Saturday, January 31, 2009

No rest for the weary - CPSIA rears it's ugly head again

It seems to me that there's a bit of a conspiracy going on. Why does the CPSC keep sending out press releases that say NOTHING? They have now sent out two releases which at first glance make you feel like all is right in the world. And then you keep reading. I think they must be banking on the fact that the majority of us are too darned busy to read and ENTIRE press release and will stop at the part that makes us feel better.

CPSC Press Release

For those of you following this issue (and no offense here, but if you are new to this issue you must have been on vacation for the past month, otherwise there's no excuse) you need to know that NOTHING HAS CHANGED. The law has not changed. Retail and resale stores across the country are still prohibited from selling anything that does not comply with the new lead standards.

Here's a great blog with some description for you: Domestic Diva. And she is right. In my resale store, I can sell anything I want that has not been tested - as long as it meet the new requirements. And how do I know that you might ask? Well - since I am not related to Superman (x-ray vision and flying would be SUCH cool abilities) I am going to have to test my products. We have decided to take the financial hit of renting the XRF to test everything.

Am I required to do so? No. But if I sell something - knowingly or unknowingly that has more than 600 parts per million of lead, I could be fined thousands of dollars and potentially spend 5 years in jail.

So many people have asked me "are they REALLY going to come after you?". I don't know. But do you really think I should take the risk that my children might not see me at Christmas next year?

WOULD YOU???????

Thursday, January 29, 2009

IKnowAMom Review

Yay yay yay!

Such a cool website and a huge thank you to them for the great review!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


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

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.”

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.

CPSIA Blog Day

I just learned that today is officially "CPSIA Blog Day". So here I am blogging about it. I haven't stopped talking about it for weeks now. I flip-flop between annoyed, frustrated, so pissed that I can't see straight and just plain DONE with it.

It is amazing to me that there is ONE guy in Congress who has the power to help us. This article is lengthy - but a really good explanation as to why he's the one guy who can help.

As it stands now, we plan to close Stone Soup. We do have one little plan up our sleeve to try and stay open - but it's only a bandaid and an expensive one. It'll keep us open temporarily, but not long term.

My favorite thing to check each day: Check it out - the top ticker has a little place to say what he's working on each day. Everyday that I have checked it, it has this ______________. What exactly is ____________? Can I get that job? I want to work on _______________ and get paid $174,000.

Monday, January 26, 2009

From whence we came

Have you ever looked at where you came from - Truly looked? Growing up, I always just accepted life as it was. Sure, I was jealous sometimes of friends who had more money, cuter clothes, but never put much thought into it.

As an adult, I look back and see where we fell in the grand scheme of classes. Still doesn't bother me too much - just clarifies a few things. Like my love of processed cheese & miracle whip.

I was in Spokane this weekend. Visiting my g-ma. Mom was there so I thought I'd come too and do the good grand-daughter thing. I think I might have just won "grand-daughter/ daughter of the year" award. I slept in grandma's basement for two nights and hung out at a place where the word "organic" is like speaking a foreign language. We ate processed turkey and cheese sandwiches with mayo, talked about funny family stories and got caught up on all the gossip from my grandma's church family - which consists of an entire congregation of 20. We also hit the Macy's clearance center in downtown Spokane and cleaned up on deals of the century. These are coupon shoppers - people who do not buy things that are not on sale. People that are sweet, without a lot of outside interests beyond their 4 walls.

It's good to go back to places from whence we came - it gives you a good dose of humbleness. If nothing else, it clarifies things - like why you love processed cheese and miracle whip.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My government bubble is burst

Seriously, I am tired of talking about this. CPSIA is going to affect EVERY single person in the country who sells, makes, loans or in any way distributes children's items. Little ole-gramma making baby blankets? Affects her too. Especially if she adds any buttons or sequins - look out!

I continue to be amazed at the people I talk to everyday who still think this law is only affecting people who import from China. Or who haven't even HEARD of this law. Are you living under a rock? Apparently a LOT of people are - judging from the conversations I've had today.

Google it, get informed, get out of your bubble. I did. I was pretty happy floating along in my naive little world. Thought the government was here to help, not harm. I mean - at least in the general sense. I do have a new respect for what Seantors do everyday - but I also now have a very sad view of what happens because of what they do.

Here's a good list of what this law affects: (taken from
These are just some of the categories of products this law will affect:

books, including library books
infant equipment
childcare supplies including diapers
children’s clothing including babies to age 12
all toys for children birth to 12
stuffed animals
birthday party goods, decorations, supplies
wooden “natural” toys
hand-made children’s toys/goods/crafts
homeschooling materials
art and school supplies for children
children’s musical instruments
teaching materials and textbooks
bicycles and outdoor equipment for children
resale and consignment clothing and products
prizes/incentive items for children
bedroom furniture items and bedding
girls’ jewelry and dress up items
hand made baby blankets, booties, and hats
religious education products
sporting equipment designed for children
science and math hands-on teaching tools
kindergarten and preschool learning through play items
children’s shoes, backpacks and other accessories

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy New Year

It's January 12th and the new year is already so full! I have my new wholesale brochures ready to go - can't wait to mail them out. Although I am a little scared...what happens if I actually get orders? Yikes!

School is back in session so the days are quieter - although with a 2 year old, quiet is a relative term. When did the Terrible Two's REALLY get terrible? Ugh. Some days I think I may lose my mind - or, I might have already.

The most exciting thing I can think of right now is that I got 2 international orders this year! One came from the UK, as a gift for someone in California. The other came from California as a gift for someone in the UK - neither order is related - total fluke. Kind of exciting though! :)

Here's my big dilemma - I need new color names. What I am doing is NOT working. I have these AWESOME patterns for my charms, but the names of the colors are horrid and don't do the patterns justice. If you are so inclined and feeling creative - check out my new pics in my gallery. See some of the cool patterns and come up with some cool names! Anyone who sends me a suggestion that I use will get a free necklace and charm! How's that for a New Year incentive?