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Friday, January 30, 2009

Great News on the CPSIA Front!

Whoo hoo! This is a true reflection of the power of people banding together to create change!!
Effective today, the CPSC (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) issued a press release indicating that it is issuing a one year stay of testing and certification requirements for certain products covered by the CPSIA law passed last August (please see my previous posts for a synopsis of the issue).
The stay of enforcement provides some temporary, limited relief to the crafters, children’s garment manufacturers and toy makers who had been subject to the testing and certification required under the CPSIA. These businesses will not need to issue certificates based on testing of their products until additional decisions are issued by the Commission. However, all businesses, including, but not limited to, handmade toy and apparel makers, crafters and home-based small businesses, must still be sure that their products conform to all safety standards and similar requirements, including the lead and phthalates provisions of the CPSIA.
For more details, click HERE. The information herein was provided courtesy of the CPSC press release issued earlier today.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

PLEASE Help Preserve Our Right to Purchase Handmade!

As of Februrary 10th, the look and content of Bullfrogs & Butterflies will have to change drastically. Due to the new CPSIA legislation, I will no longer be able to sell a number of my yummy little baby gifts that my customers adore. If I do, I will be in violation of a new federal law and subject to steep fines and possible legal action. OK, so maybe you aren't in need of baby items right now, but as someone living in the US, this law will still affect you in one or more of the following ways (information below provided by Chichiboulie, a very talented Etsian).

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.
Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too. How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:
To the Parents of Young Students: Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.
To the Avid Reader: Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.Article from the American Library Association http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1322.
To the Lover of All Things Handmade: Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.
To the Environmentalist: Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.
To the Second-Hand Shopper: Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.
To the Entrepreneur: Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.
To the Antique Toy Collector: Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123189645948879745.html.
To the American Economy: Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.
To the Worldwide Economy: Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses. If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/16/cpsia-safety-toys-oped-cx_wo_0116olson.htmlAnd for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.htmlDid you know?
If this upsets or alarms you, PLEASE REACT!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Small Business Grant Opportunity!

I was blessed to stumble on a wonderful grant opportunity for women in business and wanted to share it with all of the wonderful small biz women on the bloggy circuit! The Amber Grant for Women application is available through the link below and submissions are due by Feb. 28, 2009. I would greatly appreciate it if those interested would apply using the link provided, as your success could equal my success as well! In the spirit of the Amber Grant and the sharing of opportunities among women within the small business world, the sponsors of the Amber Grant will award one $500 grant to the winner AND a duplicate $500 to the referring small biz owner (if applicable)
Bon Chance!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thank You!

I would like to send a big shout out to Niccolinas Soto, a fabulously talented PR & marketing specialist, for taking the time to review and critique our Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby Boutique layout and content! I have already begun to implement some of the "tweaks" (wink!) you recommended and value the input you provided. Thank you for all of your help and for teaching me a few new tricks of the trade!

Whoo Hoo...Check Us Out in P&N!

Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby Boutique is featured in a fabulous giveaway in the January 2009 edition of Pregnancy & Newborn magazine...Check it out HERE!

Monday, January 19, 2009

On This Day...

On this day of remembrance, please join me in celebrating not only a man who helped to bring about great change in our nation, but also the God given privilege of living in a nation where change is possible.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Grosgrain: The Lunch Date Blouse GIVEAWAY

Be sure to check out the FABULOUS giveaway at Grosgrain! Kathleen has created the sweetest stylish little blouse that's perfect for a casual affair or quick little lunch date with hubby. The contest ends 1/25/09...so don't delay!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Playing Mad Scientist

Today I was blessed with a window of opportunity to let my creative juices flow and it was incredibly relaxing! I spent the better part of the afternoon working on some new sweet and indulgent products for B&B. I'm in the process of working on an expansion project for the shop and finding that I am developing a strong sense of enjoyment out of the learning process...it's so stimulating! I can't wait to bring the new items to the line-up...stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It Was Bound to Happen...

A class-action law suit against the CPSIA has been filed. If you, like many other mom-owned businesses, have a business potentially affected by the law, click the link at Reform CPSIA for contact info. There is no legal obligation to participate in the suit by filling out the information request form. It pays to stay informed!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Don't Forget...

Today is your last chance to enter the 9 Days of Giveaways over at the Milk and Cookeez Blog! The countdown has ended, but Tammy has generously extended your opportunity to enter through this evening. You don't want to miss out on the fabulous prizes available from these very talented mom-preneurs!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Digging Out

Well, after a big to-do, we were finally able to dig out from the 8+ inches of snow we received over the weekend. The first hit was a piece of cake...hubby pulled out the snowblower and banged out the drive, sidewalks, and front porch with ease. We were not so fortunate after the second bout, however. Being the Good Samaritan that he is, hubby took the older boys and the snowblower over to his grandfather's house to help him dig out, then to his aunt's house to help her. Unfortunately, after about 90% of the work was done, the snowblower decided it had enough and konked out! He tried valiantly to revive it once he and the boys returned home, but no luck. A shovel, no matter how ergonomic and grand is just not the same after having the advantage of a snow blower! Poor hubby...he was snow-covered by the time the job was done. How nice to have the excuse of being pregnant!! :-)
Have a blessed week!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Be sure to stop by Milk and Cookeez blog to get in on some FABULOUS giveaways! My good friend Tammy is the gracious host of these wonderful treats, all of which are made by fellow mom-preneurs. Although today is day 8 of the big event, you can still enter each and every one if you'd like! You'll even find a yummy little Posh Pastry (TM) gift set from yours truly!!
Bon chance!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year!

First of all, Happy New Year and many blessings to you in 2009! Also, thank you for your patience...I know it's been a long break.
We had a fabulous time with our family in TX and even decided to extend our trip by a day. It was wonderful to see everyone and especially to see how the kids in the family have changed over the past year! My Gama, Mom, and sisters threw me a lovely shower for little Ellia (only 2 1/2 months to go!) and it was such a treat to get out with them for the day for some real "girl-talk"!
I'm always a little bummed when the visit is over but this year I have an exciting new project to help me bounce back! I've been planning since the summer for an expansion project, well actually, the development of a new biz that will fall under the umbrella company of Bullfrogs & Butterflies. Fortunately, Santa was VERY good to me and provided me with some key tools and ingredients that I need to move forward. I'm evisioning a bit of trial and error and may be looking for volunteer testers in the next month or 2 for some exciting new products...but, of course, this is just a teaser...can't spill the beans yet!! Just a heads up to expect some fabulous new things in 2009!
As an aside, Bullfrogs & Butterflies will be undergoing some changes in the next few weeks with respect to layout and possibly content. Never fear though, everything will still be simply sweet and fantastically fabulous!!
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