Membership FAQ

The following are the most frequently asked questions about HSCG Membership. Click any question to display the answer, or view all answers.

If you have a question that is not answered here, contact our office at , (866)-900-7627 (US toll free), or (518) 306-6934.

     

About Vendor Membership

Supplier companies come in all different sizes, and that's why we have different levels with varying dues to serve your company size. For example, suppliers who aren't operating with a large budget but still want to take advantage of advertising on our site an discounted conference attendance might choose a Tier 3 Vendor Membership to begin with. 

Each Tier has different benefits, and we're always happy to discuss them with you! If you're not sure which Tier is right for your business, please give us a call at 866-900-7627 or send us an email at mbrservices@soapguild.org.

Vendor Memberships are designed for supplier businesses that may have multiple employees. Rather than putting the membership in the name of one specific person, the Vendor Membership is in the name of the business so that the owner can appoint the appropriate person to manage their membership. This also means that the the person designated can be changed if there are any staff changes within the business without there being any direct changes to the membership.

A Vendor Member is a business that:

-Sells supplies for soap, cosmetic and candle making like oils, butters, waxes, molds, cutters, etc.

-Offers professional services for those in the soap, cosmetic and candle making business.

A Vendor Member is not a business that produces finished soaps, cosmetics and candles for sale - if you're selling finished products, you'll want to consider a Novice, Professional, or Private Label membership instead.

No - Vendor Memberships are designed for companies that offer supplies like waxes, oils, soap cutters, molds, and other items essential for making handcrafted soap and cosmetics. 

If you're not sure which membership category you fall under, please call our office at 866-900-7627 or email mbrservices@soapguild.org before purchasing your membership!

Veracity Insurance (our broker) does not offer policies specifically written for Vendor Members/suppliers though the HSCG.

About Handcrafter Membership

Novice Handcrafter Memberships are for those who are not yet selling their products. If you are currently selling your products, you may purchase or upgrade your membership to better suit your needs.

No, there is not a grace period for membership and insurance renewal. Memberships expire on the date stated in your profile. To assist in avoiding a lapsed membership and insurance, the HSCG sends reminders via email and USPS several times before your membership is due to expire. Please note that if you have insurance, your policy effective date is concurrent with your membership and will expire when your membership expires and you will not receive additional reminders from the insurance company. 

If you renew within 90 days of expiration you will retain your current member number. If you do not and renew at a later time a new member number will be assigned to you.

Although the HSCG supports all handcrafters of all levels, the purpose of the organization is to help the industry to grow. For this reason, those who make soap and cosmetics for a hobby and do not intend to ever sell their products would not qualify for membership. 

Yes. We will offer you a pro-rated credit towards the upgrade to Professional Membership for the unused portion of your Novice Membership. To upgrade, please call HSCG Headquarters directly or email mbrservices@soapguild.org, as this cannot be done online. 

Yes, you can transfer the remainder of your membership to the company's new owner by following these steps:

-Reach out to HSCG Member Services at mbrservices@soapguild.org and indicate that you have sold your business and want to transfer your membership to the new owner. You'll need to provide the new owner's first name, last name, phone number, and email address so that we can verify their identity.

-Once you've provided us with this information, you can instruct the new owner to reach out to us via email at mbrservices@soapguild.org to complete the transfer.

Please note: although memberships are transferable, insurance policies are not. If your business is under new ownership, please call Veracity Insurance at 888-568-0548 for guidance. 

No. Per the HSCG Bylaws the Membership is non-refundable. The insurance payment is governed by the insurance broker and is also non-refundable (see the Insurance FAQ for additional information about your insurance.

No. Handcrafter Memberships are in the name of the individual and therefore all benefits are associated with the individual. Your business partner will receive a conference discount under your membership and will be covered under the Product Liability Insurance provided that you both work under the same legally recognized business name such as an LLC or a Corporation (but not a personal "Doing Business As" (DBA) business name).

To gain full rights as a member, your partner would have to join as a separate member. Note, however, that if the partner is covered by an existing insurance policy (yours or another), then the partner can join with insurance waived.

No, you will not lose any days if you renew your membership early. If you renew early you will still be given full credit for your current term. Your new term will simply start on your renewal date for both your membership and insurance, if applicable.

Memberships in the HSCG run for 1 year from the day that you join/renew. For example, if you join on July 17th, your renewal date will be July 17th of the next year.

