Many of you are well aware of the Bedding Law that exists in the USA (as well as many other countries). As much as consumers like to complain about the requirements, these laws are there for our protection. What I did not know as a consumer turned manufacturer is that the law is not a US Federal Law per say. In some ways, it is. In other ways, it is not. It is state controlled and regulated. Please note that I am not a legal expert so some of my references and use of terminology may be a little skewed. Please do your own research based on your own products if you are someone that has the US “legal designation” of manufacturer.
Did you know that of the 50 Continental States that only 14 states require registration for a Uniform Registration Number within their state? That registration number is the number given to your “manufacturing facility.” It is an identification number put in a big URN database. This is the number that is used to track back to you (the manufacturer) in case something is wrong (with your product contents or your labels).
Those ever so hated LAW LABELS that you find on just about any piece of bedding, upholstered furniture, sleeping bags, etc. are there for our protection if the manufacturer uses a product that is deemed not safe for use. This is especially important in items that are intended for sleep (especially for children). So these labels that state “Not to be removed under penalty of law…” are there for a good reason. We can still hate them, but they will not be going away any time soon now would we want them to. I personally want to know what is hidden inside my products.
As I have been researching what is required to “legally” sell quilts and matching pillow shams (or other decorative pillows), I have found that it is not as simple as producing an item, putting it up for sale, and hoping for the best. There are serious legal ramifications (ie. thousands of dollars in fines) if not done properly.
For many, the question becomes “what is properly done?” Primarily, products sold have to have certain labels on them. This is mandated by the United States Small Batch Manufacturing laws as well as state mandated Bedding Laws. Per the US Small Batch Manufacturing laws, I have to provide the consumer with a bit of information. If the product us geared toward children, I have to provide even more information. There is a federal department just for the safety of children’s products. I will not focus on that here though.
I am what they call a Small Batch Manufacturer. I product less than 7500 units of any one given product in a year and profit less than $1,000,000 per year off said products. That number might seem quite high, but depending on your product, it might not take long to reach that number. Many of your SBM are your cottage industry producers. There is nothing wrong with these, but YOU CANNOT MAKE ANYTHING YOU WANT AND SELL IT! There are laws and regulations that protect the consumer. They are often confusing, frustrating, and a burden to the SBM but they are still required by law.
When I produce an item, depending on what it is, I am required to put certain “tags” or labels on it. Some of these tags are required to have certain information based on what the item is. Such as:
- I must provide the consumer with business information. This is my business name. This is also how to get in contact with my business – ie. website address.
- I must provide where the item was manufactured. This is my city, state, and country.
- I must provide whether the materials are imported (made outside of the USA), if they are domestic (made inside the USA), or both.
- I must provide care instructions. This is how to take care of the item, ie. clean it. This is so that the consumer does not destroy their product in the event that it gets dirty and needs to be cleaned.
- I must provide a date of manufacture and/or batch number. This is for ease of recall. My records keep track of what I have produced, when I produced it, and what materials it was made out of.
Some products require more detailed labeling. Some less. For Stacey Sansom Designs in particular, I must provide Law Labels on all bedding products, including but not limited to quilts, pillow shams, decorative pillows, etc. If it has batting or stuffing in it and it is intended for sleeping, I have to include a Law Label.
If I have a product that is marketed for the use of children, I must also file a form with the CPSC (Consumer Protection Safety Commission) stating what testing is requesting/done and what exemptions the products are taking. Yes, more paperwork to maintain.
The good news is that this is not incredibly intensive for a lot of the products available through Stacey Sansom Designs – currently or soon to be available. The products I provide will be CPSC Complaint. They will be safe for use by children and adults alike.
Unfortunately, it will slow down the production and release of new products as I am continuously learning more as the laws change and as I branch out into new product lines.
Currently, Stacey Sansom Designs is waiting for two labels to arrive in the next week or so. I will be releasing new products shortly after that.
- My brand labels or logo labels. That’s who you know who your products came from. I am super excited about these. I ordered them in 3-4 different sizes for different product types.
- My care labels. These labels are actually combined labels with the contact information, location, care instructions, etc. These labels will have stamped dates of manufacture/batch numbers. As a Small Batch Manufacturer, I will only be able to produce so many products at a time so printing these numbers right on the labels does not make any sense (financially) currently. Thank goodness for fabric permanent ink and stamps.
I am currently working on my law labels. I am working on getting registered in the State of Oklahoma. Yes, I am a manufacturer in the State of Texas but our state does not require registration. They require the Law Labels be present on each product (that requires them), but I do not have to register for an URN in the state of Texas. Some states do not require any Law Labels. Some states do not require registration. Some states require registration and labels. So it is a pile of documents to work through. Unfortunately, this means that I will have to restrict sales to certain states. It is not currently fiscally feasible to register in all of the 14 states that require registration and labels – currently.
Stacey Sansom Designs will be UNABLE to sell bedding products to:
- City of Detroit (Michigan)
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia.
These are all the states that require REGISTRATION as a manufacturer.
I am working on registering in:
These are the only states that I feel are fiscally a good ROI on Registration Fees required by the above states. Please keep in mind that the registration fees range drastically from state to state. They range from as little as $5 up to as much as $750 per year. Hence why some states are just not fiscally a smart option for my Small Batch Manufacturing business.
Like I said, I am currently working on registering in the State of Oklahoma immediately. This makes the most fiscal sense from a local sales standpoint. Stacey Sansom Designs is located about 50 miles from the Texas and Oklahoma border. The likelihood that I could make local, person-to-person sales in Oklahoma is greatest of the 3 listed above. This will be my immediate focus.
I am also working on my “hang tags.” These will be tags that are attached to the product, but not permanently attached like the logo labels, care labels, and law labels. These labels will contain the actual contents of the products they are attached to. It makes the most fiscal sense to attach these separately due to the fact that certain fabrics can and do change from product to product.
Once all of these labels are in my possession and have been applied to the appropriate products, I will release more products to the store. You should be expecting new releases as early as February 1, 2018 but could be as late as March 1, 2018.
Please stay tuned for further release information. If you want to stay up to date on the latest product releases, please make sure you join my email list. Also make sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.