January 26, 2009

Crafters Painters Sewists I <3 Artists

Perhaps you have heard of this thing where the United States, in an admirable effort to lower the bad stuff like POISONOUS LEAD in children's products, is passing legislation that, unfortunately, is also going to make it difficult or impossible for some of the art/craft people to stay in business. The painful thing about this is that often the artists/crafters hand-make BECAUSE safe products are important to them, and hand-making is their way of ensuring that.

I'll tell you right up front that I know VERY LITTLE about this. I have to have "CPSIA" written on a piece of scrap paper next to me or I can't remember the letters, and I don't know what the letters stand for....okay, fine, that's too embarrassing, I'll look it up. It's Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

As I understand the situation, the CPSIA thing didn't set out to hurt artists and crafters; it's more that it didn't set out to protect them, either, and so the new regulations, intended for large businesses, also affect, for example, a person with a hobby room who makes baby blankets out of carefully-purchased organic cotton, and a person with a workshop who makes baby toys out of carefully-purchased dangerous-chemical-free wood and paint. Do I have that basically right? Is that about the gist of it?

Okay! So, do you remember the Whimsical Walney t-shirt giveaway we did last June? Well, she can't stay in business because of this CPSIA thing, so all her stuff is 50% off until February 9th when she's shutting down. You can visit her at Whimsical Walney to see all her cute Use Your Words and Flags of the World kid shirts.

But also. To, uh, commemorate the CPSIA issue, we're going to be doing a series of giveaways. If you're a business affected by CPSIA and you're getting rid of inventory (um, I hope it's clear I mean inventory NOT saturated with lead or whatevs, but rather inventory that is nice and safe but can't be sold unless you pay for an expensive test to prove it), or if you're an artist/crafter NOT affected by the new act but wanting to show support for those artists/crafters who ARE affected, email me at swistle at gmail dot com and let me know what you'd like to give away. I'll do a giveaway every day or two until popping slows to 2-3 seconds between pops I run out of things to give away, or until we get to February 9th, which is the last day non-CPSIA-tested things can be sold.

Whimsical Walney is first up: leave a comment on this post by Friday, January 30th at 4:00 p.m. U.S. Pacific time, and I'll use a random number generator to choose a winner. The prize is one Whimsical Walney shirt, your choice of any still in stock.

88 comments:

Heather said...

I'd love to win this! My little guy adores anything to do with fire trucks/firefighting. We'd love to have the "I'm a firefighter" shirt in a size 4 years.

Elizabeth said...

So sad how this is affecting all the small businesses. I love the strawberry shirts.

Mommy Brain said...

I've been following the CPSIA situation both for the crafters whom I enjoy buying from AND because there's concern about how it affects resellers and consignment stores. While it won't be illegal for consignment stores/thrift shops to sell used children's items, they can still get in a lot of trouble if something they sell has lead in it. Tricky.

I hope that everyone who reads this will go to http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/how-you-can-help and write to their congress person and senators!

Shelly Overlook said...

Gah, this is happening to so many people. Why can't Congress just fix something without it mucking everything else up for legit folks?

Linda said...

This makes me sad for all the small businesses. I understand the intent is to protect children, but children should have tshirts with artichokes on them!

Safire said...

Ugh, this is such a tricky law. We do want to protect our kids, but there has got to be a different way to do this! Besides, twins need shirts with flags on them!

Sally said...

This law really sucks for small businesses. Those shirts are too cute!

Jen in MI said...

I feel a little bad entering to win off someone else's trouble, but the shirts are so so cute!

MrsHaley said...

I hope a work-around for this law is found before it puts artists out of business. Christmas & birthdays would be very sad at my house without so much to choose from on Etsy!

Kristi said...

I hate that legislation couldn't be written to protect everyone, and that includes MANY small business owners with Etsy shops! I understand the rationale, but just like everything else in America, sweeping blanket legislation is hurting the little guy/gal.

In a word...sucks.

caleyadams said...

There has to be another way to go about doing this! While I understand the intention, it almost seems like they went with the first solution they could think of without even bothering to come up with an idea that didn't put so many people out of business.

So sad. And those are some adorable shirts, too. How will Etsy fare after this, I wonder?

Liz said...

This is sad! Those shirts are so cute. Why can't they do something to fix the situation. Probably lack of lobbyists for small crafts people.

Cara said...

I second MommyBrain - this country is fantastic because the people have power - so lets get out there and let our voices heard abt the injustice of this act! There has to be a better way to write this law, and I dont think the lawmakers recognize the impact it would have, and I dont think they will recognize it until their constituents, i.e. US, let them know!
http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/how-you-can-help

Jen said...

