July 3, 2017
The 2017 Hand Crafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild (HSCG) Conference was in Las Vegas this year. Except for a foray to see a Cirque du Soleil performance and a spin around MGM Grand and New York, New York, I pretty much feasted on the glory of making and selling soaps and cosmetics and meeting and gaining inspiration from my heroes and celebrities in this world. Each celebrity had come to success from a low point in their lives. They simply set goals, persevered, and got up after each set back.
How to make soap and cosmetics, how to run multiple successful businesses, and now how to learn from life’s bumps with her book, “Live Your Best Day Ever”. Anne-Marie Faiola inspires us with her perseverance and drive. I’d be in more awe if she wasn’t so approachable and nice. She has had a number of businesses since she was a teenager, and each one led to more learning and success. Anne-Marie overcame destructive relationships, low self-esteem, and a devastating boiler explosion in her home on her way to becoming the successful entrepreneur she is today. We talked about branding tweaks, trends in soap designs, time management, and the sheer joy of in-the-zone soap making.
Clyde Yoshida, Vibrant Soap
There are a lot of talented soap makers around, but none as thoughtful and positive as Clyde. He’s a color theory expert and he’s ace at matching fragrance to soap colors and designs. He invented two techniques that I know of – Clyde’s Slide and soap intaglio. His videos are upbeat meditations on working with soap designs. One of the best parts of his videos is when he examines the finished soap and notes all the design parts he likes. Soaping was key for him as a means of recovering from job loss and depression. I loved meeting him. Not into soap? He also has cooking and terrarium making videos on his YouTube channel. He’s so approachable and he thoughtfully answered my every question and gracefully endured my many compliments!
Joanna Schmidt, Mad Micas
Colored micas are commonly used to colored different types of soaps. They are available from many suppliers, but none with the color sense and spirit of fun as Mad Micas. The micas have names like Lettuce Entertain You (green), Flotation Device (orange), and Panties in a Twist (pink). Joanna stocks a full line of these micas in special collections along with natural colorants and glitters. Each order comes with a hand written note, candy in a Mad Micas bag, and a card with a pithy saying. Joanna and I are kindred spirits with our sense of fun, creativity and tenacity. Joanna is a single mom of a special needs child and she’s had to make some tough business decisions about her company’s focus. As we chatted, she told me that she had come up with the perfect mica combination to get a true red. It’s equal parts of Brazen Hussy, Voodoo, and Spicy Tomato. Now ya know!
While at the conference, I took the test for Advanced Soap Maker Certification, and I got it!