Sorry, sorry - I promise I almost never do this, but I just learned something that I think will interest/concern a lot of you Wreckies out there. If you enjoy supporting local artists and makers of hand-made goods, please keep reading.
Here's the deal:
In August the Congress passed the CPSIA, a law making it tougher to sell toys and other childrens items that contain lead - so obviously that's a good thing. However, as a result of this law any crafter or stay-at-home artisan who makes items for kids under 12-- from clothing to toys to school supplies - must have their items tested to the tune of $400-$4000 per item. Since most crafters cannot afford those kinds of fees, this means tens of thousands of stay-at-home moms and small home-based businesses may be forced out of business come February 10, the official "mandatory compliance" date set by the law.
As a small business owner and indie-art-lover I was distressed to hear of this from reader Laurel, especially considering it's an easy fix: all that's needed is a simple amendment excluding micro-businesses, similar to the exemptions granted by the FDA for small producers under the food labeling laws.
So, if you want to help save Etsy sellers, stay-at-home crafters, and countless other small businesses, please visit the Handmade Toy Alliance. There you'll find a sample letter you can send to your congressman and an online petition you can sign, in addition to lots more info and links. Remember, the deadline is February 10th, so please act now if you're going to.
And that's it! We now return you to your regularly scheduled Wreckage.
UPDATE: A few of you have referenced Snopes (an urban legend/rumor fact-checker) in the comments, saying they called this law a false rumor. However, what Snopes was addressing was the resale of USED children's items and clothing, which will in fact still be legal after 2/10. (Click here to read the article.) All new items are still affected by the law.
UPDATE FROM JOHN: Um hi. The comments on this are done. It's all very interesting and I strongly suggest y'all read up on it further. And if you are desperate to make your voice heard, please send a letter to your representative, write about it on your personal blog or even e-mail your friends but I would ask that you not comment on other posts about this one. The only reason I am not taking this down is that Jen really does care about small businesses and she was trying to do a good thing by letting all of our awesome readers know about something that concerned her. That's it. Wreck On and happy Martin Luther King day!