Handmade Toy Alliance
RDIA Member Since 27 July 2010
Handmade Toy Alliance to Testify at Senate Commerce Sub-Committee Oversight Hearing
The Handmade Toy Alliance (HTA) will testify on Thursday December 2nd at a Senate Commerce Sub-Committee oversight hearing regarding the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The Handmade Toy Alliance (HTA) will testify on Thursday December 2nd at a Senate Commerce Sub-Committee oversight hearing regarding the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). HTA board member Jill Chuckas (Crafty Baby – CT), Board Member Randy Hertzler (euroSource – PA) and Board member Kate Glynn (A Child’s Garden and Impish – MA) will travel to DC to participate in this very important process. The HTA was formally invited to testify and looks forward to this opportunity to continue the discussion of the need to amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). As a new Congress begins, the HTA is hopeful that this will be a large step towards meaningful reform.
This past April, the HTA testified in a House Energy and Commerce Sub-Committee hearing. HTA Vice-President Dan Marshall (Peapods –MN) stated “Our focus now is to help this process proceed quickly. It has been a very long road to common sense changes to the CPSIA. The time for waiting is over. Congress needs to move swiftly to fix the issues with the CPSIA.”
”We now have an opportunity to address issues with the CPSIA in front of the Senate Commerce Sub-Committee. This is an important move to continue our fight to keep specialty retail stores, toymakers and children's product manufacturers from having to close and go out of business due to the constraints of the CPSIA,” stated Board member, Jill Chuckas (Crafty Baby – CT).
Board member Mary Newell (Terrapin Toys –OR) shared “The CPSIA has caused me to step backwards in how I run my company. To comply with the CPSIA is confusing, changing and very costly. I am just trying to focus on tried and true products and feel very uncertain about trying anything new. I have tested to safety standards for the past 15 years at a reasonable cost to my business but with the new testing protocol, my testing costs have dramatically increased. Without some reform it will be a struggle to stay in business.”
Chuckas continues, “Over the last two years, we have been told countless times that the CPSIA was never meant to adversely affect small toy companies and the member businesses the HTA represents. Yet time and time again we have hit brick walls when trying to get meaningful reform passed to fix the CPSIA.” The HTA reports that this lack of reform has left their member’s business’ and countless other companies confused and unable to move forward, struggling to navigate the costly labeling and third party testing protocols, without adding to overall product safety.
Newell adds “We have worked tirelessly, along with many others, to enact common sense change within this legislation, always holding on to the fact that the products we create are and have been safe. We have also seen numerous member’s companies go out of business, change product lines or get out of the children’s market altogether. Not because they were unsafe or harmful products but because the CPSIA has made it impossible to continue what they love and enjoy doing - making and selling creative handmade products.” The HTA remains hopeful about this opportunity to address the committee and looks forward to having meaningful reform of the CPSIA, thereby correcting these unintended consequences.
The HTA consists of 592 member businesses, including retail stores, toymakers and children's product manufacturers from across the country who want to preserve consumer access to unique handmade toys, clothes and all manner of small batch children's goods in the USA. Formed in November of 2008 in response to the CPSIA, HTA members are parents, grandparents and consumers who are passionate about their businesses as well as the safety of the children in their lives. While in support of the spirit of the law, the unintended consequences of the CPSIA have motivated members of the HTA to work to enact change at a federal level. For more information, visit www.handmadetoyalliance.org.
Dan Marshall, co-owner
Peapods Natural Toys & Baby Care (St. Paul, MN)
Jill Chuckas, Owner, Designer
Crafty Baby (Stamford, CT)
Cecilia Leibovitz, President
Craftsbury Kids (Montpelier,VT)
Mary Newell, Owner