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Sweatshirts and t-shirts: Wondering who the CPSIA will put out of business.

Long-gone heyday
Creative Commons License photo credit: Bitterroot

I wonder whose business might be impacted by the CPSIA. 

I wonder about the nice lady whose son was in my troop years back. She embroiders and sells Columbia Falls Wildcat sweatshirts, tshirts, letter jackets and such – including items for little kids. Fortunately for her, the majority of her business isn’t for kids 12 and under, so she’ll probably be ok. BUT, she may have to replace that revenue stream. 

I wonder who she buys those kids’ sweatshirts and tshirts from. Maybe a wholesale tshirt and sweatshirt vendor in Minneapolis. 

I wonder how much of that Minnesotan’s business comes from folks who silkscreen, embroider or otherwise augment those items and then resell them.

I wonder how many of their employees will find new jobs as a result. 

I wonder how their buying power will change. 

I wonder if all of those silkscreeners, embroiderers and such are wholesaling their items to someone and if so, I wonder if those retailers have found another source of those items. 

I wonder about all the small retailers who have tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in now-non-compliant inventory and see that date in February looming.  Not having a CPSIA tag means non-compliant, regardless of content.

I wonder if, after Feb 10 – when no one can legally buy those items – what they’ll do with all that stuff.

I wonder if they’ll sell them anyway and dare the Consumer Product Safety Commission to find, catch and prosecute them.

I wonder if a $12.95 tshirt sale is worth a $100,000 fine. 

I wonder how many attorneys will make it big because of this legislation. 

I wonder how many local tourist shops will have to start buying their tshirts from big out-of-town importers and manufacturers instead of locals.

I wonder what those locals will do for a living if that happens.

I wonder what their bankers will do if the mortgage those locals have goes south.

I wonder if all those Chinese sweatshops have testing vendors lined up. They’ll be happy to make those sweatshirts, tshirts, baby booties, bibs and hand-painted sippy cups to replace the items that used to come from unique local vendors. I mean, come on…there’s nothing more special than a Glacier Park baby bib with a cute little baby moose sewn on it, especially if it was made in Shanghai by some poor schlep making 12 cents a day. 

I wonder if there are enough thankless low-paying jobs at the local box store to employ these artisans and the others impacted by the closing of those artisans’ businesses. 

I wonder which Congressional rep and Senator has the most homemade kids product manufacturers in their district.

I wonder if those reps and Senators’ phones have melted. Or if they ring at all.

I wonder… who is the largest retailer of handmade products in the US?

I wonder who is the largest supplier of raw material to the handmade kids product industry? 

I wonder what these two businesses will be doing in March.

I wonder about the impact on and ebay, which is aching enough as it is.

I wonder if cloth diaper services have to test their diapers. 

I wonder how many stores that sell beads and other crafty little things like that will have “no kids under 12 allowed” signs on the doors next year. 

I wonder if all those little “make your own bear/pottery/etc” stores are ready for this. 

I wonder if you’ll be impacted. 

I wonder if you’ll call your Congressional Rep and Senators. 

I wonder if you’ll tell someone about the CPSIA. 

I wonder.

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Not ALL marketing is local. Nor is it personal.

So far today, my home phone has rang 13 times. THIRTEEN TIMES. My office is at home. It’s 2:20pm on Wednesday.

EVERY SINGLE CALL has been from the same political party, on behalf of that party, or from one of its candidates.

EVERY SINGLE CALL has either been made from an automated call bank that transfers calls to Botswana (or whatever) or they have been an automated pre-recorded call. 

NOT ONE CALL has been a personal call from a real person who asked if they could take a moment to find out if I plan to vote (I do), ask me to discuss or change my vote, or whatever. Not that it would change my decision, but that is irrelevant. 

13 interruptions. OK, 14 including the few minutes to write this post. Even if I don’t answer, its an interruption. 

Do you REALLY believe that an automated phone call from someone that you’ve never met would change their vote?

Every one of your candidates just lost my vote. I don’t care if the other candidate is the worst SOB on the face of the earth. And the candidates I know and see regularly – I’m going to tell them how they lost my vote, face to face, as a thank you to you and your party. I’ll see one of them tonight. I bet he’ll be THRILLED. 

Is that the kind of impact you want your marketing message to have? 

Don’t act like a political party. Don’t create marketing based on the “lessons” they’ve been teaching the last few months. Don’t misuse technology simply because you can. Dan Kennedy has a catchphase: “Be a welcome guest, not an annoying pest.” Words to market by, much less to run for office by:)

If you read this blog regularly, you should know better. I said it anyway, just in case.  

PS: Don’t even bother answering the phone.

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Celebrating Business, and US Independence

It’s the 4th of July Independence Day holiday in the U.S., so I thought I’d find a piece about creating your own independence, rather than writing it myself.

The NY Times Sunday Magazine story on Rush Limbaugh is just perfect for that purpose.

Like him, dislike him, hate him or love him, you can’t help but admire his success as a business owner.

Yes, a business owner. Not a pundit, nor a preacher to the right, but a business owner.

More accurately, an entertainer.

If you just can’t bring yourself to read the story, consider this quote before you bail out:

â??Do you know what bought me all this?â? he asked, waving his hand in the general direction of his prosperity. â??Not my political ideas. Conservatism didnâ??t buy this house. First and foremost Iâ??m a businessman. My first goal is to attract the largest possible audience so I can charge confiscatory ad rates. I happen to have great entertainment skills, but that enables me to sell airtime.â?

Finally, if you don’t takeaway a lesson in positioning or marketing from it, well, you just aren’t reading hard enough.

Happy Independence Day, everyone.