How CPSIA Impacts Small Businesses

Yesterday, the House Small Business Committee, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight held a hearing on The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and its impact on small businesses.

Rick Woldenberg has a post up about the hearing and subsequent press release of the committee.

In other news, the CPSC voted yesterday on  NAM’s request for stay of enforcement on Tracking Labels.  It was a split decision between Nancy Nord and Thomas Moore…ugh!  That means it was denied!  NAM says labeling fosters confusion.  More posted on Amend the CPSIA here.

Oh…I’m missing Quilt Market with Lady M™ and Mary the Craft Addict™ this weekend!  I should be there in Pittsburgh, but I’m not.  DRATS!

mezz

And a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Patty Young (aka ModKid Boutique)!  She, too, will be at Quilt Market (Booth #2531) having a blast without me!  Be sure to stop by her booth and check out her new Mezzanine fabric line for Michael Miller!

With friendship,

Lisa

organdonormiracles

The Never-Ending Painting Adventure

I’ve been quite busy with having my home repainted.  It’s amazing how much stuff we’ve accumulated since we last painted 5 years ago.

closetpantry

The first thing to be painted were closets throughout the entire house.  Now granted, the closets didn’t need to be painted as the paint was still in great shape.  However, it gave me an opportunity to reorganize them all (and of course, I got to use my handy dandy label maker).  Although our house looked like a hurricane swept through, it was so worth it!

I can easily find items in my pantry and my linen closet never looked better.  I donated all my unwanted towels, sheets and placemats to a local animal shelter.  Now I have room to add new linens to match the new paint colors.

mcroom1

Marielle’s room is FINALLY finished (well, except for a few little odds and ends)!  I only have a few sneak peeks of her room as we are still trying to find space to store all her junk.

Not only did we paint the walls hot pink and most of the trim black, we even painted her vanilla-colored furniture white. Marielle suggested we do black velvet curtains.  But in the meantime, I ordered 2″ black aluminum blinds for her huge window (because we all know how long it will take me to sew her curtains…LOL).

mcroom1jpg

I’ve been buying and hoarding anything zebra, hot pink and/or black for the last year.  My efforts have finally paid off.  Most of my best finds were at either HomeGoods, TJ Maxx or Marshall’s.  The hot pink lunch boxes were only $3.99 each.  And the zebra canisters were only a few bucks.  Oh and the hat box (which also has 4 coordinating big boxes) was only $5.99!  Score!

Check out this matching doll I bought while hunting for zebra items on Ebay!

mcroom3

Marielle asked that I stop buying anything with a zebra print on it as she thinks it’s starting to look like a zebra puked in her room…haha!

mcroom4

Since my darling daughter has a habit of writing on her closet walls (Marielle loves Anthony, Steven, Adam, Nick), we painted black chalkboard paint so we can just erase past boyfriends’ names instead of having to cross them out.  How clever am I?

mcroom5

Oh, speaking of closets, I caved in and got her 300 hot pink Huggable Hangers.  I absolutely LOVE these hangers (might have to buy them for every closet in the house).  The above hangers may not look hot pink, but they certainly are.  It’s pretty hard to get the correct color when editing photos of a black closet.

mcroom6

I purchased zebra light switch and outlet covers on Etsy.  Only problem is I ordered the wrong type outlet covers (I need the new rocker type covers).  So I’ll be doing a craft project this week–covering her old white outlet covers with some zebra wrapping paper and a little decoupage.  Wish me luck!

mcroom7

I found this cool zebra phone at Marshall’s for just $12.99.  Perfect!

mcroom8

This weekend I spent spray painting different things for her room in gloss black and semi-gloss white.  I had found this neat shelf (once gold) at TJ Maxx for a mere $12.99 last year.  The minute I saw it, I knew if turned upside down it would be a perfect bed crown for my daughter’s room.

mcroom9

A little black paint and now to find the zebra sheer fabric to attach to the bed crown which I have stashed somewhere in my sewing room…I’ll show you photos of it once I get it hung on the wall over her bed.  I’ve got to figure out a good way to attach the zebra sheers to the bottom of the new bed crown.  Any ideas?

