I spent this last weekend with 303 handcrafted soapmakers in Denver Colorado and what a weekend it was. If you are a soapmaker you should certainly consider this even for next year. It was a wonderful, educational, and entertaining weekend.
Living an hour away, I drove in on Friday morning in time to hear keynote speaker, Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun encouraging us to take ‘care’ and think about how our decisions and actions (both personal and business) influence the world. It was quite an inspiring speech with great thoughts for small business owners and a great way to start the conference. The rest of the day was packed with great talks that made some choices difficult.
One of the talks was mine on “The Nature of Chemistry”. I was nervous wondering how many soapmakers would be interested enough to sit through an hour of chemistry, but people actually came! I thought it went well and got some good feedback. It encourages me to get my chemistry class and skin physiology class finished and online. If you were there feel free to let me know what you thought in the comments. On Friday night Debbie May from Wholesale Supplies Plus hosted a party and gave away thousands of dollars of gift certificates as well as shared great business advice.
The next day started with aromatherapist Robert Tisserand. Wish I’d brought my copy of “The Practice of Aromatherapy” for him to sign. Robert has a gift for critical thinking and puts alot of information in perspective. If you don’t read his blog you should; http://roberttisserand.com/blog/. After that it was again a day packed with hard choices. I enjoyed the open business advice given by both Debbie May of Wholesale Supply Plus and Kayla Fioravanti of Essential Wholesale in separate talks.
Later that evening was a party thrown by Essential Wholesale that included drinks, dinner, and exceptional entertainment; a very generous gift from Kayla and Dennis Fioravanti! I think Dennis and Kayla agree that being able to laugh hard is probably a very good thing we can all do for our businesses!
Sunday’s programs were just as good and included Donna Marie Coles Johnson who talked about using video on your blog, Marie Gale on labeling and Kevin Dunn educating and entertaining us with his scientific soapmaking (and thoughts on white flecks). This was followed by the Awards Dinner which ended the 2010 conference.
Throughout the meeting were raffle drawings (tickets were sold 25 for $20). The prizes went on and on. I won a bag of clays and kelp from Essential Wholesale (any ideas on how to use kelp?) and a kit for a hair mask from MakingCosmetics.com. I’ll enjoy playing with both of these. Sagescript donated a microbiology testing as well. I didn’t see who won that so hopefully they will get in touch with me.
Although everything about the conference was good one of the best things was being able to meet people that I have known for years but never meat in person. I look forward to future meetings.
It was great to meet you at the conference. I'm looking forward to getting to know you better at next year's conference! =)
Nice to meet you too Anne-Marie! With all that was going on there was so little time to socialize! In the meantime I'll be making liquid soap via your instructions! Miami sounds fun.
Thank you, Cindy! It was so nice to meet you and we're so glad you could be part of the conference. 🙂
Leigh, you guys did an awesome job. Everything went smoothly (or at least appeared to). I know its a challenge to plan a meeting that keeps growing so much each year.
Here is a link to other blogs about the conference: http://essentialu.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/05/read-all-about-the-2010-the-handcrafted-soapmakers-guild-13th-annual-conference-in-denver-colorado.html#tp