Before I head down to the Alabama Soap & Candle Association conference in Prattville, AL on Thursday, I really want to share about my trip to the 2013 HSCG Convention in Raleigh, NC.
First, I am still adjusting to the new name (Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild, formerly the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild). I really like the change, but I have a bunch of website pages that I need to now update both logo and text! I will get to it. I love the name change because it encompasses everything we do. It is easier to address the issues of both Melt & Pour soap mediums as well as natural processes for soap (Cold Process, Hot Process, etc). In my opinion this name change was important for FDA and labeling purposes because most Melt & Pour does not qualify as a ‘soap’, but is actually a cosmetic, and has to be labeled in accordance with those FDA rules. Whereas, most naturally processed soap does not.
But I digress. I really want to share how fun the convention was! I’ve been attending the HSCG (formerly HSMG) Conventions since 2009. I’ve only missed the one last year that was held in Portland, OR. I wish I could have gone, but too much in my life has still not sorted itself out.
This year though, Raleigh, NC was only a 3 hour drive away! How could I not attend? I arrived just in the nick of time also, as Cheryl Peterson was wrapping up registration, saw me unloading at the lobby, and brought me my registration materials. It was a good thing she brought them to me was I was loading the dolly with my suitcases and customer orders that I brought. Because that 2013 HSCG goody bag was so heavy that it practically needed a bell hop to haul it upstairs! Seriously, the vendors and sponsors that contributed really outdid themselves this year. I’ve unloaded my goody bag into the Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio where my students just drool over the items that are available to soapmakers!
After I got settled and back downstairs the convention attendees were milling around the vendor rooms socializing and schmoozing. It was wonderful to see long time attendees (Lebermuth, National Shrinkwrap, Marie Gale & her helpful books, Jackie Thompson and Gaily Rebecca, as well as others I am forgetting). I was thrilled to see new vendors on the scene also (Essential Depot, Jessica Bay, Alimar Labs). Then there was the people that I’ve only emailed or been on the phone with, never actually met (John See from The Chemistry Store).
I loved Kevin Dunn’s presentation on Lye Discount or Superfat. Loved it, because it confirmed so much that I also experimented with. I am sharing my data with Kevin so we can see how we each arrived at similar outcomes.
I had a blast eating chocolate truffles and winning a RED Mold from Essential Depot also. I have the mold in my studio for my students to admire and use. Wholesale Supplies Plus had the best game show party. Many of those questions probably come directly from one or more of the Certification Quizes also!
I had a marvelous time. This convention I was actually able to stay for the awards dinner on Sunday also. I had to leave before the dinner and awards were completed though, as I had to be home by midnight to get my son, and get him off to school on Monday morning right and early. So, like Cinderella, I had to dash out at the very end.
I am going to put a separate post up on one of the other people I finally got to meet in person. I met her online in email/yahoo forums in 2006 when she was making what I thought was cutting edge, totally out of the box cold process soap creations. I will share about Sharon Elvin of Platypus Dreams next!