The Feto Soap workspace did not sustain any damage! We are without power, but still able to process orders, so if you were thinking about holding off on your order because of Hurricane Ike, don’t! The United States Postal Service has been running regularly since Monday so your soapy orders are still able to go out. I have a cell phone with internet and am able to charge it in the car when the battery runs low.
fragrance oils from the txsoapers convention garage sale
I attended the Texas Soapmakers Association Annual Convention in Austin, TX over the weekend. It was jam packed full of great speakers, activities and soaping camaraderie. There aren’t many places I can geek out about soapmaking in person, so I’m always excited to gather with other like-minded individuals. I attended this convention last year, but didn’t meet nearly as many people as I did this year. This year I helped out with registration, so I got to ask EVERYONE their name so I could check them in and help them find their name badge. I also got to know the other soapmakers that were at the registration desk. Sarah Bongle from Dallas specializes in making soap wedding favors with her company In the Soap Dish. She’s also signed up to be our new secretary. There were two soapmakers from Houston at the registration desk that I hadn’t met yet – Marcia Cunningham and Melanie Brown. Evelyn Martin from Lathers Del Corazon was at the other end of the registration table. She made an awesome smelling (and looking) mp flip flop soap with a bead in it and leopard print embeds for the swap. 40 of us participated in the swap, so I took home a very large and heavy bag full of soap, candles, lotion, lip balm and bath salts. I’ll be sharing some of my swap goodies with my soapmaking class students this weekend.
During the Saturday night social there were raffles – (I won a Soap Hutch no line test mold!) & a soapers garage sale where I spent way too much money! The picture to the left is the stash I got compliments of Margie Lemons of Hill Country Haiku – I bought a few of those items, but the rest she just gave to me at the end of the garage sale. Her thank you note is in the mail. There was a Texas Natural Supply hosted a Make Your Own Bath Tea table (that’s where I get my base oils for my soap) and an essential oil smelling contest – if you guess the right essential oils, you got a prize!
In my goodie bag I got a sample of smokey patchouli from Bramble Berry. I was curious as to what it smelled like after hearing about it on the Bramble Berry blog and can’t wait to make a bar of soap with it.
My favorite speakers were Kelly Bloom from Southern Soapers – she spoke about Big Batch soapmaking, Mary Berry from Texas Beauty Labs – she shared her version of how she got wholesale accounts with her company B Pure, and four of our members shared their success stories/business models with us: Mama Says Wash!, A Wild Soap Bar, Roundtop Natural Soap and Shambhala Body Gallery. They all have very different approaches to running their businesses.
A term that came up more than once during speakers talks was about creating a Life Plan before you write your business plan. From Startup Nation:
“As we always say, plan your life, then plan your business. Some of the most successful and happy people we know are entrepreneurs who created a business that’s in perfect synchronicity with what they want out of life. If you do what you love, you’ll work harder, better and more happily.”
I can’t wait until next year’s convention.