The HSCG chooses speakers and topics to cater to most business levels and individual skills. You'll learn about business techniques, regulations, formulation-all the things you need to make the most out of your conference experience!

Candle Wicking & Test Burning Demystified

Maker Track  Presented by Cindy Novack

hoosing the correct wick for your candles and test burning to perfection is the most confusing and frustrating part of the candlemaking process.  In this session, we will dive deep into the subject to help you understand and gain clarification of how a wick functions (and malfunctions) in your candle.  A blueprint with instructions of the test burning process will also be provided so all of your wicking woes will be ancient history!

Creating a Natural Soap Color Palette

Maker Track  Presented by Kandra Churchwell

Join Kandra, author of The Natural Soap Color Palette, in exploring the world of natural soap colorants. Kandra will be discussing the methods outlined in her book and sharing tips and tricks for working with natural colors so you can develop your own natural soap color palette. You will learn how to extract and test colors, how to blend to create new colors, understand how additives can affect your final colors, and valuable tips on working with nature to ensure consistency in your soap colors.

How Safe is Your Soap Room?

Maker Track  Presented by Kathy Gray

Probably the #1 fear we all faced as beginners was the scariness of using lye to make soap. If you’ve conquered your fear of lye, congratulations! But did you know that many other materials used to make soap can also be hazardous? If you have a sink with running water, an eye wash station, and a fire extinguisher in your soapmaking space, you are on the right track. Join me as I walk through some simple steps to make your workspace and work routine safer for you, your family, and your employees.

Numbers & Bubbles: Demystifying Soapy Math

Maker Track  Presented by Jennifer Hofmann

Can you calculate a recipe by hand or do you rely on a lye calculator?  Lye calculators have made calculating a recipe easy.  It definitely saves us time.  And assuming we enter the information correctly it’s usually error free! However, a soap maker gains a better understanding of SAP values, lye strength, superfats, and water discounts when they learn to calculate recipes from scratch. Come join Jennifer as she walks you through creating and calculating a recipe from scratch!

Top Ten Soapmaking Myths - Busted

Maker Track  Presented by Kathy Gray

Artisan soapmaking has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Many soap makers have learned their craft from the internet or self-published books, but often they find conflicting information. Myths and traditions are abundant - how do you sort the facts from fiction?  Let’s bust some of those old myths that restrict your options and steal your time.  Topics will include how to handle lye and fragrances safely, with a live demonstration of how to use a lye calculator.  Class handout includes many resources for beginners and those who want to expand their skills.

Understanding INCI

Maker Track  Presented by Marie Gale

INCI. International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients. What is it? Why is it important? What's the difference between what's needed internationally and in the United States? This seminar will cover all that, along with how to figure out what the correct ingredient names are to use in your ingredient declaration. Included will be a look at the HSCG Ingredient Look-up and how to use it.

Becoming an Innovative Beauty Brand

Business Track  Presented by Marla Bosworth

In this informative and inspirational session, attendees learn how to bring relevancy, integrity, and innovation to the core of their brand, products, and services for growth in 2022 and beyond. Marla Bosworth shares examples of how we can become even more extraordinary makers and creatives as we reshape the future of beauty. Gain a deeper understanding of what the shift to innovating will have on the growth of your business. In comparison, we’ll look at ways in which soap, candle and beauty brands could be quickly losing relevance in today’s changing indie beauty market. Come discover and connect to your own spirit of creativity, inspiration, innovation, and learn how to put it into action.  

Financial Record Keeping: Keeping It All Together

Business Track  Presented by Dave Yoshida

How long do I need to keep financial records? What do I even need to keep? What about all that paper? Should I do my own business taxes? Should I form an LLC? Do I even need to file taxes? Join HSCG’s friend, Dave Yoshida, EA, as he shares practical guidance for reasonable, helpful, and responsible record keeping that will help you stay out of trouble (or, will help you if trouble finds you…)!

Hyper-Local Wholesale: Surviving and Thriving Close to Home

Business Track  Presented by Rachel Mullen

Building a successful wholesale business doesn’t have to mean your products are on shelves coast to coast. You can grow a successful wholesale trade in your own city with a little work and perseverance. In this lecture, you’ll learn tips and tricks on how to reach out to local stores, marketing strategies to use, and how to best position yourself to cash in on the “Buy Local” movement.

