Keynote Speaker

Donna Maria Coles Johnson

CEO, Indie Business Network


How to Lead & Pivot Your Business

During Challenging Times

The worldwide COVID-19 crisis has given rise to much entrepreneurial uncertainty. Nearly every business has been affected, though not equally. It’s frightening and exhausting, and can cause you to question everything about yourself and your small business. Regardless of the individual unique circumstances you are now facing, the trust is that you have what it takes to lead and pivot yourself  and your business during this challenging time.

In this keynote presentation, Donna Maria will empower you with three specific things you can do right now to strengthen and solidify your brand during this challenging time. You’ll come away from this presentation with increased confidence that you can handle every challenge that comes your way, and you’ll know that you have the courage to turn crisis into opportunity — now and in the future.


Donna Maria is the Founder + CEO of the artisan entrepreneur business empowerment company, the Indie Business Network, and is one of the most recognized business coaches in the Artisan Maker industry. She has been using video and digital technologies for over 15 years to sell products and services, and is a highly sought after resource for those seeking to maximize technology to sell more products online.

Donna Maria’s work is entrenched in her firm belief that entrepreneurship is for everyone, and it starts with the ability we all have to sell something that we create with our own hands. A proud native of Washington, DC, she now resides with her family in their adopted hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Zakia Ringgold

Natural Soap by Zakia / Live Soap School

Lights, Camera, Action … GO LIVE!

You’ve heard all the hype on social media but maybe you haven’t quite taken the leap or you aren’t sure how to do it. This session will help you to eliminate 3 of the most common roadblocks for live streaming:

  • Fear of Being on Camera
  • Deciding What to Broadcast and Where
  • Figuring Out the Technology to create a good broadcast

During this session participants will learn the best practices for effortless broadcasting, equipment needed to broadcast live and how to convert viewers into customer.


Soap Making started out as a way for Zakia to escape reality while exploring her own version of creativity. What started out as a hobby quickly transformed into a business with people from all over the world buying her handmade products. Thanks to the power of Social Media and Live Streaming, Natural Soap By Zakia was born with a growing fan base. She would broadcast live while making soap and share the finished products on Social Media. Increasingly people would come back for more and her nickname became SoapLadyZ. 

Ringgold speaks on the power of technology and handmade soap making at industry conferences and has authored The New Soap Makers Cookbook series. This series is a set of 4 books for new soap makers to to discover the craft in a fun and easy to understand format. She is the owner of Natural Soap By Zakia where soap nation buys her handcrafted products and Creator of Live Soap School where she blogs and teaches people around the world soap making and digital technology. She truly enjoys motivating and inspiring others to unlock their creativity through the craft of Soap Making. You can catch Zakia live streaming on Social Media with her 2 daughters Nyla and Paige.

David Fisher

Hacking Your Hot Process

Hot process soap making has a bad rap. Most folks see it as lumpy, rustic, not-very-attractive soap, and we use hot process only when we’re in a hurry or need to fix a soap disaster. While there are certainly differences between cold and hot processes, there are a number of tricks and techniques you can employ with hot process to make it “flow” almost as good as cold.

Frugal Soapmaking

As creative folks, we like to create things – and soap is no exception. This may be fine for our personal bars, or for hobbyists, but for a business to succeed, it must make a profit. But how do we generate that profit? What sets our soap apart from inexpensive commercially available soap? Do you really need to include shea butter in it for it to sell? This session will explore the pros and cons of keeping your soap simple – both from the recipe and production side and from the marketing side.


Ever since he made his first candle by dipping a piece of string into a coffee can full of wax as a 7-year-old, David Fisher has been a life-long crafter. When he discovered soap making nearly 20 years ago, he was fascinated and delighted by the mix of science, cooking, art, creativity, and sensuality. Like many of us, what started as just a hobby grew into a soap business, and then, in 2005, he transitioned from making and selling soap to making and teaching about soap as the Guide to Candle and Soap Making for About.com – a site he managed and wrote for 11 years. In 2018, his years of soap experimentation culminated in the publication of The Complete Photo Guide to Soap Making.

Chris King

Pampered Sisters

Artisan Bath Products


To Sell or Not to Sell… Wholesale?

The decision to wholesale can create a lucrative revenue or an expanding net loss. However, research, preparation and planning with the right tools will provide the answers needed to either move towards wholesale or move on. Using line sheets,  bar coding, minimum order thresholds and target marketing, will prepare you to effectively grow your business through wholesale. 


