I've been holding out on writing this post, trying to figure out my best course of action. It turns out that I need to close my shop by February 10.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has enacted a new law, the CPSIA, the next part of which goes into effect on February 10. This law mandates third party chemical testing of all items marketed and sold to children 12 and under. While large manufacturers will be able to roll with this, all cottage industries will have little choice but to close. Etsy will lose a huge category of their business. And we'll all be stuck buying mass produced toys from China, which was a huge source of the problem in the first place.
Luckily, this isn't a huge hit for me. My shop was just an extension of a hobby, and a neat way to share the love. I haven't promoted enough to have any regularity of sales, so the income lost will not be significant. And I have no shortage of personal projects, with my wedding exactly 9 months from today! I'm also not one of the amazingly brave and entrepreneurial people who have managed to quit their day jobs to sell full time on Etsy. (Gracious, I'm a musician, and that's half the point. I don't even have a day job!)
For the record, although it seems ridiculous to say, there are no hazardous materials in any of the 25 elephants I've made to this point, and there never will be. (Wow, I just counted them up. 25!) I had just bought a delightful pile of fabric before I learned of the law, and I intend to use it. There are 6 remaining elephants in my shop, and I'll continue selling through February 9. After that I imagine I'll donate some and continue giving them as gifts. Which is not a bad way to go, as far as sharing the love is concerned.
The gory details:
The CPSIA in its full form
Clarification for used products - good news for resale stores
Handmade Toy Alliance
Various Sources of Useful Information and Actions
at 3:09 PM