Legitimizing your Items-Surviving Hand Made-Part 1

Okay so I apologize if I sound a bit frazzled. When I heard about this new law, all I could think of is WTF?? Handmade items are the bread and butter of America. I don`t ever rally for anything or anyone. But this deserves something better than a fight. It deserves a solution. (Or at least my proposition of one.)

The Legislation– Along with all the costs involved with running a business, Congress is proposing the implementation of lead testing to ALL hand made goods made for children under the age of 12, as the legislation requires certificates to show that there is less than 600 ppm of lead in the fabric, many if not all fabrics have no lead in them and if there is any it is well below the eventual maximum of 100 ppm.

What does this mean? Any certified lead tester may gauge your eyes out as payment  just to test your goods or shut you down.

How does this affect you? Probably it doesn`t, unless you buy or sell from Etsy, eBay or FuzzB or sell hand made goods made by others from your site. Small business owners will be the most affected.

What do I propose? I propose 8 things,

  1. Ask your suppliers to disclose what is the lead content and certify their items are safe for children under the age of twelve.
  2. Once you know DISPLAY the amount of lead in the item right on the packaging or whether or not it is deemed safe. Below are some downloads, free labels for business owners to use freely on their goods declaring their status. Educating your customers of the wholesomeness of your items. PDF JPG TIF
  3. FIND out what the EPA`s Standards are for lead, here.
  4. TEST your own items!!! Here is the start!
  5. EDUCATE YOURSELF! Don`t get your information from just any source!! Double check and verify that what you are reading is true. Here is a website dedicated to that, Page supporting it, goverment Site.
  6. Sign the petition denying it.
  7. Diversify-don`t just sell for children sell for EVERYONE!!
  8. Continue your work. Don`t stop. You will prevail.

Burrowed from my business coach, Michelle Pippin In his book, The Innovative Mind, Dr. Gene Landrum addresses why big corporations and large companies will fail in this economy.  Essentially, todays economy demands INNOVATION, he says, which is defined as being willing to destroy what IS, to create what is NOT.  He goes on to say that this creative destruction will be too ungovernable for modern [companies] to tolerate.

It is HERE we find HOPE.  While the big names are worshiping tradition and resisting change, we can embrace change and become agile.  While they remain steeped in bureaucracy and commit to protecting the status-quo, we can be BOLD, CREATIVE, and PRO-ACTIVE. While they analyze and seek approval, small companies LIKE OURS-  can take action and seek a profit.

THIS is why Henry Ford, Walt Disney, and Estee Lauder outperformed their bigger competitors. THIS is why we have just cause to be optimistic and allow our actions to follow suit. Because in the end, optimism (or pessimism) will ultimately guide our actions.