The conference offered some interesting classes. I learned a few new things. Had things I already knew reinforced and overall enjoyed the classes I took.
I think the two classes that I got the most out of were “Mastering the Bath Bomb” and “Formulating Fantastic Body Scrubs & Whipped Butters.” I’ve never had a “loving” relationship with bath bombs, but I think that there is potentially a truce coming in the near future between me and bath fizzies!
I learned about some new ingredients to try in the scrubs/butter class. I’m going to try a variation of the sugar scrub Maria Bosworth gave us. I’m super excited about it actually. I think I might actually be able to make a sell a scrub over the hot summer months!!
Stay tuned. I plan to do blog posts on my experimenting over the next few weeks!
I LOVE Kevin Dunn. He has a way of explaining science that just makes sense. His talk last year kind of transformed my understanding of soapmaking. This year, with a year of knowledge, researching, experiments, reading behind me I have a vastly greater understanding of the chemistry of soap. I think because of this I enjoyed his chat even more than I potentially would have if he’d given the same one last year. I’d love for him to do some of his “basic” (or introduction to the chemistry of soap) classes again. Not as a key note for the day, but just as small hour/hour and a half seminars so all those new soapmakers out there can hear him talk and benefit from his knowledge and the advance soapers can do a different class.
The second highlight of the day was “Making Transparent CP/HP Soap” but Kerri Mixon. Yes, I wasn’t really too excited about it at first, but after the class I couldn’t wait to get home to try it out. It’s not as hard as it seems (I’d read about it before and my eyes glazed over at the work that seemed to be involve with it). I have all these ideas on how to mix transparent CP and regular CP soap together. You’ve been forewarned! You will be seeing more on this topic from me in the future.
By the time Thursday arrived I was exhausted. Lack of sleep was catching up with me. I’d “worked” hard the previous two days at the conference. And my brain was almost on overload at that point. What I remember most from Thursday was my Color class and additives class. Both were interesting. I knew a lot of the information presented, but I definitely took away some new information, so that was fun.
At the awards dinner that night I was not really 100% there. The guild does a series of ten questions. They’re questions about things that happened at the conference, about the people there, and the local area we’re in. The first question the asked was: At the start of this conference how many members did the soap guild have. They’d told us this at the member lunch on Wednesday. I sat there thinking and three numbers popped out in my head: 2, 5, 6. I knew there were 2500+ members. I couldn’t remember exactly how many there were though. I put down 2,556. The answer was 2,560. I was off by four! Anyway, I went through and answered the other questions (in which, surprising myself) I got them all right.
They collect the answers and they take all the people that got all ten right (which usually isn’t that many) and then they pull a name from those. You win a soap guild goodie bag. It’s just something fun. Well, I knew I’d gotten one question wrong, but it didn’t click when they got up there and say that no one had got all ten questions right, so they took the two who had 9 out of ten right. When they called my name I just sat there and looked at Jesse going, did they really just call my name.
All in all it was a good conference. I was up at 3am the next day to catch of 6am flight. I made it home (finally) Friday around 5:30pm.
Next year I won’t be attending the conference. I really want to attend a wholesale trade show and I only have a budget for one trip, but the following year I plan to head down to Tampa, FL for the 2016 conference.
(Pictures are from the hotel and its landscape.)