The HSCG is registered with the IRS as a "Professional Business Association" (also called a "Business League") as defined under Section 501(c)(6) of the IRS Code. The IRS says:

To be exempt, a business league's activities must be devoted to improving business conditions of one or more lines of business... The term "line of business" generally refers either to an entire industry...

The key here is business. In order to maintain tax-exempt, non-profit status, the HSCG must forward the business and industry of handcrafted soap and soapmaking.

Novice Memberships are for those who are in the process of becoming Professional Handcrafters (defined as actually selling/marketing handcrafted soap or cosmetics). A time period of five years has been deemed a reasonable amount of time to make this transition.

Professional Memberships are held by individuals, not businesses. Because of this, we can only make changes to Professional memberships, member profiles, etc by speaking to the person named on the membership. 

If you purchased an insurance policy when purchasing your membership, your policy will also be in your name - but you can add additional insureds free of charge by contacting Veracity Insurance Solutions at 888-568-0548.

If you've started making handcrafted soap, cosmetics and/or candles, but aren't quite at the business stage yet, the Novice Membership is a great way to join our community! You'll get all of the benefits of a Professional Member, except for advertising through our site and insurance. Novice Memberships are only available for makers who are NOT in business yet.

If you're currently giving away or selling your products, it's time to become a Professional Member! You'll have the option to purchase insurance at an affordable rate, advertise through our website, and take advantage of all the discounts and networking opportunities we offer. Professional Members do not need to have a current business in order to purchase the Professional Membership. 

About Private Label Membership

Private Labelers are those who purchase handcrafted soap, cosmetics and/or candles from one or more sources and then resell them under their own private label. Private Label Memberships are in the name of the business, and has an individual connected to the business as an owner. If the majority of your business comes from private labeling, this is the membership for you.

Yes, coverage is available for Private Label Members. In order to learn more about and purchase insurance as a Private Label Member, you'll need to reach call 801-216-8259 or email scott@veracityins.com.

General Membership Information

The Board of Directors determines the benefits for each of the different membership levels. The HSCG is constantly researching new benefits and evaluating current benefits to make sure they are the best fit for the membership.

The HSCG is based in the United States and uses English as our primary language. If you need to access our website in another language, we ecommend using the Google translator, which can be accessed in the Chrome browser by right-clicking the web page and selecting the option to translate the page.

The HSCG Soapmaker Certification Program was developed to encourage and promote the highest professional standards among HSCG members.  It is available to HSCG Members only and is completely voluntary.  Certificates are valid only so long as the membership is in force.

There are two testing tracks, Cold Process/Hot Process and Melt & Pour.  Each track has three levels: Basic, Advanced and Master.  A fourth level, Expert, is being developed and will be between Advanced and Master.

For more information see About the HSCG Certification Program.

The prices are set by the HSCG Board of Directors (in accordance with the HSCG Bylaws).

You can take a deduction on up to 80% of your dues (please confirm this with your tax professional). 20% of your dues are not tax deductible because the HSCG is actively involved in legislative advocacy. Again, please discuss this with your tax professional, as we are not CPAs and cannot give you tax advice.

Insurance is not automatically included in your membership dues. If you're signing up for a Professional Membership within the United States, you will have the option to purchase insurance before you check out. If you're signing up from Canada (except Quebec), you'll be sent an email with instructions regarding how to purchase insurance. 

If you purchased a Professional Membership and did not purchase the insurance at that time, you'll need to call our office at 866-900-7627 or email Member Services at mbrservices@soapguild.org. Please do not purchae an additional membership with insurance through the HSCG Store.

In order to purchase the policies offered through the HSCG by Veracity Insurance, you must be a current Professional or Private Label Member.

Yes! All HSCG Members are welcome to become Certified. You can purchase a Certification registration in the HSCG Store, or you can contact us at 866-900-7627 or certification@soapguild.org for more information.

No - the HSCG cares about your privacy, and for this reason, we do not automatically populate Store, Directory, or Gallery listings for any Member. You can easily populate these items in the Member Area, or reach out to us at mbrservices@soapguild.org if you're not sure how!

No - we do not automatically bill for memberships and insurance. This is because we do not store your payment information in our system; you'll need to renew through our website or by calling our office.

Our primary form of communication with our membership is via eNews. Since we use the same service for all of our eNews announcements, unsubscribing from one will take you off of the contact list for all of them - this means you may miss vital membership announcements.

If you have accidentally unsubscribed, please send an email to mbrservices@soapguild.org with a request to be resubscribed. We can only subscribe you with the email address in your profile, so make sure to keep your contact information up to date in the Member Area.