May 14, 2012

Soap Conference - Day 3: 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 third & final day (see her report for day 1 HERE and day 2 HERE).

Friday, May 11, 2012:

It’s day 3 - the final day of this year’s soap conference.  The last day is always bittersweet; it feels like we just started, but we’ve also packed a week’s worth of classes into three days. 

Even after jam-packed days and nights, the sessions kicked off bright and early (no rest for the weary!).  Joel Joseph gave us the ins and outs of promoting our products as handmade in the USA, including trademark and trade dress, while HSMG Executive Director Leigh O’Donnell and past President and special guest Nova Studio teacher Marie Gale explained how to use the soap guild stores that come free with HSMG membership

Kevin Dunn's Transparent Soap Experiments

Kevin Dunn, HSMG’s chemist extraordinaire and Soap Whisperer (Lori claims to be the first to give Kevin this nickname), thrilled us once again with his investigation of soap transparency and meltability, extending the recent work of conference sponsor and long-time Nova Studio teacher David Critchfield.

Post lunch,’s David Fisher took us on a soaping safari, while Soap Queen Anne-Marie Faiola demonstrated exactly how to work with a variety of milks in soap and fellow Bramble Berrian Kathryn Hackney demonstrated some jaw-dropping, gorgeous swirling techniques in cold process soap.

After one last visit to the vendors, we had a small break to compose ourselves for the annual awards dinner.  Among the many prize winners, Nova Studio teacher Marla Bosworth and Allison Kontur were both honored with volunteer of the year awards.  After a guessing game that ran the duration of dinner, Tucson, Arizona, was announced as the location of the 17th annual conference in 2014.  Final prizes bestowed, parting gifts awarded, and 2014 location announced, we were released into the wilds, to continue our respective soaping journeys.

Speaker Gift Basket
Those of you who know me may find this shocking (I certainly can’t believe I’m saying this), but I wish there were more time to catch up and, dare I say it, network with fellow attendees.  As usual, there were more soap makers to meet and discussions to have than time allowed.  The Nova Studio was well represented this year, with students of the studio attending the conference from all over the country.  It was so much fun to see everyone.  I’m already scheming for next year’s (2013) soap conference which will be in Raleigh, North Carolina.  I’ll be there and I hope to see you there, too!

In the meantime, soap on, my soapalicious friends!

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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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing these articles. We had planned on attending but something came up at the last minute and we weren't able to go.

Reading you articles helped me see that we had missed an informative and educational event

We'll try our best to attend next year. Again, thank you for writing these articles.