duckspaint

I hadn’t finished spray painting Marielle’s light pink wicker rolling baskets when those two darn ducks took over the yard.  Yes, they’ve been coming to my yard every stinkin’ day to eat all my Koi fish food.  Any good ideas on how to get these ducks out of my yard once and for all?  It’s getting a little old chasing them around with a broom, KWIM?

lisasiggie

Fabric.com Sew Much Fun Sweepstakes

fabriccom

Enter HERE!

lisasiggie2

Downtown Joey Goes to CPSIA Rally in DC

CPSIAgrou[ 

On Wednesday (April 1st aka April Fool’s Day) I set out bright and early to fly from NYC to DC to attend the Amend the CPSIA Rally which was sponsored by many different groups.  A flight which should have taken a mere 40 minutes turned into an adventure…4 hours later I arrived at the US Capitol Building.

dc1

Although the cherry blossoms are beautiful in DC this time of year, the weather wasn’t great (cloudy skies and intermittent rain showers).  As I approached the Capitol Building, thousands of people were being evacuated!

I spotted Rachel Dressler-Sweetser of Monkey Baby who had a CPSIA sticker on her jacket.  I asked her what was going on.  Apparently, security found a suspicious package.  But she gave me her visitor’s pass and I snuck in the side door.

dc3

When I finally made it to the CPSIA Rally room, I could barely squeeze in.  Standing room only!

dc2

I listened to lots of great speakers from different industries and some elected officials.

Here’s video from Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX):

 

and another from Governor Engler:

After the Rally, we divided into groups to attend meetings with different legislators and their aides.  My group consisted of  Scott A. Cohn of Arent Fox, Jason Oliver of Oompa Toys and a few other gentlemen.

We trekked around to visit a few senator’s aides.  When we finished, my group spotted Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY and Vice Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee) and double-dog dared me to approach Schumer as he was getting on the elevator.

dc7

I figured since I was unsuccessful at getting an appointment with him or his aides, it was now or never.  Thank goodness I’m a New Yorker and have chutzpah (even though I’m a nice Irish/English gal).  I approached Senator Schumer and said, “Excuse me Senator.  I’m a New York children’s clothing manufacturer and I need help with the CPSIA.”  He told me to come with him and took me on a little elevator ride.

Senator Schumer was intrigued that my boys’ clothing line was manufacturer in New York City (my guess is most have their items manufactured abroad) and got a kick out of my boys’ jeans snap (which looks like a NYC manhole cover).

CPSIAVICTIM

After discussing the issues surrounding the CPSIA and it’s effects on my business, Senator Schumer took out his cell phone and hooked me up with his Deputy Staff Director, Stacy Ettinger, telling her to meet with me now.  The Senator assured me they were working behind the scenes on this issue.  I told him we need Democrats to support this–plain and simple.

I immediately met up with Ms. Ettinger at his office–and what a breath of fresh air!  She was extremely well-versed about the CPSIA and it’s implications on children’s businesses.  She stated there had been a lot of support for the new CPSIA from consumer groups such as USPRIG and she needed to hear from others like me with real numbers (inventory loss, loss sales, business closings, etc.).  I provided here with the financial losses I’ve incurred and projected 3rd party testing costs in order to be in compliance.  I also supplied her with this blog post which lists the other companies that would be affected if I were to go out of business.

cpsiamoney

I must say I felt really good after meeting with Senator Schumer and Ms. Ettinger.  I do believe they “get it.”  I don’t think I was given the brush-off at all.  I left feeling that I had been heard and they were genuinely concerned.  However, I do believe that unless a Democrat introduces legislation to amend the CPSIA, the point is moot.  Unfortunately, although this should be a bi-partisan issue, it’s not–how sad.

dc9 

Then I went to meet with Kathryn DiBitetto, Legislative Assistant to Congressman Michael McMahon‘s (D-NY) office, who handles product safety issues.  Unfortunately, Congressman McMahon was voting at the House of Representatives.  I would have liked to see him as he was my personal injury lawyer years ago and is a fellow Staten Islander.  Ironically, McMahon won me the money which was used to start my boys’ clothing line.

