Help Save Hand-Made

December 10, 2008

Friends. I know you’re busy with your holiday projects and errands, but I ask you to please join with me in taking a few minutes to help out thousands of our peers who are about to be put out of business.

In short, because of some well-meaning, but mis-guided legislation, hand-made toys (like the gorgeous wooden teethers at Little Alouette) — and all hand-made items for children — are about to become illegal. Which sounds like an exaggeration, but isn’t.

The ladies at Cool Mom Picks have written up an excellent post detailing the situation. Please go read all about it. And then do this:

-Find your congress person and senators and write a letter like the sample here, particularly if they serve on the consumer protection subcommittee.
-Send a letter directly to the CPSC.
-Join the Handmade Toy Alliance and check out their proposed changes to the act which make a whole lot of sense.
-Spread the word to everyone you know who cares about helping the little guy, particularly in today’s economy.

Note: I just used the sample letter to send an email to my Congressman. The whole thing took less than 3 minutes. You can do it!

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Julie aka BoogaJ December 10, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Done! Sent a letter to my rep. Thanks for linking to that sample letter. (I’m not sure it will help though as my rep is Jerry Weller — who doesn’t even bother to show up to work anymore. Grrrrrrr.)

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2 bethany December 10, 2008 at 2:07 pm

The scary thing is that it’s not just going to effect handmade-it will effect ALL people who purchase products for children under 12. The extra fees that companies will have to pay for the testing will be handed down to the consumer causing the price of children’s products to skyrocket!! Very worrisome indeed!

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3 Kate Coveny Hood December 10, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Excellent suggestion. I have so many friends who will be affected by this… I will put this info on my blog tomorrow and e-mail my contact list and suggest that others do the same. You are a good woman Gabrielle!

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4 Andrea December 10, 2008 at 2:38 pm

Sent copy of sample letter to the WA State congressman, thank you for the link!

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5 mandy December 10, 2008 at 2:40 pm

Great cause. If you go to congress.org, you can easily find your House Rep and Senators just by entering your zip code and then send them all an email {I used the sample letter} using an easy form. It took me less than a minute!

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6 Cheeky & Swank December 10, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Thank you so much for posting about this. This is a huge issue that is not getting the press that it should. We all want to protect our children, but this law was written so poorly, Ugh. This affects anyone that manuf. items for children 12 and under. Not just the small guys….
A great site that has tons of info:
http://www.fashion-incubator.com/
Thanks for the support!

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7 Stacy December 10, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Gabby,

Thanks so much for passing this along. I’m planning to open a toy/clothing business of my own early next year so this would surely impact me.

I sent a letter to my Senators, my Congressman, and the CSPC

Thanks again – let me know if there is anything else I can do to help

Stacy
Website: http://www.kidsstuffworld.com

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8 silversmith December 10, 2008 at 4:25 pm

thanks for letting us know on this one! i grew up with handmade wooden toys, my son has some and i make soft toys, blankets, etc. myself for kids.

i’ve signed the petition and sent it to my congressman (who isn’t worth a darn), and sent a letter/link to my best contact list.

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9 Robin December 10, 2008 at 4:51 pm

done! and if i find the time i will be posting this article on my blog asap. thanks for sharing.

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10 Mom101 December 10, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Thank you so much for the support Gabby. I’m devastated as you can imagine.

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11 Katie and Eric December 10, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Thank you so much for posting this!

I will send off my letter and I already sent the info along to urge these sites I read to post the information for their readers:

BabyLuxe{daily}
Ohdeedoh
Tiny Decor
Mommies With Style
Mom’s Favorite Stuff
Pink with Sparkles
Trying to Be Greener
1GreenProduct
TeensyGreen
Green Your Decor

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12 MamaChristy December 10, 2008 at 7:11 pm

That very rattle that you have pictured is going in my daughter’s stocking this Christmas and I will be so very sad if I can’t order things like that off Etsy any more. I did my bit and hope that enough others will, too.

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13 Cecilia December 10, 2008 at 7:17 pm

Thank you so much for posting about this issue Gabrielle.

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14 eimrek December 10, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Sent a letter to my congressman using your links. Next step is linking on my blog and my facebook!

