Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's been a crazy few weeks...

So much has happened since September has started. For one, I didn't get rejected for my business idea when I presented it to the selection committee on the 1st (yay), but that I was asked to do some research into the use of plastic safety eyes with Health Canada, as well as lowering my production costs so I can make a higher profit margin (and ultimately get approved after my 2nd presentation in October).

I suppose all plush makers know that plastic safety eyes (see image below) are unsafe for babies up to the ages of 3 years.


According to Health Canada, http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2011-17/page-5.html:

 An eye or a nose — other than those made entirely of felt or another soft textile material — that measures 32 mm (1 1/4 inches) or less in its greatest dimension and that is attached to a doll, plush toy or soft toy must meet at least one of the following requirements:
(a) it must not be capable of being gripped by a three-pronged claw hook as illustrated in Schedule 4; or
(b) it must not be capable of becoming detached when it is tested in accordance with Schedule 4.

Also...
Eyes and noses on dolls, plush toys and soft toys that are 32 millimetres (1.25 inches) or smaller in their greatest dimension must be solidly attached in order to reduce choking, ingestion and inhalation hazards. This type of component is tested by freely suspending a 9 kilogram (20 pound) weight from it for a period of 5 minutes. This requirement does not apply to eyes or noses made entirely of felt or other soft textile fibre material.
 
It's just insane, because in my presentation, I specifically said that my target market was women ages 25-45 with a salary of $30K, and men in the same age group with a salary of $45K. Somehow, the selection committee members got it in their head that I was going to be selling these to small children and made comments about the eyes I used. To add insult to this, it's illegal to state on my Etsy shop that these toys are not intended for children under the age of 3 due to choking hazards, and this is what the Health Canada inspector wrote to me in an email:

"Please note that your products would probably be considered as toys that are likely to be used by children of less than three years.

On the webpage: http://www.curiouslittlebird.etsy.com, in the section titled "curiouslittlebird's Shop Announcement." the following warning was found:
    "Please note that most of my plush have small parts and are not recommended for pets or young children due to choking hazards"
This warning must be removed from your product labelling and/or advertisement because it is in contradiction with applicable requirements.  The CCPSA, through its Toys Regulations, prohibits  the manufacturing, importation, sale and advertisement of toys that are or are likely to be used by children of less than three years of age and contain a detachable small part.  You will find this requirement in section 7 of the Toys Regulations."

I think everyone who is reading this blog and making plush should inform themselves about the Toy Regulations of their country. I got a rude awakening with this information. The problem I'm facing is how can I market my plush to adults and NOT to young children?? Make my dolls more plush art?? (any comments on this subject would be greatly appreciated).

For now I'm trying to work on being a little factory here. :) I have to mass produce a ton of the same dolls to 1) stock up my Etsy shop and start making sales 2) stock up Tah-Dah! in Little Italy (they only have 1 plush of mine right now). For some reason this week seems to be the week of appointments, and plush my friend Alecia is coming into town from Edmonton, so no work will get done while she's here.

I'm sorry I haven't blogged sooner. :) I've had a lot on my mind, and not a lot of exciting things to show you. Oh, well, I DO have some finished plush I can photograph!

All designs are copyright © Curious Little Bird.

copyright © Curious Little Bird

copyright © Curious Little Bird

copyright © Curious Little Bird

copyright © Curious Little Bird

copyright © Curious Little Bird

copyright © Curious Little Bird

copyright © Curious Little Bird

copyright © Curious Little Bird


I found it quite humorous that despite using the same pattern for these little foxes, depending on the kind of material used, the outcome is quite different. For example, the first 3 are made with plaid cotton/poly mixture, and therefore kept to the pattern, the blue striped one was made out of fleece (and the stretch of the fleece is going horizontal) leading to make a very cute fox which everyone seems to prefer, and the last one is also made out of fleece, but I didn't realize the stretch was going horizontal on this one hence the reason why it looks so tall and skinny! Hahaha They turned out unique just like people. I still find them cute. Do you?? :)




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