2017 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.

Anne-Marie Faiola - Keynote

2017 Conference Speaker, Anne-Marie Faiola
Anne-Marie Faiola

Anne-Marie Faiola is a sought-after speaker and writer on the confluence of creativity and entrepreneurism. Her career took off as the founder and CEO of Bramble Berry, a $20 million company that sells soapmaking and other DIY supplies. She offers advice and inspiration to business owners, many of whom are women, through her blog, books and special appearances. Her belief is that creativity should be infused into every successful business strategy – especially if you’re building a business that is all about creativity and inspiration.

Anne-Marie is the author of Live Your Best Day Ever: Thirty-Five Strategies for Daily Success and Pure Soapmaking and Soap Crafting. She is the recipient of several business awards, including Small Business Person of the Year from the Washington State Small Business Association, Business Woman of the Year by the Washington State Women’s Business Owners Association, and a Best Boss in America as named by Fortune Small Business.

Anne-Marie takes a creative approach to her business and finds unique solutions that aren’t constrained by conventional wisdom. She believes that successful entrepreneurs possess a dynamic mix of resilience, tenacity and unshakeable motivation. Through her leadership, Bramble Berry has experienced over two decades of success, allowing Anne-Marie the opportunity to share her tailored business strategy with over 60,000 customers.

Greatly involved in the community, Anne-Marie serves on several nonprofit boards and coaches women on developing healthy habits that lead to a joyous life. She resides in Bellingham, Washington and is a mother of two. She’s passionate about health and wellness, believes habit-based living is the key to hitting your goals and providing the constant motivation and drive to rise to the next level.

Anne-Marie Faiola will be speaking on How to Have Your Best Day Ever, Every Day.

Lela Barker

2017 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 Battling Brand Schizophrenia.

Regina Bauscher

2017 Conference Speaker, Regina Bauscher
Regina Bauscher

After a career in environmental laboratory work, followed by an Investor Relations role for a Fortune 500 chemical company, Regina Bauscher’s career fed her curiosity in Essential Oils. Furthering her education in Essential Oils, Regina became a certified aromatherapist in 2015 and has continued to pursue in-depth training through the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy and the Tisserand Institute. Helping people understand  the safe and proper usage of essential oils is a professional passion.

Regina Bauscher will be speaking on Essential Oils-Their Purpose, Their Power and Their Precautions.

Beth Byrne

2017 Conference Speaker, Beth Byrne
Beth Byrne

Beth is an incurable formulator and teacher, and but she owes it all to a lavender plant. After moving to a new house, Beth found a plant she could not identify. Time and research revealed that it was lavender. That first herb began years of exploration into herbs and DIY cosmetics, which then led to selling skincare products for gardeners (www.SoapandGarden.com). She became a contributor to Saponifier Magazine when it resumed publication after a hiatus of several years. You know it now as Making Soap, Cosmetics & Candles Magazine. In 2013, she was promoted to Managing Editor.

A longtime fan and member of the HSCG, Beth served three terms on the HSCG Board of Directors and is serving again on the board after some time off. She finds it not only rewarding, but a great way to give back to the industry.

Teaching is in her blood, as well. She earned a BS degree in Education from Central Michigan University and has taught in some capacity since. She now enjoys teaching others to make bath and body products.

Beth is currently working on a book on basic lotion making that she hopes to release in early 2020.

When Beth is not working, you may find her in her lab, with her family or in her “Garden of Weedin’.” She resides in Rochester, NY, with her husband, Ken, and two dogs. They have six children and fourteen grandchildren.

Beth Byrne will be speaking on Lotion Magic-Creating Extraordinary Emulsions.

Angela Carillo

2017 Conference Speaker, Angela Carillo
Angela Carillo

Angela Carillo decided to take her career in chemistry in a new direction after the kids left home. Through a journey that led her from library research to classes, conferences and communities of other soap makers, Alegna Soap began as a business in 2010. Her products are now in local bed & breakfasts, specialty shops and available online.

Angela teaches classes in soap making to adults in NYC and on Long Island, and skin care classes to elementary students. She has written for The Soap Collaborative, and Making Soap, Cosmetics & Candles (previously known as Saponifier). She reached an even wider audience when she was invited to show host Kevin Pereira how to make soap on TV's Hack My Life.


