Monday, December 29, 2008

CPSIA LAW (100th Post)

So when I started "Sew It's For You" it was based on a suggestion from my mom and my friend Ana that I should sell my gifts I was making. I wanted to have handmade gifts for my friends when we went to their houses, plus there was a baby boom among friends so I wanted to make personalized gifts for them. Originally I needed something to take my mind off of my husband being hospitalized and I couldn't concentrate on reading and I needed to keep my hands busy. I bought the Stitch-It-Kit from Sublime Stitching and taught myself to embroider. I got involved on Craftster, met some really cool friends (Pam) and started my etsy shop.

Let me start off by saying I would never knowingly give or sell items that I thought had lead in them. When I first heard of this law I didn't think it applied to me because I didn't sell toys. I read that the items included in the CPSIA were all items that kids under 12 could come in contact with. I watched as the fear grew on Etsy and made a phone call to Cheryl Falvey who is the lead counsel for the CPSC. I called her because I felt that there was a ton of misinformation on Etsy and on some blogs and at least I would know the facts from someone that knew the law. I was suprised she answered the phone. She was well aware of the plight of my fellow etsians, I explained that I embellish products that are bought from big box manufacturers and wholesalers and I can't afford to test each skein of floss from DMC and all of my other items. She stated to me that the original law did have a small business exemption in it and Congress shot it down. Cheryl said that the CPSC hoped that what would happen is that the small biz would get the exemption and that in a couple of years all the products from big box retailers would have to be certified or they couldn't be sold, which means we couldn't buy them and all would be right in the world. She said they were working on some rulings that were released last week and that untreated cotton, wood an other natural products should be excluded (if the vote passes). I did see that this was up for a vote on January 5th.

This law is making life for small business owners a mess. Let's say I had a onesie that wasn't white, the onesie would have to be tested as well as the snaps ( which means I wouldn't be able to use the onesie after testing) as well as each individual skein of floss I use. Expensive and Nightmare city. I think the craft community really needs to be vocal about how we will have to close our businesses and in turn not be able to shop at Joann's, Michaels, Hobby Lobby because we will not have a business to but materials for and not have a need to shop there, which in turn will help to make this fragile economy a lot worse..

I hope it doesn't mean I have to stop making kids items for sale. If the ruling does pass I will still make the items for gifts which is how my whole thing started. I will have to concentrate on making more adult items and I could make some great new things. I know this law could mean the possible closing of a lot of my friends businesses and that sucks. I hope the Cheryl can work her magic and all that she stated to me on the phone will become a reality.


Made By Moms said...

Hey there, fellow FESTer :)

I was wondering if you read (and understood) the ruling? I read it... but I'm not sure I'm understanding what it says. It sounds like it's only exempting all natural fibers that are untreated and undyed (fine for organic blankets, but not so good for DMC floss and minky)... Am I reading it incorrectly?

It still doesn't sound great for me. I know there's hysteria but sometimes I feel like it's justified... you know ? :-/

Take care!


sewitsforyou said...


No the way it is written currently organic and untreated cotton are the only things( there are other things ike woods and gemstones)that are being asked for an exemption. From what Cheryl told me the small biz exmption would make it fine for you and me to still make kids items.
I wasn't saying people do not have the right to be upset but often times when we let our emotions take over the facts get cloudy which is why I called Cheryl for the facts. I hope I didn't offend anyone and that this helps..

Made By Moms said...

Oh, I completely understand!!

What's really funny is that I was totally unconcerned until I started reading it... my worry began to grow as I learned more about it.

I have my finger's crossed about small businesses -- I'm still not sure why it shouldn't be the supplier (ie: DMC, the fabric company) who should batch test the fabric. One batch test on the fabric would save hundreds of tests later on down the line.

I don't think you offended anyone (well, I guess I should say you didn't offend me!), your post was informative and helpful! Thanks for posting it!

It gives me a little more breathing room :)

Take care and have a happy, fun and safe New Year :)


storybeader said...

I think a lot of us started out making gifts. But to close down small and handmade businesses, that's a real shame. And the "trickle up" effect on larger retailers is something I didn't even think of! Good point!

Andrea said...

It is truly a shame if these small and handmade businesses have to close down. And ironically, the small handmade businesses did better after the lead scare because they had earned the trust of their customers to provide safe toys and items for our kids. I'm crossing my fingers that common sense will prevail on this issue and changes will be made to protect the little guy!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the uproar over this in the homeschooling community is huge too. Children's books-- and books intended for use with children, as in school books-- are included in this ruling too. It's unfathomable what this means for families, really, and if they have a home business either in clothing, toys, or books, it may be many times worse.