Friday, December 26, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
There really are some of the coolest sites out there on the internet. I was having a lot of fun today at THIS site. I remember seeing this site on Matilda Jane's blog a while back and I bookmarked it after playing around on it. Am I easily amused? Maybe, but give it a whirl, show your kids and kill some time over the holidays with this activity. It's fun! In this particular instance, it's fun for me to dream right? Dream that one day, a clothing design of my own would be on lifesize billboards in a store window. For now, I find enjoyment just thinking about the dream!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Well, I know most people are in that anxious mode as we get closer and closer to Christmas. I'm trying to split my time between the holiday chaos, the family.......... hey wait, I've already mentioned them, they're the chaos part!!!......and then some quality time with my sewing machine and all the lovely new fabrics I've gotten in. I am excited to have a few new girls who are going to model some pieces for me and this new sneak peek of a Spring Dress is the "Audrey" To keep these pieces seperate in my mind, they're all getting a name, their models name! Very original I know but it's fun. This one is delicate and girly and would be perfect for Easter, a tea party or for those folks who live in Texas, the customary pictures done in the bluebonnets. Can't wait to see what this looks like on as I love how it turned out and am planning a sister coordinate for it. As my girls have gotten older, they love skirts so we're going to mix it up a tad.
After these pieces, up next we'll have Brookelyn!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
As of February 10, 2009 ABC (fill in the blanks with all the other small business names) Clothing Co. and thousands of others in the children's industry will be deeply affected financially and or will be out of business.
Remember the outcry last holiday season over lead in imported toys? In order to combat such safety issues, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has passed legislation called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The law sets stringent guidelines for children’s products containing lead and phthalates (a chemical used in some vinyl products).
It is supposed to go into effect February 10th, 2009, and after that date any product intended for children ages 12 and under must meet these guidelines, and have a certificate of compliance from a CPSC-accredited laboratory. This includes not just toys, but clothing, jewelry, blankets, sheets, books, bibs, strollers, carriers, and anything else that a child under 12 might come in contact with. Sounds great, right?
In theory, maybe. But in actuality the law is so far reaching that it may succeed in turning the economy upside down. For starters, the CPSIA requires end unit testing on every product intended for use by children under 12. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to do this testing, regardless of how small the business. That means that manufacturers (like myself ) will have to pay to get every different product they offer tested. These tests have to be done at a CSPC accredited lab, and cost tens of thousands of dollars. For example if you offer 3 different types of dresses. Each dress contains 2 different fabrics, as well as buttons, and thread, so that's potentially $600 to test one dress. But if you have 3 or more styles, that's $1800. And when you get a new bolt of fabric, you need to start all over again.
At present, there are no exemptions for small businesses and "micro" manufacturers and most handcraft artisans. There is no exception for quantities made, where the garments/products are made or anything else. Nor is there an exception for unadorned fabric components, unfinished wood components, materials which, by their nature, are free of lead and phthalates.
Also, the Act takes a "guilty until proven innocent" approach, which would treat a handmade, unfinished wooden toy that doesn't meet the certification deadline of 2/10/09 as a "banned hazardous substance" which would be illegal to distribute in this country. Each infraction carries a $100,000 felony charge. This legislation is also retroactive for any pre-existing inventory as of February 10th, 2009. This means that everything on the shelves in those big (or small) stores will also be "banned, hazardous substances" - contraband.
Larger corporations that can afford testing will incur thousands, maybe millions of dollars in fees, and this expense will be handed down to the consumer, probably making the prices for children's products go through the roof.
This also means that after that date, even selling your kids old things on eBay or Craigslist will be illegal. Charities will not be able to accept donations without a certificate of compliance either. February 10, 2009 is being dubbed “National Bankruptcy Day” by many people in the apparel and toy industry. If this legislation is not amended, it will affect everyone from port workers to parents looking for legal products. Billions of dollars worth of children's products will have to be destroyed because they can’t be legally sold, and this will cause major environmental problems.
While we all for higher safety standards and keeping our kids safe, this law is so overreaching as to put thousands on manufacturers of children's products out of business -hurting our economy and causing even more loan defaults. Though this legislation was well-intentioned, it cannot be allowed to stand as is.
