Saturday, February 28, 2009

You CAN Own a Million Dollar Business!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I do not want this post to be considered fact. While it may be based on fact, it is really just my thoughts and feelings on the CPSIA. I've read and researched until I can't keep my eyes open at night. I read as much about it as I can in between coats of paint. And you know what? I still have NO idea where anything stands.

It is truly frustrating. NOTHING has changed. The so called "stay" is only a stay of enforcement by the CPSC. Not really a stay of testing. Products still need to follow the guidelines of the law. And to find out if they are compliant, you need to, guess....test them! Or know that your suppliers have had the supplies tested.

And even though the CPSC won't enforce the law for one year, that doesn't mean a thing. It is up to each state's attorney general to enforce this law. They can wait a year. Or they can start enforcing now. There is so much double speak in this law and it's so-called "updates", it could drive you to drink.

For instance.....on February 9th, the CPSC published a 13 page document with small business guidelines. However it says this at the beginning, "This information was prepared by CPSC staff, has not been reviewed or approved by, and many not necessarily reflect the views of, the Commission. It may be subject to change based on Commission action."

I'm looking at the word staff, and wondering what the heck I am supposed to make of this document. Is it official or not? Lord only knows.....if even he does.  I'm not putting much faith in it.

Anyway, I'm frustrated. The one paint company I thought was going to come through for me, dropped the ball. When I wrote to them after February 10th about the GCC's for their colors, they said "There has been a stay enacted regarding this regulatory law. The stay is one year and will push out the requirement for Certificates of Compliance to February 10, 2010."

Argh. I KNOW that. I'm not dumb. But again, it is a stay of ENFORCEMENT, not compliance. I still have to know that my products comply with the law. DOESN'T ANYBODY GET IT?????

And now I am coming to the end of my vent. I am so fed up with this government, and their lack of ethics.....and apparent reading ability. Since none of them read this law before they agreed to it. Oh, and I hear they didn't have time to read the 1,000+ Stimulus Plan either before they okayed that. I don't know who they are representing in Washington DC, cause it sure ain't me. end of vent.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I should...

post here more often. I should be working. However, I have been fighting a cold for like forever, and the past couple days I think it has gotten the best of me : (

I have no energy, and all I want to do, and have done, is sleep. Doesn't do much for the pile of work on my desk. Or the stack of orders waiting to be painted. I tried working, but I got no where fast.

So, what do you do when you are under the weather? Do you just push through? Or do you take care of yourself and rest and recover? I sure wish I could call in sick...

Monday, February 16, 2009

JPMA and the CPSIA

The following story comes from Earnshaw's (Trade Pub for the Children's Industry).

What I want most folks to understand is that this issue is not over. Some seem to see the delay as meaning that changes have been made. Far from the truth. I call it a "stay of execution". We have to make sure that the bill is modified and that someone, anyone can understand it (can you say "stimulus bill"!). I digress. The news has done some coverage, but the piece on Fox News focused on what this bill means to Toy stores NOT the manufacturers. It didn't address the small businesses, wahms and artists that are making one of a kind products.

We'll keep on this - there are a lot of blogs posting, so stay tuned.

JPMA Requests CPSIA Clarification from CPSC


The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), a body representing 95 percent of the prenatal to preschool products industry, issued a statement last week requesting that the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) clarify its new testing and certification requirements under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) to ensure inherently safe products that do not expose children to established health risks are not indiscriminately removed from store shelves.

"JPMA is fully prepared to help our members comply with implementation requirements that are practical and justifiable," said Michael Dwyer, executive director of JPMA. "But the federal requirements must be implemented in an effective and efficient manner or risk chaos in the marketplace and the loss of many safe products."

On Feb. 10, the CPSIA's first deadline regarding manufacturers' adherence to new lead and phthalate levels went into effect. However, many companies have expressed confusion over the requirements and distress that mandated testing will further inhibit their business in what is already a difficult economic time. While the CPSC granted a stay postponing the testing and certification deadline, the JPMA asked for more information regarding compliance.

"JPMA has joined with representatives of a broad range of industries to argue that the arbitrary enforcement date put in the CPSIA should be changed because the very information needed for industry to comply with the Act's requirements will not be available until after the deadline," the statement reads. "CPSC's interpretation of the CPSIA also requires that products already in inventory be compliant with the new standard for lead or they cannot be sold. Billions of dollars worth of inventory that may meet CPSIA requirements might have to be removed from shelves and placed in warehouses until the CPSC clarifies how the testing shall be conducted; only then can the tests be completed and the product back into commerce."

JPMA is urging interim action as soon as possible so that industry has time to gear up to meet any new requirements imposed to demonstrate compliance.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fantastic Friday: Creating Relationships with Clients

I was decluttering this morning and ran across a half sheet of paper with notes in "my" handwriting that must be from a small business seminar or online class that I took. No clue where or when but the peice of paper was a good reminder to me to double check that I am staying on task. With apologies for not know the sourse, here is what the paper says:

What does our customer need to know about our company?

"Quality" doesn't mean anything instead customers want to know:
  • years of experience
  • testimonials
  • endorsements
  • case studies
How does our customer know they can trust us?

Are we doing anything that makes it difficult for our customers to buy?

And here are MY questions to you:
  1. Do you have on your website how long you have been in business?
  2. Do you have testimonials and endorsements on your website that can be found easily?
  3. Do you have links to case studies involving your products on your website?
  4. Are you doing everything possible to help your customers buy from you?

If the answer is NO to any of those questions, roll up your sleeves and GET TO WORK today to turn that NO into a YES. YES means more sales!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Waxman, Rush, Rockefeller and Pryor Ask Obama to Fire Nord

This is a really good post at The Common Room. My new favorite blog on keeping up with the CPSIA. Read it and be sure to click the links.....they are important.  The whole post is important.  Read it.  The fight is NOT over.

CPSIA - One year stay

I never would have thought of myself as an "activist"! The term conjures up images of crowds of people picketing and carrying signs, screaming across the street and other misc. activities. I guess you could say "that was then, this is now". The word now means paying attention, being informed and making your opinions known to those that can do something about a way that is productive and constructive.

It seems that all of "us" small business owners, artists, crafters and WAHM's across the USA came together - albeit thru several groups - and stood up for our rights and effectively got Washington to pay attention to what we were saying. Good for us!

On January 30th, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to issue a one-year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products. Now, that doesn't mean we're free and clear, but it does mean that we don't have to throw out our inventory and/or shut our doors.

We must continue to be diligent on this issue and stay on top of changes. For now though, I can focus on my glow in the dark pillowcases, creating new designs and forging ahead w/ growing my business. We'll keep posting new developments.

Click here to read the CPSC news release.