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It’s the End of the Central Soapers Workshop (Here’s Why)

Central Soapers Workshop 2015I’ve been stewing on a major decision… And I’m finally ready to share… Oh my.

(Before we get to that, here’s your earworm. Yum, REM.)

In 2012, I was a little cranky about all the soapy gatherings that were happening everywhere else but here… near Kansas City.

So, hey, quit yer bitchin’ and do something about it was my natural internal self response. (Yes, I do talk to myself.)

I embarked on what has become a four year long journey, bringing Central Soapers Workshop to the masses and fulfilling the wish for a central United States conference for soapmakers.

CSW has pressed on, beyond the closing of my first soap company, the giveaway of my second soap company, a foray into the possibility of a biz partnership, the pass-off of my massive ingredient co-op hosting group, and so much more. Alas, the only constant in life is change…

and CSW is saying goodbye.

The End of CSW 2015

Y’all are the first to know that CSW 2015 is the last one ever, because I want you to know two things.

1. You have to be able to adapt and roll with the punches.

When I started CSW, it was the perfect gig for me, but it’s time for me to move on. Over the next year, there are some major changes brewing in my life and there just isn’t room for a stationary (hint, hint) event.

Is your curiosity piqued?

Several years ago, my other half told me about this magic underground world of people who lived in RVs, trailers, and converted school buses, 24/7/365 – traveling, exploring, living without a traditional roof over their head. The whimsy of it kind of took him by storm, and shortly, we were talking seriously about the viability of the idea for our family.

It’s been two years since we started planning… in April, we’ll begin the journey by getting rid of all of our possessions. (Oh my!) By this time next year, I’ll be writing this blog from who-knows-where. It might be lovely, it might be horrible, but the only way to find out is to do it.

I’m not going anywhere. I have amazing things planned for our adventures that will always include my soapy tribe. I really can’t wait to start sharing those with you.

2. You have the opportunity to learn from all around you.

This year, I reached out to some of my favorite people in this industry to make sure Central Soapers Workshop was amazing. You may have heard of some of them – from the amazing Donna Maria of the Indie Business Network to the Soap Queen herself, Anne-Marie Faiola of Bramble Berry. And some peeps you might not know, like my blue-haired doppelganger in business, Danielle Vincent of Outlaw Soaps and half of the amazing duo who landed Gratitude Soapery, Stud Preston of Sudz by Studz.

While I wanted to make sure soapmakers had the opportunity to learn from amazing people in the industry with the creation of CSW, it has taught me so much about myself, my business, and what I’m capable of doing. That’s the true beauty of it.

Whether you attend (or have attended) CSW in person or virtually or not at all, you have the opportunity to learn from anyone and everyone all the time. I learn from my mentors, but I also learn from my clients. I learn from my tribe when they email me, but I also learn from people who don’t even know what handmade soap is. I am always learning.

Have you ever wondered how Modern Soapmaking came into existence?

Here’s the truth: Central Soapers Workshop is why it exists. CSW showed me where I belong in this industry – teaching, sharing, and loving up on other soapmakers. Because of CSW, I adapted my career and learned how to follow the true passion I have for soapmaking. I truly couldn’t be more grateful for that, and I think it’s the best gift it could have ever given me.

I’m waffling, I know. This is hard, guys. Letting go of my blood, sweat, and tears of four years is killer. It’s the right thing to do. I’m looking onward and upward. I am extremely excited about what CSW2015 will be, but I am even more excited to see what’s on the other side.

If you were on the fence about Central Soapers Workshop, I want you to know now that this is the last one, before registration closes on March 1st. This year, we jumped the fence and became the first conference to offer virtual registration where you can attend from anywhere in the world.

I hope you’ll join me for a last hoorah, but even if you don’t, remember those two things about business: Adapt. And learn.

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30 Responses

  1. It may be the last Central Soapers Workshop (TM) but it may not be the last soaper gathering that ever occurs in Missouri. I think Kenna may just have to pass the torch from KC to the ‘Lou. 😉

  2. Horray for you!! While I always feel sad when things close, change, and move, I know this is best for the one who is involved. I was fully planning on attending this year on the tail of doing LBU, but while in the throes of this, I’m needing to hoard my money so I can do what I gotta do. I thought I would be coming to see you next year! Alas, it is not to be. I’m sure we’ll cross paths at other meetings someday. I’m excited for your family and the great adventures you will have. Your kids will benefit so much from being together and learn so much. Press on!

