Recap: Tennessee Soap + Candle Social

Lela Barker

Last weekend, I spent the day with 60+ bath and beauty entrepreneurs in Nashville, TN. There’s a tangible high to be had when there’s that much synergy in the room and  the Tennessee Soap + Candle Social did not disappoint! I was honored to be asked to keynote the event and I seized the opportunity to debut my “Don’t Lose Your A#@!” workshop, designed to walk creative entrepreneurs through the process of costing their raw materials, labor and overhead expenses in order to arrive at product costings which ensure profit and viability. It was a lot of fun and I’m so grateful to all of the attendees for sitting through 75 minutes of math at 9am.


The event presented an opportunity to meet with a handful of dear friends, along with the opportunity to connect with dozens of new faces. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with so many of you and learning more about your businesses and where you want to take them. We also enjoyed some fabulous soap and candle demos and a delicious lunch on the campus of the Scarritt Bennett center, which makes for a stunning conference venue!




I extend my gratitude to Rachel Turner of Music City Suds and Birdie Dozier of Bon Aqua Cabin for their incredible organizational skills and their dedication to seeing this event through.  My hat is off to all of the attendees who traveled from Illinois, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama to gather together and support one another. I hope to see you all again next year!


If you’re reading and you were there, what did you think of the event?


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.

One response on “Recap: Tennessee Soap + Candle Social

  1. Donna Maria Coles Johnson

    I agree, it was a fantastic event. Rachel and Birdie did a great job coordinating everything and making all attendees and speakers feel welcome. I especially enjoyed presenting in the comfortable conference room, which was well lit with great acoustics. It was fun to meet everyone (and to see you) and the goodie bags were fab as well! I’m excited to hear that Rachel and Birdie are already talking about next year’s event. Nashville is a beautiful place and I was excited to have an excuse to visit!

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