US Conference 2024


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!

Keynote Topics

Sustainability is Sucess: The Story of Pure Placid


Presented by: Marcy Miller

When you fight for planet, people, and profits, you win on all fronts in a big, synergistic, and meaningful way. Marcy will share her inspiring story of how these three essential pillars aligned as she started Pure Placid and the profound results. Her journey through entrepreneurship, fueled by a deep love for nature, family and community emboldened a fearless vision for Pure Placid. One that was ambitious in scope and uncompromising in principle. You will leave being inspired and armed with actionable practices to incorporate into your business and life.


A Comprehensive Approach to Hair Conditioning

Maker Track

Presented by: Valerie George

The hair care market is experiencing unprecedented growth, with post-damage hair treatments leading the way. Understanding what types of damage occurs in hair and how to develop effective conditioning strategies is a must for every formulator. We’ll talk about the perception of hair health like you’ve never heard it before, before getting hands-on, creating conditioners with three different conditioning emulsifiers so you can see for yourself the difference. Get ready for a 360° approach to hair conditioning!

All About Layers: How to Make Them Straight!

Maker Track

Presented by: Ariane Arsenault

Hosted by the colorful Ariane Arsenault this class is a must if you have been struggling with making straight and even layers with cold processed soap. Learn a technique that can be applied from small loaf molds up to large slabs. Always keeping an artistic twist in mind, this class will show you how this can be done with production in mind. There are many forgiving swirling techniques for soapmaking, but when making layers, it has to be done perfectly to get stunning results. This is it!

Creating the Perfect Bar

Maker Track

Presented by: Jackie Thompson

What constitutes a perfect bar of soap? Find out as Jackie explains the role each oil and fat plays in making a balanced bar of soap. She will also teach you how to calculate your own lye solution and touch upon all aspects of the soap pot including superfat, lye discount, color, fragrance, additives and how they affect the overall performance of a soap. Participate in formulating a "perfect" bar of soap that will be calculated and demonstrated at the end of the presentation.

How to Choose the Right Wax for Your Candles

Maker Track

Presented by: Cindy Novack

Get ready to dive into the exciting world of candle waxes and how to choose the best one for your candles. We will demystify the science and art of wax properties in a friendly and approachable way so that you will understand all the technical terms used in the wax world.

During the session, we'll introduce you to various wax types like paraffin, soy, coconut, hybrids, beeswax, and palm wax, explaining their unique properties and features, pros and cons, and how to use each one. You'll learn about essential factors such as melt points, finishes, burn characteristics, what makes a candle smoke, scent throws, and how to make your candles smell amazing.

By the end of this presentation, you will have the confidence and knowledge to make an informed decision and select the right wax for your candle creations. See you there!

Igniting Creativity: A Candle Making Masterclass

Maker Track Intensive Seminar

Presented by: Kevin Reed

A deep dive into the world of candle making, this seminar is designed for new and experienced crafters that would like to expand their understanding of a timeless craft. Topics include an overview of the composition and performance of popular waxes, fragrance oil and its impact on the candle system, the importance of wick selection and testing, the use of colorants, and the criteria by which candle performance and safety are evaluated. Attendees will have the opportunity to make their own candles using different waxes, containers, and fragrance oil of their choice.

Just a Spoonful of Sugar

Maker Track

Presented by: Catherine McGinnis

Reap the rewards of sugar in your soaps. Not only do natural sweeteners contain many skin-enhancing benefits, such as antioxidant compounds and antibacterial properties, but adding sugar to your recipe produces a soap with the fluffiest bubbles imaginable. This session demystifies the science behind the bubbles, breaks down which sugar to use for the outcome you want to get, and reveals the array of colors you can achieve. Watch Catherine’s live soap-making demonstration of a swirled design based solely on pure color variations that will have you rethinking using commercial-made colorants.

The Enchanting World of Frankincense Resin

Maker Track

Presented by: Venessa Phipps

Discover the captivating world of Frankincense Resin and its enchanting powers in soap and cosmetic creations. Join Venessa as she explores the aromatic allure and therapeutic benefits of this ancient ingredient.