CPSIACOMPLIANCE

Ms. DiBitetto (another Staten Island native) told me the Congressman was aware of the problems being caused by the CPSIA for local businesses.  She said he’s written the CPSC with concerns.  I explained that the CPSC could do nothing to change the law, but instead legislators would have to fix it.  I urged Ms. DiBitetto to ask Congressman McMahon to support any legislation to amend the CPSIA.  P.S. – Ms. DiBitetto loved my Downtown Joey clothing line!

dc5

I almost canceled my trip, because I had no one to watch my two children.  But then I thought about how hard my friends have fought the CPSIA and felt it was my responsibility to be there.  Kathleen, Rick, Rob, Jennifer, Olivia, Wacky Hermit, Whimsical Walney, Tristan, Deputy Headmistress, Handcraftivist, Jill, Cecilia, Walter, and Marianne have all fought the good fight while I was taking my daughter through a kidney transplant.  It’s was my turn to step up and be heard.  I am glad I went to the CPSIA Rally in DC!  It was a terrific experience. I’d like to thank all the folks who put together this rally in 2 short weeks.  YOU ROCK!

CPSIAAMENDSIGN

Here’s lots of great CPSIA commentary from around the web:

Learning Resources:  The Rally and the Democrats

Learning Resources:  A Quick Guide to What’s Wrong w/ the CPSIA

Overlawyered:  Things I Learned at the Rally

Wall Street Journal:  Obama Urged to Fill CPSC Post as Complaints Mount 

Women’s Wear Daily:  Kids’ Execs Rally Against Safety Law

Woman’s Wear Daily:  Businesses Seek Changes to Product Safety Act (subscription required)

Journal of Commerce:  Manufacturers Urge Change in Product Safety Law

Congressman Joe Barton:  Bill Fixes Mistakes in Toy Safety Law, Saves Small Shops from Bankruptcy

Publisher’s Weekly Addresses CPSIA Testing and Labeling Provisions

Polkadot Patch Baby:  CPSIA Rally is Over.  What Now?  Keep Spreading the Word

Why Congress Won’t Fix the CPSIA

Amend the CPSIA:  DeMint Amendment

The Common Room:  Myth Busting the Myth Busters – CPSIA

Alliance for Children’s Product Safety on CPSIA Rally

Tristan Benz:  CPSIA-If There Were a Time to Ask Questions, the Time is Now

Journal Sentinel:  Lead Law Leaves Small Businesses in a Lather

Crafty Baby:  Letter to President Obama

loadedlead

I returned home from DC to read that High Lead Levels found in my own town’s shoreline.  Lovely.  Do I need to be concerned about lead in my kids’ clothing when I’m living in a lead-filled city?!

landfill

Not to mention, our local landfill makes the news once again.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with some CPSIA inspired photos.  Feel free to use any of these around the web to help spread the word about the unintended consequences of the CPSIA:

CPSIALANDFILL

CPSIAMINIBIKES

CLOSEDCPSIA

CPSIALANDFILLCROSS

CPSIAMEMO

cpsiaunemployed

no_baby_mocs

With friendship,

Lisa

djleatherlabel

CPSIA Rally in DC TOMORROW!

amendlink1

Just wanted to make a quick post to let you know about tomorrow’s CPSIA Rally in Washington, DC (April 1st @ 10am).  I’m getting on an airplane from NYC at 6am so I can be there to fight this poorly-written law.  Children’s apparel companies, toy companies, thrift stores, motorcycle companies and children’s book publishers will converge on DC to bring attention to our elected officials.  We’ll be meeting with Senators, Congressmen and State Representatives in hopes of being heard.

I have thought of canceling my flight, because I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. But then I think of what other CPSIA affected people have done to make our voices heard and I realize it is my obligation to be there.

I’m saddened not more children’s apparel manufacturers will be attending the Rally tomorrow. We are all pinching pennies, have children and other obligations. However, if we don’t fight this, we will all be out of business next year.

I’m not going to sit here and be reactive. Instead, I chose to be proactive.

There will be lots of press including Glenn Beck and CNN!  Should be an exciting day!

More CPSIA blog posts around the web:

Fashion-Incubator’s CPSIA in 3 Acts

Learning Resources:  If We Can Meet Standards, Why Do I Still Hate this Law?

Learning Resources:  CPSIA – Contesting Higher Ground

Organic Baby Farm:  CPSIA and the Black Market

Overlawyered’s CPSIA Chronicles

 Deputy Headmistress:  How CPSIA Hurts the Neediest Children

lisasiggie2

CPSIA–Just When You Thought it was Safe to Get Back to the Sewing Room…

UPDATED:  RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING GUIDE FROM THE CPSC AT 1:23 AM TODAY!:

Guidance on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) for Small Businesses, Resellers, Crafters, and Charities

Nothing like waiting until last minute?  Unbelievable!

