2017 Topics

Handouts for the 2017 Conference sessions are available on the Conference Handouts page.

A Match Made in Heaven

Presented by Sharon Czekala

Bridging the divide between Cold Process soap and Melt & Pour soap are these audacious blends of both. Learn how to combine your favorite CP recipes with MP soap to create masterpieces that bring together all the benefits of each soap type. Visually stunning, highly scented and totally unique, hybrid soaps are endlessly creative. You will learn techniques for layering, swirling and embedding in this hands-on class. 

Battling Brand Schizophrenia

Presented by Lela Barker

The key to wow'ing customers and making them love you for life lies in building a clearly articulated, consistent brand that creates an emotional connection to those customers. But that kind of consistency is especially challenging for those of us with a deep creative streak...our passions drag us all over the map, and our focus is often fleeting! Come discover why focus is your friend in this wisdom-infused + action-packed workshop. We'll explore ways to battle brand schizophrenia so that you can hone your focus, clarify your message, and create a magnet that draws the poeple you most want to serve; the ones that wouldn't dream of complaining about prices and happily share your work with family and friends. 

Capture Creative Swirls Using Natural Colorants

Presented by Lori Chandler

Swirling techniques for cold processed soaps are a challenge when incorporating natural colorants in the design. This demonstration session shows how to select oils, choose colorants, and implement techniques to assure soaping success. See how easy beautiful bold natural designs can be!

Design Outside the Lines

Presented by Catherine McGinnis

If you've grown tired of the same unexciting designs, amp up your soap game with color! This session will demonstrate how to use the same recipe and the same four colors to create four incredibly unique cold process soap designs. Color creates a cohesive nexus in your range and varied designs make each soap stand-alone spectacular. Join Catherine for a live soap making demonstration and see how easy this is to recreate in your soaping space!

eCommerce Marketing

Presented by Craig Ure

ECOMMERCE MARKETING:  Learn What's Working and What's Not in eCommerce Today...plus the Latest Hacks & Website Tricks to Increase Conversions & Sales and Reduce Cart Abandonment!

If eCommerce and website technology confuses you or you are a marketing pro looking for real-world eCommerce marketing strategies that are killing it right now then take the short cut and join us in this fast-paced workshop to learn "What's working right NOW" in the world of eCommerce website marketing.

Learn the most proven advanced eCommerce marketing hacks, eCommerce technology and setup, plugins, strategies, systems, tools and resources in this eCommerce strategy filled workshop. You've heard the saying. "Little hinges swing big doors"? Learn the latest hacks and tweaks you need to implement immediately to leverage big gains & maximize your marketing spend.

All marketing worksheets and checklists will be provided.

Essential Oils-Their Purpose, Their Power and Their Precautions

Presented by Regina Bauscher

Explore the world of essential oils including their safe and proper usage in skin care products. While considered "natural" by most skin care entrepreneuers, essential oils are powerful organic compounds which may elicit skin reactions just like a synthetic fragrance. Learn what they are, how they work, their benefits and their contraindications from a NAHA Certified Aromatherapist. Twelve of the most popular oils will be explored in depth.

Facial Moisturizers 101

Presented by Susan Barclay Nichols

Join Susan Barclay Nichols for an exciting, interactive demonstration during which you'll learn how to make emulsified facial moisturizers from scratch, then how to adapt and customize these products for your skin type using different oils and emulsifiers. Learn how to include botanical extracts, vitamins, proteins, skin conditioners, and cosmeceuticals like allantoin, niacinamide, n-acetyl glucosamine, and more.

From Trash to Cash

Presented by Angela Carillo

Alegna Soap's Angela Carillo will show you new ways to utilize that last bit of soap batter in your pot and turn it into cash! She will present soap demonstrations on how to save hundreds of dollars by utilizing what most soapmakers throw in the trash. From batter to soap ends, Angela will teach you creative ways to stretch your precious soap into as much product as it will yield. She will show samples of stained glass soaps, Monet-inspired soaps and lace designed embeds- all made creatively with soap scraps.



