Saturday, January 24, 2009
Here a bear ... there a bear...
With only a few more days before I run the profile of my friend, Eva, and her teddy bears, I thought I’d share a few of the bear-related items on my own site, http://www.splashin.etsy.com/, with you. I hope to still be able to bring you these cute items once the CPSIA goes into effect next month. I do, however, anticipate the possibility of suspending sales in that area while the powers-that-be sort out all of the details.
I’m not sure what direction I will go with the kids’ merchandise on 2/10/09. I mean I know my merchandise is safe. Number one, it is clothing made from fabric and made by legitimate companies like OshKosh, Carters, and Gerber. I buy these items from the retail market so they will already have had to be tested in order to be marketed by the original manufacturer. The paints I use are American-made and I have their manufacturer’s safety test results available for each color. I’ve done nothing but combine the two to create (“manufacture”) a new item. Under the new law, I now need to have this item tested once again. Since most of my work is one-of-a-kind, the cost of testing the individual item will make me price myself right out of the market place. My regular customers have assured me they still want my merchandise. Funny, I never thought of myself and my crowd considering dealing in the underground market. It’s hard to think of a cute little onsesie being contraband!
I believe, FIRMLY, that the law will be altered eventually. This is the Federal government we are talking about - nothing good happens quickly. The fact remains that the CPSIA (Consumer Protections Safety Improvement Act) has been enacted and will take effect on 2/10/09. It is LAW. The new President cannot, by law, change that fact. It is simply not within his power. There has been a big discussion about his putting a hold on new “regulations” while he sorts out the impact of such regulations. This does not change the law or its enforcement date. What it does do is change the effect of any currently proposed exceptions. It also extends the public comment period for such exceptions.
While all that is happening, we can still lobby our representatives and, specifically, Senator Waxman, Chairman of the committee, to bring the law up for revision. The concept of limiting lead and phthalates in our children’s merchandise is not a bad one. It just has not been executed well by the wording of the CPSIA. With our pressure, they can quickly postpone the date of enforcement for the new law and then they can pursue the arduous task of revamping it to protect the American crafters and small business that may well be destroyed with enforcement of this law as currently written. Want more details, simply google CPSIA and you’ll find more than you can digest in one or two sittings.
In the meantime, I am preparing by adding some grown-up items to my site just to keep it alive. This is not really a new line for me, I just didn’t offer my adult items on my website until now. I have been making and selling them for many years. I am holding off on designing and creating new merchandise for children at the moment. This breaks my heart as it is the work I love to do most.
So, ultimately, this is the time for you to act if you want my children’s items. Time may be limited. These are just a few samples. You can see many more at http://www.splashin.etsy.com/. Please, take a look.
I hope you’ll tune back in next week to read my article on Eva and her bears (and dolls and mice and much more!) Impatient? You can look at Eva’s creations on her site at http://www.ejcrafts.com/.
Till then, stay warm, stay creative and keep on loving life. Spring is coming! (I think.)