Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:52 am Post subject: Handmade Toy Alliance Members Heather Flottmann
Handmade Toy Alliance members Heather Flottmann, owner of Liliputians and Vicki Bodwell, owner of Warm Biscuit Bedding Company, discuss CPSIA and its unintended consequences to small business on Douglas Rushkoff’s WFMU radio show, The Media Squat.
New York, NY, June 11, 2009 -- The Handmade Toy Alliance is a grassroots organization, a coalition of 368 children's product manufacturers, toy retailers, and concerned citizens from across the country, who want to preserve unique handmade toys, clothes, and all manner of small batch children's goods. Formed in November of 2008 in response to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), the Handmade Toy Alliance has given a voice to small businesses by offering common sense solutions on how to improve the CPSIA, while ensuring safe children’s products. HTA recently incorporated as a nonprofit trade organization.
Vicki Bodwell, owner of the online children’s bedding and decor store, Warm Biscuit Bedding Company - www.warmbiscuit.com, along with Heather Flottmann, owner of the NYC-based children’s clothing and birthday outfits boutique, liliputians - www.liliputians-nyc.com, became Handmade Toy Alliance members shortly after organization’s inception. Heather joined the HTA Board of Directors in May. Like all HTA members, their involvement has been fueled by a desire to raise public awareness of the unintended consequences of the CPSIA; how an unamended CPSIA will put small businesses, such as theirs, out of business with cost prohibitive and redundant third party testing for lead and phthalates in all products intended for children age 12 and under.
On June 8, 2009, Vicki and Heather were guests on David Rushkoff’s WFNU radio show, The Media Squat. The three discussed the CPSIA and the broad nature of the law’s language. The effects on small businesses vs. large corporations were also debated as well as the changing marketplace and growing demand for organic, handmade, quality goods. The pair offered up possible solutions to improve the CPSIA, such as allowing component based testing. David asked what concerned listeners could do. Vicki encouraged them to, “Join the Alliance at www.handmadetoyalliance.org,” Heather urged, “Let them know that this law needs to be amended. We are for safe toys but not at the cost of small business. Contact your representative about HR 1815, an amendment sponsored by Joe Barton along with 24 co-sponsors. It’s the Consumer Product Safety Solutions Act of 2009 and currently in committee. Tell your representative to vote in favor for it.” Vicki responded that, “Once these laws are passed it’s almost impossible to reverse, so that’s why at this stage it’s critical that people get involved now.”
Rushkoff concluded, “It will be pretty hard to make anything once there is the barrier to entry of a few hundred thousand dollars in testing. It’s almost a form of the worst kind of deregulation masquerading as legislation.”
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