I was originally on the fence about attending the Texas Soapmaker’s Conference. I mean times are a bit tough right now, orders down, money tight. Then they asked me to be on a panel and I thought well I’ll be there anyway I should attend the entire conference. I am so glad I did. They had some wonderful speakers, fabulous food in a great hotel, new vendors I hadn’t seen and I absolutely loved the interaction and camaraderie I had with other soapmakers.
It was well worth the time and money spent. Marie Gale, past president of the Handcrafted Soapmaker’s Guild was the keynote speaker and she covered many of the legal requirements we face in labeling our products. I have her book, Soap & Cosmetic Labeling, but still learned new things. We had a business coach, Alicia Marie Fruin of Profit Consulting speak to us regarding, Best Practices on an Entreprenuer. Debbie Mattuecci of “A Better Idea” showed us better ways for displays at booths and shows as well as customer service tips. Tammy Doering of Dead Sea Bulk Materials showed us some of the great products she offers as well as the benefits of all of the ingredients in them.
There were also some great presentations by members of the association itself. Lisa Chouinard of Feto Soap showed us how she makes the most fabulous dessert soap ever. Lemon Bars, Bundt cake, Key Lime pie and more. Joy Douglas of Stone House Essentials gave a basic soapmaking demonstration that had a large crowd of observers. Sarah Bogle of Artisan Soap Shoppe discussed the ins and outs of email marketing which was very informative. Last but not least Rachel Lane of Barcelona Soap and I made up a panel of two that were open for questions which ended up getting into a discussion of trade shows.
Lots of great information and viewpoints which is really the whole point of being at an industry conference. As I said well worth attending and next year I won’t hesitate to plan on going. I just need to figure out to not gain two pounds in 36 hours like I did this time!