CPSIAblackboard

Not sure how the rest of you feel, but this whole CPSIA stuff continues to mentally and physically DRAIN me!  I spend a tremendous amount of time reading, bewildered, rereading, twittering, disseminating information, testing, retesting, and banging my head against the wall.

It has all knocked the life out of me.  Some think it’s no big deal.  But the reality of it is another story.

BANNEDLEAD

Read the latest 7 items from the CPSC from this past Thursday and Friday.  Now before you get all excited and think you are off the hook, perhaps you should read some of the thoughts around the web:

Fashion-Incubator:  3 Days Until National Bankruptcy Day

Senator DeMint:  Congress Turns Toy Story into Nightmare for Small Business

Rick Woldenberg:  The Emperor Has No Clothes

Rick Woldenberg:  CPSC Commissioners Speak Out

Rick Woldenberg:  CPSIA More Serious Message

Overlawyered:  CPSIA Roulette

Overlawyered:  What Will Be Enforced?

Overlawyered:  CPSIA Fifty Stars and an Asterisk

Overlawyered:  CPSIA Chronicles February 10th

The Common Room:  There’s a Difference Between a Policy and a Law

The Common Room:  CPSIA and State Attorney General

The Common Room:  Open Letter to NRDC

Shopfloor:  Ambiguous Enforcement-Certain Disruption

CPSIA by Numbers (Part 1):  How Much Safer Will CPSIA Make Us?

CPSIA by Numbers (Part 2):Stochastic Approach

CPSIA by Numbers (Part 3):  Scary Sounding Chemicals

baby2carriage

(Note:  Yes, I did eat the tires off my first carriage….LOL!)

Honestly, I don’t have a game plan yet.  I rented an XRF gun to lead test my boys’ clothing line and everything else in my sewing studio (over $400/day).  All fabrics, elastics and trims passed.  Problems occurred with some snaps and zipper heads (thankfully I have lead-free substitutes).  Not sure if the reflection of the silver on these items gave me false-positive results.  So what I’ll need to do now is have these items in question re-tested by a professional (more $$$).

But the good news is I can continue to sell for the next year.  Yet, unless the CPSC decides to allow component testing next year, my business won’t be able to survive the high cost of third-party lab testing.  Kathleen of Fashion-Incubator sums up how I feel.

With friendship,

Lisa

joeyhead1

 

Valentine’s Day SWAP from My Favorite Craft Addict

vdswap1

Received a HUGE box yesterday from one of our newest members of our little secret society, Mary the Craft Addict!  So glad we let Mary come sit with us at the cool table…LOL!

vdswap2

Pure Valentine’s Day bliss!  Mary’s mission was to spell out the word HUGS!  However, each letter needed to meet a certain criteria (see below).

vdswap3

H is for HANDMADE tulle corsage heart.

vdswap4

U is for candle to USE.

vdswap5

G is for GOODIES to eat….mini moon pies!

vdswap6

S is for SOMETHING NEW to make me smile all day long.

Doesn’t Mary rock?  Thanks so much Mary!  You’re the best!

Mary was the lucky recipient of The Magic Box giveaway I had last year.  She and I became quick friends!  Over the last year, she and I have shared many phone calls–I can’t tell you how she cheered me on through the launch of Downtown Joey and my daughter’s transplant.  She is simply amazing.

Oh and it gets better!  Mary (of Georgia) is supposed to be up in my neck of the woods this weekend (Staten Island, NY).  Hopefully we can have bunch together on Sunday!

In the meantime, I need to find a gown for a formal affair on Friday night at the Rainbow Room in NYC and somehow sew/embroider a zillion baby gifts for my dear friend’s baby shower on Sunday afternoon.  Did I mention the kids are home due to snow/ice?

lisasiggie

CPSIA Stay of Enforcement-Thoughts Around the Web

leadfreeetchasketch

I know everyone in the children’s business is jumping for joy.  I’m not–at least not yet.  The CPSIA problems are far from over.  The CPSC has issued a “stay of enforcement” meaning they aren’t going to enforce the new CPSIA law just yet.  However, they are allowing your state’s attorney general to do so.