Get Your Glitter On: Create Your Own Nail Polish and Pressed Eyeshadows

Presented by Christina Rose

If you look in the cupboards of most soapers, you will find oodles of micas, pigments, and glitters. In this session, learn how to expand your line to include polish and pressed eyeshadows using a few new ingredients and colorants you already have! Each participant will get hands on, creating products to take home while learning the fundamentals of polish and eyeshadow.

How to Have Your Best Day Ever, Every Day

Presented by Anne-Marie Faiola

Do you wake up every morning groggy and already tired at the prospect of another day on the treadmill? Are you stressed out from trying to balance the demands of family and work? Have you forgotten what "me time" feels like? Does the promise of having your best day ever, every day sound too good to be true?

Like you, Anne-Marie knows what life's like when you're pulled in too many directions- and she's found a way to make it work for her. In this talk, she'll share her formula for having the best day ever, every day; practical steps you can take, starting now, to energize your outlook, shake off stress, and recharge your relationships at home and work. In this talk, you'll learn about: 

  • The Pillars- keys to health and equilibrium
  • How big journeys are best traveled with baby steps
  • How to use good to crowd out the bad
  • The power of a plan in cutting challenges down to size
  • Accountability, and how to make it work for you.


How to Start a Mobile Gift Boutique

Presented by Dieshawn Holmes

This session will introduce you to the unique world of mobile retail! Dieshawn Holmes will show you how to implement mobile retain into your business to save you time and offer you the flexibility to run your business around your schedule. You will learn how to set up a mobile retail boutique by locating the proper permits and insurance, and also how to locate a truck and get it ready for the streets. You will gain helpful, detailed information on how to design the interior and exterior of your boutique. Dieshawn will share with you helpful resources to help you with implementing mobile retail into your business, so that you can "wow" your customers!

Know Your Fatty Acid Profiles: The Road to Better Soap Formulation

Presented by Amanda Gail

Better recipe formulation requires that you get to know the fatty acid profiles of soap making oils. You can do this two ways; by learning the theory of how different fatty acids react once saponified and by creating single oil soaps to actually observe their properties. By combining experience in both of these practices, you will soon be formulating recipes and modifying recipes like a pro. I'll show you examples of single oil soaps and provide you with a unique color-coded chart of fatty acid profiles that will help you learn their properties once saponified. 

Laundry Soap: The Formulation and Crafting Of

Presented by Jordan Henderson

In this presentation, we will learn about the formulation requirements of laundry soap and how basic formulations are crafted. Laundry soap is about the cleaning of fabric in the washing machine. We will cover the difference between a regular top loading machine and high efficiency or HE front-loading machines. We will review the various chemicals and how they each relate to the fabric cleaning process. We will discuss bleaching forms, as well as the use of chlorine and oxygen. We will touch on how hard water affects the cleaning process, as well as wash water temperatures. Lastly, we will review packaging choices, marketing and how the bottom line of your sales can be increased.

We will cover:

1. How is fabric cleaned? Types of soiled fabric and what cleans them.
2. Soap for cleaning fabric, what can we use, what should we use?
3. What other chemicals are common in a formulation? What do they do and should they be in our formulation?
4. Bleaching: the ugly, the bad and the good, and yes, in that order.
5. What is hard water, and how does it affect washing fabric?
6. Is cold water really the best choice? Should hot be used at times?
7. Packaging and marketing, how can laundry soap increase the bottom line?

Lotion Magic-Creating Extraordinary Emulsions

Presented by Beth Byrne

Emulsified products are many and varied, from lotion to cream to washes and beyond. Their ingredient lists are, as well. Learn not only about the oils, additives and emulsifiers you can use to create the ideal product line, but how to use the HLB system to create your own emulsifiers. Get tips on how to scale up safely and profitably. The best part is, you will make your own at the workshop!

Go beyond the basics to add your own magic to your product line.