Please help us defend the American dream and our entrepreneurial spirit! This law affects every stay at home mom trying to help put food on the table and every grandmother knitting blankets for the local craft fair. It makes the thousands of us who have found a niche in the burgeoning children's market have to make a tough decision - continue to produce items illegally and possible incur a $100,000 fine, pay the enormous fees and raise costs of goods sold, or close up shop!
Please help us!Contact your Congressperson using this link: http://capwiz.com/americanapparel/issues/alert/?alertid=12274476
It only takes 30 seconds!If you have an extra minute send a hard copy of the letter as well!To sign the online petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/economicimpactsofCPSIA/index.html
Read more about it here: http://nationalbankruptcyday.com/
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I started on a new piece and when I look at it in it's entirety, I think of my friend's daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth has a personality that is all her own. She's full of spunk, endless energy and is always on the move. What better style to dress her in than an easy to move around in peasant style top. I see her eating ice cream for breakfast on many Mondays. Is this her mom's choice? Heaven's no, but we start each week by meeting for a cup of coffee and breakfast tacos at our local coffee shop, Cups & Cones along with some beginning of the week chitter chatter. It's the begging and pleading that any mom of a 3 year old is all too familiar with that gets her her cup of ice cream! When I think of my favorite ice cream as a kid, it was always the bubble gum flavor. I'd get a cup and put them all in there eagerly counting my final tally of gumballs. For some reason, when I saw this fabric, it took me back to my bubble gum ice cream days as a kid. These days, I'm not ordering a whole lot of gumball ice cream, but I do enjoy sitting back and watching Elizabeth.
I'm really excited for the holidays but I'm equally excited to get some photos in my new Spring pieces. If we get some cooperative and unseasonally warm weather, I'll post soon.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I just finished one of the new apron skirts I'll be listing come the new year. This one might be the boldest combination of color but also one of my favorites I've made. I wanted to clarify from a few questions that I've received that YES, this is a skirt, not an apron. I guess some of you have been wondering if aprons are making a comeback in the kid world and wondering why the heck I make so many of them. Well, to shed light on the topic, it's really just what this style of skirt is called. Layering is a big trend these days in clothing and this is just another spot to add a layer in the form of an apron on the skirt. Gives us a chance to introduce some more color and add some depth to the piece. It really made me smile to think a few folks thought that one of my specialties was kitchen wear. Very soon, we'll get some modeled photos of the full piece to share.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I've got a friend who just moved here who's daughter just brightens my day when I see her. You know the kind, the child that skips instead of walking and they're just a little ray of sunshine. She's a delicate, feminine little girl who loves her cowgirl boots. I always get a kick out of seeing her with her boots on. My first dress for the new year that I'll list was an inspiration from her. The girly girl meets the cowgirl of the South. Here's just a teaser pic of "The Olivia" dress named just for her. The instructions are easy, just add boots and a cute kid! When she models it for me, we'll give you the full snapshot! Lots more on the horizon and more reveals as the days cruise on. I know everyone is shopping for X-mas but just throwing out a few pics of things to come once the holidays come to a close and the new year begins.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
When it comes to fabric selection for new clothing pieces, I'm always drawn to the floral patterns and welcome the colors associated with Spring. I really enjoy when I start seeing all the new prints that are debuting. Decisions, decisions as there are so many fantastic ones to choose from and I've got them trickling in from all over the place. I'm fairly certain I'm on a first name basis with my UPS man at this point as he brings me these fun packages. Like many moms across the globe, I'm drowning in a to do list now that the holidays are in full swing, but every now and then, I just need to stop, to breathe and feed that creative side of me. Why am I rambling????
Well..... I recently crossed paths and had a conversation with an amazing photographer, Scott, from appropriately named, Scott Stater Photography here in the Austin area. Here are a few adorable girls he's photo'd and his site is filled with portfolios of his work. I'm thrilled that he and I are going to carve out a little bit of time and work on a small project together. I'm going to try and sew in fast forward mode and complete some new Spring designs (great time of year to try and do this for this mom of 3!) He's going to photograph them for me and see how we might be able to help each other out. I'm excited to see what photographs he'll capture. Take a peek at his site, he's got mad skills behind the lens so this should be fun!