An Interview with PammyDawn

Another interview with a great shop, PammyDawn, that will be affected by the CPSIA Law...

Tell me a little bit about your background in arts and crafts.
Creating has always been a source of satisfaction for me. My mother and grandmother were crafters, and I grew up sewing, sketching, painting, and generally making fabulous messes! I originally intended to study graphic design, but after two years in the program, I changed directions, and ended up with a degree in Art History. Currently, I teach 2nd grade part time, and spend my days off with my two-year-old daughter, and during the spare snippets of time I craft.

When did you first start creating things?
Oh, I don’t even remember. It seems like I’ve been creating something or another since I was old enough to hold a pencil.

What were the first things you created? and how did your creativity progress from there?When I was younger, I sewed a lot. I made my own prom dresses, and in college I worked in the theater department, sewing costumes for theater productions. After I got married, I didn’t make much time for sewing, but I became interested in stained glass. I have a little stained glass studio in my garage that has a layer of dust on it (unfortunately). I let it go dormant when I was pregnant because of the lead involved, and I keep meaning to work on it again.... perhaps when my children’s line goes belly-up after February 10th (compliance date for the CPSIA) I’ll go back out there. But back to the topic: after I became pregnant with my daughter, I went into a crafting frenzy making things for her room. And after she was born with a full head of hair, I starting looking at hair clips in boutiques. I thought, I can make those! I started out with little bow clips, and got rather bored, creativity-wise. I started sketching little animals and things to make into clips, and things just sort of progressed from there. I get really excited when someone requests a custom item because I get to sketch a new idea and bring it to fruition.
Is this your only business or do you do other things as well?
I teach 2nd grade part-time, and this is my creative outlet. It’s a bonus really that my need to craft can also bring in a little extra spending money for our family!
Do you still dream about making other things? If so, what?
Yes, I envision new things all the time, but the problem is finding the time to plan and implement. Plus, the trick is coming up with something in which the market isn’t already flooded!
How did you hear about Etsy?
My cousin started selling scrapbooking things on Etsy, and I just happened to check them out from her blog. I fell in love with the site, and decided to start my own shop last March.
Any words of advice to others?
Research! Check out other things that are doing well. And I don’t mean copy others, I mean look at the REASON things are thriving. How are others marketing? How are the items presented? I’m still working on making my own shop the presentation that I’d like it to be, but it is a work in progress!
How will the new law by CPSIA affect you and your shop?
The CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act), as it is currently written, will definitely change the direction of my crafting business. My main focus has been creative and unique hair clips for children, which under the CPSIA, would be required to undergo costly lead/phthalates tests. I cannot possibly afford to comply, so my plan is to remove the option of hair clips, and only make pins/brooches for women. I’m saddened by this because the majority of my clients have come to me for hair clips, so I’m expecting a huge dip in sales.I’m hopeful that the CPSC will clarify the law, and perhaps make exemptions for micro-businesses, like mine. Even amending to allow for component testing, while still costly, may allow me to continue.


  1. Her shop is adorable! I have hope that they will change the way the law is written so her and many other children's shop can continue to sell their creative wares!


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