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15 amy j. December 11, 2008 at 12:14 am

I really think you are overreacting…I read the ban FAQ and it appears that this mostly applies to things that contain plastic…phalates are used in plastics. So most handmade objects would not be subjected to the testing requirements.

I think really, there is nothing to worry about for people making handmade things…besides, they technically are required to follow child safety regulations currently in place (most don’t even consider it honestly).

Besides, most handmade types I know have wanted this particular ban for a long time. You can’t have it both ways…either a ban on certain things that people are worried will harm children or meeting requirements to inforce safety.

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16 Anonymous December 11, 2008 at 9:02 am

Laws like these are another example of government over reacting and over reaching into our lives. This law is a small example, compared to the huge shifts towards nationalization and socialization that are now occuring under the Bush administration, and will most certainly accelerate under the Obama administration. THIS, my friends is the CHANGE that all you misty-eyed Obama supporters unwittingly voted for! ENJOY!

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17 amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay December 11, 2008 at 10:11 am

Gabs- I love you so much! Thank you for standing behind this- you are wonderful! Please everyone- HELP – let’s stand up to this!!! xo

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18 Anonymous December 11, 2008 at 10:33 am

I was speaking of the general shift towards socialism that has been going on, long before Obama was on the scene, not one specific vote that he may have actually gotten right. Anyone who doesn’t realize that Obama is a committed socialist is ASLEEP! Anyway, I’m off to write my letter!

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19 Melissapher December 11, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Just sent letters. I can’t believe I haven’t seen anything like this on Drudge. Hmph. It’s not like we’re already in an economic crisis, so it seems so idiotic to enforce laws to cripple it even more. LAME.

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20 Ceylon Designs December 11, 2008 at 3:59 pm

I used to work in the House and would recommend that if this is an issue that is truly important to you, you should consider actually picking up the phone to have more of an impact. Additionally, I might suggest asking to speak with the legislative assistant who handles Commerce issues. It may take a little more effort than writing a sample letter, but I assure you, it will be received in a much more positive light than a form letter.

Just remember, if you do chose to speak with the Legislative Assistant they aren’t the bad guy…so make nice, but be clear about your concerns.

I truly believe that those who take the time to be actively involved in their government will gain an appreciation for the process.

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21 Alyssa December 11, 2008 at 6:18 pm

my jaw just dropped to the floor! this is the first I have heard of this!!! how sad that all these companies (myself included) will possibly be going out of business because we cant afford the product testing! especially at a time like this in our economy when we are purchasing supplies and putting affordable (and handmade!) products out there!

SEND YOUR LETTERS!!

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22 Stacy December 13, 2008 at 2:55 pm

Hi Gabby,

I wanted to let you now I got a letter back from my Senator, but I’m not really sure to interpret it. Here it is ladies, you decide – good, bad, or indifferent? Shoudl I contact him again?

Dear Mrs. XXXX,

Thank you for contacting me in regards to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

The CPSC Reform Act, S.2045, was passed by the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, of which I am a member, on October 30. Unfortunately, this legislation increases the maximum penalty for violations to $20 million, which would lead to less cooperation between the CPSC and manufacturers and actually delay the announcement of recalls. Additionally, this legislation would allow separate state regulation standards, making it impossible for small companies to succeed in the face of fifty different regulatory regimes.

In response to consumers’ demands for strong testing standards, many companies, including Disney and Mattel, have instituted additional quality control tests to those performed by the manufacturers. Many of the recalled products are due to design flaws and are not the result of substandard foreign manufacturing components, but of poor design layouts. These company tests and controls will act as an additional precaution to ensure that only the safest products are available for purchase.

Consumers, though, act as the ultimate regulators through their purchasing power, by financially supporting only companies with stringent testing and quality standards. The threat of financial loss through shareholders’ investment and loss of market share provides strong financial incentives for increased quality standards.

Thank you again for sharing your concerns with me. Please feel free to contact me in the future about anything important to you or your family. It is an honor to serve you and the State of South Carolina.

Sincerely,

Jim XXXXXX
United States Senator

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23 x-ray fluorescence February 13, 2009 at 1:18 am

I’ve been worried about this too, I still stand to lose a big chunk of my market if worse comes to worse.
I really hope the act can be changed to protect both handmade toys AND kids from unsafe products…

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24 Elliot Cranes November 23, 2010 at 8:02 am

wow i never tough about this before

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