I'm very discouraged today. I have been purchasing materials and planning to make a line of handmade items to sell on Etsy.com. I don't have a store there yet, because I need to have an inventory first, as well as logo, banner art, business card design, etc. But I've invested a couple hundred dollars so far in materials and equipment to make these things which will be aimed at people who I expect to be at least 21 years old and probably more like 50 or 60.
Anyway, yesterday a discussion erupted on the Etsy forums about a new law (the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act) that's proposed in Congress that, if applied broadly, apparently will require all of us small business people making handmade items to keep extensive records and reporting capabilities to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, maybe even requiring us to pay for testing of our products. Trouble is that no one - including the CPSC themselves - seems to really know who and what is covered, and what the obligations will be.
Well - this was going to be a fun, part-time way for me to be creative and make some money to maybe do some improvements around my house that my normal budget won't allow. If it's going to turn into a monstrous money pit and bureaucratic nightmare, I don't need it. Of course, there's a lot of concern and agitation going on amongst the Etsy crafters but no one seems to have figured out what it really means. So I'm going to just sit on this idea for awhile - after all, I have enough other projects I could be doing with the time this would have consumed - until the dust settles and the CPSC comes out with their final regulations. It's kind of looking like the bill was written to answer those horrible problems of things like flammable materials used in children's pajamas that were made in foreign lands, lead in toy paint, etc., and the writers were unaware that there is a pretty vast population of self-supporting crafters out here whose businesses would be absolutely crushed if this thing is broadly applied. They'll be hearing from some Etsyans now, that's for sure, and maybe they'll refine the bill's language to avoid that.
But dang, I was looking forward to this little enterprise of mine...