small but mighty...our voices were heard!!

Breaking News!

Here is an excerpt of the CPSC's newest press release...

CPSC Grants One Year Stay of Testing and Certification Requirements for Certain Products

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.

Here is the link to the Etsy article: http://www.etsy.com/storque/craftivism/breaking-news-the-cpsia-mandatory-testing-certification-has--3347/

Here is the link to the CPSC press release: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09115.html

U.S. Senator Jim DeMint introducing new legislature


Posted by Senator Jim DeMint
01/30/2009 - 04:23:34 PM

"As you may be aware, beginning next month many of America’s small and home businesses will be forced to radically alter their practices and products as prescribed by the burdensome Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). This bill mandates stringent and over-reaching federal standards, under the guise of safety requirements that will unfortunately threaten the well-being and further livelihood of thousands of America’s workers and their families. It was my position when the bill was being debated on the Senate floor, as it remains today, that this bill could have -- and should have -- better balanced the need for safety with a common-sense business approach. "

re: library CPSIA enforcement

Your communications have been heard!

ALA's Washington Office has been informed verbally that a notice will be posted on the CPSC Web site Feb. 2 indicating enforcement of the law with regard to books in libraries will be postponed. No further action is needed at this time; we will check back in on Monday to see what the notice says and will advise further at that time."

CPSC posts Stay of Enforcement

CPSC posted Stay of Enforcement of Testing & Certification Requirements: http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia09/brief/stayenforce.pdf

CPSIA regulations help the big guys - Mattel & Hasbro

By Timothy P. Carney DC Examiner Columnist: "Washington toy story shows why regulation helps the big guys"

an excerpt:

"Mattel—whose leaded toys kicked off this whole scare—beefed up its lobbying effort when the legislation appeared. The company’s lobbying budget, which had been steady at $120,000 per year from 2002 through 2006 ballooned to $540,000 in 2007 and $650,000 in 2008—a 442% increase from two years earlier.

In late August 2007, Mattel, the largest toymaker in the world, hired a new lobbying firm, Johnson, Madigan, Peck, Boland & Stewart, to lobby on the bill. One of their lobbyists on this issue was Sheila Murphy, recently the legislative director for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democratic member of the Commerce Committee’s Consumer Affairs subcommittee. Klobuchar became a cosponsor of the bill in late September 2007."

artists of ETSYBABY exposed

Check out VickiDianeDesigns' CPSIA awareness treasury here, featuring the faces behind a sampling of Etsy shops and families the new law will affect.



blog post written by: Winklepots and chichiboulie

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

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react. What can you do?

Contact the CPSC at the link listed above.
Contact your local representatives:

Contact Chairman Henry Waxman:
Henry A. Waxman
California-30th, Democrat
2204 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515-0530
Phone: (202) 225-3976


1. The Handmade Toy Alliance The most comprehensive source for information and action is the website of the Handmade Toy Alliance.
- Sign up for their newsletter
- Join their Google Group
2. Reform CPSIA An Organization of Retailers & Consumers Focused on Reforming the CPSIA
2. Fashion Incubator Kathleen Fasanella has been doing a wonderful job of explaining the CPSIA in straightforward and clear ways. Highly recommended.
3. CPSIA Central
4. Buy Handmade The handmade consortium is keeping this blog up to date with CPSIA news and press.
5. National Bankruptcy Day
6. Smart Mama Blog

Change can only be made when we make it happen.


Etsy CPSIA Action Kit

Here is a link to the Etsy Storque article on the upcoming virtual community chat and the CPSIA Action Kit: http://www.etsy.com/storque/craftivism/cpsia-action-kit-and-community-chat-3321/

Or you can access the CPSIA Action kit directly here: http://www.etsy.com/storque/media/bunker/2009/01/CPSIA-Etsy-Resources.pdf


custom "little bibs" order

I was contacted by a sweet customer on Etsy to sew up some little bibs for her little one. After we got the measurements just right (approximately 10" long x 6.5" wide), she chose the fabrics for the double-sided bibs. Her choices turned out so cute!


call Chairman Henry Waxman TODAY

I just got this email from Amy Shearer/Journal Modiste:

This is super important. You need to call Chairman Henry Waxman TODAY and demand that he call a meeting of the House Energy and Commerce committee. He's the only hope to delay the implementation of the Feb deadline. Of course he claims that its out of his hands but it's not. Here's a great blog post about what he can do:

http://heartkeepercommonroom.blogspot.com/2009/01/why-you-need-to-contact-waxman-rather.html <------- READ THIS! (no pressure)

Henry A. Waxman
California-30th, Democrat
2204 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515-0530
Phone: (202) 225-3976

new Valentine's Day bibs

You can view all of our Valentine's Day bibs here. ♥


the human cost

blynkenandnod has added a great post to Endangered Whimsy about the human cost of the CPSIA law, "in response to those who might write us off as putting profits over people, a note on finding balance." You can read the entire post here.

the cost of compliance

Jessica at BuggaLove has posted a blog titled "The Cost of Compliance with CPSIA." She contacted 3 different companies who offer XRF gun rentals and posted her findings here. If you don't wish to rent one, you can always purchase one for approximately $40,000.

