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Lori & Teachers

Lori Nova Endres

Lori Nova Endres began making natural bath & body products in her kitchen in 2000 as a way to make family & friends homemade, practical gifts. Shortly thereafter, she began sharing her passion by teaching classes. Lori has taught classes for The Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild (HSCG), The Learning Annex of SF, Juniper Tree, The Native American Cultural Center, Foothill De Anza Community College & The Berkeley Ecology Center. Lori opened The Nova Studio in September of 2003. She offers Private Consultations on how to make soap, candles and over 30 different bath & body products (see the Calendar Page for upcoming classes & descriptions). She currently teaches the Making Natural Perfumes Class, Mineral Makeup Class, and the 4-Day Original Bath & Body Boot Camp. Click here to read comments from LORI's students. Visit the About Page for more information on Lori and how The Nova Studio began.

Alice Duvernell is an artist & gilder who moved to the Bay Area after living in the south of France for 8 years. There she started researching problematic & sensitive skin types & developed an interest in the amazing virtues of essential oils & hydrosols. Her interest in culture & her studies in anthropology led her to travel in South America where she expanded her passion & awareness in native medicinal plants. During her last journey to Brazil, she set up a laboratory where she shared with the locals her homemade techniques for making hydrosols & other cosmetics, using only native plants. Alice teaches Botanical Extracts, Handmade Hydrosols, Healing Balms & Salves, Lotions & Creams (101), Nourishing Facial Creams (201), Luxury Facial Serums, Body Butters, Formulating for Skin Conditions, Live Distillation, 4-Day Herbal & Facial Product Making Boot Camp, and participates in the 4-Day Original Bath and Body Boot Camp at The Nova Studio. Click here to read comments from ALICE's students.


Ruth Esteves

Ruth Esteves, Co-Owner of The Nova Studio, started making handmade soap in 2006 as another in a long line of hobbies. Since then, she has gone from whipping up quick melt-and-pour soap gifts for her friends to designing and selling her own cold process soaps online through Sirona Springs. Trained as a laboratory research scientist, Ruth finds that soapmaking is the perfect blending of chemistry and art. She is also a certified soapmaker and a member of the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild. Ruth currently teaches Advanced CP Soap Design (using Log Molds) Class as part of our 2-Day Soapmaking Boot Camp and Milk Soaps: 3 Types & Soaping with Alternative Liquids, which are part of the 2-Day Soap Making Boot Camp (PART II) Ruth's newest class is Cold Process Soap Cupcakes at The Nova Studio. Click here to read comments from RUTH's students.

David Critchfield, veteran Soapmaker and owner of Mission Peak Soap Products, began soapmaking in 1995 when his wife presented him with a beginning soapmaking book. From the early days of ugly soap and vanishing fragrances, David now makes a steady stream of fine, aromatic, handcrafted soap for fund raisers, local health food stores and specialty retailers. David teaches a his Big Batch / Production Soap Making Class as part of our popular 2-Day Soap Making Boot Camp & at The Nova Studio. David's students describe him as "a hoot." Click here to read more comments from DAVID's students.
david critchfield

Jen Grimes
Jen Grimes started her descent down the make-your-own cosmetic rabbit hole after stumbling over books with vintage cosmetic recipes in her local library. After picking up and putting down books on how to make soap (all those bizarre ingredients and safety measures!), she took the plunge, promptly became addicted, and was certified as a soapmaker through the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild (HSCG). Today, Jen is a proud member of and volunteer for HSMG & owns and operates Loft Soap. She has a passion for hot-processed soap, loves funny-looking soap and can often be found communing with other soapmakers at The Nova Studio. Jen teaches Cold Process Soap 201: "Make & Take", Semi-Private CP Soapmaking Session, Liquid Soap Making Class, & Make Your Own Melt & Pour Soap Base (aka Transparent Soap) Class as part of our 2-Day Soap Making Boot Camp (PART II), Cold Process Soap Making 101 & Hot Process Soap Making in the 2-Day Soap Making Boot Camp at The Nova Studio. Click here to read more comments from JEN's students.

Melanie Monteverde has been coming to The Nova Studio since 2006 and has taken (and been a teacher's assistant) for nearly every class taught by Lori! She is an avid crafter who enjoys knitting, beading, pouring natural candles, and making bath and body products. Her kitchen gets more use from making bath and body products than it does from cooking! She has taught students of all ages, ranging from preschoolers to adults in a corporate setting. Melanie currently teaches Natural Lip Balm & Glossy Lip Tints, Tub Treats: Salts, Scrubs, Teas & Milks, Eco-Friendly Candle Making (with Soywax & Beeswax), Melt & Pour Soap Crafting 101, Fizzies, Tablets & Cupcakes, The Hands-On Candle Making Lab, and participates in the 4-Day Original Bath and Body Boot Camp at The Nova Studio. Click here to read comments from MELANIE's students.

melanie teacher

Teacher Joan McCoy Joan McCoy is a crafter who began making bath and body products in 2004. It all started when she pruned the lavender bush in her backyard & noted all the beautiful stems that went into her compost bin. After the next harvest, she dried the lavender and made sachets for everyone she knew. Soap and other bath products soon followed and there’s been no turning back since! Joan currently sells her products at craft shows during the holiday season and at an artist’s cooperative boutique in San Jose. Joan is a frequent student at The Nova Studio and also a proud member of the Handcrafted Soapmaker's Guild. Joan currently teaches a Packaging Your Bath & Body Products Class in the 4-Day Original Bath and Body Boot Camp class at The Nova Studio. Click here to read comments from JOAN's students.