Whether you're new to soap and cosmetic making or a seasoned enthusiast, this session will unlock the different ways to use Frankincense Resin into soap making, (CP, HP and  M&P) and cosmetic formulations (from head-to-toe).  

Learn how to upcycle the aromatic sediment for sustainable practices and maximize your return on investment. With sample product showcases, you'll leave inspired and equipped to elevate your product line with the greatness of Frankincense Resin. Don't miss this opportunity to embrace tradition, innovation, and the art of crafting exceptional soap and cosmetic formulations. 

What Does Natural REALLY Mean in Cosmetics?

Maker Track

Presented by: Shannon Greer

Cosmetics live and die by their storyline; hence, the most important aspect for someone starting out is how to tell a "Natural Story".

In this session, Shannon will cover various topics regarding the idea and definition of the word “natural” in the formulating world.

Shannon will discuss the different definitions of natural and the various types of “natural” product certifications out there for makers, as well as some of the most recent popular “natural” ingredients. She’ll dive into how these ingredients work scientifically, and how to apply that properly to your formulations - along with what these ingredients do and do NOT lend to formulas.

Throughout Shannon’s presentation, attendees will see a strong focus on preservation systems, including the safety and methods of natural preservation systems. There will be time for Q&A at the end of the session!

Crafting to Retail: Getting Soap & Skincare on Local Shelves

Business Track

Presented by: La Shonda Tyree

Are you eager to see your products showcased on the shelves of local retailers? If you're ready to take the next steps in bringing your creations to a wider audience, this session is tailor-made for you.

Attend this informative session on how to successfully navigate the process of getting your products on local retail shelves. This session will equip you with the knowledge, strategies, and practical insights needed to effectively market and pitch your products to retailers

Creating a Brand, Not Just a Business

Business Track

Presented by: Breanna Chan

Branding is so much more than choosing a font and colors that work together. It's looking at your business name, your purpose, what you want people to feel when they see and touch your products, even who you source your materials from, and even the events you choose. It takes a lot of thought, discovery, and time to figure even the smallest bit out, so to be able to actually implement it across the board is even tougher. This session will help attendees determine pillars they want their businesses to stand on and how to implement them across everything they do, creating a brand lifestyle rather than "just another business."

Dirty Deeds Exposed: Buffing Up Your Business Habits for a Seriously Sexy Bottom Line

Business Track

Presented by: Leigh O'Donnell & Sara Golding

Get ready for a sizzling fireside chat that spills the tea on the dirty deeds we're all low-key guilty of (yes, even you!). We're not holding back – we'll pinpoint the deeds that could be sneakily sabotaging your business vibes.

Brace yourself! If you dare to confront these deeds and ditch those shady habits, the payoff? A direct boost to your bottom line! It's like a business detox, but with more laughs and fewer green juices.

So, grab a front-row seat to our no-holds-barred conversation. Because, let's face it, we've all got a few dirty deeds to admit to. Join the party, break those bad habits, and let's turn your business game from blah to ta-dah!

Email: The Untapped Business Booster

Business Track

Presented by: Alana Rivera

Email is often an underutilized revenue generating resource for small businesses but lets change that! I’ll go over four ways to make sure your email list is working for you while keeping your customers engaged and happy. I’ll discuss send strategy, content ideas, segmenting your list, and creating email flows. Attendees will walk away with 25 newsletter ideas and a plan so that you can make the most of the list you already have, continue to grow it, and generate more revenue in the process!

Getting in Gear: How to Avoid Burnout

Business Track

Presented by: Tina Evans

One of the biggest challenges for anyone is learning how to be both productive in what we do AND be present in all our relationships. Tina will teach you the 5 Gears principle on how to get into the right gear at the right time, and how to communicate effectively with those around you. You will learn how to identify your natural gear as well as the one you most struggle to be in. Achieving balance is possible. 

How MoCRA Will Transform the Cosmetic Industry

Business Track

Presented by: Jaclyn Bellomo

In December 2022, U.S. Congress passed a bill that will forever change the FDA’s authority over cosmetic regulations in the United States. The Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (known as “MoCRA”) focuses on provisions that will require domestic and foreign firms to register with US FDA, designate a US Agent for FDA communications, “list” (or register) their products, collect and report serious adverse events to US FDA, and many other transparency and safety elements. Though there are still many unknowns, there are steps companies can take now to prepare and educate themselves on what these changes mean to their business. In this session, Registrar Corp will outline what brought us to MoCRA, what the new requirements mean to facilities and Responsible Persons, and how this will transform the industry for the years ahead.