Basically for me, unaffordable. And the real kicker is that this is the only "reasonable testing" procedure that has been mentioned by the CPSC, they haven't outlined what else might constitute as a "reasonable testing" procedure. And the deadline is fast approaching...February 10th, 2009. From what I have read, pregnant women are supposed to take extra precautions when using the XRF gun (X-ray fluorescence). When I had to have my knee X-rayed during my first pregnancy, they doubled up the lead aprons over my tummy. So are pregnant women supposed to wear lead aprons while using the XRF gun to test their products for lead? Luckily I found this NO-LEAD maternity apron online last night for the pregnant WAHMs for only $431.43.

The 2nd kicker is that "reasonable testing" will only get you through until August 2009. That is when the CPSIA mandates that our items have to be certified by an accredited 3rd party lab (choose from a list set out by the CPSC). A lot of these labs are located overseas. The testing process destroys the product. So much for one-of-a-kind.

So even for the home-based businesses or small businesses that might be able to afford renting an XRF gun for "reasonable testing" until August, they most likely won't be able to afford to send their items off to a 3rd party lab, which is tremendously more expensive than even renting the XRF gun. See CPSIA specials here for examples. A lot of these 3rd party labs are full and not taking on new clients, or they won't accept small businesses as they are not cost-effective for their labs. So even IF we could afford to comply, we may be turned away from the labs...or be put on a never-ending waiting list.

Another problem that I'm grappling with is how I would go about testing my products even if I could afford to rent an XRF gun. I don't have 500-1000 bibs in inventory sitting around in my sewing room, ready to test. You have to test the finished product, 1 from each batch. I make my bibs made-to-order. As a customer places an order, I sew up that bib and ship it out. Some days I may make 30 bibs, all in different prints, the next day I may make 2.

If I run out of a bolt of chenille, I would have to newly test a finished bib made with the next bolt of chenille, even if I had already tested that same style (or fabric pattern) previously. If I run out of snaps, I would have to newly test a finished bib made with the new order of snaps. The same goes for my lining...and I'm guessing even a new spool of thread?

For instance, if I have 2 bibs, created with the same exact fabrics, same chenille, same lining, same spool of thread, but I have pink snaps on one bib and white snaps on the other, those bibs have to be tested separately as finished items because they now have different components (different colored snaps). Or for clothing makers, if they use the same fabrics and components to make a shirt in 2T and 1 in 4T, they have to get the sizes tested separately.

I would not be able to take custom orders anymore. Which is really sad for me, as that is how I "meet" a lot of my customers. They browse my flickr site and request custom bibs made from fabrics I may not have listed on my Etsy site or website.

Another thing that makes me incredibly sad is that when the new fabric lines come out from Michael Miller, Robert Kaufman, Amy Butler, etc., I won't be able to afford to purchase a new fabric I might want to use to make a new bib style, as it would mean testing that new bib (renting the XRF gun again or sending the bib out for testing). When I buy a new fabric, I don't purchase by the bolt (15 yards), I purchase by the half yard or maybe a couple of yards to keep on-hand to keep my overhead costs low. If that bib is a popular seller, I reorder when my fabric supply gets low or sells out.

4 years of hardwork, late nights sewing...POOF and it's all gone.

CPSIA, continued

Walter Olson on the latest developments: http://overlawyered.com/2009/01/cpsia-continued/ You can view his original article here: "Scrap The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act" Self-congratulation makes for bad law.

6 month old raises awareness for CPSIA: http://www.rescuemarketing.com/blog/2009/01/13/strategic-cpsia-awareness/


"Important Update. We are being heard, but this is not over!"

the latest post from Etsy admin in the CPSIA section of the Etsy forums:

matt says:

I just received a copy of a letter sent from Congressmen Joe Barton and George Radonovich to The Honorable Henry A. Waxman, Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.They have received 1000s of letters and emails, and are citing the cause of the independent producer. They are calling for a hearing to advocate a delay in implementation of the law, a "fine tuning" of the policies.

Click here to download the pdf:

That said, nothing has changed yet! More than ever you need to keep those Emails and Calls coming to Henry Waxman and the Committee on Energy and Commerce coming!


Henry A. Waxman

California-30th, Democrat
2204 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515-0530
Phone: (202) 225-3976


Before emailing: Read this great blog post by Kathleen at Fashion-Incubator



even more CPSIA specials...

Check them all out on Etsy here.

So far, the "winner" is an I-Spy Bag from aebaby at $17,240.00 for the 40 different components. These adorable bags are life-savers on long car trips...but after Feb. 10th they will cost more than the purchase price on many cars.

