Momiko Organics

Monday, August 31, 2009

It's the Feds!

Today I've been focusing on number 5 of this week's to-do list: federal laws to consider relating to children's apparel. The first is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. We'll call it the CPSIA. The purpose of it is to help identify the source of production for children's goods in order to improve their safety. Apparently, there have been problems locating children's products that have been recalled for safety reasons. This act is meant to help with that.

So this law applies to children's products made on or after August 14, 2009. It applies to anyone who manufactures such products - including makers of handcrafted goods and clothing made primarily for children under the age of 12. That means that we at Happy Banyan must meet the requirements of this law.

What I've learned so far is that the law requires a "tracking label" for children's products. This tracking label must include, at a minimum:

1. information on the location of production (country, city, and state); and,

2. the date of production.

There are other parts of the law such as product testing that do not appear to apply to children's clothing, so we are not going to talk about them here.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has a very helpful FAQ section on their website. Here is a link:

They also have a Guide for Small Businesses, Resellers, and Handcrafters that is very useful. Here is a link:

You can sign up for email alerts about information on this law from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission by going here:

In addition to the new labeling requirements of the CPSIA, it appears there are some general label requirements under the federal Textile and Wools Act. Under this Act, the label must disclose fiber content and country of origin.

Here is a helpful publication on the Textiles and Wools Act from the Federal Trade Commission:

All in all, I'm very glad I read all this before I ordered fabric labels for my Etsy grand opening! Now, I just need to figure what else, if anything, federal laws require for handcrafters of children's clothing.

Chime in if you have anything to add on this topic, and if you have pictures or examples of the fabric labels that you'll be using because of the CPSIA, please share!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hello Logo!

I am so very excited to announce that Happy Banyan now has an official logo!!!

I have been working for the past couple of weeks with a wonderful graphic designer named Kirsten from MorningstarArtistry to create an image that is just right. Being as in love with Etsy as I currently am, I of course found her through her Etsy store. Kirsten was quick, responsive, and helpful through the entire process, and I am really pleased with the result.

So I think the final logo expresses the joy, the spreading roots, and the sense of coverage and community that Happy Banyan is intended to represent. Without further ado, here it is:

Kirsten also designed an Etsy store banner for the upcoming grand opening of Happy Banyan scheduled for October 5, 2009. I think she did a great job on this too:

Please let me know what you think about the logo and the store banner. I can't wait to hear your opinions!

And check back often - coming soon is the Story of the Happy Banyan, why it was chosen as our company name, and what it represents.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Picture Says A Thousand Words

When it comes to buying clothing online, the consumer isn't able to touch the fabric, determine the fabric's quality and weight, or try the piece of clothing on for size. These are all very important parts of buying clothing. To compensate, online photographs of apparel for sale have to be good. Extremely good. Especially when it comes to handmade apparel. And on a site as well-done and as well-known as Etsy, there are downright beautiful photographs being taken by some amazing sellers.

But here's the thing. I know nothing about photography or how to take a good photograph. There are important things like lighting to think about and so many other things I have no idea even exist yet when it comes to good photography. Having taken a few not so great photographs of my designs, I have a newfound respect for photographers.

All this to say that the countdown to the Etsy store launch is now 37 days! 37 days to get up to speed on how to take an awesome photograph and everything else.

I thought I might start by reading the instruction manual to my digital camera. After that, maybe I need to figure out how to get the lighting right.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The very beginning...

For many reasons, it is time to enter the world of entrepreneurship. It took some time to find my passion... but I have! I was apparently meant to succumb to the beckoning siren call of fabric destined to be cute children's clothes!

I am now embarking on a quest to build a company that embodies my vision for attractive and practical clothing for young girls (and possibly boys!) that tries to be eco-friendly and sustainable wherever possible.

Based solely on a two-hour class about sewing in a local fabric store, I learned that I could in fact manage to sew a cute dress or two and perhaps have fun along the way. As it turns out I love designing and making clothing! A big thank you to Cynthia at the Bernina sewing center in Hancock Fabrics in Austin, Texas who taught that class!!!

Shortly after the initial course and the first half dozen dresses, it became clear that I would have to share some of my creations with the world at large or risk drowning both self and family under an avalanche of dresses.

So with no more than a newly discovered passion and talent for sewing I am working to launch a new fashion brand and e-commerce business.

Follow along as I relate my experiences and feel free to share your experiences with me!