Make Money Teaching Classes

Presented by Lori Nova Endres

How awesome would it feel to get paid to share your passion with others? Teaching classes is a great way to finance your hobby & make extra money. For business owners, teaching is a rewarding way to increase profits, diversify your business, & establish yourself as an expert. Why not capitalize on your knowledge & generate income through teaching others?

Since opening The Nova Studio in 2003, I've taught over 1,000 DIY classes & collaborated with many respected entrepreneurs. Teaching is my passion & I can't wait to share what I wish I'd known back then. Discover a risk-free way to test the concept, get ideas for where to teach, & expand your definition of "classes." I'll offer tips about writing descriptions, calculating prices, handouts, class size/duration, cancelling classes, TAs, insurance, advertising locally & online, and more.

Teaching isn't for everyone & it's not easy money. But it can be a fun, meaningful way to profit while doing something you love. Join me & discover if teaching DIY classes is a good fit for you.

Making Safe Handcrafted Pet Products

Presented by Melinda Wolff-Foster

Creating pet products to go along with any bath and body line seems easy enough, but do you know what product ingredients are safe for pets? This class teaches the fundamentals of common bath and body ingredients, including essential oils, and whether they are safe or not for cats and dogs.

Marketing Your Soaps and Cosmetics...Legally

Presented by Marie Gale

Now that you have your fabulous soap or cosmetic product formulated and ready to go, how do you market it? What can you say about the miracles possible from your product and its ingredients? How do you tell your prospective customers the amazing benefits they can get from your soap, lotion or cream? The FDA's definition of drugs, cosmetics and soap clearly define what we can- and can't- say about our products, but only in broad strokes. How do you know when you're crossing into illegal territory?

Marie is going to show you where the lines are drawn, and how to make sure you are staying within the laws and regulations when you promote all the benefits of your products. You'll come away from the class with a deeper understanding of what you can (and can't) say about your products and the ability to work out a legal and effective marketing pitch to sell your products.

Mind-Blowing Melt & Pour

Presented by Sharon Czekala

MP soap is both easy and amazingly complex. If you have already mastered the basics of melting and molding MP soap, it's time to move on to more advanced designs. Learn some of the newest MP techniques and more as we explore the creative possibilities and stay on top of the hottest trends. Blow the minds of your customers, family and friends as they wonder, "How'd you do that?"

Online Marketing Blueprint

Presented by Craig Ure

ONLINE MARKETING: Discover the ONLY proven step-by-step "Online Business Marketing Success Blueprint" for handcrafters to dominate your online presence, position you as the authority/expert and exponentially grow your eCommerce business online…Fast!Google, eCommerce, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, eCommerce Websites, Mobile, PPC, SEO, YouTube, Video Marketing and more...

This workshop is for ALL handcraft cosmetic manufacturers and distributors who want to discover the most advanced step-by-step, paint-by-numbers style online marketing blueprint ever created for the industry. In this fast-paced four hour workshop, you will arm yourself with the most advanced proven eCommerce tools, strategies, resources & systems you need to predictably attract, capture and convert the maximum number of customers online, dominate your online presence, position you and your business as the expert and authority of choice and future-proof your online eCommerce business for success.

Come and ask questions to your biggest marketing challenges...and get brutally honest, real world answers.

You will learn what's working and what's not right now in the online and eCommerce marketing world, the most advanced tweaks and hacks, how to cut through the marketing BS sold today and what to implement first, second and third in your business to make it a sustainable profitable eCommerce powerhouse. Imagine having the most advanced, proven success systems and processes working for you next week. No more guessing, wasting money or shooting from the hip style marketing.

Making money online has NOTHING to do with the economy, new technology, or the amount of competition in your market... and everything to do with proven, time-tested, enduring MARKETING PRINCIPLES you can apply to your business for fast, predictable success. Missing this 4-hour workshop will be like flushing money down the toilet- literally. All workbooks and checklists will be provided.