Trina Espinoza is a beauty blogger, a science enthusiast and lover of all things involving digital media! She is the owner of Ms.Beautyphile, a quirky website and video series dedicated to helping consumers demystify the science behind their beauty and personal care products. She is a member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) and before beginning a hot and passionate romance with the cosmetic sciences, she spent 13 years in the film industry, working on testosterone injected projects like Hulk, Sin City, and Avatar. Fun Fact: She even did a brief stint as Natalie Portman’s body double in Star Wars Ep II. Trina teaches a Make Great Videos with your Smartphone Class at The Nova Studio.

Trina Espinoza


Marie Gale is the author of "Soap and Cosmetic Labeling: How to Follow the Rules and Regs Explained in Plain English" and past President of the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild (2004-2009). With her years of experience she has a real understanding of the handcrafted soap industry, and those within it who are striving to create, improve and expand their handcrafted businesses and product lines. She lives on her family ranch in Southwestern Oregon with the man in her life and has the great fortune to be able to stay connected to and interact with the world via wireless high-speed internet and phone. Marie teaches a Soap & Cosmetic Labeling Workshop and Good Manufacturing Practices Class at The Nova Studio. Click here to read comments from MARIE's students.

Erin Pikor is the owner of Naiad Soap Arts and a proud member of the handcrafted Soap Makers Guild. With a background in fine art and photography, she began making soap in 2006 with an attention to formulating soaps and bath products that suited her problematic and sensitive skin but also appealed to her sense of composition and color. She is best known for her award winning soap design, her dessert line of soaps including the French Macaron soap and her body sugar cubes, a no mess single use, cube shaped sugar scrub. Her soaps can be found online and in boutiques around the country. Erin teaches Simply Sweet Sugar Scrubs: 5 Types at The Nova Studio. Click here to read comments from ERIN's students.

teacher erin pikor

Debbie Chialtas

Debbie Chialtas is a self taught melt & pour soap artist who has been feverishly making soaps since 2005. Her business, SoapyLove, is famous for its unique Soapy Pops which have appeared in Glamour, People, Cosmogirl, and other magazines around the world. Debbie was a guest on the DIY Network's Craft Lab and is the author of the book “Soapylove: Squeaky Clean Projects Using Melt and Pour Soap.” She is also a mother of 2 and lives with her husband in San Diego. We are thrilled to have her as a "Guest Instructor" flying up from San Diego when her schedule allows. We proudly sell Debbie's Melt & Pour soap tutorials from the classes she taught exclusively at The Nova Studio (we call them eClass Handouts). Click here to read comments from DEBBIE's students.

Lela Barker is the creator + CEO of Bella Lucce (an award-winning, international beauty company), the executive director of a Moroccan-based nonprofit and president of Lucky Break, a small business consulting firm serving the creative community. She has been honored to speak at business conferences and industry events from Palm Springs, California to Bamako, Mali. She’s taught on cruise ships, in African mud huts and in swanky hotel ballrooms. Lela has worked with USAID and sits on the executive board of Bead For Life, a nonprofit working to empower women and combat extreme poverty in Uganda. Her products and personal story have been featured in more than fifty publications worldwide. Lela believes in girl power, second chances, fab shoes and dark chocolate. She lives in in Columbia, SC with her two teen daughters and her high school sweetheart (it’s a great story!). Lela teaches a 4-Day Business Boot Camp at The Nova Studio.. Lela Barker

donna maria coles johnson

Donna Maria Coles Johnson is the founder and CEO of INDIE Business Media, a company offering personal development, leadership, and coaching for small and independent business owners. She is the leader of the INDIE Beauty Network (IBN), a nationwide trade organization, as well as an attorney, author, and award-winning small business advocate. (Note: The Nova Studio is a proud member of the IBN). Donna Maria has taught a Business Boot Camp at The Nova Studio. Although this boot camp is no longer on our calendar as an in-person class, we are proud to be offering it as an instantly downloadable eClass (we call it the AUDIO Business Boot Camp). Click here to read comments from DONNA MARIA's students.

Your face could be here!

If you have teaching experience and a unique/creative class idea in the soap, candle, bath or body area, please with a class proposal, your resume and references.
horse teacher

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