Thursday, December 11, 2008

Possibly Closing Karabu's Etsy Shop in the New Year

Due to the new regulations in the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act, there is the very high likelihood that I will be closing down my Etsy shop early next year.

I have two small children of my own, and was just as outraged as the rest of the country at the ridiculous number of toy recalls we've seen over the past year. I've had to throw away recalled Diego toys in the night to avoid tears. I'm very pro-safe toys.

The problem is that in terms of this new law, it seems that using lead free supplies isn't good enough. All toys must be tested after they are made. Testing costs $75 per component (I wrote to a certified lab to ask). One of my I-spy security blankets has 27 components (26 different fabrics plus thread). Total = $2,025.00 for testing. Plus the tested item is destroyed. That's fine when you have a run of thousands. I make runs of one.

Many small, and ever mid-sized children's product companies are going to be in trouble early next year. There are a lot of folks trying to get the details changed so that smaller manufactures have a hope of being able to comply, but the law is already passes, and this process is slow. I saw one person comment that maybe the handcrafters of the country should ask for a bailout to afford testing costs. I got the giggles from that.

I've read the 63 page law and it is very difficult to understand. My local Small Business Development Center couldn't answer my questions via e-mail but recommended my coming in for individual counseling with their fabric product specialist. I'm going to try to work that meeting into my schedule somehow just so I can at least fee more informed.

There is a lot of folks trying to get the word out and get people to write to their representatives about altering this law. If you want more information see this article on Etsy:
http://www.etsy.com/storque/craftivism/handmade-childrens-items-unintended-consequences-consumer-pr-3056/

Thanks all.

3 comments:

Tiff said...

As I have read some legal explanations , it seems to me that everything is worded that tests are required on IMPORTED goods. Is there some misunderstanding among craftspersons or am I misreading it?

maggi said...

I cannot believe that this should happen to craftspeople. Hopefully 'Tiff's' comments are correct and it only applies to imported goods. Means you probably would not be able to sell overseas but better than nothing at all. Hope it gets resolved.

karabu said...

Tiff - what I've read of the actual law, it says ALL childrens products - no exceptions. But as I said, it very hard to understand too - if you could point me to the explanations you found, I'd love to read more. Thanks!