce.com). The hundreds of articles, tips and projects on the site teach a myriad of aspects of soap and candle making through step-by-step tutorials, recipes, videos, and more. Hundreds of thousands of readers visit the site monthly from all over the globe.

More than a decade of blogging, writing, teaching and experimenting with soap culminated this past year in the publication of an encyclopedic how-to-make-soap book entitled “The Complete Photo Guide to Soap Making” which was published by Quarto Publishing International. He was also featured this year in 4 segments on soap making for the PBS series “Creative Living with Sheryl Borden”.

David still teaches soap making in person and onlineœ at makemoresoap.com. He has presented at previous HSCG Conferences, the Lone Star Soap & Toiletries Conference, and the Alabama Soap Meeting.

David Fisher will be speaking on Tipping Points: Growing Your Business to Its Next Level of Success.

Marie Gale

2016 Conference Speaker, Marie Gale
Marie Gale

Marie Gale has amassed nearly 20 years in the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry.  During this time she has had her own soap and cosmetic business selling her products retail, wholesale and private label; served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild, and written three books for makers in the industry. Her preeminent book, Soap and Cosmetic Labeling, has become an indespensable mainstay for soap and cosmetic handcrafters who want to comply with US labeling requirements.  


In addition to speaking engagements addressing soap and cosmetic labeling, her website (www.mariegale.com) provides a wealth of information about labeling and legislation. Marie works remotely as the Webmaster from the Seattle area, where she lives with her husband, their Doberman, Duke, and their orange-tabby cat, George.  In her spare time, Marie is researching her family tree.

Marie Gale will be speaking on Navigating the Rocks and Shoals of Product Regulations: Labeling and More... and Good Manufacturing Practices: Yikes! Where do I start? and .

Andee Howard

2016 Conference Speaker, Andee Howard
Andee Howard

Long immersed in the world of handcrafted soap and scent, Andee has the DIY gene that keeps her nights short, her days long, and her craft closet full to the brim. After spending the majority of her life sniffing all the wonderful sniffs to be sniffed, Andee discovered that she has quite the hoard of fragrances that she enjoys. Just don't ask how old some of those fragrance are! When she is at work at Majestic Mountain sage, you can find her helping customers, getting messy in the testing lab, or working on projects for the blog, Adventures with The Sage. Andee even helps write some of the hilarious descriptions found in the Majestic Mountain Sage catalog. In her personal ife, Andee loves cooking, dogs, photography, writing, and hunting for mushrooms in a province far-far away.

Andee Howard will be speaking on How to Unlock the Secrets of Fragrance Blending.

Mickie Maxey

2016 Conference Speaker, Mickie Maxey
Mickie Maxey

Mickie Maxey is a mother, bath and body crafter, geek and all around goofball.  She started crafting bath and body products a few years ago as holiday gifts, and her gifting quickly expanded into a hobby.  Soon family and friends were asking for more products.  As demand quickly outgrew her ability to supply with a full-time job, she launched Argyle Cosmetics in 2014.

Within 6 months of launching, her business was so successful that she was able to leave her job as a Software Engineer.  Mickie handcrafts a full range of soaps, facial products, bath treats and skincare items.  Her creativity and enthusiasm have earned her a passionate client base.  She has also developed a network of soapy friends online.  She loves to learn from, teach, support, and celebrate the rich and diverse group of people she has met online.

Mickie Maxey will be speaking on Formulating Facial Care: Bringing Luxury to Your Product Line.

Catherine McGinnis

2016 Conference Speaker, Catherine McGinnis
Catherine McGinnis

Catherine McGinnis is the owner of Soaping101, one of the most popular social media outlets for soapmaking tutorials and advice. With over fifteen years of experience in the industry, she is passionate about helping soapmakers sharpen their skills via seminar talks, comprehensive classes and online videos. The style and know-how she offers in her videos and to the soapmaking community is an extension of her genuine nature. She considers soapmaking an industry where information can be freely shared and enjoyed.

 

When not in front of the camera, Catherine is the owner of a trendy soap store, The Soap Deli. She also created and personally directs the annual soapmaking social gathering, SoapCon, and serves as Treasurer on the HSCG Board of Directors. Catherine holds a Bachelors Degree and MBA in Marketing and Economics.  www.soaping101.com

Catherine McGinnis will be speaking on Cold Process Soaping 102.

Alyssa Middleton

2016 Conference Speaker, Alyssa Middleton
Alyssa Middleton

Alyssa Middleton has been professionally handcrafting soap, spa products and candles since 2007, when she purchased Vintage Body Spa.  At the time, it was only sold at local craft shows.  She steadily grew the company and now she has thriving international retail and private label programs.

As she began fielding more questions from others on how to start of grow their beauty business, Alyssa opened Bath and Body Academy in 2011.  There, she and her team provide resources, courses, coaching and done-for-you services to help beauty entrepreneurs at all levels.  She is an Amazon and Kindle bestselling author and has written both how-to soap making books and a series on business building tips specifically for the beauty industry.  There are four more books planned for release in 2015.