Pampered Sisters Handcrafted Artisan Bath Products was created by Chris King out of her love to give family and friends wholesome, handcrafted, natural “good for your body and soul” gifts she made. The gifts were soon requested by family and friends.  Chris’s mother, Joan, came up with the name, Pampered Sisters, because she feels that all women are sisters who need pampering from time to time.

Chris makes the handcrafted soaps (CP/HP/OP), lotions, body butters, soy candles and more; all from scratch. She is constantly working her craft, researching, studying, and creating new recipes using beneficial butters, oils and additives.  Each product is made with love from her hands to your home. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Rick Brooks

How to Make Creative Soap Carvings

In this session Rick will demonstrate the basic concepts of soap carving. He believes that anyone can learn to carve soap once they are given the proper instructions and they are willing practice. His theory is that soap carving is not so much artistic as it is mechanical. Thus, even if you don’t think you have any artistic abilities, you still can learn to carve soap!


After retiring from a successful 35 year career in retail management, Rick began searching for a unique home-based craft to enjoy. As a result, he entered the realm of soapmaking in 2011 and began selling his handcrafted soap in 2012. A few years later he became interested in soap carving. In 2016 Rick traveled to Thailand where he took a 3-hour private soap carving lesson with a master carver. After many hours of practice, his efforts paid off and soap carving began to transform Rick’s soap business. His goal is to now help other soapmakers learn this exciting craft so they also can enhance their soap businesses.


Cheryl Mitchell

Miss Doyle’s Soapery, LLC

Stay in Your Lane!

Finding Your Target Market

Defining your target market is extremely important if you wish to succeed in business. But contrary to what is sometimes popular belief, your target market is not everyone.

Join Cheryl as she offers helpful tips to identify and understand your particular niche so you can dominate it!



Miss Doyle aka Cheryl Mitchell is the owner of Miss Doyle’s Soapery LLC which is the parent company for Miss Doyle’s Soapery brand, Active Duty Soaps brand, Miss Doyle’s Supply, and Unique Bath Body & Home Conference and Unique Makers Networking group. She received her B.S. in Business Management, Certificates in Clinical Aromatherapy and Intermediate Herbalist, along with certificates in Essential Oil Safety. She has been making naturally based products for over 15 years and has been teaching for the last 5 years in all things naturally based with new and different recipes and business ideas. She has served on the board of directors for the HSCG and volunteered for many years with them. She is currently a part of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) St. Louis Chapter as the Chair Elect for 2020. 

Theresa Richard

Bain Amour Bath & More

Basic Candle Making Using Soy Wax

Have you ever wanted to learn about candle making? Join Theresa as she makes both a wooden wick and a standard wick soy candle. During the class, she will discuss hot and cold throw, fragrance load, how to determine wick size in both wooden wick and standard wicks, conducting test burns, and much more.


Theresa Richard is the owner of Bain Amour Bath and Body Co. Based out of Arnaudville, Louisiana, she, her husband, and four sons, run their farm raising dairy goats, cows, chickens, turkeys, and other critters and use the milk from their goats in some of their products. Theresa founded Bain Amour in December of 2013 and opened her first store front in June of 2017 in the Acadiana Mall in Lafayette, Louisiana. Her store became extremely popular as there were no other bath bomb stores in the vicinity. Her store is known for their bath fizzies which sell like hotcakes.  In June of 2019, she moved her store front to a shopping center in Youngsville, Louisiana. With the opening of the new location, Theresa was able to add in parties and workshops, which she has wanted to do for the last 2 years. Her store is becoming a new outlet for kid’s interactive birthday parties and had parties booked weeks in advance. She has hosted ladies night out and team building workshops in her new location.  In her free time, Theresa enjoys spending time with her family, close friends, and sitting in the stables with her goats.

Alicia Wyatt

G & M Creations


What Can I Say, What can’t I say?

What is a Claim and Why Should I Care?

Join Alicia as she dives into the ever exciting maze of what you can really say about your products when you market them and what things you should avoid.  Alicia has spent the last few years really studying the ins and outs of what claims you can make regarding products and how the FDA views them.  As the business of selling evolves into a more online driven model it is more important than ever to lock in your marketing message so you can describe the benefits of your products without making claims that can get you in trouble with the regulating bodies. She will cover what makes your product a soap, cosmetic or a drug.  How making claims can inadvertently make your product an unapproved drug and how to avoid doing that. Whether you are new to making bath and body products or if you an expert that needs a quick refresher, this talk will have something for everyone.


