Do you belong to a professional organization? Perhaps it is to keep the credentials, or take classes for continuing education. There are so many professional organizations out there that work with and strive to be advocates, offer credentialing, and continuing education.
Steve and I are very delighted to say that our business is a member of the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild, a professional organization that serves the over 300,000 known small soap making businesses nationwide. Membership has been an important statement to the world that we take soap-making professionally, and we strive to continue learning, exceed the standards and stay ahead of any or all issues in the industry.
Small or micro businesses like ours alone are not viewed as a threat to large companies like Proctor and Gamble, but add up 300,000 little businesses and large companies feel a bite out of their market. We love the collective wisdom, watch and power of the Handcrafted Soap-makers guild to keep us informed of legislative issues that could impact us, and we appreciate the presence of lobbyists who take our soap making business seriously. Issues can arise, and the guild can represent us as a solid voice.
One such issue began with Senator Diane Feinstein of California several years ago. Acting on the impulse of big soap industries, she initiated legislation that would restrict the ability of small soap makers in our nation to the point of strangling and restricting us out of business. The fight is real, and the battle is not yet won. But the strength of lobbying voice has been effective to remind everyone that there are standards, and small soap making companies are willingly educating on the rules and regulations, and strictly following the rules of the FDA. In fact we are adhere to higher standards for production. But everything in business and politics seem to come down to money – who is perceiving loss, who can benefit from changing things, and what are the threats to the status quo. So it all comes down to finances… the large corporations are seeing a percentage of their sales drop because consumers are choose to buy locally made soap, produced in small batch, with the best natural ingredients possible. Large soap companies have been slow to consider the growth of this industry as a cottage industry, It is estimated that in 2015 nationwide (USA) small soap company total sales was $17.6 million. This is a guess because not every soap maker has chosen to identify with the guild, nor has anyone collected the details.
Whats my point? When you see a small business that makes soap remember that the products are made locally, and every sale keeps the money local, which benefits the city and state with tax revenue. We buy the best oils and botanicals for our soaps and products because we believe in our products, and we consume them ourselves.
Our decision in 2010 to begin a soap company was fueled by a number of economic and personal reasons…. but the one we love most is that our products are good, healthy, and often offer solutions for little annoying problems (like dry skin). We love making great things, and we love seeing our customers resonate with them. And we love knowing the Soapmakers Guild is there, watching over the ever changing landscape of politics, watching out for our best interest too.
Want to look up your favorite soap-maker or see if they are members of the guild? click on the Directory search below: