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Recent News

Silikids Contest

January 20th, 2011

Hey all you Moms and Teachers, check out this out! You could win a siliskin glass for each of your students. Go to Silikid’s facebook page to find out more. – Katie

schoolblast

www.silikids.com

Pediped Footwear Launches the Pediped Foundation

January 5th, 2011

logoHenderson, NV (January 2011) — pediped®, one of the leading children’s footwear brands, has always had the mission of giving back to children in need.  pediped® will take this goal to a new level this new year with the launch of the pediped foundation™.   The mission of the pediped foundation™ is to enhance the lives of children and provide financial support to charities and organizations that are aligned with that goal. The pediped foundation™ works with charities that are dedicated to the health, education, basic necessities and the personal fulfillment of children around the world.

pediped® footwear will host a fundraiser starting January 5 through February 6 to benefit the pediped foundation™.  During the Purchases with Purpose fundraiser, select styles available on pediped.com will be marked down as much as 50 percent and half of the sales from the promotion will be donated to the pediped foundation™.  The funds will be used to provide monetary support to organizations including Make-A-Wish Foundation and other worthy children’s charities.  For more information on the pediped foundation™, visit www.pedipedfoundation.org.

A Brassy Banner Tutorial

January 19th, 2010

Party Banner Tutorial {MAKE IT} – A true queen of the DIY, Brassy Meg is sharing a fun free tutorial on her blog (Brassy Apple) on how to create this darling party banner. Customize it to suit your party decor, it’s awesome!


Pretty up your next party with Brassy Apple! >>

Holiday Tips with The Diva – Gift Wrapping

December 22nd, 2009

GIFT WRAPPING with Lisa Carroccio (The Domestic Diva)

xmas2004a



I hope you don’t think I’m mental, but my favorite holiday activity is GIFT WRAPPING. I “try” to wrap each night as new purchases come into my home. It helps to have a “gift wrapping station” set up in your home…a simple table with all the supplies you need to wrap gifts. My station has several holiday gift papers on rolls which are contained in a Rubbermaid™ Gift Wrap Holder.


xmasangels


I keep several rolls of fancy gold and ivory ribbon, tulle, my handy dandy Bowdabra™ (the Diva’s bow-making secret), place cards (used as gift tags), scotch tape (on the big rolls in the office tape dispenser), plain white boxes, tons of gold gift bags, gold Calligraphy markers and my hot glue gun. Each gift, no matter, how small, is wrapped with care and is adorned with a nice bow.
xmasstarxmaspinkballs


Stuck in the center of the bows are simple “holiday picks” such as silk flowers, ribbon roses, faux sugared berries, miniature ornaments, rhinestone buttons or some other glittered item. Year after year, my sisters fight over my bows as gifts are unwrapped on Christmas Day. They reuse them the following year to make their gifts “sparkle.”


mariellexmas2


Every year I designate a specific color and/or theme to each of my two kids. That way I don’t have to put name tags on them until Christmas Eve and the kids’ don’t know which gifts are theirs.
mariellexmas7


In the past, I’ve used some great color combinations for my teen daughter such as polka dots, zebra prints and tiffany blue. This year I’m using hot pink and black/white houndstooth for my daughter. My son will get either brown or turquoise blue depending on which wrapping paper I have the most of this year.
mariellexmas4


When gift wrapping, don’t restrict yourself to just ordinary white boxes. Get creative! I’ve used colored Chinese take-out boxes, fancy hat boxes and different baskets. If you’re going to be lazy and use gift bags, be sure to at least add a beautiful bow and handmade gift tag.


Also, don’t be afraid to use non-traditional colors. As a matter of fact, I NEVER use any red in my house. Any color can become a Christmas color is you add sparkle to it.

Holiday Tips with The Diva – Scents of The Season

December 18th, 2009

Article by: Lisa Carroccio The Domestic Diva

featured_on_opt_120

orange


Nothing puts you in the holiday mood more than the smell of Christmas. Since Christmas scents are usually limited to Pine-Sol™ pine, sugar cookie and country kitchen apple scents, I started making my own. Combine the following:
1 sliced orange
1 sliced lemon
10 cloves
1 tablespoon Allspice
3 cinnamon sticks
Add two cups of water and simmer (low flame) on your stovetop. The smell fills your house! Occasionally add more water as it evaporates.

BOUTIQUE CAFÉ LAUNCHES NEW MOM ENTREPRENEUR FEATURE

November 30th, 2009

Press Release:
Boutique Cafe Kicks off Holidays with Mompreneur Corner & 2009 Holiday Gift Guide

CANADA—November 30, 2009— From the very beginning Boutique Café’s passion has been supporting mom entrepreneurs (“mompreneurs”) and women in business. For over five years the website’s podcast interviews, fashion show spotlights, product reviews and various forms of advertising have given added attention to women business owners.

Daria Muirhead, Boutique Café’s owner and podcast hostess, is all about helping these women fulfill their dreams. In another effort to do so she recently launched Mompreneur Corner, a new feature on Boutique Café that will showcase featured articles by and for incredible business women. The weekly articles will cover a wide range of topics, from the importance of branding your business to better balancing family and business. Mompreneur Corner will offer readers specific how-to’s from expert panelists in areas such as fabric design, product placement, advertising, stress management, mothering from behind a desk and zeroing in on your passion.

“I have put together a wonderfully talented group of women for our Mompreneur Corner feature. They will quickly become an integral and ongoing part of Boutique Café and I am excited to share their talents and expertise with our audience,” said Daria.

In addition to the new Mompreneur section on Boutique Café, the site is currently showcasing its 2009 Boutique Cafe Holiday Gift Guide. The gift guide is packed full of discount codes, free shipping offers and other special promotions. This is fourth installment of the website’s popular holiday shopping guide and is a tremendous draw for readers and advertisers alike (many of whom happen to be work-at-home moms and mompreneurs).

Whether you’re interest is family or business (or holiday shopping), you can find what you’re looking for on Boutique Café.

