SunFeather Soap Co. founder Maine to teach business strategies for creative people in May, June
Monday, May 23, 2011 - 4:55 pm

SARANAC LAKE – SunFeather Natural Soap Company founder Sandy Maine of Parishville is teaching “My Small Business 102: Strategies and Inspiration for the Creatively Inclined” at the Adirondack Business Center in May and June.

The Adirondack Business Center, sponsored by Clarkson University’s Center for Entrepreneurship in Potsdam, has set course sessions for Wednesday evenings, May 25 through June 15, in Saranac Lake.

Designed for artists and craftspeople in all stages of their business, this four-part series will focus on using the artisan’s artistry to advance their businesses.

Maine has been called “Oprah’s Favorite Soap Maker” after SunFeather was selected in 2005 to provide hundreds of pounds of six custom-scented soaps for Oprah Winfrey’s 50th birthday party.

After reading a $3 book on soap-making, which she purchased in a Saranac Lake bookstore in 1979, Maine began her business in her backyard using a small generator and water she hauled in five-gallon pails from a nearby spring to get started making all-natural soaps. Specializing in artful colors, textures, and scent palettes, her products integrated artistic form as well as practical function.

Her business grew and employees joined in to help with the increasing workload until Maine eventually moved on to product development, sales, and marketing, where she again creatively implemented artistry in her work.

While preserving a socially responsible model of operation for her business, a hands-on approach, and utilizing healthful organic ingredients, Maine specializes in keeping artistry a very important component of her company’s work.

Maine has written numerous articles and books on soap making and microenterprise. She is also the founder and director of the non-profit organization Community Supported Business Start-Ups which has given nine microenterprise grants to local start-ups since its inception.

The four-part course will include “Your Life, Your Art, Your Business,” The Art of Management: Maintaining, Growing & Sustaining Your Business,” “The Creative Art of Marketing,” and “Selling What You Make.”

The fourth class of the series will include guest instructors Hilary Oak, executive director, St. Lawrence County Arts Council; Mary Hilton, owner, Maple Run Emporium; and Dorothy Yanchitis, owner, the Ray Brook Frog.

The class will run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on June 15. The first three classes will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. on May 25, June 1, and June 8.

To register, contact the Adirondack Business Center, 141 River Street, Saranac Lake, N.Y., at 518-354-8410 or [email protected].