Monday, December 15, 2008

Lazy Mama Designs going out of business?

Okay, so if you're at all crafty you have probably heard about this, but it could stand to be repeated here because it WILL impact my business.

The government has recently passed a rather poorly-thought-out law,
the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, which goes into effect February 10 2009. On the surface, it sounds good, requiring additional testing of children's toys and equipment to reduce exposure to lead and other harmful substances. Great! I'm all in favor of not poisoning our children.

The problem is, this applies to EVERY toy and children's item, not just those manufactured by large companies or places with histories of problems in the past. And the testing has to be done by an official third-party testing facility, which can charge hundreds of dollars for one test.

So, for example, the tummy time quilts I make to sell on etsy for $18-50 would have to be sent away for testing to make sure the materials and design are safe for kids. Every quilt is made of a unique blend of fabrics and a unique design, so testing one quilt won't apply to all of them. And pretty much every etsy artist who makes things for kids faces the same problem, unless they are large enough that they are mass-producing items (which includes maybe half a dozen etsy folks ... the rest of us make very limited runs of whatever we make). We're stay-at-home moms, crafty parents, owners of small businesses, people who just like to make little stuffed animals. And we're pissed.

Come February, we're going to have to make a choice - quit selling children's items, or be non-compliant and risk major fines and legal entanglements. Personally, I plan to quit selling kids stuff - the most profitable and popular part of my product line - rather than risk getting caught. And I know a lot of etsy folks feel the same way. So next Christmas, good luck finding handmade children's items that don't cost an arm and a leg ...

Unless we can modify the law. If you'd like to learn more about the topic and find a list of ways you can support artists who would be put out of business by CPSIA, pop on over to the round-up on Cool Mom Picks. Write your congressman and senator, contact the folks at the CPSC, sign the online petition, add the button to your blog.

Please take the time to look into the issue and add your voice of support, if you can. Thanks!

1 comment:

Sonia said...

I sent an email to everyone on my contact list this morning with a link to the parenthacks article on this subject. I really hope that they make some changes before this goes into effect. I know that I will greatly miss the handmade kids toys . . . that I buy, and with a new baby on the way, I will miss it even more. They're taking away the one safe avenue that we have for buying toys for our kids. Even after February all of the big toy companies will still be able to keep the possibly unsafe toys on the shelves until they eventually sell out. There are definitely some glitches in this that need to be changed before February!