Insurance: What You Really Need to Know

Business Track

Presented by: Daryle Stafford

All business owners take risks, some known and many unknown. We will discuss the exposures your business has and arises from the day-to-day business operations, independent contractors, employees, contracts, etc. Once you identify the pain points, we can suggest the options you have to protect your business.

Making Your Product Labels Compliant

Business Track Intensive Seminar

Presented by: Marie Gale

This seminar will cover an in-depth look at what makes a legally compliant label. Discussion will include not only what must go on the label, but also what can't go on the label or labeling.It's not hard ... but it IS detailed! Attendees may bring current products which may be discussed or reviewed during the seminar.

Pitch Perfect: Crafting an Impactful Pitch

Business Track

Presented by: La Shonda Tyree

Do you socially identify as an introvert and avoid talking about your business at all costs? Does your mouth go dry whenever you think about entering a networking event? Do your knees knock when it's your turn to introduce your business at an event?

Leave a lasting impression on your audience or customer by learning how to effectively pitch your business and your products.

This interactive session will discuss the importance of a fine-tuned elevator pitch. Learn how to craft a clear and concise elevator pitch that highlights your unique selling proposition (USP). You'll learn the importance of understanding your audience through market research, you'll gain valuable insights into their interests and needs, enabling you to tailor your pitch accordingly and create a lasting impact. Practice makes perfect, and our class ensures ample opportunities for you to hone your pitching skills. 

The Art of Failing and Pivoting Toward Success

Business Track

Presented by: Kayla Fioravanti

Kayla has found her way from small beginnings to epic success. Kayla will talk transparently about her business journey including successes, failures, pivoting, and starting over late in life with nothing but her reputation. She will encourage you to put to work whatever resources you have towards your dreams and then to multiply it with your blood, sweat, and tears. Essential Wholesale was started in Kayla’s kitchen with $50 in 1998 and sold for millions in 2011. Ology Essentials started in 2017 with $200 and has pivoted her way to a sustainable business in the midst of unprecedented times. Kayla is passionate about supporting small business owners whenever they are on their journey towards their unique goals.

Thin to Win

Business Track

Presented by: Sara Golding

Do you feel like you are always making products, but not making profit? Are you having trouble paying yourself because your revenue is constantly being reinvested in raw materials? Maybe you think that if you could just make it to the next level of sales, it will all work out? If so, Thin to Win is for you! Join Sara Golding for an hour long introduction into the art of maximizing profits while remaining small scale. Together, Sara will show you a variety of actionable ways to reduce your overhead, and find profit regardless of what level your sales volume is at.

What the Blank: Understanding Private Labeling

Business Track Intensive Seminar

Presented by: Sara Golding

Tired of weekly markets and random pop ups with low sales volume and countless hours of investment? Do you already do wholesale but want to take it another step forward? Come join Sara Golding in her intensive seminar - What the Blank? She'll be breaking down the ins and outs of Private Label and White Label Manufacturing. From margins and profits, dos and don'ts, and how to seal the deal with your potential clients, you'll walk away with a better understanding of wholesaling custom products designed specifically for your retail clients. It's the next step in building your wholesale empire!

Craft Your Very Own Soap-er Fan Club!

Advanced Track

Presented by: Jennifer Frech

You can build a business without having zillions of Facebook or Instagram followers and without spending oodles on advertising. By nurturing folks at every step in their customer journey, you'll see a return in your time and financial investments as your customers return again and again. Learn how to see your business from the customer's perspective at every touch point in their buying journey--from the moment they spot your sign at a farmer's market to becoming your most loyal super fan! Jenny will introduce the idea of the Customer Loyalty Loop and give you her top 10 favorite customer-building tips. You'll leave with fresh ideas to create your own fan base by surprising and delighting your customer at every step.

