The Tennessee Soap and Candle Meeting is right around the corner, May 3-4th! I am so excited to be included in an AMAZING lineup of speakers that include some of our industry’s top leaders! Donna-Maria, Marla Bosworth, Kayla Fioravanti, Benjamin Aaron and more!
This year, and I am just giddy right now typing this, it is being held in Montgomery Bell State Park near Nashville which means I’m pitching a tent and being one with nature! (Not into roughing it? No worries, there is an Inn.) I’ve got my eyes set on curling up in my sleeping bag, falling to sleep to the sound of nature, waking up covered with the morning dew and s’mores! How cool is that?! I can’t wait!
So I wanted to learn more about Rachel, owner of Music City Suds and organizer of this fine event!
Who are you and what do you do?
Rachel: I’m Rachel. Nice to meet you. I am the co-owner of Music City Suds in Nashville, TN (along with my dashing husband) and the organizer of the Tennessee Soap and Candle Meeting, which will take place this year on May 3-4 at Montgomery Bell State Park near Nashville.
A: What are your favorite products to make?
R: Soap. I make a number of other products to round out my product line, but nothing compares to the joy I get from making soap. It was my first, my last, my one true craft love.
A: What inspires you to create?
R: The voices in my head. 🙂 Seriously, though, they kind of do. My life is crazy busy; I always have a million projects going on at once. But when I’m in the soap kitchen, it’s like I close a door to the myriad voices and alarms and stresses going on in my life. I get to let myself go and get lost in the chemistry, which is a surprising place to get lost, but it works for me.
A: Favorite ingredient to use?
R: Any essential oil. I love blending and experimenting and learning about them. I love how each harvest of lavender has its own personality, how tea tree from Australia and tea tree from China can be two completely different scents. They’re fascinating.
A: How did you get involved with the Tennessee Soap and Candle Meeting?
R: I met the former organizer, Birdie Dozier, at the Alabama Soap and Candle Association meeting a few years ago. We decided to collaborate on last year’s meeting, and it was so much fun! We had an amazing group of people come from all over the region, and I’m certain it’s just a preview of the kind of fun we’ll have this year!
A: Tell us about the Tennessee Soap and Candle Meeting and its history.
R: The meeting began as a tiny gathering of a few friendly soapmakers, fabric artists, and chandlers. Then last year, we kicked it up a few notches and moved it to Nashville. This year we’ve expanded the meeting from one day to two, moved it to a state park so people can bring their families, and nabbed the best bath and body experts in the country to speak. We’ve been so fortunate because we have amazing vendors coming this year, and we’ve been able to keep the ticket prices low (only $125 for two full days of workshops, including breakfast and lunch both days). I honestly can’t wait for it to get here!
A: What is your biggest hurdle when planning this event?
R: The biggest hurdle is organization. The event has expanded so much since last year, it’s hard to keep track of all the donations, speakers, schedules, etc. Fortunately, I am blessed with the world’s greatest volunteer committee, and they have really kicked butt this year getting everything ready.
A: You have an awesome line up of speakers! Tell us about a few that you are super excited about.
R: Can I say all of them? All of them. Not only am I excited to see the speakers because they’re all rock stars and I want to hang out with them, but there isn’t a single topic on the schedule I don’t want to know more about. It’s by far the most exciting, most engaging group we’ve ever assembled.
Keynote Speaker – Donna Maria
Soapequipment.com – Bath Bomb Demo
Michelle Rhoades – Opening a Retail Location on a Shoestring Budget
Amanda Griffin – Advanced Slab Design and Coloring Techniques (Peacock Swirl!)
Maia Singletary – Cosmetic Demo
Amanda Griffin – Bon Bagay! Doing Good Things is Good for Business
Michelle Rhoades – Mica/Oil Swirling Techniques
Benjamin Aaron – Determined to Trace
Kayla Fioravanti – The Benefits of Being Part of a Co-Op
Janis Emery – Essential Oil Distillation
Amanda Stott – Essential Oil Analysis
Amanda Stott – Formulating Soaps and Lotion for Different Skin Types
Miles Price – Intro to Product Photography
Miles Price – Product Photography Demo
I agree, Rachel! I am blown away by the lineup! Thanks for putting this event together and I’ll see you soon! -Amanda