The law still applies.  The CPSC, however, is not requiring third-party testing at this time.  Yet, you are still  not allowed to sell children’s products outside of the new lead limits.  Seems the law hasn’t changed–just the testing requirements and enforcement for the time being (and only Congress can change the law, not the CPSC).

cpsiaenforcement

Another thought that comes to mind is wholesale accounts (children’s boutiques).  I seriously doubt boutiques want the liability and will want some type of proof that your children’s products are lead-free.  They’ll want to have all incoming stock to be certified prior to any amendments in the law as they are unsure how this will all play out.  Stores won’t want to add products that might not be sellable in the future.

xrfgunniton

I’ve decided to go ahead with my XRF lead testing tomorrow and have GCCs issued to ensure the safety of my boys’ clothing line.  It will only add value to my products as not all of my competitors are doing so.

Now for some CPSIA links around the web:

National Bankruptcy Day:  Cautious Optimism

Overlawyered.com CPSIA Stay:  Part I

Overlawyered.com CPSIA Stay:  Part II

Z Recommends:  Seller Beware

CPSIA Cheer:  Touchdown!  We Scored!  But It’s Not Even Half Time

Senator Hatch Wants Senate Hearings on CPSIA

Reform CPSIA

WhatDoISell.com:  Temporary Relief

Boutique Cafe:  Breathe Easily and then Call Your Representatives from Heather of Lilliputians

Kenneth Ross, Attorney at Law:  Summary of CPSIA Stay

Scholars and Rogues:  No Child Product Left Behind

How Much Safer Will CPSIA Make Us?

Nancy Nord of CPSC:  Letter to Congress regarding Stay

The Smart Mama

I think what everyone should be doing at this point is contacting your local members of Congress and ask them to support Congressman DeMint’s Bill to amend the CPSIA.

One last thing, my mentor, Kathleen Fasanella of Fashion-Incubator.com, deserves a big THANK YOU from me and the rest of the children’s apparel industry.  Kathleen has worked countless hours (and continues to do so) on the CPSIA and its affects on sewn products.  I don’t know what I would do without her.  Seriously.

dora

DORKA THE EXECUTIONER by wacky artist David Gross

Hope everyone’s enjoying a wonderful weekend!  I know Mr. Diva will be.  He and his passe are awaiting the limo to take them to Atlantic City, NJ for Super Bowl Weekend.  Oh, what a wonderful wife I am–LOL!

lisasiggie2

Disclaimer:  Although I consider myself extremely bright, I have no legal background (other than a paralegal certificate…LOL) and therefore, the above post reflects my personal opinion and should not be construed as legal advice.

CPSIA BREAKING NEWS!!!

The CPSC has issued a STAY on the CPSIA!  Read it here:

CPSC Stay on Lead in Children’s Products

CPSC’s Press Release

Fashion-Incubator re:  CPSIA Stay of Execution

Also SC Senator Jim DeMint is proposing legislation next week to reform the CPSIA!

Wondering if I should cancel the XRF testing this weekend…perhaps.

Hope your weekend if off to a great start!  I’ll be out to see Joe Piscipo and other comedians tonight with Mr. Diva and another couple!  I so need to get out more often!

With friendship,

Lisa

djbanner

Downtown Joey will be CPSIA Compliant plus Some Great CPSIA Links

cpsiatesting

Good news–I’m scheduled to test (via XRF testing gun) my Spring/Summer 2009 Downtown Joey boys’ clothing line this weekend!  I don’t foresee any problems as all my fabric is 100% cotton and my components (zippers, snaps, etc.) are from reputable suppliers.  My only concern are my key chains.  We shall see.  Wish me luck!

djimage8

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some more great CPSIA links to keep you busy this weekend:

NAM Petition Request Delay of February 10th CPSIA

Fashion-Incubator’s Crystal Ball and Status Report

Fashion-Incubator:  How the Industry has Changed Forever

Some Really Great Advice for CPSIA – Polkadot Patch Baby

CPSIA:  My Wish List by Rick Woldenberg

CPSIA:  Some Random Thoughts by Rick Woldenberg

The Grim Reader

lisa

%d bloggers like this: