Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Resolutions

OK, so the experts say to set realistic goals for a New Years Resolution. They also say don't forget you have the whole year to accomplish said goal... that was a little too much leeway for me. So my New Years Resolutions are immediately attainable, fun and not one of them is about what I'm NOT going to do!

1) Pray More
2) Play More
3) Get a Massage weekly (oh yes, that is a goal of mine)

I hope everyone has a blessed, safe, happy, healthy, prosperous 2009!

What's yours?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Where is "Maddie & ME" going now?

Pack up the kids, the pets and the clothes Maddie & ME, Children's Handcrafted Couture is expanding on to some new venues!

Maddie & ME is setting up on 1000Markets and Artfire! Both are slated to open January 1, 2009 in conjunction with the revamping of the Maddie & ME on Etsy and Hyena Cart. Please keep your eyes peeled for all the great and wonderful changes that we are undergoing.

Oh, and a side note... Mommy's Little Helper was just featured on the Front Page of etsy! Love that Cleopatra's Milk Bath!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Maddie & ME to under go some changes

Regardless of the impending government regulations that could restrict my ability to make and sell children's clothing I am going to go ahead with the planned changes for Maddie & ME, Children's Handcrafted Couture.

I started Maddie & ME locally and off line in August of 2007. Sales were good and people seemed to like my one of a kind way of doing things here in the area. I originally started with the idea of making items for child and mother in coordinating styles and fabrics, hence the name Maddie & ME. Then I realized that was NOT feesable since it would be near impossible to guess what size the mother and what size the daughter might possibly be so although I will still make the sets on custom order request its not something I list and sell regularly. So then I opened the etsy site trying to keep with the idea of one of a kind. Maddie & ME just celebrated our first year on etsy Dec. 10, 2008. Its been a wild and wonderful year and through the process I've learned a lot.

I've decided to clean out my shop and revamp it. The reason for this is because what I seem to come across is almost every item I make I hear "Love it, but can you make it in ___ size?" This means that my one of a kind items, though useful in our small town where shopping is limited is NOT the way to go on etsy. What I plan to do is to offer several (I'm thinking 7) different styles and with those styles fabric selections. Instead of getting small quantities of fabric and making one of a kind items I plan to order larger quantities of fabric and make items to order. The quality and attention to detail will remain the same. The availability for custom sizing will also remain a constant in my shop as will custom orders for the hard to fit child.

I also feel that by making these changes I will be able to devote more time to my family and duties as a mother and wife (in addition to being an employee to my own mother and business owner of two businesses myself). I just feel like I've been spinning my wheels making all these items that everyone seems to want in a different size so I am emptying out my shop of ALL stock items and am selling at 25% off and also willing to take trade from other sellers.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Uh OH! Is the Government Going to Regulate Me Right Out of Business?

I am now more afraid than ever. First I heard of this FDA Globalization Act of 2008 and possibly implementing a large yearly registration fee and mounds of paperwork for all bath and beauty manufacturers. Now the "Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act" looks to regulate me right out of the Children's Clothing business. The following quote is take from the Handmade Toy Alliance

"For small American, Canadian, and European toy makers, however, the costs of mandatory testing will likely drive them out of business.

  • A toymaker, for example, who makes wooden cars in his garage in Maine to supplement his income cannot afford the $4,000 fee per toy that testing labs are charging to assure compliance with the CPSIA.
  • A work at home mom in Minnesota who makes dolls to sell at craft fairs must choose either to violate the law or cease operations.
  • A small toy retailer in Vermont who imports wooden toys from Europe, which has long had stringent toy safety standards, must now pay for testing on every toy they import.
  • And even the handful of larger toy makers who still employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety problems of 2007.

The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of toys that have earned and kept the public's trust: Toys made in the US, Canada, and Europe. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade toys will no longer be legal in the US.

If this law had been applied to the food industry, every farmers market in the country would be forced to close while Kraft and Dole prospered."

Does the government really need to regulate what we are making right here in America when the problem products were mostly imports from Asia (mostly China)? Is the American government really that interested in putting me and thousands like me out of business only then have to pay welfare or some other government support program in order to supplement the income I am bringing into my household?

So what now? Medical expenses are almost 100% unreasonable, Health Insurance is almost completely unattainable, Prescription Medication is out of reach for many American's, food prices went up as a result of fuel cost increase - except fuel is now less than $1.50 a gal. here so when will they lower the food prices? NOW they are going to impose such expensive testing procedures and regulate all children's toys and clothing! How much will that increase the cost from the manufacturer (even if its not me) so that our children won't have clothes or toys?

And on that subject... are they going to send some sort of government official to confiscate all the toys and clothes that are in my child's possession? You know, the ones that were produced before this law? How will they deal with the resale shops, free-cycle, the toy swaps that so many parents are involved in, what about garage sales - lots of people sell toys, clothes and children's items right out of their own home... HOW DARE THEY BREAK THE LAW? (said with much sarcasm).

All we can do is spread the word, contact our government officials and express our outrage at this absolutely ridiculous waste of government time and money. There just HAS to be a better way to protect our children without implementing such a blanket law that makes absolutely no sense for the small businesses making Handmade, American Made products. Please, all my readers PLEASE take a few minutes and help us out!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Can't Help But to Brag a Bit

I received this message earlier today through Etsy's messaging system and I was so pleased with the thoughtfulness of this lady that I wanted to share. Not every customer takes the time to tell you what they think, especially so long after the purchase. So here is the lovely compliment I received on my We Three Kings Soap and Kaldi's Dance Coffee Soap.

I bought this soap months ago as a gift for my friend. I never even opened the package when it came because I didn't want to be tempted to use it for myself. The other day I finally opened the envelope and I noticed you added some samples. I tried the three kings soap. I've never used handmade soap before. Even though I'm not crazy about the scent, I did like the way the soap made my hands feel. They felt clean and soft at the same time. I just want to let you know that I think you make a great product and I'm sure my friend is going to love the coffee soap!

Lazy Bone Creations"

Monday, December 1, 2008

For the next 4 hours I am offering a super special sale in Maddie & ME, Children's Handcrafted Couture! Free Shipping on all Stock items and I've just decided if you purchase any dress, set or vest between 11:00am and 3:00 pm est you'll get an additional 10% off (AND FREE SHIPPING).

Check out all the adorable girls holiday outfits at Maddie & ME!

Duck Tales Inflation Lesson


Please note that all designs sold by Maddie & ME, Children's Handcrafted Couture AND Mommy's Little Helper, Bath & Body for the Soul are the intellectual property of the owner and are subject to all Copyright protections as provided by law.