Protecting Your Business Brand

Presented by Robert Lippman

This presentation will demystify the process of protecting the brands developed and relied upon by small businesses and entrepreneurs. Topics will include an overview of the different types of intellectual property right including trademarks, patents, trade secrets and copyrights, how they differ and how to best protect each. Lippman will highlight critical factors to consider when choosing a trademark, the different types of protection available, and tips for enforcing trademark rights. 

Secrets of Saponification Values

Presented by Kevin Dunn

Soapmakers frequently use a lye calculator to determine the ratio of lye to oil. While this is perfectly satisfactory for many, some soapmakers are curious about what the calculator is actually doing. What is a saponification value? Why are some larger than others? Why do different lye calculators give different results? What if the calculator doesn't have an oil I use? How can I measure my own saponification values? Come and learn the real secrets behind these vital statistics. 

Secrets to Soap Business Success

Presented by Kenna Cote

New soap companies are popping up every day, but most soapmakers at the help are still wearing their goggles and gloves, wielding their mighty stickblender. Running a soap company requires stepping away from the soap pot, and donning the proper business hat to create a profitable, sustainable company to tackle your goals and dreams. Let's dive into the key factors that contribute to a successful soap business, so you know where to focus your efforts and start working the magic!

Soap From Ashes

Presented by Kerri Mixon

A professional soapmaker for 18 years, including teaching soapmaking at numerous high schools and colleges across the US, 16th generation soapmaker Kerri Mixon brings the secrets of making soap from wood ashes to Las Vegas. Don?t miss her simplistic slide show presentation on the art of coaxing lye from ashes. Learn different tips and tricks to master the technique of making soap from scratch without electricity. Harvesting lye from ashes to make soap ads another creative aspect to the rewarding artistry of soapmaking.

Some Like it Hot!

Presented by Margaret Neff

Have you ever wondered what Hot Process soap is, or why people make it? Have you ever wondered how it's made? If so, this session is for you! This class will be geared for the soaper who has never made Hot Process (HP) soap. Margaret will teach you how to make Crockpot HP soap from beginning to end!

The Yin and Yang of Customer Service

Presented by Charlene Simon Leigh O'Donnell &

Business experts and leaders unanimously agree, you can have the best product, the best branding, the best platform and you will have lackluster results if your customer experience is lacking. Customer Service should be one of the most important parts of your business, it should be well thought out, maintained and updated often to produce the best results. How do you find, keep and make a customer happy? In this session, Charlene Simon will give you the knowledge and drive to treat your customers as the rock stars they are, creating an experience that will keep them coming back for more. Great customers are the life blood of a business, they not only come back themselves, they spread the word about your company and products bringing even more business. Charlene will also explore the age old saying “The Customer is always right”, and give you tips on how to put this into practical action.

“The customer is always right”… until… they aren’t.

Although that saying is fairly accurate there comes a point when a customer, by their demands or attitude, is costing you money. When is it time to fire a customer? How do you do this in the most professional, expedient manor? Handling difficult customers effectively can save you both time, money and your business’ reputation. Leigh O’Donnell will walk you through how to handle these customers, keeping your emotions and knee-jerk reactions in control. She will outline the ways to end your relationship without costing you more energy, time and money in the process. You work hard for your business, brand and reputation, protecting it is of the utmost importance.

Vibrance! Color Theory for Soapmakers

Presented by Clyde Yoshida

The session is a presentation about color theory designed especially for soap makers. The presentation will include how to use the color wheel to plan color schemes to effectively suit specific fragrances. We will also discuss how to avoid mud and how to obtain the pure and vibrant colors that we want.

Visual Solutions for Busy Retailers

Presented by Lori Ann Gum

This presentation will emphasize the importance of overall store and retail selling space appearance, displays, and the processes that help retailers achieve a professional look, like one of the 'big guys' in the industry.

Participants will engage in a lively discussion about how to improve sales through proper merchandising techniques and to visually capture their customer's attention without breaking the bank. Business owners will be inspired to go back to their businesses and immediately implement the tips and techniques that they have learned during this fun and informative presentation.