*For those of you who aren’t blessed with Cajun roots, “Laissez les bon temps rouler” is an expression used in Acadiana to mean that we had an enjoyable, lively time at an event. Try interjecting this phrase into your everyday conversations. It will surely give your peers something to talk about!
This past weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Central Soaper’s conference, organized by Kenna of Modern Soapmaking. This was my first “soapy gathering” and I truly didn’t know what to expect. I arrived at the hotel on Friday to pick up my “SWAG bag” and I greeted warmly by Kenna and another soapy superstar, Danielle of Outlaw Soaps. Danielle and I had been conversing via Facebook messages. I’ve always admired her soaps and seeing her at the conference gave us a chance to meet in person. The best part? I placed an order on her site before the conference and she was kind enough to stash my stuff in her bag and carry it to the conference for me – Thanks, Danielle!
The SWAG bag was truly a treasure. I was so enthralled with the soap kit that Anne-Marie of Brambleberry included that I did a happy dance when I found it in my bag. The kit included a recipe, all of the herbs + additives, the oils, fragrance, and the mold! Holy expectations exceeded, Batman! Thank you, Anne-Marie!
We were also gifted with this awesome mug that is now my favorite coffee drinking vessel – it reminds me to stay on task and get “stuff” done. Stay on task, oh wayward one!
The first full day of the conference began early Saturday morning. Donna Maria of the Indie Business Network provided an inspirational talk on leadership. Her message was motivational, uplifting, and set the tone of the conference. I’m a member of IBN and it has truly been one of the best investments in my business. I was thrilled to meet Donna Maria in person and see her speak.
Next up was the lovely Lela Barker of Lucky Break Consulting with a presentation of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). These concepts are important to all makers in the bath & beauty space and we should all strive to maintainGMP compliance in our manufacturing processes & facilities. I found Lela’s presentation to be incredibly informative. If you would like to know more about GMP, she offers an online course at her website. I was thrilled to be able to meet Lela in person as well. I just completed her 7-week, intensive “LBU: Secrets to Wholesale Success” course. It was a fantastic learning experience and I look forward to putting what I learned into practice in my new business ventures. Lela’s course is also another fantastic investment that I made in my business. It was a tremendous value for the cost!
Anne Marie of Brambleberry presented tips & tricks on how she uses social media for marketing her businesses, but doesn’t allow it to drag her into the inevitable rabbit hole that can become social media perusing. The information in her presentation will definitely save us all time and effort – ensuring that we wisely spend our most precious commodity, time – interacting in the most efficient and effective way possible.
Kayla Fiorvanti spoke to attendees about alternative revenue streams – a topic that greatly interested me. She shared options for diversifying our income streams and I was furiously taking notes. I may even self-publish a book in the near future – stay tuned! Kayla has written numerous books and has a varied entrepreneurial journey. Her experience and wisdom are invaluable. Thank you for sharing this with us, Kayla!
Kenna rounded out the afternoon with a presentation on business communications. In her presentation, Kenna reminded us that “What other people think doesn’t matter – Just do you!” (be yourself). She discussed the 3 keys to communication and helped us to refine our elevator pitch to succinctly describe our business + related goals.
The highlight of my afternoon was when I won a fabulous raffle prize from the conference. I was lucky enough to snag a sample batch of beer soap made by Anne Marie in the first soaping track course of the day. The bonus was that the prize included a 2# soap mold AND silicone liner. The batch of soap made by the Soap Queen herself was enough of a prize, but the fact that it came with a fabulous mold and liner was just icing on the cake. To say I was thrilled would be an understatement.
I’ll blog about what was covered in the Sunday sessions in my next post – stay tuned for more info & fun photos!