Cute shirts!! Would love to win!

may said...

Count me in!

Bethtastic said...

I think I'll be contacting my representatives just after I say...

PICK ME!! I love artichokes. :)

Mimi said...

The shirts are lovely. I hate that they are going out of business!

Sarah said...

Sweet! I would love to have one of these.

Deborah said...

What a bummer - will put a lot of stay at home crafty moms out of business:(

Laura said...

I hate everything about this new law going into affect. I have been reading up on it for the past few weeks and I just can't understand how it can be truly justified on so many levels.

Thanks for a chance to win something hand crafted from a wholesome business owner!

Alicat said...

And i was totally going to get my son an artichoke T-shirt. will still go buy one, but can't hurt to have another in the wings!

St said...

If I don't win, I hope I can order something in the future. I'm confident we will get this thing fixed.

Eleanor Q. said...

Sad that she has to close, happy that I could win a Whimsical Walney shirt!

Kristin C said...

That is very frustrating and unfair for those who love what they do and can't do it. :( Those shirts are adorable, I hope she is able to keep her business.

SNW said...

i'd love to win & if not, i'll just have to buy!

Clarabella said...

I am very upset about this as I tend to like to buy from those affected. I am sincerely hoping that new legislation will swing back around to protect some of our small-business artisans. That said, I'd love to enter the contest.
I will probably buy something too regardless.

shoeaddict said...

I wrote my senator a few weeks ago. I hope I win the shirt. If I don't, I'm probably going to buy.

Kate said...

I remember those shirts! I loved them- I'm so sad that she won't be able to sell them anymore.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

It's so frustrating when a law that is intended to do good things has negative, broad ramifications as well. I hope Congress will revise it so that small businesses don't get screwed.

Trina said...

If I don't win, I will probably buy. But why not try to win first? :)

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

Totally gonna try to win first. The Soy Piloto or Fresa shirt please!

Michelle said...

And the few ruin it for the many again.... I had heard about this awhile ago but nothing lately so I had (wrongly) assumed it was resolved. Yuck!

Good thing we have the government here to fix us from this huge financial mess, too. Just like they're doing with the lead now ;)

The Gori Wife said...

In an effort to curb Chinese black-market-ish toys on American shelves, they'll create a black market of GREAT quality toys instead.

Genius.

Chaya said...

It's such a bummer about the CPSIA- I really hope they manage to change it!

lisa said...

Sadly, I haven't heard anything about all of this (we live overseas). How will this affect all the Etsy stores out there?

Kristi said...

Pity. Mostly.

Bunny said...

This is a sad contest. I mean, I'll enter and all, but the situation is sad. Thanks for being a friend to the artists.

Cheryl888 said...

I like the "blow bubbles" shirt.

Elizabeth said...

I agree that I hate to benefit from someone else's misfortune, but if someone's getting a free shirt it might as well be me.
:-)

Christy said...

Please enter me! I feel a little ooky possibly winning something off the misfortune of others, but since there's little I can do to stop it at this point - I might as well!

Fine For Now said...

I won this contest in June, can I play again? Yes?? Okay! Thanks!

The 'soy pescador' (I am fisherman) onesie was to die for!

d e v a n said...

I hate this new bill. I wish they would fix it!!

Nick and Anne Priest said...

The shirts are adorable.

Nowheymama said...

This situation makes me so sad.

Kristi said...

What a sucky situation. I hope there turns out to be a way for small businesses to work around this.

Nicole A. said...

I would love a shirt in size 4 boy

Marie Green said...

So sad for the artists, but I'd love a shirt anyway.

heather said...

too cute, a lot of talent is going to remain hiden now.

Clare said...

Glad to see Congress thought this all the way through. The safest toys will be the ones that we can't buy anymore. But the Cheap Plastic Crap (tm ask moxie, I think) will be perfectly "safe."

Kristine said...

Hate this new law.

HAAAAAAAATE!!

Jen said...

Thanks to Whimsical Walney for offering this giveaway in the midst of having to shut down, that's amazingly generous.

Little-Bit said...

I feel bad that we are receiving a gift because of a terrible situation. I hope it is resolved soon. The shirts are cute, and my son would lurve one with an airplane on it!

Smiling Mama said...

I really hope all this stuff gets worked out. So many adorable products out there. Thanks for this giveaway and highlighting the issue.

Emily R said...

Yay for giveaways, :( for laws that hurt the little guy.

Leticia said...

So sad that this law is affecting the little guys. :o(

Anonymous said...

I am so sad about this! Thanks for doing something, Swistle!

~ML

Maggie said...