About Boutique Café

Boutique Café is the world’s first boutique podcast. The site’s weekly shows highlight topics of interest to fashion savvy moms around the world. Whether readers are looking for a new muse, the latest in fashion for children, reviews on must-have products or tips and tricks for women business owners, Boutique Café can help. Besides producing a highly portable and downloadable radio show, the site also supports a community forum of buyers, designers, moms and professionals. Boutique Café has experienced great success in its first five years of operation and has gained thousands of subscribers to the show as well as thousands of visitors to the site each day. Visit BoutiqueCafe.com for more information.

###

This Just In – Swanky Community

November 17th, 2009

swankycommunityimg This news just in from Amber Hewitt (owner of Swanky Moms website).

There is now a brand NEW Swanky Community where moms can connect, share photos/videos and more, create groups and the list goes on. They have over 200 members so far and are looking for fun moms to join in!

Sign up for the Swanky Community>>

All NEW!! Welcome to Mompreneur Corner

November 9th, 2009

iStock_000009033609XSmallHooray! This section is a long time in the making, and an exciting step for Boutique Cafe. If you’ve visited our site before you know that supporting women & mompreneurs in business is our true passion. For over 5 years we have done podcast interviews, fashion show spotlights, product reviews and all manner of advertising to give added attention to mompreneurs in helping them fulfill their dreams.

Now with Mompreneur Corner we hope to take our journey a step further. We will be showcasing featured articles by and for incredible business women. These weekly articles will run the gamut of topics, everything from the importance of branding your business, to how to balance your home/work just a bit better. We’ll delve into specifics from expert panelists in arenas such as: fabric design, product placements, advertising, coping with stress, mothering from behind a desk, zeroing in on your passion and much much more!!

The most thrilling part of the venture comes from the calibre of writers we have lined up to share their talents and expertise with you. Over the past several years, it’s been my honor to connect with so many leaders and trail blazers in various fields – I have approached several key people to become an integral & ongoing part of Boutique Cafe…and they can’t wait!!

We invite you to join with us in this new step at Boutique Cafe, by adding your voice to our discussion as well as sharing these articles and features with your friends. This is only the beginning – welcome to Boutique Cafe’s NEW Mompreneur Corner! Please give us a shout-out in our comments today and let us know you are eager to begin.
~ Daria

Now Accepting Reservations for our 2009 Holiday Gift Guide!

October 9th, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide It’s truly our busiest time of year at Boutique Cafe, and we just can’t wait! It’s time to start promoting all the holiday deals, discounts and shops that will make your Holiday Magical, but planning your holiday sales starts months in advance. Here’s how to reserve your ad space in our fabulous 2009 edition of the Boutique Cafe Holiday Gift Guide.

At Boutique Cafe, we’re excited to offer our popular 2009 version of our Holiday Gift Guide for your online shops, websites and stores to take part in! The savings guide will go live on Oct. 31th – Jan. 1st 2010!! We’re excited to showcase those sellers who will offer special deals to our readership, afterall saving some $$$ is a gift to us all this year.

To reserve your ad space simply send us an email to daria@boutiquecafe.com and in the subject line please put “Holiday Guide Reservation”. We’ll send you further details on how you can take part and create a holiday selling season to remember!!

Where is your Facebook Profile Daria?

October 3rd, 2009

facebook I wish that our NEWS today was more exciting and happy, sadly on Friday I was personally the victim of a hacker on Facebook. Somehow someone was able to login as me, and began to chat with several of my dear friends on FB saying that I was stranded in London and that I needed financial assistance. Let me assure you all that this is not the case, I am perfectly fine, non-mugged, and currently residing on the North American continent.

I thankfully have many sweet friends who know me very well, and recognized something weird was up. I received several phone calls from friend reporting the suspicious activity to me – Thank you so much for that! I was able to login and reset my passwords, all of my passwords in fact. However once I reported the suspicious activity to Facebook they disabled my account so they could look into it. So here I sit without access to FB and I find myself wondering “What does one do now? How will I go on without FB in my daily life over the next few days? Why me?”

So you’re all invited to my pity party. Please keep me informed of what you are up to, post in our comments and share your links – because this girl needs to feel connected. XO - the REAL Daria :)

Seeking Quilt Market Correspondent

September 14th, 2009

Picture 16 International Fall Quilt Market is hot on our heels, and this season I will not be able to travel to it due to my pregnancy. We’re opening it up for Quilt Market attendees to consider being our official Boutique Cafe Video Correspondent. (*You need to already be attending, as hotels in the area are sold out).

If you are interested in interviewing some of the top fabric and textile artists in the country for our Boutique Cafe shows please email me directly to: daria@boutiquecafe.com (Subject: Quilt Market Correspondent). Thanks so much for your interest,

Details:
October 10-12, 2009
Houston, Texas
George R. Brown Convention Center

Tote and Tee is back!

September 8th, 2009

3girls Know what’s nifty? Tote and Tee is back from summer hiatus with loads of sweet tee designs for your little GIRL or BOY! Handmade with love, and totally personalized with initials to represent your cutie-pie!

**Deal: Use the code “labor09? for 25% off your total order at Tote and Tee. Code good until Tuesday at midnight:)

Amy Butler Rugs

August 17th, 2009

Oh Yummy! These gorgeous carpeting options are now available from our dear friend Amy Butler! Here’s her email:

“I have been keeping busy the last few months with many new projects; one of the most fun has been my new hand made rugs. I have been lucky to work with my friends at Chandra and come up with 19 amazing rugs for you. Some of the designs you will recognize from my fabric and bedding lines and there are a few new ones too! After designing the rugs I was lucky enough to visit India and watch the entire rug making process, I had such a blast and learned so much. The process is truly amazing to watch and see the final product appear before your eyes.

My new rugs are made from 100% New Zealand Wool, hand made and even semi-sustainable – using no harsh chemical washes, the industries safest chrome dyes and natural latex adhesive. It took me a long time to decide but I finally picked one for my living room and I love it, it’s the cat’s new favorite hangout too! I put together a great slideshow of photos for you to review and you can get all the details on my website; I can’t wait to hear what you think! For wholesale information you can contact info@chandrarugs.com. Thanks for spending time with me today, keep in touch!

All my best,
xoxo Amy”

KSL News covers Moms Who Make it Conference

July 26th, 2009


KSL.com

There’s nothing better than giving a shoutout, a hoot and a holler to mompreneurs who are getting noticed! Congratulations to Quinn Curtis (organizer of the recent Moms Who Make it Conference) and Cari Greer (Owner of Sole Desires) for their feature on KSL news.

This piece focuses on the specific way Cari Greer is making it in these tough economic times with her business on wheels. It also shares the focus of the Moms Who Make It Conference including such tips as:

Get out there and network.
Seek professional advice.
Don’t be afraid.

For the accompanying article Click Here >>

Ultrasound Tomorrow!

July 21st, 2009

Tomorrow is an exciting one that I’d love to share with all my Boutique Cafe buddies. I’ll be going to an ultrasound in the morning, and hoping to not only see a happy healthy little bundle – but also find out if we are expecting PINK OR BLUE!!

Obviously we’re hoping for PINK since we already have four strapping boys, and I’m severely outnumbered. But we’ll be thrilled either way, a baby is just such a beautiful blessing. So everyone stay tuned, and cross your fingers that our little baby will cooperate with the ultrasound tech and show themselves. LOL!

Cheers and thanks for your support and friendship! – Daria

Moms Who Make It: Nominate a mom

July 9th, 2009

Though the mini-class and full-day conference tickets for Moms Who Make It are sold out (by the way, the conference isn’t just for moms) there is still time to buy your afternoon/evening session tickets. This ticket will get you into main part of the conference, which includes our Shop & Socialize (browsing the boutiques and sponsors); inspiring keynote speakers; panel of fab women; breakout sessions on everything from motherhood to social media; a gourmet—and I truly mean gourmet—dinner; and Mocktail Party social. Did I mention we also have some fun swag for our attendees? I should know since the boxes arrive daily at my home!

To buy your evening session tickets before they’re sold out and take a peek at the schedule, click here!

One fun part of the Moms Who Make It conference is our Moms Who Are Making It spotlight. During this time we will be honoring 10 moms who have had difficult life circumstances but have used them as a catalyst to change their lives for the better. These are moms who have inspired you to look at your own life and think, “I can make it too!”

We will collect all the nominations and randomly select ten to be honored at the conference. Each time a mom is nominated she receives an entry into the drawing, so the more nominations the better her chance of being spotlighted at our event. These moms will receive a full-day ticket to the conference and some fun swag! If you know a mom who is “making it,” please email or comment a quick summary (200 words or less) on why you think she should be honored during the Moms Who Make It conference. You can send an email to momswhomakeit {at} createdbymom {dot} com.

If you wonder if you’ll be honored as one of our Moms Who Are Making It, buy your ticket now before the price goes up on July 7th (midnight) OR before they sell out! If you are chosen we will refund your ticket price.

We’re looking forward to sharing their stories and being inspired just as you have been inspired by them!


Moms Who Are Making It is sponsored by The Potted Pansy

We want YOU to be our conference correspondent!

June 21st, 2009

Have you ever seen those guest correspondents on the red carpet and wished it were you talking up celebrities and getting behind-the-scenes interviews? And I know I’m not the only one who got a kick out of watching Ross the Intern on Jay Leno; he had a heck of a lot more than fifteen minutes of fame. Well, now it’s your turn to be a guest correspondent, but instead of doing something lame like talking with Spielberg about his latest movie, you get to talk with the fabulous women behind the Moms Who Make It conference!

I am working with Quinn Curtis, the woman behind CreatedByMom.com, helping throw the biggest party plan this most awesome conference! The conference will take place on Thursday, July 16th near Salt Lake City, Utah. Quinn is all about empowering and inspiring women and Moms Who Make It is the ONLY conference dedicated to strengthening moms in all facets of life and/or business. This isn’t an event just for women entrepreneurs nor is it just for moms. It’s for any woman who is looking for powerful tools and insight to start or grow her business and creatively balance her personal life.

Special guests include Kim Christopherson (YouCanMakeThis.com), Rachael Herrscher (TodaysMama), Melissa Chapell (Raw Melissa), Kelly Anderson (Startup Princess) and Pamela Baumeister (Wasatch Woman magazine). Here is just a sampling of topics featured at the conference:

  • Know the power in living your purpose; harness your creativity to build the life you want

  • Balance your daily demands allowing sufficient time and energy for your family

  • Cut your grocery bill in half while making mealtime more meaningful to your family

  • Enhance your natural beauty holistically

  • Know how to take your business idea and make it a reality

  • Utilize social media to broaden your support base; gain hundreds of new potential clients

Now here’s the super cool, nifty, better-read-this-whole-post part:


We are looking for one Boutique Café reader to be our


Moms Who Make It correspondent at the conference!


Daria can’t make it and wants to send YOU in her place to provide behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and coverage of the conference!

If selected as the winner here’s what you’ll win:

  1. All-access ticket to the MWMI conference (or if you have already paid for your conference ticket, we will reimburse your purchase price)

  2. Invitation to the after-hours VIP Mocktail Party

  3. Flip Video camera (to be picked up when you arrive at our on-site registration)

  4. Boutique Cafe t-shirt

  5. CreatedByMom.com super chic camera wrist strap

Read the rest of this entry »

Greggy Girl Founder Charlene May Raves about Boutique Cafe!

June 5th, 2009

Charlene May, the vivacious and dynamic founder of Greggy Girl has a brand new blog! In celebration of their first 10 years bringing gorgeous girls fashion to the world, Greggy Girl is now blogging to share their story with you (http://greggygirltalk.blogspot.com).

In her recent article, Charlene shares her personal experience of being our Keynote Speaker at the first Boutique Cafe Girls Getaway Conference we held in 2007 at Salt Lake City. The conference was attended by a wide range of incredibly talented women, and since the event we have seen so many of their businesses and passions take off in a huge way. From clothing designers, to fabric designers, to graphic artists, and so on – many of these ladies are making great strides in their industries. In the article for Greggy Girl Talk, Charlene raves about Boutique Cafe’s ability to bring these ladies together and talks about our Producer and Podcast Guru Daria as well!

