Thursday, May 27, 2010

So Many Just Don't Know

I have written about CPSIA - the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 before. See this article. This law was passed almost two years ago in August and has been in full effect now for some time. This law effects every craftsperson and artist who works in children's themed craft or art. Anything made to be used of for a child under the age of 12 comes under this law.

Now, I am not going to write another article telling you about this law, but I am going to tell you about my amazement that no one still knows that this law even exists. With the exception of the craft artists that are active on the Internet, no one else knows. Crafts artists don't know. Consumers don't know. The media - newspapers, television, and radio - does not seem to know.

This past weekend we were at a very high class art show - visiting, not selling. The show featured fine art and also high end craft. One of the craftsmen there was selling children's furnishings, toys, etc. All handmade of wood and painted. Now the wood is not a problem under this law, as long as the wood is not finished or coated in any way. This wood was painted and therein lies the problem. The paint is not permitted under the law without extensive and expensive testing. And the testing process for the most part is prohibitive to those selling craft.

There is also a labeling requirement in this law. Every children's item must be labeled permanently in a certain way. Was any of this fine work for children labeled? No. Was this craft artist ignoring the law. No. He knew nothing at all about the law and neither did the people who were buying from him.

Even commercial items for children under 12 that are supposed to now all be labeled to be in compliance with the law are not. Many, many retail stores have new inventory on their shelves without the required and specific label. While large retailers may be very much aware of what they risk and have decided not to sell anything out of compliance, many small businesses, like everyone else, have no idea about CPSIA.

This is just amazing. Why is this law kept such a big secret? It is like saying that now everyone must stop at a red light but not tell anyone. What can be done about it? Frankly, I don't know. I do know that this law needs to be drastically changed and amended or at best repealed and rewritten to be responsible legislation. But that is not going to happen. But at least, while everyone that is involved with making or selling children's items must comply with this law, tell people about it.

Just my observations...

Thursday, May 20, 2010


This shop is a bit different in the theme of what it sells. Come and meet

Here is our interview with the artist, Sabina -

Briefly describe what you make?

I make spiritually inspired jewelry and crocheted items. That's the short answer. The long answer is that I make pieces that I feel bless the wearers because while I'm making them, I listen to worship music and let the music inspire me in the creation process.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

With the jewelry I started out just being interested in the beads, but as time has gone by, I've wanted to learn more and more, so now I'm into wire wrapping, etc. I keep saying I want a micro torch so I can get into some real metalsmithing, but my 18 year old daughter (who's an artist) keeps insisting that I'll burn the apartment building down ...

When I'm crocheting, I work with different kinds of yarn, but prefer either cottons or acrylics that are easy to care fibers. I'm the kind of person who thinks about how this will be used and how would I want to be able to care for it if it were mine. Then I choose the fibers that can we washed and dried easily.

How long have you been creating craft?

For as long as I can remember I've been doing some sort of crafting. When I was little I used to take leftover bits of fabric and fashion clothes for my Barbies. Then my mom taught me to crochet. Later a friend taught me how to knit. I had a sewing business for 10 years when my children were little. I also had a scrapbooking store for four years. So it seems like I've always been doing something crafty.

How did you get started?

Well, because I had some business sense it was pretty easy for me to take my crafting to the next level and make things to sell. I used to give things away and then people said that my things were so well made that I should sell them. When it came to the jewelry and crocheting, that was easy to make the decision to sell them.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

The actual name of my shop is Angelic Adornments and it came from the fact that I listen to worship music while creating -- so it was like having angels for muses. It just seemed like the logical choice.

What would you most want people to know about your work?

I so love what I do and I feel a little piece of who I am is in each piece. I want the works to bless the wearers and brighten their day. So when they buy one of my items, I hope they will feel blessed.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Don't quit your day job! Ha ha. Seriously though, if you love what you do, if it gives you joy and is almost therapeutic in nature, then keep doing it. I keep telling my daughter to please herself first in her art work and if other people love it that that is icing on the cake. Don't try to please man first because you will lose all sense of who you are in your art. And its your sense of self that needs to shine through to others from the things you make.


The work here is lovely and you must see for yourself that you are going to find that her pieces just wonderful for anyone!

Come visit Sabina at her shop!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


When you first take a look at this shop you are going to say, hey, this does not look like craft- but if you look closely through the listings you will see some very fine, handmade jewelery mixed in with listings for antiques and vintage collectibles. Many of our shops are eclectic and I also have added some vintage to my listings from time to time - so with that said, come and meet

Here is our interview with the artist -

Briefly describe what you make?