Make Money Hosting Children's Workshops, Parties & Classes

Business Track  Presented by Angela Carillo

Birthday Parties, Girl Scout workshops and After School children’s classes are an untapped market for the Bath and Beauty Industry. Learn how to create opportunities, plan and prepare parties/workshops/classes, and follow up with parents to get even more business.

The Tofu-Free Guide to Vegan Soap and the Buyers Who Love It

Business Track  Presented by Diane Seimetz

Vegan bath, body and skin care is exploding - but exactly what the heck is it? Join veteran soapmaker and vegan formulator, Diane Seimetz, as she dishes the dirt on "clean" ingredients to all things cruelty-free, with insights and ideas on capturing this growing market to plant-power your business.

Wait, Don't Go! The Things We Do Online to Lose Customers

Business Track  Presented by Eric Bockelman

In today’s world, every business must be online.  Is your business attracting customers online or driving customers away?  Is your website inviting or frustrating?  Are your social posts engaging or alienating?  In this session, we’ll take a quick trip around the web to see the missteps fellow business owners are making and talk about the steps you can take to keep these same mistakes from driving away your potential customers.  Be prepared for some great insights and a few total train wrecks along the way! 

Back to the Future: Brushless Shaving Creams

Advanced Track  Presented by Jackie Thompson

Berma-Shave and Barbasol began their business much like us! They were a one man show who made, packaged and marketed their shave creams with resounding success until aerosol cans captured 2/3 of the market. Today, shavers are more discerning about what goes on their face and into the atmosphere and are ditching the aerosol cans in lieu of more natural and healthier alternatives.

Building Your Business with Live Stream Video

Advanced Track  Presented by Zakia Ringgold

Increasingly small business owners need to intentionally create their digital footprint to attract, retain and engage customers while building a community online. One of the most powerful and effective tools to do this is with Live Stream Video, but where should you start. This session will eliminate the mystery and provide you with the tools and techniques to get started live streaming to grow your handmade business.

Attendees will learn:

-Equipment needed to get started live streaming
-Selecting the right platforms based on your target audience
-How to save time and simulcast to multiple social media platforms at once
-Where to start if you are uncomfortable in front of the camera
-How to repurpose the content from live streams to build your digital footprint online

How to Write Sales Messages That Turn Readers Into Customers

Advanced Track  Presented by Christine Laureano

Words. We use them every day.  Words make a difference! Some words make us feel good. Some don't.

Your sales copy is no different. What you write can lead customers right to your door or send them running. In this workshop, I'll show you how to write words that work. From your product descriptions to the copy on your website to your about page. Writing for your small business is meant for one thing…Marketing your awesome products.

Making Whipped/Cream Soap Using the Short Cut Method

Advanced Track  Presented by Venessa Phipps

Whipped/Cream soap looks luscious, soft and creamy, it reminds you of whipped cream, or the most delectable yogurt. Have you thought about making whipped/cream soap to expand your product line, or your personal bathing experience, however, the rot window (wait time) is a complete turn-off?  Return on investment seems small. In this session you will learn the short cut method and dispels the downside of making whipped/cream soap.

Product Preservation: Do I Need It, & Which is Best for My Product

Advanced Track  Presented by Deborah Bruijn

Have you ever wondered if you should use Germall or Germall Plus? What’s the difference? In this class we will review the preservation of personal care products including: types of standard, non-traditional and “natural” preservatives, types of preservative “helpers,” ideal preservative properties, FDA and EU preservative regulations and factors you should consider when selecting a preservation system for your product. We will conclude with testing your products’ preservative ruggedness. 

The Newest Science & Regulations of Hemp CBD

Advanced Track  Presented by Kayla Fioravanti

Kayla Fioravanti will address the most up-to-date science behind topical application of hemp CBD, best methods of application and usage levels from the perspectives of a cosmetic formulator and supplier of hemp CBD. Kayla will give insight from studies run by Ology Essentials, up-to-date information about regulations, pitfalls, and benefits of using Hemp CBD in your product line. Kayla has been at the forefront of this constantly evolving industry.

Candle Making with Natural Waxes

Intensive Seminar Session  Presented by Cindy Novack

This seminar is the best of all of natural our candle making classes all wrapped up into one fun filled day of nothing but candles, candles and more candles! This class is great for beginners and experienced candle makers who want to come and play with all different types of natural waxes without having to buy each one. This seminar covers everything candle making including selecting your wax, wicks, scent, when to use additives, wax blending, tips and tricks and more.