Thank you so much Charlene for sharing your experience at our conference with the Greggy Girl family and fans. Having you as our Keynote Speaker was a dream come true! Read the Full Article Here >>

New site helps demystify the CPSIA

May 28th, 2009

What is the CPSIA? is a new website with a simple yet powerful purpose: “Explaining the Facts and Dispelling the Myths about the CPSIA.” For many of us who own small businesses with products aimed at children up to age 12, the CPSIA has been a thorn in our side ever since we finally became aware of it six or so months ago. Yes, the original stay was granted but now we have labeling issues to worry about and the ever-present requirement for testing, which is—gasp!—just around the corner.

I love that the site is super easy to navigate with the most important issues/questions smack-dab on the homepage in an eye-catching, bolded blue font:

  • What is the CPSIA?

  • What can I do about the CPSIA?

  • Where can I find a list of compliant products?

  • Can I sell current inventory on-hand?

  • I make OOAK items, what options do I have besides destructive testing?

...and the list goes on. I think I’ll be researching whether third-party certification will be good enough come the next CPSIA deadline.

What is the CPSIA? also has left-hand-side links important for all of us to browse, from activism sites to apparel & fashion to information for resellers. And most importantly, the site welcomes questions from readers. The more questions, the more answers; the more answers the better prepared we are to understand the CPSIA; the better we understand this law the more effective we can be at working to change it.

Whether or not you’re a seller or reseller of handmade children’s goods What is the CPSIA? is a must-read for all of us as it effects everyone. Not convinced it effects you? Check out the slideshow of affected products below.—Emily

P.S. You can follow @whatiscpsia for tweets about the newest blog posts and other relevant CPSIA info.

A Boutique Cafe shout-out on MomDot’s “America’s Next Top Blogger”

April 18th, 2009

For the past week I have been one of the competitors on Season 1 of MomDot’s “America’s Next Top Blogger.” Leave it to Trisha over at MomDot to come up with an online (virtual) reality show! I must admit, I am not a reality show junkie like some. I’ve enjoyed a few seasons of The Apprentice, caught a few American Idol tryouts (and maybe one finale) and watched a handful of America’s Next Top Model while getting in my treadmill workout. But I’ve always wanted to give reality a try (my life is far from reality—LOL) and so I threw my hat in the ring!

How does this all tie in to Boutique Cafe? Well, it only ties in loosely but it is entertaining and will give you a small glimpse into my offline life. In a recent veto competition the challenge was to video ourselves putting on the following list of items and have the fastest time doing so:

  • 6 shirts

  • 6 pairs of socks

  • 1 pair of shoes/heels

  • 1 skirt

  • 2 jackets/coats

  • At least 3 accessories (hat, scarf, gloves, etc)

The Boutique Cafe shout-out happens at the very end of my donning those six shirts—my blinged-out Boutique Cafe black tee is the very last, and I totally planned it that way of course! I only did one trial run—after two run-throughs I had worked up enough sweat for another shower! Madison was my videographer, George and Livi were wardrobe and Robert Schneider (“Boom Boom” from Robbert Bobbert & The Bubble Machine) provided the fun background music. (I think my husband had more fun watching me take off the clothing though he did crack a smile watching me put everything on while my two youngest offered their “help” and ran around me in circles!

Here’s my video, and though I didn’t win (just couldn’t beat that Dore—she had me by about 20 seconds) I had a really great time!

To watch all five videos (the winning one is Dore, fourth one down), click here.  Nothing like watching five women getting dressed from start to finish! Since this challenge I’ve won one Head of Household (HOH) challenge and a veto challenge. Three more bloggers are up for elimination and one is safe (Tara and Gena, you so owe me!)

We have a break from all the “fun” this weekend but the competition will resume on Monday. It should get pretty interesting as the final few battle it out. You might want to follow along at MomDot. No, you can’t phone in your votes but you can click! (And yes, alliances are being made…and I’m sure a few will be broken!)—Emily

LeapFrog has a new “dreamy” product!

April 1st, 2009

Today I received the following email with included press release and just had to share—it’s SO exciting! I’ll be ordering my LeapFrog Dream & Learn Smart Orb today

“Since you’re a dedicated, informed LeapMom, we want you to be the first to know about a product that has been kept under tight wraps here at LeapFrog HQ. Until today. Take a look at the Dream & Learn Smart Orb, which will make your child a genius overnight. Guaranteed. Phone lines are already open, so don’t miss this amazing offer, as supplies are limited.”

LEAPFROG® DREAM & LEARN™ SMART ORB MAKES KIDS SLEEP SMARTER AND WAKE UP BRIGHTER


“Study While You Slumber” Product Will Make Every Kid Valedictorian

EMERYVILLE, CA—April 1, 2009—Today LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: LF) proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that learning can happen anytime, anyplace—with satisfaction guaranteed. After a decade of top-secret, government-funded testing at underground research facilities in several undisclosed locations, LeapFrog has released the revolutionary Dream & Learn Smart Orb. Dream & Learn is the first product to harness the unique ability of children’s brains to absorb raw intelligence delivered via high frequency sound waves. Now all kids (and the occasional cocker spaniel) can instantly comprehend difficult-to-learn concepts—while they sleep!

LeapFrog“Every child sleeps an average of nine hours a night, so why not turn this normally wasted time into a painless study session—and ace that chemistry final?” said Nancy MacIntyre, executive vice president, product, innovation and marketing. “Parents who despair that their child will ever grasp the quadratic formula, Zeno’s Paradox or the answer to ‘how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?’ will now rest easy. We’re happy to say that, thanks to our space-age engineering, having the brightest kid on the block is no longer just a dream.”

