Friday, November 6, 2009

CPSIA - CPSIA Casualty of the Week for November 2

The Alliance for Children's Product Safety's "CPSIA Casualty of the Week" highlights how the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is disrupting the U.S. marketplace in order to draw attention to the problems faced by small businesses, public institutions, consumers and others trying to comply with senseless and often contradictory provisions of the law. These provisions do nothing to improve product safety, but are driving small businesses out of the market.

Congress and the CPSC need to address the problems with CPSIA implementation to help small businesses by restoring "common sense" to our nation's product safety laws.

CPSIA Casualty of the Week for November 2:

The Final Adventure of Whimsical Walney:
CPSIA Claims another Home Crafter

Dana Lardner started Whimsical Walney in 2004 to showcase handmade products with the theme "let children play." She sold items such as kids' fabric books, foreign language-focused clothing, and outdoor blankets on her website. Dana always focused on product designs that promoted a child's imagination. In April 2009, almost a year to the day that she reintroduced Whimsical Walney with new branding and a new website, Dana shut down her business because of CPSIA.

"I decided to close my business because I had planned to introduce a new line of products. I was going to sell off existing inventory and then discontinue several of my old products to focus my business and build my brand. Because all my products would be defined as “children's products” under the CPSIA, I would be required to test everything for lead and some for phthalates. It would have been cost prohibitive not only to test products that I don’t intend to continue selling, but also to test yet-to-be-released products whose acceptance in the market is unknown. I know that there was a stay of the testing requirement, but the writing was on the wall for businesses like mine. From the tracking label requirements to the prohibitive penalties, I just could not take the risk of staying in the children's product market."

Dana has shifted her business to focus on products specifically designed for adult consumers such as handmade housewares and accessories. Unfortunately for kids, Whimsical Walney is yet another product line and small business that has left the children's product market – not because any of the products were unsafe, contained dangerous levels of lead, or could anyway harm a child, but because of the inability to concurrently market and build her business while also managing the undue overhead of the irrational provisions of CPSIA.

Dana started a CPSIA blog at her website:

Do not accept the status quo! Tell Congress and the CPSC to restore "common sense" to our nation's product safety laws. Click here for instructions on how to contact the CPSC and your representatives in Congress.

1 comment:

Kim said...

My daughter has the good fortune to own one of those last few shirts. The quality is impeccable, and the design is just adorable. It makes me sad that Whimsical Walney's products are no longer available to children.