American Library Association

The CPSIA not only has crafters, WAHMs and small businesses in an uproar across the nation, but librarians too. It brings to mind a t-shirt owned by my favorite librarian (our neighbor) that reads "don't make me use my librarian voice."

from ALA.org:


The ALA Washington Office has submitted a letter to Congress informing them that,

“The publishing community has supplied the Commission with evidentiary support (can be viewed at www.rrd.com/cpsia) that books and other non-book, paper-based printed materials should not be subject to the lead, phthalate, and applicable ASTM standards that are referenced in CPSIA because they do not present any of the health or safety risks to children that the law intended to address. But the General Counsel rejected the Publisher’s request to be excluded.

If the CPSIA is applied to books and paper-based materials, as indicated by the Commission’s General Counsel, public, school and museum libraries will have to either remove all their books or ban all children under 12 from visiting. This cannot be what the Congress intended…. They should enforce this important legislation where the dangers are, not with books, which are not playthings, and should remain unregulated.”

CPSIA special from ZozoBugBaby

CPSIA Special - The Twirl Skirt Set by ZozoBugBaby - $2100. And she's not even charging for labor or cost of materials for this beautiful set...just her cost to test the 5 different components! Check out the listing here for more info.


Waxman and Rush concerned about implementation

...Chairmen Henry A. Waxman and Bobby L. Rush, two who sponsored the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and handed it to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to enforce, have written a letter to said CPSC calling for changes to the CPSIA. What?

"House and Senate Leaders Urge Action on Consumer Produce Safety Concerns -
Chairmen Henry A. Waxman and Bobby L. Rush, together with Senator John D. Rockefeller, incoming chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and Senator Mark L. Pryor, sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission expressing concerns about implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. The letter highlighted four issues of particular concern and urged the Commission to take swift action to address critical issues of implementation." http://energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1474&Itemid=1

You can read the letter here.

On a better note, in my opinion probably the best article written to date on the CPSIA from Walter Olson, Forbes.com - "Scrap The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act" Self-congratulation makes for bad law.

Los Angeles Times Business article

Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times - "Children's clothing makers in a frenzy over lead testing"

Featured in the article is Jennifer Taggart, founder of The Smart Mama, and author of The Smart Mama's Green Guide: Simple Steps to Reduce Your Child's Toxic Chemical Exposures, to be published by the Center Street of the Hachette Book Group, June 2009.



from the office of my Iowa Senator...

"Dear Jen:

Thank you for contacting me. I am always glad to hear from you.

I appreciate hearing your comments regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). I was a proud co-sponsor of this legislation. This past year, Iowa's families were frightened by story after story of dangerous products that had to be recalled. There were 472 product recalls last year alone. From pet food to kitchen appliances, consumers were often left wondering whether the products they were using everyday were safe. One of the most upsetting occurrences was the news of toxic toys that contained hazardous lead paint. More than 20 million toys were recalled last year due to lead paint.

As you know, in order to better protect consumers, Congress passed the CPSIA to provide new safety and accountability standards for manufactured goods. It also authorized a much needed infusion of resources to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the federal agency responsible for protecting American consumers. Recent recalls have made it painfully clear that the CPSC is grossly underfunded and understaffed. The bill we passed will ensure the CPSC can beef up its staff and provide the oversight Americans expect.

One important safety provision included in the bill is the requirement of third-party testing and certification for children's products. I believe this is a crucial provision. It is vital that Americans know the products they are purchasing, especially for their children, are safe. I also recognize that this testing process may create a burden for small manufacturers. For that reason, I am pleased the law provides an exemption for crafters who only make one copy of each item. Furthermore, I understand the Commission is examining an additional exemption for products made from untreated wood or natural fibers. I am also hopeful that as more testing companies are founded, the costs of meeting the law's requirements will come down.

I do not, however, favor a blanket exemption for all small businesses. Many recalls in the past have come from small manufacturers, and it is imperative that parents know that a product does not contain lead, no matter who manufactured it. While I am extremely sympathetic that this requirement may be a significant burden for many small businesses, I believe our children's health and safety must come first and testing is a necessary safeguard.

Again, thanks for sharing your views with me. Please don't hesitate to let me know how you feel on any issue that concerns you.

Tom Harkin
United States Senator"

"More than 20 million toys were recalled last year due to lead paint." - yes, one of my daughter's Dora dolls was recalled last year...manufactured in China.

"I also recognize that this testing process may create a burden for small manufacturers." - as I stressed in my contact letter to him, I will have to shut down shop. That's not a burden, that's going out of business. Small businesses/manufacturers are classified as 500 or fewer employees. My small business has just one employee - me.

"Furthermore, I understand the Commission is examining an additional exemption for products made from untreated wood or natural fibers." - untreated wood/natural fibers = white/unbleached/beige/tan clothing, baby items, etc...

Ironically, one of Tom Harkin's committee assignments is the "Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship."


Vintage Kitchen treasury

Thank you to Genevive for adding our Retro Kids Cooking Bib to her treasury!