Turning centuries of educational theory on their head, the patented smartification technology embedded within Dream & Learn—Subjective Neurological Osmosis Retention & Entertainment (S.N.O.R.E.)—allows children to go to sleep as usual and simply wake up noticeably smarter (albeit, in approximately 10 per cent of test cases, somewhat groggy). The Dream & Learn’s (http://www.leapfrog.com/en/shop/dreamandlearn.html) compact size, sleek spherical shape and hermetically sealed shell allow it to be nestled safely and unobtrusively next to any standard-sized pillow. And the ”infinity dial” of subjects lets parents choose exactly which Amazing Knowledge Archive (how to calculate a molar solution; baking a perfect pie crust—every time!; exactly who is buried in Grant’s Tomb?) will grow their little one’s brain each night.

Fighting Over Homework—Never Again!
Dream & Learn eliminates the need for any parent ever again to nag their child to finish homework. Parents simply set the Dream & Learn dial to the topic of their choice, place the device near their child’s pillow and off the little one goes into productive slumber. The S.N.O.R.E.’s proprietary sonic algorithms infiltrate and effectively “hijack” the child’s unconscious and download the selected information directly to the appropriate lobes of the brain. A satisfied parent said, “My son used to fail every math quiz he took. But now, at only eight years old, he is heading to Antarctica to do stuff my wife and I can’t even pronounce, let alone understand. Thanks, LeapFrog!”

Already in development are next-gen products that will actually allow a child to sleep around the clock—and get smarter, faster, than possible while awake. And depending on their particular parenting philosophies, moms and dads can even choose not to tell their child he or she is “Dream & Learn”-ing, placing the orb after bedtime and removing it in the wee hours of the morning. The child will awaken smarter—but none the wiser.

Availability and Money-back Guarantee
Dream & Learn Smart Pod is now available from LeapFrog’s web site. If within ten days your child is not a seven-language-speaking viola virtuoso leading NASA’s mission to DNA profile the rings of Saturn, you are guaranteed a full refund of the purchase price plus applicable shipping and handling charges.


HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY!

We’ll Represent YOUR Company at BlogHer ’09

March 5th, 2009

It’s time for another amazing BlogHer conference, and Boutique Cafe wants to represent your company at the event. This is an exciting opportunity to have Daria and Emily from Boutique Cafe work the conference for you and introduce your product to the most influential bloggers in the country.

What we offer: – hand out product giveaways, business cards at the events – network on your behalf, talking about your product/services – live video stream from BlogHer (sponsored by your company) – live tweet updates from BlogHer (sharing the scoop as sponsored by you) – follow up podcast on Boutique Cafe (sponsored by your company) – your company’s banner will run in the Boutique Cafe header during the event month ($300 value) – we’ll even wear your company t-shirts and logo

BlogHer Info:
BlogHer’s annual conference will take place all day Friday and Saturday, July 24 & 25, 2009.

Location:
The Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers in Chicago

Cost for Sponsorship:
Please email daria@boutiquecafe.com for details on sponsorship pricing for this event. We look forward to working with you and sharing your company’s message at BlogHer this year!

For more information on Daria, Emily and Boutique Cafe please check out our About Us page.

CPSIA Update from Heather Flottman

February 13th, 2009


Article by: Heather Flottman
Owner/Designer
liliputians NYC

Several new developments have come about on the CPSIA front since the last Boutique Café article on this topic. Here’s a quick summary.

1) On 2/4/09 Senators Jim DeMint of SC, Roger Wicker of MS and Saxby Chambliss of GA, and David Vitter of LA introduced bill S.374 to the Senate where it was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. This bill would amend the Consumer Product Safety Act to provide regulatory relief to small and family-owned businesses. On 2/11/09 Senators Sam Brownback of KS, Tom Coburn of OK, Mike Crapo of ID and James Inhofe of OK cosponsored the bill also. Call (202-224-3121), email, fax and write your Senator to let them know you support this amendment.

2) On 2/11/09 Rep. John Shadegg of AZ and co-sponsor Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of MD introduced bill H.R. 968 to Congress where it was read twice and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. This bill is identical to Sen. Demint’s in wording to amend the CPSIA, providing relief for America’s small businesses. Call, email, fax and write your Representative to let them know you support this amendment.

3) On 2/10/09 CPSC posted Guidance on CPSIA for Small Businesses, Resellers, Crafters and Charities. Although this obviously was needed months ago, it is still welcome information and summarizes the legislation in understandable terms. ALL sellers, resellers, retailers, and manufacturers would do themselves a favor by reading this guide. Table B is of particular interest, listing materials, which are exempt from testing (hopefully a permanent ruling) such as dyed and undyed yarns and fabrics.

4) The Stay of Enforcement remains . . . for now. Activist consumer groups NRDC and Public Citizen are rumored to be filing a lawsuit to get it overturned.

So keep up the fight. CPSIA is not going to go away and we need to ensure that small business and micro manufacturers can survive this legislation.

Breathe Easy . . . and Then Call Your Representatives

January 31st, 2009

Article by: Heather Flottman
Owner/Designer
liliputians NYC

As you have probably already read (perhaps here on Boutique Café ) the CPSC has granted a 1 year stay of testing and certification (an excerpt from the press release is in italics below).

The stay of enforcement provides some temporary, limited relief to the crafters, children’s garment manufacturers and toy makers who had been subject to the testing and certification required under the CPSIA. These businesses will not need to issue certificates based on testing of their products until additional decisions are issued by the Commission. However, all businesses, including, but not limited to, handmade toy and apparel makers, crafters and home-based small businesses, must still be sure that their products conform to all safety standards and similar requirements, including the lead and phthalates provisions of the CPSIA.
Handmade garment makers are cautioned to know whether the zippers, buttons and other fasteners they are using contain lead. Likewise, handmade toy manufacturers need to know whether their products, if using plastic or soft flexible vinyl, contain phthalates.

However, this issue is NOT over. Stop. Take a breath. Pat yourself on the back. Know that you’ll still be able to continue selling custom outfits, hair bows, or whatever product you create come February 10th. And then regroup.