From Basement to Brick and Mortar

Advanced Track

Presented by: Steven Meka

Learn how to grow your business from basement to market to brick and mortar. Discover how one brand did just that and gain valuable insights, tools, and inspiration on how to do it yourself too!

How To Not Make Blech: Color Theory & You

Advanced Track

Presented by: Brian Morris

We've all been there: working hard all day and trying to finish that one last batch only to find that you're missing a vital tablespoon of "Pixie Tutu Blush" and maybe you've gotten brave and attempted to color match with what you have on hand... only to end up with "Blushing Pixie Poo Poo." It can really mess up your day!

However, with a bit of color theory and just 5 colorants** you'll never have to face this soul crushing disappointment again. And you can save money and space by stocking up on just the necessities, win win right?

*Unless brown is your goal

**Sometimes six depending on your base!


Labeling and Marketing Candles Effectively

Advanced Track

Presented by: Cindy Novack

Discover the secrets of creating captivating labels and brilliant marketing strategies to make your candle business glow. You'll gain insights into understanding your target market, designing labels that spark intrigue, and crafting a powerful brand story. . Whether you're a budding entrepreneur or an established business, this seminar is perfect for anyone looking to turn up the heat on their candle sales. Let's set your business ablaze with success!

No Paste Liquid Soapmaking

Advanced Track Intensive Seminar

Presented by: Jackie Thompson

Most liquid soapmaking videos and instructions begin and end like a happily-ever-after fairy tale. Reality check! At some point, all liquid soapmakers will be faced with a veritable witch’s brew in need of intervention. Don’t panic, it’s not rocket science! Jackie, author and originator of the No Paste Liquid Soapmaking method will guide you through the ins and outs of liquid soapmaking! Working in teams of 2, each participant will make 25-30 oz. of a 40% liquid soap solution ready to dilute, thicken, color, scent and bottle. Each participant will also be provided a packet of directions and charts to use during the workshop and as a guide when making your own liquid soap at home!

The Well Groomed Gentleman: Formulation & Technique

Advanced Track

Presented by: Stoney Morris

Quality beard care and maintenance is often overlooked and or oversimplified. For too long these facial pets have been subjected to malnourishment and over fragrancing. Here we will discuss good formulation practices for various hair types and needs. Then we will journey through a day in the life of a bearded gentleman and cover styling, grooming, maintenance, and the associate products and their purposes. With a touch of sass and humor we will educate the non-bearded the joy and attractiveness of having a beard.

Think Outside the Mold With 3D-Printed Tools!

Advanced Track

Presented by: Debi Olsen

Whether you're a seasoned soap maker or a budding enthusiast, this presentation promises to ignite your passion for innovative soap crafting. Join Debi and embark on an enlightening journey that fuses traditional artistry with cutting-edge technology for the soap makers of tomorrow. Let's embrace the future together, one soap at a time.

What is GMP and Why is it Important?

Advanced Track

Presented by: Marie Gale

Good Manufacturing Practices are all about making sure that your products are safe, clean and standard every time. Even though small businesses aren't REQUIRED to follow all the GMP regulations/guidelines to the letter, knowing what the tried and true standards are -- and working on getting them in -- will only help your business grow.

Sculpted Layers: Scaling Up From Loaf to Slab

General Track

Presented by: Belinda Williams

Imagine pouring beautifully sculpted layer soap designs with confidence in a loaf mold, then scaling up with ease to a slab mold! In this demonstration, Belinda will take you step-by-step through creating a sculpted layer soap design, from choosing the best tools, calculating layer sizes, choosing scents and colours, and harnessing their qualities to your advantage to speed up production. She will also delve into the best recipes for sculpted layer designs and share her secrets for success with scaling up from loaf molds to slab molds.

Storytelling Sparks

General Track

Presented by: Cassi Hall

"Storytelling Sparks: Developing Your Brand Narrative for Social Media Success" empowers small business owners and makers to harness the power of storytelling to drive success in their social media marketing. Participants will learn how to unlock the potential of their brand story as a strategic tool to captivate audiences, foster genuine connections, and elevate their online presence. We’ll explore real-world examples of successful, impactful storytelling as we discuss the key elements of an authentic brand story and how to integrate it cohesively into your social media.

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