Donating her time and products to help others in need is also important to Angela. She was one of a group of soap makers who travleled to Haiti to teach women in tent camps how to make soap and perfume as a way to support themselves. Through her initiative, "Soap for Soup", Angela regularly makes a special batch of soap products from which the proceeds go directly to a Bethpage, NY food pantry because of their generous help for a friend of hers years ago.

Angela Carillo will be speaking on From Trash to Cash.

Laureen Chandler

2017 Conference Speaker, Laureen Chandler
Laureen Chandler

Lori Chandler is a soapmaker, educator, speaker and business owner of Ashgrove Soaps and Sundries, LLC, located in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. Ashgrove products are in retail and wholesale markets.

She hosts and organizes the annual Pittsburgh Soapmakers Gathering and provides creative maker classes throughout the year. Combining a Master's Degree in Education with 30 years of teaching experience and being an HSCG Certified Soapmaker and HSCG Certified Soapmaking Teacher, she teaches and demonstrates a range of soapmaking skills and techniques. 

Laureen Chandler will be speaking on Capture Creative Swirls Using Natural Colorants.

Kendra Cote

2017 Conference Speaker, Kendra Cote
Kendra Cote

After owning and operating two successful soap companies, Kenna created Modern Soapmaking, a proverbial online playground for soapmakers, supported & written by soapmakers. With over 10 years of soapmaking experience, she passes on her knowledge through articles, resources, digital workbooks, and other publications. She continues to nurture soapmakers through mentorship programs & workships, both online and in person. In her "spare" time, she indulges in photography, MMORPGs (video games!), & her amazingly supportive family of four littles and husband. 

Kendra Cote will be speaking on Secrets to Soap Business Success.

Sharon Czekala

2017 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 A Match Made in Heaven and Mind-Blowing Melt & Pour and .

Kevin Dunn

2017 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 Secrets of Saponification Values.

Marie Gale

2017 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 Marketing Your Soaps and Cosmetics...Legally.

Lori Ann Gum

2017 Conference Speaker, Lori Ann Gum
Lori Ann Gum

Lori Ann Gum is a Visual Merchandiser and the proud owner of Visual Solutions & Display; a business she has built through hard work and repeat clients. She is now serving 14 malls in the Chicago land area, helping many tenants of in-line stores and kiosk/retail merchandising units with brand identity as well as overall display and product presentation. Retail floor and space planning as well as creative merchandising options are among her many strengths.

She is an accomplished Visual Merchandiser (VM) with over 30 years in the retail industry. Working as a VM for JCPenney and Marshall Fields department stores in the Chicago land area helped frame her success in this industry. Creating eye catching store window displays and department visuals were a part of her daily responsibilities.

Pier 1 Imports hired her to be their Regional VM for the Chicago South region, where she was instrumental in developing new innovative merchandising techniques used throughout the company. She traveled the region training managers and their staff on creating promotional displays that helped to support their weekly sales flyers and create a sales driven atmosphere whereby customers were enticed by well thought out and executed displays throughout the store. While at Pier 1, she was able to assist and lead in several remodels and new store openings.

Over the years, Visual Solutions & Display has evolved, offering visual merchandising tips and retail training seminars to local villages and small business owners.

Lori Ann is a confident, outgoing, personable entrepreneur with a passion to make every space beautiful and functional for her clients. She is ready to help you increase your visibility and bottom line.

Lori Ann Gum will be speaking on Visual Solutions for Busy Retailers.

Jordan Henderson

2017 Conference Speaker, Jordan Henderson
Jordan Henderson

Jordan has been making soap since 2000. Motivated by skin rashes and irritation, after trying countless commercial products, he decided to make an olive oil-only soap. Of course, we all know what the result was, the rashes and irritation vanished in a couple of days! Hooked by soap making chemistry, he stared making all his own formulations, many of which are sold by his company Soap Alchemy still today. Jordan has been testing out laundry soap formulations for the last three years, studying their various ingredients and combinations. He will talk about his journey during his session, Laundry Soap: the Formulation and Crafting Of.

Jordan Henderson will be speaking on Laundry Soap: The Formulation and Crafting Of.