It is crucial that momentum is not lost. Hope is very near with Senator Jim DeMint of SC (one of the 3 in the Senate who voted “nay” against this along with Senator Jon Kyl and Senator Thomas Coburn) introducing legislation to reform CPSIA. Call, email or write Senator DeMint and tell him “thank you.” Call your senators and tell them you support this. Let common sense prevail.

Keep the heat on Congressman Waxman and other members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Email them. Call (202-225-2927) and let them know that CPSIA needs to be amended. Let them know you support the 6 points presented by Senator Demint. Keep up the fight and save handmade.

Can I Get A Yee-Haw??!! CPSIA!

January 30th, 2009

It’s a Good START and worth celebrating! Here we go:

NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2009
Release #09-115

CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

CPSC Grants One Year Stay of Testing and Certification Requirements for Certain Products

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously (2-0) to issue a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products, including products intended for children 12 years old and younger. These requirements are part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which added certification and testing requirements for all products subject to CPSC standards or bans.

Significant to makers of children’s products, the vote by the Commission provides limited relief from the testing and certification requirements which go into effect on February 10, 2009 for new total lead content limits (600 ppm), phthalates limits for certain products (1000 ppm), and mandatory toy standards, among other things. Manufacturers and importers – large and small – of children’s products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements.

The decision by the Commission gives the staff more time to finalize four proposed rules which could relieve certain materials and products from lead testing and to issue more guidance on when testing is required and how it is to be conducted.

The stay will remain in effect until February 10, 2010, at which time a Commission vote will be taken to terminate the stay.

The stay does not apply to:

  • Four requirements for third-party testing and certification of certain children’s products subject to:
    o The ban on lead in paint and other surface coatings effective for products made after December 21, 2008;
    o The standards for full-size and non full-size cribs and pacifiers effective for products made after January 20, 2009;
    o The ban on small parts effective for products made after February 15, 2009; and
    o The limits on lead content of metal components of children’s jewelry effective for products made after March 23, 2009.
  • Certification requirements applicable to ATV’s manufactured after April 13, 2009.
  • Pre-CPSIA testing and certification requirements, including for: automatic residential garage door openers, bike helmets, candles with metal core wicks, lawnmowers, lighters, mattresses, and swimming pool slides; and
  • Pool drain cover requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.

The stay of enforcement provides some temporary, limited relief to the crafters, children’s garment manufacturers and toy makers who had been subject to the testing and certification required under the CPSIA. These businesses will not need to issue certificates based on testing of their products until additional decisions are issued by the Commission. However, all businesses, including, but not limited to, handmade toy and apparel makers, crafters and home-based small businesses, must still be sure that their products conform to all safety standards and similar requirements, including the lead and phthalates provisions of the CPSIA.

Handmade garment makers are cautioned to know whether the zippers, buttons and other fasteners they are using contain lead. Likewise, handmade toy manufacturers need to know whether their products, if using plastic or soft flexible vinyl, contain phthalates.

The stay of enforcement on testing and certification does not address thrift and second hand stores and small retailers because they are not required to test and certify products under the CPSIA. The products they sell, including those in inventory on February 10, 2009, must not contain more than 600 ppm lead in any accessible part. The Commission is aware that it is difficult to know whether a product meets the lead standard without testing and has issued guidance for these companies that can be found on our web site.

The Commission trusts that State Attorneys General will respect the Commission’s judgment that it is necessary to stay certain testing and certification requirements and will focus their own enforcement efforts on other provisions of the law, e.g. the sale of recalled products.

Please visit the CPSC Web site at www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html for more information on all of the efforts being made to successfully implement the CPSIA.

****Don’t Miss this great article on ZRecs though, CPSIA-Certification Delayed un 2010 – Seller beware

Boutique Felony Launch – One Last Hoorah!

January 22nd, 2009

Coming Soon January 27, 2009.

Boutique Designers from eBay and Etsy join forces for “One Last Hoorah” due to the ridiculous CPSIA regulations coming into effect that will put countless boutiquers, crafters, WAHM’s and sellers of children’s products out of business. These regulations do not take into account small business and will wipe out our community as well as your choices as consumers.

Please mark your calendars and tell your friends. As our items we make with our loving hands will suddenly be illegal on 2-10-2009!

CLICK to Support these Amazing Designers>>

Re-post: Almost better than an SNL skit

January 16th, 2009

The following is yesterday’s post from “freshly baked” regarding the uncut—and unintelligible—interview with Vallese, former spokesperson for the CPSC. We thought it fitting to re-post here on Boutique Cafe. Enjoy!

... If you’ve been keeping an eye on the CPSIA issue via blog posts, news headlines or even Twitter than you’ve probably already heard about the “enlightening” WBAL TV interview with Vallese, (former) spokeswoman for the CPSC. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s a must-see for even those not involved in the CPSIA issue.

After you’ve watched the video, perhaps you can tell me if I’m wrong when I say Vallese never really answered any of the questions asked during the interview. She talked and talked and talked but never said anything. She went from stating resellers of used children’s products don’t need to worry about testing to saying in not so many words (actually, many, many, many words) that testing may be the only way for a business owner to have the “level of confidence” she needs to sell those used products. By the way, the phrase for the day is “level of confidence” so wonderfully utilized throughout the second half of Vallese’s interview.

I just wanted to say thank you to Vallese for clarifying the CPSIA for me. Now everything is crystal clear: The CPSC is just as confused as I am about the new legislation. Just as entertaining as the uncut interview are the various blog posts from those same “mommy bloggers” Vallese referred to so affectionately in her interview. You will find of my favorites listed below. Perhaps SNL should consider having Vallese host an upcoming show…

This is probably the first day in a long time I’ve smiled when talking about the CPSIA. Hopefully it won’t be the last time. Better laughing than crying, right?—Emily

A Ray of Sunshine – CPSIA Update

January 12th, 2009


Article by: Heather Flottman
Owner/Designer
liliputians NYC

On December 17th, I wrote my first article for Boutique Café. It summarized the CPSIA and its effects on the handmade toy and clothing industry as well as the unintended consequences for a gamut of other businesses that sell or manufacture products for children 12 and under. Fortunately there have been some positive developments to report since then.

