Tests, tests and more tests

The hardest part of importing children products (other than finding a manufacturer and balancing full time job, kids, husband and housework) is to be compliant by US government.  I have done a huge mistake the first time and I lost money, time but most importantly my confidence exactly a year ago today.  It was awful to find out that the shoes I have worked for over 6 months weren’t compliant by CPSIA lead requirements.  When I thought of importing mommy and daughter matching shoes from overseas,  I didn’t know what tests were required for children products and I was too naive to believe my supplier’s words.  I didn’t do enough research or in other words I concentrated on everything else but the boring part: REGULATIONS.   Can I say I recovered from it quickly? I could at least learn from my mistake and get back to it stronger?  I read all the “learn from your mistakes” blogs and most of the websites about the successful leaders who have had many mistakes in the past!

What is really important for me? Have a satisfying job with flexible hours so I can have quality time with my precious babies and dear husband.  I believe in my idea and I know there are a lot of moms out there that I would like to connect with, who would be happy to be part of my business somehow.

I was lucky to give my grand idea a second shot after more than year.   This time I am doing all of my research on what tests are required.  The frustrating part is I am still not sure exactly what it needs to be done.   The lead testing for substrates and surface paint, small parts, sharp points…  I go to CPSIA.org website to find out I have to go through pages and pages documents, facts, presentations and more pages of description about the children product and what parts are involved for the testing.    I negotiate with the new supplier about the requirements before making the samples and they agree to use the environmental free materials.  What does environmental free mean?  Does it mean when I send these shoes to the testing lab, they are going to pass the lead testing? Or are they going to fail so I loose more money?

Right when I think I got all the answers, on November 11, I read another article about DEHP Content CA PROP 65 Based on this article, every shoes, and accessories need to be tested for DEHP content if they are intended to be sold in California.  Wait a second I thought we weren’t testing for DEHP because shoes weren’t considered toys by CSIA regulations.  So back to the testing company, telling them to add the DEHP content testing which costs more than any other tests.  I know nothing is easy in life but can please somebody tell me how a start up business can even start up considering all the up front tests that we are required to do?

One last hope, I hope shoes pass all the tests!


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