Each student will get valuable hands on experience making their own candles to take home with them.  Hands on candle making projects in this class will include:  containers, wax melts, votives, tealights and dessert pie candles.

Each project will be ready to package and label before by the end of class so you are leaving with many different beautiful candles after a waxy fun day.

A release is required prior to attending this class.

Product Labeling and Other Laws & Regulations

Intensive Seminar Session  Presented by Marie Gale

There are laws and regulations that cover product labeling as well as other aspects of making soap and cosmetics such as the use of color additives, safety regulations, products for children, organic product requirements, false & misleading advertising, and some state-specific requirements.

This seminar will primarily cover labeling and the requirements for soap and cosmetic labels, but it will also delve into the other laws and regulations that you need to be aware of.

The Secret is in the Recipe!

Intensive Seminar Session  Presented by Jackie Thompson & Kevin Dunn & Catherine McGinnis

Being a professional soapmaker is more than just having a good recipe. It's knowing why your recipe is so good. Learning the why behind soapmaking is often intimidating, confusing or just plain boring! It doesn't have to be that way!

Join Cathy McGinnis, Kevin Dunn and Jackie Thompson (AKA Team Towanda) in an intensively fun and action-packed day! Using interactive games and zany skits purposely designed to uncomplicate the math and science behind soapmaking, you will:

Learn how to calculate sap values (Yep, you heard right, calculating sap values can be fun!)

Discover how the properties of oils and fats are used to manipulate a soap formula to your will.

Understand the meaning of high, medium and low water and its effect on the soap

Grasp the difference between super-fatting or applying a lye discount to your soap formula.

Understand the cure process.

Discover quick-fire ways to staying organized and using good manufacturing practices.

As a team of 4 calculate a soap formula based on a unique selection of oils and fats chosen at random by the instructors.

Working as a team, make a loaf of soap from the formula your team created.

Pick up your soap and have the opportunity to ask follow up questions at scheduled times in the vendor area.

Plan to laugh out loud and enjoy the fun while you learn!

A release is required prior to attending this class.

Learn How to Be Your Own Publicist

General Session  Presented by Rebekah Epstein

What would it mean to see your company in your local newspaper, a national magazine, or even on TV? It would mean exposure to an audience of new customers excited to do business with you. Media attention can be the catalyst for success, but most solopreneurs and small business owners don’t know how to tell their own story or who to tell it to. If only the deserving entrepreneur knew how to connect with traditional media outlets to get their story out there. 


Fortunately, with just a few straight-forward strategies, you can get media attention to your story and business. During this workshop, you will learn:

-A framework of ideas that capture the media's attention 
-What outlets are for you and who to contact there
-Writing pitches that don't get deleted
-Follow-up etiquette to get through the noise


Public relations is a skill every business owner can use. With this insight, you can successfully be your own publicist, get the media attention you deserve, and increase sales!

Race for the Cure

General Session  Presented by Kevin Dunn

Handcrafted soapmakers usually cure their soap for four to six weeks. The curing soap takes up space, and the delay in packaging and selling it is an expense that needs to be factored into the cost of making soap. What happens to soap as it cures? Is curing necessary? Is there an optimum time for curing? Is it possible to speed up the curing process? These are the questions that will be explored in "Race for the Cure.”

Using the Idea of Multiple Intelligences to Improve Business

General Session  Presented by Clyde Yoshida

Have you ever wondered how the brain works? This presentation will blow your mind, so to speak. There are eight specific types of intelligences that may help to offer insights and enlighten our efforts to improve our soap businesses. In this presentation we’ll discuss the topic of multiple intelligences and its relevance to building confidence and insights to improve our businesses and add balance to our lives.

COVID-19 Notice

It was with great regret that we had to cancel the HSCG 2021 Conference in Anaheim, CA. (See COVID-19 Conference Statement)

HOWEVER, we are pleased to announce the Social Distancing Conference Series available to all members of the HSCG!

The 2022 Sponsorship Brochure (.pdf file) is available and has details about the available sponsorship and exhibitory opportunities. You may also email the Conference Sponsorship Coordinator at for additional information.