I handcraft One Of A Kind items. I love Gemstones! I create many pieces with all kinds of lovely Gemstones. I make Gemstone Jewelry, Hair Accessories, and Wall Decor.
Other Items that I handcraft are Candles, and Catnip toys.
I also Collect and Sell vintage items as well.
My Vintage collection comes from my grandmothers personal collection of over 30 years.
She decided it was time to start down sizing her collection of Fenton, Depression glass and more. She gave these items to me to keep what I desired, and to help me in starting up my shop.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

I Craft all my items from home.
I work with my children sometimes when creating some of my items.
This way they can put their finishing touches to it, and be included in my work.
I also help them create their own Items to sell on my site in the Kidz Craft Section.
This gives them a sense of accomplishment when I tell them how well they have done, and that their craft they made is online for sale.

When I am working on something more complicated I like to wait till my children are off to bed, or at school when the house is quiet and I can put my full attention into a piece.

I currently work from the comforts of my living room.
I have the nice table with drawers and a large Armoire next to the recliner to keep all my supplies and finished products in. I am currently working on making a work area in my basement where I have more space to lay things out, and keep supplies in as I am starting to running out of space in my little area.

How long have you been creating craft?

I have been creating my own crafts since I was a little girl.
My mother has always been one of those Artsy, Crafty people.
When my sister and I were young we would do Ceramics, and make Porcelain dolls with our mom.
We also helped our mom with her on going projects.
We always wanted to do our part where our help was needed.
We even helped run her booths at the craft shows.

How did you get started?

I have always loved to do crafts, and create new things.
My Husbands sister is the one who introduced me to Etsy.
She convenience, and inspired me to join Etsy and open my own shop.
She told me I should share my work with others.
She still keeps my spirits high when she compliments one of my pieces.
I have been a member since June 2009 because of her, and have met a lot of wonderful people here.

I plan on continuing to follow in my mothers footsteps of creativity, by creating one of kind hand crafted items to share with others.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

My Sister in Law and I sat back and came up with all kinds of off the wall names.
Nothing fit.
She said Mandi Your first name and Middle name just sound so nice together. Plus the spelling is so different to.
It reminds you of a mom and pop vintage shop, or craft shop why not just use that.
I thought about it and said why not?
Its different, sounded like a good shop name and I couldnt seem to come up with anything better.
I think it fits to and that is what is most important.

What would you most want people to know about your work?

I create with love. Each Item is always made with love, as I love what I do.
I spend alot of time creating my items. I focus on detail, quality, and trying to create something you wont find somewhere else.
Sometimes I will remake a piece over several times before I am satisfied with it.

Sure you may find a lot of jewelry, hair accessories, wall hangings, candles, and cat toys anywhere, but my focus is to make sure my items are not like others.

I strive to make them different, and interesting, yet lovely.

I also strive on Customer Service as it is a must! I worked in Customer Service, and Management for over 15 yrs.

My goal is to make Every customer Happy, and Satisfied with their purchase, communication and delivery.
I have been selling Antiques, and Vintage plus many other items for years on Ebay with 100% positive feedback from every customer and made it to a power seller.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Just hang in there and keep doing what you enjoy.
I know its hard, and sometimes it can get frustrating in the beginning when you are trying to get your business to grow. But if you love doing what you do just stick with it.
Advertise Locally, Word of mouth and Online and they will come.
I am still trying to get my face and products out there myself.
But I wont give up because I enjoy what I do.


Now come and take a look at this shop!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Another Sales Venue Site

I sell my craft, or perhaps I should say, OFFER my craft on several different sites. So far there have only been three that have been four that have brought any sales, with Etsy remaining the number one site for consistency of making sales. One of the other sites has brought three sales in almost two years, another has brought four in more than a year, and the other has brought two sales - but no payment as there is a minimum that must be reached on that particular site before you are paid. So when I focus my attention on my shops it is the Etsy shop that gets most of my time.

I recently came across anther site called Zibbet. I came upon this through a tweet on Twitter and went to look. What interested me most about this site is that there is an option to sell on the site completely for free. The free account includes the listing of up to 25 items and provides more than enough features to set up a shop. When I looked at the site, the first thing I did was look at several shops to see if anyone is making sales. Unlike Etsy, this site has no visible sales statistics for its shops. Not good, really. When I do not see visible sales stats I figure that is because the site does not want you to see that no one is making sales - which is what I have discovered through direct experience on some of the sites that I offer work for sale. I looked around. Checked the terms of agreement. Everything seems to be legitimate and I registered for a free sales account and opened a shop.

I now have a shop on Zibbet - Q Branch Ltd. (what a surprise! - same as all my other shops) I am starting with just a few items - my big craft sellers on Etsy and we shall see how it goes. Since it is not costing me anything but time there really is nothing to lose.

If you are interested in a shop on Zibbet follow this link and see what there is. You can get the free site or for less than $10 a month you can get a premium site with unlimited listings and a number of other features. Or get yourself a free one to start and see how it goes. If sales start coming in you can always move up to the premium account later. As time goes along I will post here if any sales are made.