Never one to sit still for long, in 2014, Alyssa launched A.J. Murray's, her men's grooming products company.  She lives outside of Louisville, KY with her husband and two children.

Alyssa Middleton will be speaking on Multiple Revenue Streams to Strengthen and Build Your Business.

Kerri Mixon

2016 Conference Speaker, Kerri Mixon
Kerri Mixon

Speaker Kerri Mixon is a skilled soap and cosmetic formulator and educator, who has worked professionally in the industry for 21 years. Specializing in soap, vegan and sustainable ingredients, and products safe for greywater systems, Kerri Mixon assists commercial producers with their formulations and manufacturing techniques. She joins us in Hartford, Connecticut, to present the culmination of her work in 2 different presentations, "Emulsification Systems" and "Hair Conditioner Bars". 

Kerri Mixon will be speaking on Create Water-Based Facial Serums.

Rachel Mullen

2016 Conference Speaker, Rachel Mullen
Rachel Mullen

Rachel Mullen (aka The Compulsive Lyer), is proud to be the unofficial soapmaker of country music!  Not only have her products appeared in celebrity gift bags at the CMT and CMA Awards, she has created custom soaps for some of country's biggest stars, including Lady Antebellum, Trace Atkins and Barbara Mandrell.

When she's not slaving over a hot soap stove, you can find her and her husband (#MrSuds), traveling around the world and snuggling up to the world's most adorable pups.

Rachel Mullen will be speaking on Anatomy of a Tradeshow.

Kimberlee Nagel

2016 Conference Speaker, Kimberlee Nagel
Kimberlee Nagel

Attended the University of Miami in Miami, Florida for undergraduate studies and then studied law at American University, the Washington College of Law, in Washington, D.C.  While at American University, Kimberlee participated in various programs.  One program was representation of indigent litigants (landmark landlord/tenant cases, traffic court, and small claims court) in Washington D.C. courts for 10 months.  Others were international law programs via other law schools which she studied law in Europe (Italy, Netherlands and England) for 1 year.

Kimberlee's practice has transitioned over the years from a courtroom practice in criminal and civil litigation to advising private clients on compliance issues in the legal areas of DOT regulations, Florida soap/cosmetic/drug laws, labeling laws, Good Manufacturing Practices and OSHA Regulations.

Today, she has an "e-office" concept (mobile, electronic, paperless) that is most conducive to clients (both domestic and international) in today's e-commerce and mobile world, particularly since she travels extensively researching regulation and standards compliance.  All matters today are time critical.  So, when time is at a premium, her e-office provides quicker response time.  However, since she is the only employee and each and every aspect of every representation is handled by herself, her client base is limited.

Kimberlee Nagel will be speaking on Is it SOAP? (Florida's Drug and Cosmetic Act, Made Simple).

Trista Page

2016 Conference Speaker, Trista Page
Trista Page

Trista Page is the CEO and Chief Saponificologist at Indigo Bee, Inc.  She has been a soapmaker for nine years, earning the Advanced Soapmaker designation from the HSCG in 2012.  A lifelong entrepreneur, she started her soap company, Indigo Bee in 2006, and has been featured on local and national TV programs and magazines.  She started making soap in her kitchen, opened and closed a retail location, moved to the garage and currently has a soap factory in the Tampa Bay Area.  She most recently started a new division of Indigo Bee called "Bad Ass Beer Soap Company", and manufactures beer soap for several regional and national breweries.  While she has done everything from banking and finance to working for a paving company, she believes that combining soapmaking and craft beer is a whole lot more fun!

Lisa Kimball is the CEO of G3 Consulting, Inc.  She has been in the natural products and consumer packaged goods arena for just under 4 years.  Her experience stems from the financial and mortgage industry, eventually taking her to natural and organic body care after joining the team at Primal Pit Paste as the Director of Sales and Marketing.  Her experience in sales, marketing and brand management spans over the past 17 years giving her a working knowledge of what it takes to make connections and grow in your market.  Lisa has the energy that is unmatched and will inspire you to go big or go home!  After working with several local and national brands, she started a consulting firm that works within the natural products industry but also has clients in fitness, grocery, and health and beauty channels.

Trista Page will be speaking on Stand Up, Stand Out and Step Off! Marketing Boot Camp.

Erica Pence

2016 Conference Speaker, Erica Pence
Erica Pence

Erica Pence is a soapmaker, teacher, author and blogger.  She is the founder and CEO of Bath Alchemy Lab, the first in providing a vast array of comprehensive soap, bath and body, cosmetics, and candle classes, including the Soapmaking Academy, completely online.

Erica is the author of numerous books and magazines both in print and digitally, such as eBooks and eZines, for soapmakers as well as an active blog chock full of ideas, Soap-Blog.  Her new revised and expanded edition of Formulating Your Own Soap Recipes, is available in print and online in 2015, with new books scheduled for release in 2016.  She created a line of fresh and fun seasonal online soap classes for Bramble Berry, in which you can learn many intermediate and advanced techniques throughout the year, without taking a full course.

