May 11, 2012

Soap Conference - Day 2: The Jen Report

Since I could not go to the HSMG Soap Conference this year due to my baby boy who is expected to arrive in less than 1 month, I asked one of our teachers & Soap Conference Volunteer Jen Grimes if she would be willing to write & keep up updated on what's going on at the conference. Fortunately she said YES and below is her report for the second day (see her report for day 1 HERE).

Thursday, May 10, 2012:
Sunrise in Portland

Day 2 of the HSMG conference is here and attendees are queued outside the ballroom doors at 7am, positively chomping at the bit to visit vendors (perhaps that’s not as impressively early to all the folks who woke up at 4am, their bodies still on east coast time) and vote for their favorite soaps in the soapers showcase.

A Sampling of the Soapers Showcase

After another fabulous breakfast (there may have been healthy options, but I went straight for the quiche), conference chair and Nova Studio student Feleciai Favroth oriented us for the day before handing the podium to Diane Humke, Essential Wholesale’s new owner, who managed to vividly bring a session on business planning and math to life with examples drawn from her vast experience.  Consulting mogul Ann Evanston presented a power-house session on creating an online presence that also translates to offline, in-person networking.

A Packed Room for Ann Evanston's Session

Then, of course, it was time to eat again.  After Ann’s session, we powered through both lunch and the HSMG annual meeting.  The Guild continues to grow by leaps and bounds and now represents members in all 50 states as well as 29 countries.  It’s amazing what this group of primarily volunteers accomplishes every year and this year did not disappoint.  Over the past year, HSMG has hired an executive director and established an administrative office, established a free teacher certification program, and added some cool new member discounts, insurance coverage, and other benefits.

After a very productive lunch, we tirelessly launched into sessions again.  Bill Shay of west coast supplier Shay and Company demystified the coconut and palm oil supply chain and addressed long-simmering sustainability controversies.  Bay Area photographer Sebastian Vido Vazquez shared secrets to great photography while Sara Lovelady explored the art of writing great copy.  Finally, Sharon Miller elaborated on key techniques to build a competitive edge.

As usual, the day didn’t stop there.  Essential Wholesale kept us partying into the evening with a true Portland extravaganza: dinner and a performance by the March Fourth Marching Band, an awesome spectacle and a fantastic slice of classic Portland weirdness.  I can’t wait for Day 3!!

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This blog post was written by Jen Grimes, owner of LoftSoap. Jen teaches classes on how to make Cold Process Soap 101 & Hot Process Soap in the 2-Day Soap Boot Camp at The Nova Studio.


Stc and Company said...

I see that we stayed around the same floor. I was on Level 3 and the view looks just like your pic. Unfortunately, I have been too exhausted to see the sunrise here but I leave on Saturday so I would make an effort before I leave.
See you next year

jen said...

Yup, 2nd floor. You should have seen me when i was taking the picture. ;) Some of the crew had even better views of the sunrise, but I definitely wouldn't have objected to sleeping in a few more hours.

Hope you're recovering and successful in getting that huge box of goodies home and I'll see you in Raleigh!