Dieshawn Holmes

2017 Conference Speaker, Dieshawn Holmes
Dieshawn Holmes

Dieshawn L. Holmes is a passionate Christian, wife, mom and owner of Angelic Soaps and Gifts based in Flint, Michigan.

 In 2001, Dieshawn attended an enrichment class offered by a local school district, where she learned how to craft herbal bath products and soaps. Her passion for soap making evolved and Dieshawn opened the doors to Angelic Soaps and Gifts in 2002. 

Dieshawn had high hopes and wanted to see her handmade gifts offered for sale in local shops and boutiques in her area; initially, she was turned down and told "we are not interested". She had to find a way to market her products to customers, and that's when Dieshawn came up with a unique idea; she would offer her gifts for sale from a mobile boutique! Hitting the streets in 2014 with her transformed mobile gift boutique, she offered private shopping and girl's night out parties to her customers.

 Dieshawn is the author of "Entrepreneurs Guide to Launching a Mobile Retail Boutique on a Shoe String Budget", and she also assists entrepreneurs with advice on how to take their businesses mobile.

Connect with Dieshawn at www.angleicsoapsandgifts.com, and on Facebook as Mobile Retail Boutique. 

Dieshawn Holmes will be speaking on How to Start a Mobile Gift Boutique.

Robert Lippman

2017 Conference Speaker, Robert Lippman
Robert Lippman

Robert Lippman is a Principal with the law firm of Lemery Greisler LLC, with offices in Albany and Saratoga Springs, New York. For over 28 years, he has been specializing in the resolution of business disputes, with a focus on the protection of intellectual property, contract negotiation and general commercial litigation. He handles a wide variety of matters, specializing in the needs of small companies, including trademarks, trade dress, product configuration, unfair competition, trade secrets, copyrights, false advertising, and internet related intellectual property issues. 

Robert Lippman will be speaking on Protecting Your Business Brand.

Catherine McGinnis

2017 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 Design Outside the Lines.

Kerri Mixon

2017 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 Soap From Ashes.

Margaret Neff

2017 Conference Speaker, Margaret Neff
Margaret Neff

Margaret has been a soapmaker for over 20 years. She was making soap long before stick blenders were available in every store. She would make a batch of soap, stirring by hand for as long as three hours! Margaret started experimenting and using lots of different methods and ingredients. When her house was exploding with soap, she decided to start selling it. Thus began Nature's Touch Soaps, LLC in a rural area outside Clifton, Ohio. She recently stopped doing most shows and is concentrating on private label soaps, wholesale accounts and retail sales on her website. www.naturestouchsoaps.com.

Margaret is a graduate of Central State University, Cal State Bakersfield and received her Master's Degree from the University of Dayton. She retired after 32 years as a Special Education teacher. As a teacher at heart, she continues to teach soaping classes in her studio. She has met the most amazing people through her classes.

Margaret and her husband Nolan have five children, 13 grandchildren (12 girls) and two gret-grandchildren over 7 states. Her free time is spent being a CASA volunteer, a child advocate for neglected and/or abused children in the juvenlie court system. 

Margaret Neff will be speaking on Some Like it Hot!.

Lori Nova Endres

2017 Conference Speaker, Lori Nova Endres
Lori Nova Endres

Teaching Speech during grad school was Lori's first "real" experience teaching, and she was hooked. In 2001, Lori started offering DIY classes in her tiny kitchen. In 2002, she opened "The Lavender Room," in Berkeley, CA, and taught weekend classes. Then, she took the leap and made teaching her full-time career by opening "The Nova Studio," located in Point Richmond, CA from 2003-2015. It was the longest running storefront with a focus on bath & body products, dedicated to sharing knowledge & teaching classes. They were well known for multi-day soap & product-making "Boot Camps"- which Lori created after relentless requests from students travelling by plane to learn.


In 2013, she partnered with Cassie Durant & Ruth Esteves to form The Nova Studio, LLC. Today, their focus is online learning opportunities as they continue their mission by connecting students from around the world with the best teachers in our industry. They offer live & recorded eClasses, Q+As, class handouts, consulting sessions, free resources for makers, & more.

Lori lives in Louisiana with her husband Mike & their 4-year-old Sammy, who loves garbage trucks & fire trucks as much as she loves soap & natural perfume. Connect with Lori at www.TheNovaStudio.com.