For one, the media seems to be finally paying attention. News programs are reporting the ramifications of CPSIA, blog postings have a steady stream of calls-to-action, and newspapers big and small are focusing on the issue. This needs to continue to make the public aware of the impact the legislation will have to small business if not amended.

The thrift and resale shops were given a reprieve yesterday with the CPSC’s press release which clarified that “sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.” It later goes on to state, “However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and should avoid products that are likely to have lead content.” And, “Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties.”

A particularly, promising statement for the handmade clothing sector was reported in the McHenry County Business Register, a Chicago area paper, by Hyacinth Filippi Worth. As stated in the article, “Davis [CPSC Spokesperson Patty Davis] said all products intended for children 12 and younger must adhere, Davis also said hand-made, one-of-a-kind items likely will be exempt, which would allow small-time crafters and seamstresses of children’s products to continue making and selling original products.” This is a promising assertion, but unfortunately is not an official ruling at this point. I hope we can make it one.

On January 9th, a notice of proposed rule making was posted on the CPSIA web site (see Children’s Products Containing Lead: Proposed Determinations Regarding Lead Content Limits on Certain Materials or Products; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under What’s New). This preliminary ruling will possibly exempt the following natural materials provided that “these materials have neither been treated or adulterated with the addition of materials of chemicals such as pigments, dyes, coatings, finishes or any other substance, nor undergone any processing that could result in the addition of lead into the product or material.
•precious and semiprecious gemstones
•natural or cultured pearls
•surgical steel
•precious metals: gold (at least 10 karat); sterling silver (at

least 925/1000) platinum, palladium, rhodium, osmium,
iridium & ruthenium
•wood
•natural fibers such as cotton, silk, wool, hemp, flax & linen
•other natural materials such as coral, amber, feathers, fur &
untreated leather
This is a very positive development and hopefully a definite ruling. However, it is just a start. DO YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO USES UNDYED FABRIC? Children’s apparel is about color. There needs to be more exemptions.

The CPSC has formally requested comments. The rules regarding testing are not final. Comments on testing methods (eight questions have been asked) are being accepted until January 30th and can be emailed to Sec102ComponentPartsTesting@cpsc.gov. For a discussion on these questions, the Fashion Incubator forum is a great place to familiarize oneself.

I am hopeful that component testing will be allowed along with exemptions for all components which clearly are not a lead risk as well as excluding some products altogether (such as books, handmade clothing, second hand clothing). I also hope that X-ray fluorescence ( XRF testing) is permitted as a more reasonable (read nondestructive and inexpensive) testing method.

Please help in getting this amended. Safe products are possible without the demise of small businesses in America. At this point it is imperative to keep up the momentum.

As mentioned in the article, satisfy the CPSIA’s request for comments by emailing them your thoughts on 3rd party testing methods.

The Committee on Energy and Commerce sponsored CPSIA and it is the chairman of the Committee that can call hearings on this matter. Let’s convince him to revisit this legislation by writing letters or calling (202-225-2927) to express your concern and how this law will affect you. If you’ve already written them, please write them again. Here are their names and addresses:

The Hon. Henry A. Waxman, Chairman
Committee on Energy and Commerce
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Hon. Joe Barton, Ranking Member
Committee on Energy and Commerce
2322-A Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Hon. Bobby Rush, Chairman
Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Hon. Ed Whitfield, Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection
2322-A Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Continue CALLING and writing your congressmen and senators (Search by your zip code in the top left and right pages to find your representatives contact info.) Make sure they hear your views on this issue. Mention the REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY Act and explain that because CPSIA burdens small businesses unfairly, that CPSIA needs to be amended. Convince them to join their colleagues such as Congressman Charlie Dent, Congressman Jim Gerlach, Congressman Tim Holden, Senator Orrin Hatch, Senator Patrick Leahy, and Congressman Anthony Weiner who have taken up our cause.

The second round of voting has started at Change.org. Register if you haven’t already and make this issue one of the top 3 items presented to President-elect Obama.

Keep blogging about CPSIA and utilizing sites like facebook, twitter, and YouTube. The internet is a buzz with CPSIA. Just google it.

Join the mail-in protest, sending soon to be “hazardous goods” to CPSIA founder Rep. Rush.

Take this survey to help ascertain the economic impact of CPSIA for retail and manufacturing businesses.

And if you haven’t already . . .
Sign this petition for the Children’s Apparel Industry and this one from the Handmade Toy Alliance.

Visit the CPSIA war room” and CPSIA Central to discuss get up to date news on the topic.

The Sky is Falling – CPSIA Issue

December 17th, 2008

Article by: Heather Flottman
Owner/Designer
liliputians NYC

The sky is falling! Yes, I feel a like an overly dramatic Chicken Little. And I wish it were true considering recent congressional legislation is about to crush the life out of the handmade clothing and toy industry. I’m talking about H.R. 4040, the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) signed into law August 14, 2008, and the ramifications it will have when it goes into effect February 10, 2009 (now being popularly referred to as National Bankruptcy Day).

Make no mistake. CPSIA was necessary in principle and has noble intentions, keeping our children safe and holding companies accountable for importing toxic toys. We all demand safety for our children and this is the intent of CPSIA; specifically to ensure safe levels of lead and phthalates in all products manufactured for children under the age of 12. Unfortunately this legislation lacks common sense, is ambiguous and fails to take into account the handmade industry.

What you see is not what you get with CPSIA. There is no distinction between big, small, or even micro one-person businesses. Whether it’s a large-scale manufacturer importing apparel to be sold in big box stores, or a work-at-home mom (WAHM) selling customs on ebay, the legislation applies the same to all.

Unit testing will be required on finished products, regardless if the components are natural materials or if you have documentation from a vendor stating that buttons, for example, are certified lead-free. As it stands, H.R. 4040 fails to recognize that textile products are inherently lead-free. Why then is an organic cotton shirt being tested for lead exactly?

