Event Recap: The 2015 HSCG Conference

Lela Barker

Melissa and I are back from a busy week in Indianapolis and I wanted to share some of the fun with you! For the second consecutive year, I was invited to present at the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild’s annual conference. We spent five solid days meeting LBU alumni, answering questions + supporting new brands, teaching about brand development and doing our damn level best to apply custom gold tattoos on virtually every square inch of bare skin we could find.


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I taught a four-hour, small group workshop on brand development on Friday and spent 90 minutes on Saturday dissecting the anatomy of successful brands for a crowd of 450 attendees. The workshops were well-received and I was so very grateful for the opportunity to coach creatives on the importance of thoughtful branding that creates emotional resonance with their audience.


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Melissa, the Lucky Break Operations Manager + Client Concierge, works out of her Boston-area home office and I work out of my Columbia-area home office, so I’m always doubly excited to get us in the same room together. We spent a few days together in Greenville last month for The Makers Summit (which I cannot recommend enough!) and the chance to see her in-person two months in a row had me positively giddy. Melissa is expecting a wee one this summer, so this will likely be our last “hurrah!” for a few months. Like the trooper she is, Melissa still managed to put in long days at the conference and I pampered mother + son with room service breakfast each morning.


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The Lucky Break booth was uber-fun to design as we brought the Lucky Break website to life. A custom-printed table runner in our signature watercolor print, mondo-sized gold mylar ballons that spelled LUCKY, and bouquets of my favorite flowers (ranunculus for the win!) garnered enough compliments to make us blush.  We stocked that vendor booth with heaps of fun + free goodies:


  • Gorgeous hand-lettered gold tattoos


  • Snappy doorhangers drenched in gold foil



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Hundreds of entries were tossed into my sexy Tom Dixon gold geo for a chance to win a copy of the Price-O-Matic system. We drew one name from the pot and the lucky winner is: Deborah Kraemer of Abbey Brown in Chicago. Congrats Deborah!


We offered show specials on two of my favorites: my just-launched Brick House Branding class (four solid weeks of branding goodness) and Price-O-Matic, my product pricing software that puts makers + products designers in the driver’s seat of their numbers. We’ve decided to extend those show specials for just a few days… conference attendees: check your inbox for details. If you had your eye on the Price-O-Matic but didn’t win the drawing, we’re able to offer that same price of $149 through Sunday, April 26th.


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The conference was punctuated with cocktail parties, a disco night, networking lunches and a small avalanche of workshops for makers in the personal care space. This was my fifth conference and I always enjoy seeing old friends and meeting new ones, too.  Thanks for being so welcoming to Melissa and I- we had a blast with you all!


About the Author

Lela Barker

Lela Barker hails from the deep-and-dirty south (ATL, represent!), where she spends her days helping makers and product designers navigate the pitfalls of product pricing, brand development, and wholesale strategy. She launched her apothecary brand in 2003 and bootstrapped the hell out of that little business to cultivate a portfolio of 1500+ stockists worldwide, generating $12million in revenue and establishing successful distributorships in the Middle East, EU, Scandinavia, and South Korea. Lela is the keeper of a well-worn passport and the maker of the finest lemon meringue pie you’ve ever put in your mouth.

3 responses on “Event Recap: The 2015 HSCG Conference

    1. Melissa

      Hi LaVon! This is Melissa from the Lucky Break team. We are launching a new branding webinar called Brick House Branding – we should be announcing registration very, very soon (within the next day or two) and it runs for four Thursdays in May. We’d love to see you there!

  1. Vicki Helderman

    Oh My Goodness – You were in Indy?! Okay. *breathe* Back up. I just discovered Donna Maria’s podcast and decided to jump in with season two. So. Of course I spent the last hour {what felt like} visiting with your lovely self and Donna Maria, learning your story and being deeply inspired!! I jumped right on your website at the end of the podcast, eager to delve into your blog-o-sphere world and learn more about your consulting company only to learn that you were JUST in my back yard! I live on the West side of Indy and I wish I could have met you in person! *le sigh* At any rate. Your talk with Donna Maria opened the floodgates in my heart to feel encouraged and empowered with my current effort to move my handmade business forward and pursue full time entrepreneurship. I’m excited (and overwhelmed and scared and about a zillion of the emotions) and I hope our paths will have the opportunity to cross in the future. Thank you so much!! *hugs*

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