Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Conversation with the CPSC

Happy New Year! For me, I wish I could say that it was going to be a great year. But right now, I’m not sure that it will be. On New Year’s Eve I spoke with the CPSC at length. While I have been trying to maintain that all I have been reading about the CPSIA cannot possibly be true, it is. The few products that I will be able to continue making after February 10, 2009 will likely not be able to sustain my business. So at this point, with no amendments having been made to this new law, my small home based business selling quality hand made items is in jeopardy.

I’m still fighting the good fight. I plan to meet with my Congressman in the upcoming weeks, I did a short interview for the Keystone News Connection just before Christmas which will hopefully be picked up by various PA radio stations, and I’ve been doing as much research on the law as possible.

From my conversation with the CPSC, I have confirmed the following:
  • Artisans/Crafters ARE considered manufacturers and ARE subject to having their items tested
  • There is currently NO exceptions for any materials, though a vote is being taken on natural materials in early January (wood, cotton, etc.)
  • My garments (tote bags, etc.) must be tested, even if the garment itself has been tested previously, once I embellish it in any way it must be tested again.
  • There is physically no way to comply with testing requirements for made-to-order and one-of-a-kind items at this time.
  • My mobiles might not only be considered children's products, they might be considered TOYS even though they have absolutely no play value and are not meant to be touched by children, only looked at.

    Unfortunately, with the February 10, 2009 deadline looming, I must take measures that will minimize my losses. I cannot stress enough that my products are safe. Among other things, the new law requiring third-party testing is over reaching and does not take into account custom made and made-to-order items. I am so glad that our government wants to help protect our children. But the unintended consequences of this law will be devastating to small business, the US economy, and my ability to make choices as a parent for what I buy for my children.

    I hope to have better news about the future of BuggaLove in the upcoming month. The CSPC will be contacting me later in the week to answer questions that arose during our conversation.

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