Lori Nova Endres will be speaking on Make Money Teaching Classes.

Christina Rose

2017 Conference Speaker, Christina Rose
Christina Rose

Christy Rose is the owner and creative director of KBShimmer Bath and Body. Christy earned her bachelor degree at the University of Minnesota and used those skills along with her love of color and beauty products to found KBShimmer 10 years ago. KBShimmer has flourished into a business that not only supports her, but the families of a small but dedicated team.

The KBShimmer nail polish line has been featured in Nail It! Magazine, Life & Style, and People StyleWatch. Christy’s products ca be found on several major nail polish, lifestyle and fashion blogs including Refinery29.com and PopSugar.com. KBShimmer currently offers nail polish, lotions and cuticle creams, scrubs and other hand care products for sale on Amazon, their website and through select online international retailers.

When not covered in glitter from polish making, Christy spends time in her Indiana home with her husband and 12 year old daughter. She is an avid reader, and has recently discovered a love for fluid painting. Christy also enjoys traveling throughout the US, baking and biweekly pedicures with her daughter.

Christina Rose will be speaking on Get Your Glitter On: Create Your Own Nail Polish and Pressed Eyeshadows.

Charlene Simon

2017 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 The Yin and Yang of Customer Service.

Craig Ure

2017 Conference Speaker, Craig Ure
Craig Ure
Craig Ure is the CMAO (Chief Massive Action Officer) of ZoomDazzle.com Publishing International, a web marketing consultant, speaker, author and social media advisor for many INC 500 offline and online companies. Craig and his father owned and managed 118 fitness/spa properties, 2,987 licensed spa clubs, and an international fitness equipment manufacturing company in Europe. Craig has an MBA in marketing and business studies and owns many publishing websites and eCommerce stores selling physical products. He has spent the last 26 years at the school-of-hard-knocks, perfecting marking tactics and proven business-building strategies within the health, beauty, and medical industry. Craig is now focused on fixing and providing immediate growth solutions for small and medium-sized businesses leveraging the most advanced internet marketing, eCommerce and integrated marketing tactics and strategies. 

Craig Ure will be speaking on Online Marketing Blueprint and eCommerce Marketing and .

Melinda Wolff Foster

2017 Conference Speaker, Melinda Wolff Foster
Melinda Wolff Foster

Melinda Wolff-Foster, owner of Melinda's Naturals, is a practicing certified aromatherapist through the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, an award winning cold process soap artisan, a holistic pet care educator, a professional pet stylist, and owner of The Pines Pet Pampering.

Melinda's interest in handcrafted products and subsequent studies of essential oils began as a result of her journey to recover from Chronic Lyme Disease. After many years of unsuccessful mainstream treatments, she finally went into remission as a result of holistic means. Even though she has several life lasting effects from her battle with Chronic Lyme, Melinda is grateful to be busy and able to live a full life again!

Melinda's Naturals was established in 2013 with focus on creating wholesome personal care products not just for people, but their pets too! Melinda's holistic pet care guidance has been featured in articles for Creative Groomer Quarterly, as well as her segments on the television show Natural Companions.

Melinda Wolff Foster will be speaking on Making Safe Handcrafted Pet Products.

Clyde Yoshida

2017 Conference Speaker, Clyde Yoshida
Clyde Yoshida

Clyde’s childhood interests in drawing and painting initiated his personal timeline of curiosity and creativity. He taught math and art in San Diego for over 25 years and wrote an article about assessing learning for the George Lucas Educational Foundation’s publication, Edutopia.

Although he is now retired from formal teaching, Clyde continues to teach and demonstrate art related topics in soap making on his YouTube channel, Vibrant Soap. “It seems like all my life experiences prepared me for a life as soap maker and presenter. I thought I was going to leave my teaching profession behind for good. Instead, I realize how the skills of teaching helps me to make my videos and prepare for conference presentations.

Clyde believes that the creative process is an extension of who we are as individuals. Focusing on our own sensibilities but being open to critique from those we trust is a great way to honor our imagination and build strong creative relationships.

Clyde Yoshida will be speaking on Vibrance! Color Theory for Soapmakers.