Alicia is one member of the trio of women that runs G&M Creations, a multi-generational family of women who create handcrafted artisan beauty products for a variety of skin types. Their products range from soaps to lotions to lip scrubs to bath bombs and beyond. The company was founded by Alicia’s mother and daughter in 2015 and Alicia took over the product making, development and marketing after her mom was diagnosed with Cancer at the end of 2017.  Alicia also has spent the last 12 years working in the investment management business.  She has spent the last 2+ years learning as much as she can regarding the regulations, processes and best practices of the soap and cosmetics industry by reading numerous books and attending multiple soap and cosmetic conferences led by industry leaders.  Combined with this new knowledge, she brings a depth of business knowledge to the daily workings of the business that has helped it grow. She has helped turn this hobby company into a brand with a voice and an ever growing following.

Lisa Price

Soaps, Etc.

Picture This!

How to Make Your Products Stand Out

in a Crowd

Learn how to stage (or set up) your products in such a way that makes your product stand out from the rest on pages such as Etsy, Ebay, or other broad marketing domains. See how best to photograph, and use some of the broad filters, such as Instagram or Microsoft Office Picture Manager to “tweak and sharpen” your photograph so that you can Make Your Products Stand Out!


Lisa M. Price, FNP-C, is a belly-dancing family nurse practitioner (note the head shot) and also the proud owner and maker behind Soaps, Etc.  Lisa has been making bath bombs and such since 2008, and began making soap in 2012 after being introduced to the art by her friend, Theresa Mendez, of Wandering Thistle Studio.  Prior to her healthcare career, Lisa was a financial analyst for a large international firm, and worked closely with the Marketing Department when new products were introduced.  This is where she learned the concept of “displays that suck you in”.  Also influenced by Gary Brown’s photography classes and feedback, Lisa has learned how display and photography can make your product stand out from the rest. 

Susan James

Herbaceously Urban

The Organized Soaper

A look into setting up a complete, separate soaping space to house the ultimate tools, equipment and supplies on a robust budget. Then, contrasting that experience to a kitchen space in the home simplifying, and using what you already have and keeping your investment relative to a small budget.


I am a suburbanite raised in the Houston area for over 60 years. I began making soap in 2000 or so, experimenting until I got the nerve to make the plunge into using lye. It didn’t kill me, and I fell in love quickly! I have met the most wonderful people that have inspired and motivated me to hone my craft and venture into skin care and aromatherapy. Herbaceously Urban was created last June to create soap and organic, cruelty-free skin care products to simplify beauty routines to relax and embrace natural living. It has been quite a journey and I continue to learn everyday. 

Melody Johnson

Melodious Scents

The Art of Making Button Soap Embeds

Melody will show you how to make an embed thematic soap using buttons as the centerpiece. This method of soap design can really bring out your creative side and will allow you to use many other themes for special occasions such as baby showers, weddings, etc.


Melody Johnson hails from the town of Gilmer, Texas where she has lived all her life. She has been married to her husband, Brad, of 14 years.   She is a mother to three rambunctious boys that are 12, 9 and 5 years of age.  When not being a full time mother, she keeps busy making soap and other bath and body products. She has been soaping since 2011, after realizing that candles were not for her. When she is not soaping she can be found snuggled up to a good kindle book or playing her flute.  Melody plans to continue her education in aromatherapy and possibly music therapy.

Andrea Orr-Gilroy

The Whole Orrdeal

Step Into the Journey of Cold Process Soap

Learn the basics of what soap is, some available formulation tools, how to make soap using the cold process method, and what safety measures should be considered. The goal of this class is to encourage you to learn and be inspired by this heritage craft!


My journey into soapmaking began of frugality, seeded into learning, and blossomed into my art and creative outlet. In the early 2000’s, I began making liquid castile and laundry soap for my family, to avoid allergens in an economical way.  I refer to November 5, 2011 as my “soapiversary”, because that is when a friend gave me a private class and I took the leap into the science and creativity of cold process solid soapmaking. I started helping her with classes the next year, and eventually started teaching classes myself. This is the Whole Orrdeal. To show you part, is to show you all. I live life full force and I love to encourage others to reach for their dreams as well.

The Soapmaker’s Seminar is hosted by the Lone Star Soapers Networking Group.

For more information on Lone Star Soapers, please click below.