New York, NY (PressExposure) 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 childrenâs products. HTA recently incorporated as a nonprofit trade organization.
Vicki Bodwell, owner of the online childrenâs bedding and decor store, Warm Biscuit Bedding Company - http://www.warmbiscuit.com, along with Heather Flottmann, owner of the NYC-based childrenâs clothing and birthday outfits boutique, liliputians - http://www.liliputians-nyc.com, became Handmade Toy Alliance members shortly after organizationâs 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 Rushkoffâs WFNU radio show, The Media Squat. The three discussed the CPSIA and the broad nature of the lawâs 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, âJoin the Alliance at http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org,â Heather urged, âLet 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. Itâs the Consumer Product Safety Solutions Act of 2009 and currently in committee. Tell your representative to vote in favor for it.â Vicki responded that, âOnce these laws are passed itâs almost impossible to reverse, so thatâs why at this stage itâs critical that people get involved now.â
Rushkoff concluded, âIt will be pretty hard to make anything once there is the barrier to entry of a few hundred thousand dollars in testing. Itâs almost a form of the worst kind of deregulation masquerading as legislation.â