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January 19, 2009 - Comfy Cozy owner interviewed about CPSIA

Owner of Glow-in-the-Dark Pillowcase Company Speaks Out About CPSIA
Posted By Susan On January 19, 2009



[ This is another in a series of posts by Susan Maphis covering the impact of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). For more information about the CPSIA, read Susan's previous article: The End Of Handmade and sign up for her CPSIA Alerts Mailing List ]

Peggy Vincent, President/Owner of Comfy Cozy, Inc., a company that specializes in handmade glow-in-the-dark pillowcases, supports the purpose of the CPSIA. “As a parent, I want the toys that my children play with to be safe and want the manufacturers to be held to strict guidelines that comply with the laws of the United States,” she says. “I am glad that our legislators responded to this issue; however, the end result was a broad sweeping law that doesn’t take into account the vast types of ‘products made for children under 12.’. As a small business owner, I am not simply concerned about how the new law will affect my company. My interest in seeing changes goes beyond this law, but all future laws where consideration for all types of products and businesses must be taken.”

With regards to Comfy Cozy, Inc., Vincent has contacted an approved testing lab in her state (Pennsylvania) to discuss the process and the costs. The representative from the company was not even sure yet how the process will work, but he thinks that she must have every ink color tested for lead, with an estimated price tag of $60 to $90 per color. Vincent uses over 60 different ink colors to make her glow-in-the-dark pillowcases. “That leaves me with two options; first, I could reconfigure my designs and limit the number of colors I use,” Vincent says, “which doesn’t sound like much fun from a creative standpoint! Second, I have to bite the bullet and find roughly $5000.00 to comply with the law, which doesn’t sound like much fun from a financial point of view. If all the inks are made of the same materials but simply different colors, wouldn’t it suffice to test one color?”

Vincent also sells a line of Keepsake Calendars that are printed in-house. Because they are intended for children under 12, the law now requires that she tests the ink used in her printer. “While it isn’t completely impossible that a child may put the calendar in his/her mouth, the fact that calendars and books need to be tested too, shows how broad the spectrum of products that exist are,” Vincent comments.

The second part of the CPSIA that Vincent says concerns her are the labeling requirements. “Comfy Cozy includes product information and care instructions with each order,” she explains. “It is a separate tag and is not attached to the pillowcases. The new law requires that this information be permanently attached to the item, including the date the item was produced and lot number if applicable. For us, that will require having new labels printed up and asking our manufacturers to sew them in when making our pillowcases or somehow doing it ourselves. In addition to the cost of the label, we will have added fees placed on the pillowcases.”

Vincent realizes that all of these higher costs will be passed along to the consumer. She says that her company, like most small businesses, already knows that the materials they use are safe.”We buy our materials from reputable companies that have already had them tested and know they don’t contain lead,” she says. “Many small businesses are started by moms looking for safe, unique products that are made in the USA, and we go above and beyond to ensure that our products are just that. In my case, when I began my company in 1994, I had my pillowcases tested by a lab for both durability and flammability. There were no laws requiring me to do so and the representative of the lab suggested I save myself several hundred dollars and not do it. I wanted to assure my customers that I cared about their children and that the pillowcases were not only going to last thru years of use, but met the requirements of the Federal Flammability Fabrics Act intended for children’s sleepwear. Having to now go back and have tests done on materials my suppliers have already passed, seems unnecessary and puts a heavy financial burden on small businesses.”

For now, Vincent’s company is halting production of new designs, and is adding information to its web site and hang tags to include information that their materials are safe. She is also preparing to have her top color inks tested, as she can’t afford to test them all. “I stand behind my products and my customers can trust that they are safe,” Vincent says. To view her unique pillowcases, visit ComfyCozy.com.

[ For more information about the CPSIA, read Susan's previous article: The End Of Handmade]

Article taken from UpscaleBaby.com - http://upscalebaby.com/blog
URL to article: http://upscalebaby.com/blog/cpsia/owner-of-glow-in-the-dark-pillowcase-company-speaks-out-about-cpsia/

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