Erica has been a regular columnist for The Saponifier magazine for over 6 years, providing feature articles and ongoing columns.  She is a Certified Advanced Soapmaker and Certified Soapmaking Teacher with HSCG, and a speaker at the 2014 and 2015 HSCG Annual Conferences.  She holds a BA in Education and combines her love for teaching and researching with her passion for soapmaking.

Erica Pence will be speaking on Creating the Perfect Recipes: The Secrets of Soap Formulating and Recipe Building.

Kristen Prinzing

2016 Conference Speaker, Kristen Prinzing
Kristen Prinzing

Kristen is the owner and founder of Lotion Lady (R), based in Encinitas, California.  She studied Psychology at the University of Redlands and, later, business at the University of Denver.  When her youngest son was born, 23 years ago she gave up her career in corporate banking to be a stay at home mom.  She had a family lotion recipe that she updated and gave as gifts to family and friends.  Soon she was taking orders for more.  Since that time Lotion Lady (R), has grown into a well-known business offering a healthy alternative to commercial skin care products.  In fact, Lotion Lady's Vanilla Body Oil has been sold in the Smithsonian Institutes Natural History Museum Gift Shop for 10 Years.

Kristen works with the Encinitas Community Resource Center collecting and donating products to the women's shelter and elderly residents.  She's also helped establish a transitional living program for former foster children from 18-25 years old.  Kristen is a member of the Soapmaking Historical Guild of San Diego, which demonstrates soaping over an open fire in Old Town State Park in San Diego.

Kristen Prinzing will be speaking on Making Natural Deodorant.

Carrie Seibert

2016 Conference Speaker, Carrie Seibert
Carrie Seibert
Carrie is a HSCG Certified Soapmaker who began making soap in 2011 to assist her daughter in dealing with skincare issues. Her experiments turned into a hobby which then quickly transformed into a part-time business. While their small endeavor began to grow, Carrie continued to crank out soap while Darren began dabbling in the art of traditional wet shaving. Together, the two of them formulated an aftershave balm for men, which was met with great reviews. Spurred by its hearty reception (and a pending trademark conflict), the couple decided to shift gears. Darren closed his laser engraving business and together with Carrie began a new soaping company, specifically geared toward the men’s wet shaving community. In May of 2014 they officially launched Soap Commander with a line of shaving soaps, aftershave balms, lotions, and bath soaps. The year 2015 brought exponential growth for Soap Commander, as their products have received international accolades and are currently carried by over 2 dozen retailers that cater to men (and women) who embrace the lifestyle of traditional shaving. Darren (a retired Navy cryptologist) and Carrie (a former math teacher) currently reside in northern Alabama, where they homeschool and raise their 7 children.

Carrie Seibert will be speaking on Boys and Their B.L.A.D.E.S.: Gaining Edge in the Wet Shaving Community.

Charlene Simon

2016 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 opened her first retail soap boutique in Hot Springs, AR in 2008, her second in 2014 in Natchitoches, LA and third in St. Louis, MO in 2015. She’s super thrilled to soon announce a fourth location!! Her retail shop portfolio also includes Fat Bottomed Girl’s Cupcake Shoppe (featured on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars!)and Evilo Oils & Vinegars. She lives and is 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 as the President of the Board of Directors for the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild.

Charlene Simon will be speaking on "But Buster!" Don't let big "buts" keep you from feeling the burn of success!.

Daryle Stafford

2016 Conference Speaker, Daryle Stafford
Daryle Stafford
With over 13 years of experience in the insurance industry Daryle Stafford has become the expert on protecting and limiting the liability for small businesses.  He has worked closely with many business owners and industry experts with a focus on better understanding the many obvious and hidden exposures facing the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry.  He realized quickly that the insurance industry primarily tailored their products and services to large companies while making it difficult for small businesses to succeed.  In 2012, Daryle felt there was a better way to offer his clients insurance than the traditional and outdated industry models.  Daryle founded Veracity Insurance Solutions that same year, incorporating cutting edge technology and automated tools and resources into the workflow while still maintaining a high level of customer service.  With his new business model, Daryle facilitated very quick growth, necessitating a need to expand his team.  In 2012, Daryle brought Chris Taylor on board to begin developing the customer support and marketing aspects of Veracity.  Chris brings a modern marketing style to the team, concentrating heavily on the power of technology, data-driven marketing and most importantly, the voice of the customer.  Together, Daryle and Chris have helped lead Veracity to increase the number of customers serviced to over 70,000 nationwide.

Daryle Stafford will be speaking on Protecting Your Business' Assets.

Jackie Thompson

2016 Conference Speaker, Jackie Thompson
Jackie Thompson

Jackie Thompson, author of Liquid Soapmaking, is an HSCG certified Master Soapmaker and honorary lifetime member. Jackie credits her success in the soapmaking arena to her many, many batches of failed soap. Without them, she would not have bought her first vintage soapmaking book and begun her researching journey. Through research, trial and error, Jackie puts a new spin on old soapmaking skills. Jackie and daughter Gaily have been producing Gaily Rebecca Soaps since 1998.

Jackie Thompson will be speaking on Cream Soapmaking: A Practical Approach.