Friday, January 30, 2009

crabcakes clothing

i can't believe it's already thursday, but it's taken me that long to pick myself up off the floor from the burst of responses from my last post. thank you all so much for stopping by and commenting. i doubt that ratty old t-shirt ever thought it would see the light of day again, let alone get air time anywhere, so it must be pretty happy right now. the truth is, these are easy to make. if you're interested in giving it a try, grab a white t-shirt and a laundry pen, and just start doodling, writing, journaling, whatevering on it. don't think about it too much. instead of planning the shirt as a whole, start with one small detail, and let it evolve bit by bit until you're finished.

there's more to come on journaling in a later post, but today my mind is on a different topic: the future of my good friend alix's fabulous children's clothing business, crabcakes, as well as the thousands of designers, artisans and craftspeople who manufacture children's products for sale on etsy, in small boutiques, and in craft fairs around the country.















on february 10, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) will require all children's products - books, toys, clothing, accessories, supplies, and so on - to undergo lead testing and obtain certification before it can be shipped legally. this could run up to several hundred dollars or more per item. this is not cost effective for anyone, doesn't guarantee an improvement in safety for children (as it is currently written), and will likely force many small businesses to close their doors. for more information on this act, check out this article in forbes or just google CPSIA and watch your browser explode. update: here's another article that describes how this law will affect you, whether you are a parent or not.

jennifer published an excellent article today in mothers of invention about alix's work and the work/life challenges she faces as a small business owner, including the most recent hurdle she'll have to jump if CPSIA goes into effect without an amendment to protect businesses like hers. alix is one of those resilient people who will be able to shift her design talents to women's clothing and accessories- i'm thinking she could create an entire industry out of those gorgeous fabric roses - but hopefully the bill will be changed in a way that will protect our children as well as the thousands of parents that make their living by creating children's products.

until february 10, it's not too late - you can still order from alix's one-of-a-kind children's line at alix [at] crabcakesclothing.com.

UPDATE 1/31: excellent news!! the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted yesterday to grant a one year stay of testing for certain products, so for now, crabcakes clothing lives on!

18 comments:

Lynn Fisher said...

Thanks for sharing this. Sometimes you forget the person at home behind the sewing machine, just trying to make a living. Don't legistate away these kind of jobs.
Very cute clothes by the way!
-Lynn

Christy said...

Thank you for spreading the word about the CPSIA and its effects on small business owners. As a parent, I want my child to have safe toys, clothes and books, but this law as it's written is only going to further harm our already beleaguered economy. I hope that our legislators will quickly change the law to protect our children AND our small businesses.

Bella Sinclair said...

Oh, fabulous, fabulous photos!

(DOH! Looks like you're at my place while I'm at YOUR place. heeheee!)

Yes, I heard about this and it absolutely stinks. Not to mention that those testing sites will be backlogged for ages, adding time issues to financial woes. Perhaps I should go back to school and be a chemist. I think that's where the jobs will be if this passes as is.

You are such a good friend to post about crabcakes. Her clothing is adorable! (I LOVE that 3/4 sleeve brown pullover in the photo.) And her ribbon collection is to die for.

I went right over and signed the petition against the law.

Milkberry said...

I love the fabric! Lovely!!

~Barb~ said...

This whole thing with the CPSIA is just killing me! So many of us artisans/crafters have fabulous goods that will no longer be available because of the way it's written. And in these economic times? PUH-LEEZ!
Enough of my rant. I hear ya, though.

What is a laundry pen? Am I in the dark ages?

Peace & Love,
♥ Barb ♥

L'Atelier said...

i have heard about it a couple of months ago the first time- and was rather shocked! what were they thinking?! i really hope that the petition will go through and my heart goes out to all those fantastic crafters and artisans that will be effected by that law. i truly hope that the us-law-makers will come to their senses... so what are your kids allowed to wear and play with? just massproduced ledfree plastic stuff???
the clothes are sooo beautiful- wish i had a kid- so i could shop ;)
am glad you bringing peoples attention to it
have a nice day

please sir said...

Sounds exciting - what a great little business. Loving all the variety of fabrics, ribbons and colors!

jess gonacha said...

yeah, the new testing laws are CRAP. these clothes are adorable-- why can't the government see that??

Miss Aimee said...

that entire CPSIA thing is so wild and effecting so many small businesses! So weird. What adorable clothes you posted. love the fabrics!!

joanne said...

this is one of those areas i feel so woefully uninformed about...posts like this are really important as a way of informing and teaching...to raise our awareness of the ways small business owners are affected when at times legislation swings too far in one direction or the other...

i am definitely going to get a white t-shirt to play with...it will look nowhere near as amazing as yours, but i love the idea...(showing my ignorance i have no idea what a laundry pen is...must google that...is there a brand i should look for?

Esti said...

I've read about this somewhere and didn't understand it too well. Thanks for the links and the explanation... I'm sorry to hear this will affect crafters so badly...

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! It's just FABULOUS! I'm just screaming over here! It's so wonderful! I love the pictures and I will be checking them out right after I finish this comment! Hugs and Kisses!!!

●• Tiny Red said...

lovely stuff! :)
have a nice weekend aimee:::

Anairam said...

Some areas of enterprise are over-legislated. I do (sometimes) understand a government's desire to protect its citizens and to control an industry, but honestly, it seems to me that often large corporations get away with murder, while small-business owners and freelancers have to bear the brunt of the state's overzealous bureaucracy.

heather smith jones said...

hooray for the one year stay! crabcakes is awesome and artsygirl seems to be having fun modeling for the camera :)

hope you girls got outside today!

stephanie levy said...

beautiful photos, beautiful children's clothing. good news that she will stay in business!

Nina Crittenden said...

The update you added is a little glimmer of hope for the little guy!

aimee said...

thank you for your input on this issue, and for the great feedback on alix's clothing line! the one year stay is an encouraging step!