  3. Oh wow Kenna…I am insanely jelly of your traveling adventures to come! I am more than intrigued at the concept of being in debt to no man….clinging to the few things that bring me joy this side of heaven…exploring this great land we live in…and loving on the people who make life worth living for me. I look forward to reading about all of the new & great things to come for you! I wish you God Speed, my friend! ~Jules

  4. The yr I really want to go but can’t this happens. I truly understand stand adaptation. I didn’t even make it to Kansas to see you. Oh well. Good Luck. I know that whatever you do it will be great!

  5. Congratulations on a embarking on this life adventure! It sounds like a dream and I know you and your family will grow immensely as you blaze the trail. I may even have a chance to meet you some day as you ride through the states (hint hint ..North-western South Carolina is a lovely summer destination with many hiking trails and waterfalls galore). I look forward to all you have to share. Good luck!

    1. I will pass that little tidbit on to the other half. 😉 We have a couple of “tours” pre-planned, but we’ll see when we get on the road where it leads us! Thank you!

  6. Wow – this is really bittersweet for me! You’ve been such a wonderful mentor – and the workshop has been absolutely fabulous every year. I will surely miss it! Your new adventure will be wonderful – and who knows what you could be up to a year from now – I agree that a “traveling soap class” would be awesome! I wish you luck and will see you next month!

  7. I didn’t think I could be any more excited about attending the conference, but I’m so happy I get to go to this last one! Thank you for your honesty and kudos to you for continuing your journey. Your courage in soapmaking and life is inspirational.

  8. Kenna,
    How exciting! When you pass through DC, will you teach me to make soap? Excited to see where your travels take you with your next venture! Congrats.

  9. I’m so thankful I took the plunge to attend CSW 2014. It exposed me to a world of learning I had not known before. I’m thankful I signed up for CSW 2015. I’m really excited to keep learning. I appreciate you more than you know.

  10. What a hard decision this must’ve been for you! To fully reflect on the CSW experiences and see what you were meant to be/do (teach others) is priceless. I am thrilled for you and your new adventure! I wish you nothing but success and joy in the future and WISH I could be there this year. If you ever make your way over to the Southern Oregon, I hope you stop by and pay me a visit! XOXO

  11. I’m just shocked. You’re so vital in the soaping world, generous with your wisdom, experience, humor and fun uniqueness. The CSW has a vibe apparent even to non-attendees. I’m disappointed for me, as I’ve assumed CSW would be around for my enjoyment.

    But wait…this isn’t about me. Truly, I’m excited that you and your family are taking this opportunity to explore and expand your experiences and change up your approach to living.
    Precious few of us have that courage, and not going for it can be hobbling.

    So bully for ya’ll and God speed. Please let your virtual friends know what’s up.

  12. Hi Kenna,
    I wanted to wait to respond to this without getting emotional, but I am the sensitive kind and thus I fail! I would first like to tell you that you have been a blessing to me! Your advice has been taken not only towards my business but all aspects of my life! So you do more than you think! I find it a blessing as you shared this post, I am also going through the process of adapting and rolling with the punches, sometimes it can be scary but it’s scarier not to adapt! (Hope that makes sense!)
    One time in our life, our family also uprooted and moved to this tiny little island. It was very different but every experience, the bad and hard were just great blessings as well. You only live once, and so with this, I send blessings your way. Praying that all your experiences will be rich and every moment will bring memories that will last a lifetime! Hoping that one day, I can meet you and give you the tightest Cyndi hug, I can muster. Wish I could have done it at the 2014 HSCG Conference. Totally wishing you the best always! I am extremely happy for you and your family! I will be cheering you on and praying for you guys from Southern California! xoxoxo
    You are an inspiration!

  13. Good luck with your adventure. Wow! That takes courage. But as my mum always told me: “Live while you’re alive; you’re a long time deed!” She meant dead, but she’s Scottish, so she says “deed.” 😀

    All the best!

  14. Goodness. Kenna , you move at warp speed through life. I keep seeing those first new utube clips (in my minds eye ) and youve changed so much !! – you are truly a starseeker , and it looks like your arms are long enough !
    Man am I glad I signed up for this year !
    Laurie (st louis )

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