Unit testing is extremely cost prohibitive to small business, but worse, it is unnecessary. In fact, it is completely redundant if the components that comprise the whole have already been tested and due diligence can prove they meet the guidelines.

To put a real dollar amount to testing one of my products, I solicited a lab quote. I was told it was $75 to test for lead per garment component and each substrate. Coated or painted items such as buttons are $100. So my Little Red Riding Hood Shirt, a 100% cotton knit shirt with an appliqué made from 7 cotton fabrics and 2 buttons eyes would cost $625 to test for lead. Flammability testing is also required and is either $50 for a certificate per component stating it meets weight code or $100 for actual testing. So add another $400-$800 for a grand total of $1,025-$1425. in testing costs for a shirt that retails for $40. If the shirt is offered in another colorway, the same testing is required despite the fact that the same fabrics are used throughout.

Small manufacturers have no way of absorbing the price of such redundancy. And all manufacturers will be required to test a finished component/item from each batch. Easy to do in mass production—simply pull one sample from a lot of thousands. But how does one comply when your “batches” are made-to-order batches of one? SKUs will also be required for each product with a permanent label on the item itself.

CPSIA will be retroactive and takes a guilty-until-proven-innocent approach with extremely hefty fines for violators. As written, any product used by children 12 and under (such as toys, footwear, carpets, clothing, bedding, luggage, lamps, toys, books, magazines, baseball cards, consumer electronics, school supplies, office supplies, jewelry, housewares, sports equipment and so on) without the newly required certification would be deemed hazardous, whether the item poses an actual threat or not. So on February 10, 2009, any unsold merchandise (in big box stores, the corner boutique, your fabric stash, Good Will donations, etc.) will be deemed “hazardous goods” and illegal to sell unless 3rd party testing proves otherwise. By the way, there are only 14 said labs currently in the United States.

Think you won’t be affected? I hope not, but the sad truth is that hundreds of thousands (if not millions) will be. Do you make children’s clothing, toys, jewelry, hair bows, accessories, furniture, artwork or anything else “intended for use by children age 12 and under”? Are you a retailer of children’s goods? Do you resell used children’s clothing or toys on ebay? Do you participate or shop at craft fairs? Do you donate used children’s items to needy organizations? Do you belong to a church that has rummage sales as a fundraiser? Does your child play sports and get their uniforms from a local screen print shop? Are you a consumer shopping for alternatives to mass-produced toys? If so, this law takes away that freedom.

Surely this legislation can be amended by incorporating some common sense and still make it possible to ensure our children’s safety without further hurting the US economy. According to the 2002 Economic Census (the last survey of its type), small U.S. clothing manufacturers (with fewer than 20 employees) contribute over $900 million dollars [consider: nearly $1 billion dollars] annually to the economy and comprise 68% of total apparel manufacturing in the U.S. This is clearly a vital and contributing asset to our economy. Multiply this fallout exponentially when you take into account the myriad other manufacturers, retailers and businesses that will be hurt or ultimately driven out of business.

So, why should you support amending this legislation?

Because the CPSIA isn’t fair and will not function as written. It inadvertently punishes American industries unrelated to toys and will ultimately result in fewer alternatives to mass produced merchandise made in China. The concept that small producers should be subject to the same rigorous standards but with lesser regulation (and common sense) has already been fought for and sustained in the food industry, which is why your local farmers market still exists. Now this same idea needs to be applied to children’s products.

What can you do?
1) Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC ombudsman 888-531-9070.
http://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/newleg.aspx
Comments on Component Parts Testing accepted through January 30, 2009.
mailto:Sec102ComponentPartsTesting@cpsc.gov.

2) Email or snail mail your representatives.
http://capwiz.com/americanapparel/issues/alert/?alertid=12274476”>http://capwiz.com/americanapparel/issues/alert/?alertid=12274476

3) Call your representatives. For their contact information just enter your zip code.
http://capwiz.com/americanapparel/dbq/officials/

4) Make your voice heard by voting on this issue. The top 3 in each category will be presented to President-elect Obama.
http://www.change.org/ideas/view/save_handmade_toys_from_the_cpsia

5) Sign the petition.
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/economicimpactsofCPSIA/index.html”>http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/economicimpactsofCPSIA/index.html

6) Spread the word! Write about this on your blog. Tell others about this issue and encourage them to do the same.

7) Join others in fighting this cause.
Facebook group
Twitter search
“>http://cpsia-central.ning.com/notes/Notes_Home

8) Join the etsy community in the virtual chat with CPSIA Small Business Ombudsmen or send a handmade children’s item that will become “hazardous goods” as of 2/9/09 to Bobby Rush, founder of H.R. 4040.
http://www.etsy.com/storque/craftivism/handmade-childrens-items-unintended-consequences-consumer-pr-3056/
Etsy Thread

9) Read more about this legislation and its ramifications:
Fashion Incubator

Handmade Toy Alliance

National Bankruptcy Day

YouTube video

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

5 Minutes for Mom

Cool Mom Picks

The Smart Mama

blogher

Apparel and Footwear.org

Toy Association.org

Cafe Mom

Safety and Compliance

Zrecommends

SleepingBaby.net

Freshly Baked Blog

Project Angel Food: Celeb-signed Trina cosmetic bags!

December 5th, 2008

Project Angel FoodTrina, a line of luxury cosmetic bags that we recently reviewed, is donating close to $20,000 worth of product for Divine Design, the West Coast’s premiere fashion and home shopping event. All of the proceeds from the event’s sales will directly benefit Project Angel Food, an organization whose mission is to “nourish the body and spirit of men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses.”

Along with donating product for Divine Design, up for auction on eBay are a handful of celebrity-signed Trina cosmetic bags. The auction only lasts a week and items start at only $10. You can read more about the list of celebrities (John Mayer, for one) by reading my full post on “freshly baked.” You’ll find the full list of celebrities who’ve signed Trina bags and direct links to the various eBay auctions. Happy bidding!

Note: Not familiar with Trina bags? Read my Daily Dish review—you’re sure to fall in love with them just like I did!

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