I am a wife, a mother and a business owner. I also serve a lot of mom-owned businesses through the Indie Beauty Network, and I know how important it is to stand up with and for my members to oppose unfair legislation that would destroy their jobs without any consumer benefit. It would not be the first time it happened.
On August 14, 2008, former President George W. Bush signed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The law, which has its genesis in the fact that a few large companies manufactured and imported unsafe children’s products and sold them to American consumers, became effective on February 10, 2009. Two and a half years later, the fallout continues.You can get a great ongoing summary of the “unintended consequences” of CPSIA at the Handmade Toy Alliance blog. Earlier today, IBN member Katherine Corkill at Sterling Minerals Cosmetics told me that some people don’t think CPSIA actually caused anyone to go out of business. I believe that to be untrue. Here are just a few examples of businesses that folded after CPSIA became the law of the land. These links are from media reports or the blogs or websites of the people who either closed completely or put their businesses on hold.
- Perfect Circle. This consignment shop in Bremerton, Washington, owned by Laura Nesby and Jenna Matthews, closed its doors, saying, “”We will not run our business knowing we could get fined or sued at anytime.” Read more.
- Hands and Hearts. This company in South Carolina closed because it could not afford to test its home school supplies. In announcing the closure, the owner said, “We know that these kits have blessed thousands of homeschoolers around the world, and we have prayed, wracked our brains, and sought council in hopes that we would not need to take this step.” Read more.
- A Kidd’s Dream. The owner of this store in Arkansas closed the day before CPSIA became effective. In closing, she said, “The only [businesses CPSIA] is not going to affect are the ones who were importing from China in the first place.” Read more.
- Doll Shop. A mom making handmade dolls in her Hawaii home was forced to close when CPSIA became law. She had sold the dolls to help pay the medical bills of her 8-year old daughter who suffers from Russell Silver Syndrome. Read more.
- Whimsical Walney. This etsy shop closed due to CPSIA. Read more..
- Baby Sprout Naturals. In a post entitled, “Death By CPSIA,” the owner of this business that offered organic baby apparel and educational toss announced she was closing her doors. Read more.
Exactly one month after CPSIA became effective, Amazon removed 2,500 products that were not compliant with the new law. I’m sure many of them were safe products made by moms and family-owned businesses that simply couldn’t afford the testing.
Listen To My Interview Of People Who Went Out Of Business!
In case you’re wondering what these stories and CPSIA have in common with SCA 2010, I invite you to click here to open up a window that will allow you to listen to my February 9, 2009 (the day before CPSIA became effective) Indie Business Radio Show interview with Michael Kushner, Esq., the one-time class action attorney for several businesses shut down by CPSIA. The audio is about 50 minutes long, and includes my one-on-one discussion with women who were shut down as a result of the law, which required companies making and selling toys on a small scale to comply with unduly burdensome and cost prohibitive testing requirements — testing for things they did not use in their products.
HR 5786 would have the exact same effect on small, woman- and mom-owned cosmetics businesses.