Friday, January 30, 2009

A Stay for Handmade?

This draft looks to be the first step in the right direction for handmade artisans every where.

1/30/2009 UPDATE!
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously (2-0) to issue a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products, including products intended for children 12 years old and younger. These requirements are part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which added certification and testing requirements for all products subject to CPSC standards or bans.

Significant to makers of children’s products, the vote by the Commission provides limited relief from the testing and certification requirements which go into effect on February 10, 2009 for new total lead content limits (600 ppm), phthalates limits for certain products (1000 ppm), and mandatory toy standards, among other things. Manufacturers and importers – large and small – of children’s products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements.
The decision by the Commission gives the staff more time to finalize four proposed rules which could relieve certain materials and products from lead testing and to issue more guidance on when testing is required and how it is to be conducted.

The stay will remain in effect until February 10, 2010, at which time a Commission vote will be taken to terminate the stay.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

CPSIA Blogin

"As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.
The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too. How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all. Article from the American Library Association http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1322

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123189645948879745.html

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/16/cpsia-safety-toys-oped-cx_wo_0116olson.html

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react."

Etsy recently put together a CPSIA Action Kit, which is packed full of information, and ways you can help. Please see this article:

CPSIA Action Kit and Community Chat

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Change.org - The Votes Are In!

Change.org reported the final results of the second round of voting for the Top Ten ideas for change.

Save Small Business From the CPSIA
Initiated by - Cecilia Leibovitz, Founder, CraftsburyKids.com

This idea came in 6th place in the 2nd round of voting and received 12,280 votes during that period.

CPSIA-The Real Cost to US!

So many small business owners are worried about the new law (CPSIA) that is coming in effect on February 10th 2009, written by the CPSC.

Well, they should be.

The CPSC has no idea of the real costs to the average small business owner who sells children's goods.
We are required by law to test every component in every product we sell. For instance, I sell bibs in my store. There are 6 components to each of my bibs; 2 layers of fabric, 1 layer of batting, thread, a snap closure, and a tag I will be required to place on my bib for identification and tracking.

Lead testing: 6 components @ $70 each equals $420.00
Phthalates (A softener for plastics) 6 components @ $350 each equals $2100.00
Total Testing $2520.00

A bib selling for $10.00 will now sell for $2530.00

Welcome to the NEW world of children's items 2009!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Amy Rose Designs Bib

My newest bib in Amy Butler, Rose Wildflower, from her Daisy Chain line.

Friday, January 9, 2009

EtsyBABY Save Handmade Campaign



SAVE HANDMADE!

I am participating, with many of my EtsyBABY Team Members, in a promotion to send a message to the CPSC regarding handmade and the need to re-think and re-establish the law that will go into effect on February 10th of 2009.

Please, take a moment (Okay, a lot of moments) to browse my store and my teammates shops. I know you'll love what you see. Maybe you'll find something you just can't do without.

OFFER:
If you purchase $30 or more in my store from Jan 9th through Feb 9th, you will receive "FREE" shipping.

REDEMPTION:
Put the words "SAVE HANDMADE" in the 'BUYERS NOTES" when you check out I will refund your shipping costs through Paypal after the completion of the sale.

SALE NOTE:
♥ $30 amount does not include the stated shipping costs
♥ FREE shipping, United States Only


http://amyrosedesigns.etsy.com


Graphic Credit:
http://goldtonedesigns.etsy.com

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Amy Rose Designs Lovey Blanket



Security is everything to a child and dragging around a blanket that is twice the child’s size is next to impossible for some, not to mention a catch-all for everything on the ground.

A lovey (security blanket) is just the answer to the problem!

The link allows the lovey to be attached to a car seat, carrier or stroller so the lovey will never hit the ground or get lost again.

I've made this lovey in Amy Butler-Daisy Chain.

I have other things in the works with this fabric also.
Stay tuned, I think you will like what you see.

A Brighter Future?

CPSC/CPSIA Update

I am glad to say that I think the future of handmade may be seeing a brighter future.

Today there have been several posts filtered through the threads of Etsy and local newspapers stating the CPSC is re-thinking their stance on the new law regarding lead and phthalates (chemicals used to make plastics more pliable).

Although we are far from being out of the woods, so to speak, we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Outloook for 2009

Save Handmade Today!

I am sure by now you have heard of the impending law that is to take effect in February of 2009; The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) which was signed into law, in August of 2008, by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).

If you haven't heard, in a nut shell, this law requires all who sell items to the general public aimed at children from the age of 12 and under, are required to test each and every component in the item for sale.

This law, as it stands, will cripple the small business community at large. We do not disagree that the law is meant to protect children from poisonous toys. However, it cuts the small business community and all its artisans off at the knees. The law requires each product and all its components, to be tested for lead by an independent source. The estimated cost to the business owner is around $500 to $3000 per item. The average small business owner does not have the funds to do this. If a business owner could afford to test each and every component the costs of this would be passed onto the consumer. In this present economy this law doesn't make any sense. The likely hood of the small business owner would end up having to close their doors due to the cost of testing.

A bigger shame of this law is that many of the non-profit foundations, that serve children, would lose donations, which they rely on. Yes, even donations fall under this new law. It is the overindulged people in power in Washington that will "throw the baby away with the bath water ", so to speak, with this law.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Team Member of the Month

Happy New Years Day!

I woke up this morning to find out that I have been chosen to be the Team Member of the Month on EtsyBABY!

I am quite excited and honored to be picked.

Thank You EtsyBABY!


http://shopetsybaby.com/

Happy New Year


New Years Resolution #1
Learn how to blog with the best of them.

I'm not sure how I will fair, but I am determined to try.
Now, what to talk about? That really is the bigger picture!

For right now I think I'll just write about myself.

I am a transplant from beautiful, sunny and sometimes very hot California, to Washington State.

The trip took my husband and I three days with two cats, who wanted nothing to do with their cat carrier or the hotels we where sleeping in. It was hard to hear them cry non-stop during the trip. I felt so bad for them and myself for doing it to them. But, we managed and finally arrived.

Why the move? My husbands job took us there. It was a promotion inside his company and they needed a computer nerd to help one of their parent companies with the IT department. He fit the bill and we moved.

The first six months were hard to deal with. We live in perpetual sun in California and needless to say, yes Washington can get a lot of rain and dark, short days. Thank GOD for vitamin D! I take it everyday and I have never felt the "blues" again from the weather. I handle it much better now. I actually enjoy it more than all the sunny days in California.

We talk a lot about going back to California but, I think we have come to think of Washington as home now. We have created a life here and it seems to suit us. We both miss our families, but we know we can do a plane ride home any time.

As for my first New Years Resolution, I can officially say... Done!