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Friday, June 10th and Saturday, June 11th, 2011. Early-Bird Registration ends March 31!

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17th Annual Alabama Soap Meeting



When it comes to teaching you how to build an empire, Lela Barker has a simple philosophy: beneath every successful maker is a solid business foundation.

As the founder of Bella Lucce, an award-winning international beauty brand distributed through 1,200 spas in 27 countries and the mind behind Lucky Break Consulting, Lela is wildly passionate about helping creative entrepreneurs bring their products into the marketplace.

Lela specializes in the “less sexy” side of business, think: product pricing, brand differentiation, customer experiences and wholesale strategy. And while these facets of business are what many naturally shy away from, Lela knows that they’re the catalysts which take a business from “good” to “effing great.” These pieces of the entrepreneurial puzzle comprise that fine line between running yourself ragged and building a sustainable empire and Lela knows them like the back of her hand.

One client recently christened her the “Mother Theresa of Makers” while another described her “as the best business decision I’ve ever made.”

Lela’s products and personal story have been featured in more than sixty publications worldwide and her “LBU: Secrets to Wholesale Success” program sells out within days each time registration opens, welcoming emerging entrepreneurs from Australia to Japan. She teaches and speaks regularly, from conference rooms in Austria to cruise ships in the Caribbean and *almost* everywhere in between.

When not arming makers with tactical business approaches, you’ll find her collecting passport stamps, perfecting the ultimate lemon meringue pie and clinging tightly to her sanity while raising four children.





Anne-Marie has been soaping for over 20 years and loves to teach soap and talk soap! She keeps busy writing the popular SoapQueen.com blog, running BrambleBerry.com, Otion.com and writing (Soap Crafting, published in 2014).

When she’s not experimenting with new recipes, she happily plays with blocks and reads children’s books to her 1 and 3 year old. Anne-Marie has won numerous awards including Best Businessperson of the Year for Washington State, Best Small Business (Whatcom County) and was named a Best Boss in America)


Elin Criswell Headshot

Elin Criswell is a fourth-generation Texas soapmaker of Swedish descent. She not only loves to make soap, but greatly enjoys teaching and encouraging others in their soap making journeys.

As she was growing up, her Mom’s old-fashioned lye soap was an ever-present fixture in their home. Her parents had lived through the Great Depression and Elin was greatly influenced by her parent’s down-to-earth, practical ways.

Elin first experimented with soap making in the early 1990’s, back in dinosaur days (pre-internet) when library books were the best source of information. In the year 2000 she got serious about the craft and has been making soap ever since.

Although she was content to be a soap hobbyist for a few years, in 2003, she started her soap business, The Country Soaper. She sells her handcrafted soap through her website, wholesale accounts and at local artisan markets.

Elin is the author of Creative Soap Making and Bubbles to Bucks… How to Make Money Selling Soap. 

She also serves as the Coordinator for Lone Star Soap & Toiletries, a Texas-based soapmakers group.

Elin also enjoys participating in living history events and speaking and demonstrating the soap making craft. She is known to talk soap to all and any who will listen.

mrhoades mossycreeksoap


Michelle Rhoades is the CEO and founder of Mossy Creek Soap Studio. She began her journey in the bath and body industry in 2006 as an independent contractor for a direct sales company offering spa parties at home. This led the way for her success as both a soapmaker and as an instructor. Her use of color and visually stimulating photography has earned the recognition of both the foodnetwork.com and The Holiday Edition of Southern Living Magazine.

Michelle’s passion is sharing her love for soapmaking through classes and workshops in the middle Georgia Area. Students travel from all over the country to learn how to create works of art with their soap in her soap design workshop. She has spoken at the HSCG Annual Conference (2013 & 2015), the Alabama Soap and Candle Conference (2012 & 2014) and the Tennessee Soap and Candle Meeting (2014).


 IT’S ALL ABOUT THAT BLING: Booth and Display Design


“Is it all about that BLING? You bet it is! Find out what the most important thing is you need to do to make customers shop at your booth.

— Discover the 5 most important things you can do to improve your sales at a live event

— Learn how to tie in your branding with your table/booth design

— Find out how to keep the energy going during long shows

Join us as we discuss color, design, set-up, traffic flow, a one person set-up, a group set up, display options, creating a theme, signage and we “might” even share with you our best keep secret of all— WANT TO KNOW MORE? Register today!”

DB Photo


Deborah Bruijn is a chemist, soapmaker, mother and owner of Fairhope Soap Company, LLC. She has a BS in Chemistry and has worked as a Biochemist and a GMP Analytical Method Development Chemist in the pharmaceutical industry for 10 years. Deborah quit the lab and now soaps full time doing the only legal “work from home” job a chemist can do. She is an HSMG Certified Advanced Soapmaker, the Secretary of the Alabama Soap and Candle Association and a member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists. She founded Fairhope Soap Company 4 years ago in Fairhope, Alabama on Alabama’s Gulf Coast and now has a brick-and-mortar shop in downtown Fairhope in addition to its online store. Active in the community, Deborah is a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary International.





Amanda Stott is the owner of Tiki Bar Soap, LLC., a men’s grooming brand and Steam Bath Factory, which focuses on women’s products for steampunk enthusiasts and literary geeks alike. She holds a PhD in physical chemistry and enjoys web development, microcontrollers, health and fitness, learning languages, and saltwater reef aquaria. Her favorite part of business is online marketing, targeted market segment data analysis, and graphic design. Her business focus is online as well as private label and contract manufacturing. Tiki Bar Soap and Steam Bath Factory products have been featured on the front page of etsy and ethical community on multiple occasions. Her creations are available at many online retail outlets in the US, Europe, and Canada. Amanda is also a mother of two and has a youtube channel focused on traditional shaving.






We hope you will come and join us at the 17th annual Alabama Soap & Candle Association Meeting that will be held at the Doster Center in Historic Downtown Prattville, Alabama! We have a link to the Rand-McNally website that will give you step by step directions to the meeting location when you provide your starting point.

The Alabama Soap and Candle Association began as the Alabama Soap Meeting in 1998 with 4 members, and has grown to well over 100 members. Join our Yahoo Group to keep up with activities like monthly luncheons, our winter gathering, and more.

We promise fun, fellowship, food, my three favorite “f’s”!, education, and some awesome shopping opportunities. There will be several vendors there from whom you can buy on the spot, and many of our generous sponsors will provide samples of new products so we can try before we buy. Put this event on your calendar now…. it’ll be the *must attend* event of the Summer of 2015! There are always several swaps in which you can participate. We promise you two fun-filled days of amazing speakers and demos. We have had amazingly generous sponsors who provide items for door prizes and for our goodie bags. I’m sure that they will be even more generous in 2015. Some of our vendors may offer specials such as free delivery to the meeting.

We’d love to see you there! Make plans now to be there, Friday, June 12th and Saturday, June 13th, 2015. Early-Bird Registration ends March 31!  REGULAR REGISTRATION ENDS MAY 31!!