Ugh the more I hear about the CPSIA the more poorly drafted and thought out it seems to be. I cannot believe they are going through with an act that would seriously damage so many people's livelihoods in this economy. Frustrating.

Laura said...

I love to buy etsy stuff for my little man. I'd love to win something for him, too!

Sheena said...

Gotta love that federal government -- out to 'fix' all our woes...

jennifer said...

I'm sure the little one would love an Argentine shirt :)

Claire Bingham said...

As much as i would love to win a shirt, I can't believe this law can affect so many. How will they possibly enforce it? I am in the same boat with my tutu biz, and I am really hoping all the letter writing and press will remedy this.
Claire
I love Princess
Tutus

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

That law really stinks. I wrote my congresswoman. I hope something can be done to stop it.

Swati said...

I wish I could help, but not being an American citizen, writing to senators is kind of useless.

You all are also aware of the law - probably passed by now - which requires anyone creating anything: a photo, a painting, a scarf, to pay and copyright it specifically, else anyone can just come and use your designs for their own purposes. The burden of proof is on the artist, who may be struggling to make ends meet by selling his/her art, but has to shell hundreds of dollars for registering each article. Horrible.

Megan said...

Thanks to the gov for protecting us from ourselves! Dude, if your kid is in the chewing phase, just be more careful. It's not that hard. I read that this law was put in place even though there's NEVER been a confirmed case of a child ingesting a button or anything with lead.

bunnyslippers said...

Here's hoping they smarten up! (and that i win)
I love etsy!

Felicia said...

Oooh, I hope I win. And that they re-configure the law so it doesn't put the little guys out of business.

K said...

Oh man, this CPSIA is so sad. I love the designs on the Whimsical Walney site, and would be thrilled to win one.

parkingathome said...

I don't quite know how to feel about this one.....

carrie said...

Even though I don't sell my crafty stuff - it affects all of us! How many great, amazing things will just be lost...my Etsy addiction is in serious jeopardy.

I'd be willing to give away one of the kidlets or bags I have been crafting lately(I don't sell them, but can come up with a fun, maybe even customized giveaway?) if you are still in need of some crafty goodness for giveaways!

Amy said...

It seems they are taking this well-meaning law WAY too far. It seems a lot of people are trying to stop it, so hopefully some changes are made to it!

Jen - Mom of 4 said...

This is a frustrating law. I understand the intent, but just because the government hasn't been doing it's job doesn't mean it should over react. I recently read that this will also affect libraries! There is a chance that children under the age of 12 years old will be barred from libraries unless they also do some testing.

I do hope that they will realize that they have over reacted and make some adjustments.

Allyson said...

Cute shirts!

Stacie said...

Me me me!

Well, that was mature and articulate.

Nanna said...

I hope I win! Thanks for the chance.

Karen said...

I can always use a new shirt! But it sucks that folks are having to go out of business.

samantha jo campen said...

This whole thing is so sad. Let's push people out of making money in the middle of a HUGE RECESSION! What a great idea!

Ugh. The shirts are adorable and I literally don't know which one I love the most :-)

Rosie said...

This makes me so mad. Another instance of government regulation going amuck and hurting small businesses.

Rhia said...

I am devastated by this whole thing, and because I'm Canadian, I can't even do much to stop it! How much is this going to hurt so many people already hurting because of the recession!?

Anyway, I do so love all the Spanish ones, and would love an alcachofa, zanahoria or burbujas shirt in a little size.

LauraLou said...

The CPSIA is so ridiculous. I hope we can get through to the government, but in the meantime I hope I win the shirt. : )

katethegr8 said...

so adorable :) I REALLY WANT TO WIN :)

Mommy Daisy said...

This is a great idea. And I hope that this isn't an issue for long. Let these crafters sell their wares.

theprincessofquitealot2 said...

I love giveaways! I am familiar with the new law that has been passed. For a period of about two weeks I thought I was going to be out of a job because of said new law. We were fully prepared to launch an all out assault on our local senator. And then we found out our business was more or less exempt from it. Oh, and our lovely senator SUPPORTED the new bill fully. Thanks, Jackass!

Good luck everyone.

Amy said...

This law sucks....so many cool people are going to suffer.

Amy

Snoopyfan said...

I would love a city of chicago flag short for my little guy. How awesome!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry this is happening to you and the artists who are living my dream!

Caitlin said...

This is so terrible. Does ANYONE look out for the little guy any more??

alpacalifestyle said...

Love these shirts. I'd hate to see them go to waste, so I would love to win one AND buy one.

ikate said...

I got one of her shirts after your first post on them....love it and would love another one!!