Fantastical Friday: Sweet Review

Fantastical FridayDragon clip art attribution link

It’s well known that I love jewelry & the way the pieces look is often more important to me than the quality of materials used in its production. This leads to several problems, such as quick wearing away of the beautiful outer layer or the terrible color changing effects of skin to item contact. If I had metal sensitivities that would also be a problem & I’m certain that some of my readers do have this issue. I’ve tried various techniques & paint jobs in attempt to protect the treasures I am most fond of, which for a long time lead only to failure. Not one to give up on the things I love, I kept searching for a solution to the problem. Finally, I stumbled on a company that looked to totally understand where I was coming from & it’s called Everbrite, Inc (I am not affiliated with them, so I earn nothing if you follow my links, but if you love your faux pieces as much as I love mine, or want to keep your metals beautiful, you should check them out). They have an amazing product called ProtectaClear, which I ordered a small quantity  of for initial testing & it probably won’t be long before I order a larger amount (there is a wide selection of sizing).

I must note that I have not tried this product on necklaces or any other pieces with moving parts, so I cannot attest to it’s effectiveness under those circumstances (or whether or not it would fuse pieces that are meant to enjoy a certain amount of freedom). However, I have used it on a ring. Let me set the stage, I had purchased a ring, I knew it was not of the highest quality, but it sure was beautiful & captured my heart. Within a week the darker color of the metal began to rub off & within 2 weeks, despite having a coppery look, it began to blacken my finger (would’ve turned green if it were in fact copper), which was a super embarrassing situation. I tried a variety of solutions & found, it was very difficult to find a clear coating so I used clear nail polish (worked very well actually) but the effect was temporary, then looking for something better I considered metal paints, unable to find anything clear I went with black (as the original color of the ring was gunmetal dark), which could not protect the gemstone & started pealing off after a couple of weeks. I started to lose hope, nothing worked for very long & even the gemstone was losing luster. After many, many searches of my favorite sites & Googling of various phrasings relating to what I was looking for I finally found ProtectaClear, given that the product is by it’s very nature clear, I acquired a new copy of the ring, in attempt to preserve it in pristine quality.

ff01ProtectaClear 1 Oz. Can ($12.95)

This little bottle came with instructions, that they warned must be carefully followed for best results. Step 1: Polish the item. Okay, it was already polished & sparkly, it was brand new & obviously beautified for sale. Since that first step was optional & it wasn’t needed given the condition of the ring, I skipped it. Step 2: Clean with a solvent. This step is not optional & is in fact in original form quite wordy with a lot of blah blah blah warnings about things that might go wrong with the coats if you skip it. Luckily, I had some mineral spirits lying around from previous projects about the house, so I went outside (to spare the lungs of sensitive persons & the cats about the house) & set to work on cleaning my pretty, also using one of the sponges they had included in the box. Then I let it dry for several hours, solvents tend to dry quickly, but I was taking no chances & made sure my ring was bone dry before moving on to the next phase. Step 3: Paint, spray, or dip half of the item with the solution. I had planned ahead, the website had warned about the stuff coming into contact with plastic, so noted the small opening under the cap I had a small glass jar with a wide opening to pour the stuff into for dipping, as that was the strategy I had decided on. I also had a metal cup that I had purchased earlier with the idea of dangling the item to dry, so drips would not damage it. I then tore up a paperclip to use for dipping & dangling & proceeded with step 3. Step 4: Wait 2 hours to apply second coat, or wait 3 hours for the solution to be dry to the touch & apply to the other side. While I was letting the first coat dry I had to carefully remove attempts at drips, as I did not want permanent bubbles on my ring. Since I wanted to do both sides I waited 3 hours, it was not dry to the touch, so I gave it 3 more hours & it seemed to be in the right state at that point & I moved the paperclip & dipped the other end. I had to be even more careful while drying the second side as it was the side with the gemstone & metallic goings on, so I had to occasionally not only remove drips, but to also remove the areas where it tried to film over openings. So I waited 3 more hours, thinking I could do the second coat on the first side then…… Step 5: It takes 4 to 5 days for solution to fully cure, do not use the item before this time. The paperclip was stuck…. When I removed it, it had left a chink in the armor. So, what I did was apply the second coat to the top, again carefully making sure there were no drip patterns or films over openings, then I waited 5 days. After the top of the ring was fully cured I cleaned up the bottom of the ring & redid it’s coatings, with appropriate wait times between. I waited another 5 days for the bottom of my ring to cure & have been happily wearing it ever since (except at work, as my work is labor intensive & would damage it regardless). The dark color is still going strong with no sign of wear & tear (it’s been over a month of near continuous wear), it still sparkles just like it did when it came out of the box & my finger has zero hints of blackening.

I would recommend doing the coats on one side of the item(s), with appropriate intervals between, then waiting for that side to completely cure before moving on to the other side. This worked spectacularly well for me, whereas following their instructions about the other side did not work out at all, as the solution is only dry to the touch & not really dry at all until it cures. I am so very happy with my results, will totally use this product again & highly recommend it to others who have faced similar issues with their beloved costume jewelry. Hope this review was helpful & have a fantastical week! ❤

This blog contains affiliate links (to the right or below, depending on the device you’re viewing this with), should you choose to follow them to do your shopping I will earn a small commission on anything you may purchase. Not affiliated with Everbrite, Inc, except as a satisfied customer. If you like this post you can subscribe by email, RSS, or Bloglovin’ with the appropriate buttons on this page. You could do me a huge favor & share this too. 😉 You can also give a like to my Facebook page & add Orbb’s Fashion to your GooglePlus circles. Follow me on Twitter @Orbb80 & Pinterest. 😉 As always I wish you, my wonderful readers, happy shopping! – Orbb ❤

The Long Haul

Planner

When you commit to working for yourself it is critical that you set goals & put forth the effort to achieve them. Always make a plan so that a course of action is laid out for goal acquisition. Setting a schedule is perhaps the next step that must be taken, once established only adherence will bring success.

I keep a busy schedule of social advertising & have recently started blogging. Only through my sustained efforts am I able to accomplish anything worthwhile. Slacking off on my plans can only send my business into a downward spiral that could ruin everything i have worked so hard to create for my family.

Plans themselves have to be reviewed, for they may not be as feasible as first thought. While working your business enough is of vital importance to your success, you can’t work yourself to death either. You have to go with what works & throw out whatever does not. Running any kind of business is a learning experience, no matter how much business schooling you may have had before beginning your journey.

As always keep the dream alive & do what must be done to get there. If you’re interested in adding another income stream you may consider working with me & opening a boutique.

Ensemble Idea: Bethany Necklace

I put together an outfit idea around a necklace from my boutique. All the clothing items come from Walmart & this time I made plus size selections, as some of us have a bit more woman than others. Click image for enlarged version.

Bethany Ensemble

14th Place Women’s Plus-Size Sequin Ruffle Tee ($13)
Faded Glory Women’s Plus Size Crinkle Skirt ($12.94)
Women’s Westbuitti Emily 3 ($44.95)
Bethany Necklace ($58)

Looking to purchase any of these items? Try the links below 😉

Start Strong, Save Big during the January Savings Event at Walmart.com!

Excellence in Costume Jewelry at Orbb’s Fashion boutique!

2015 Resolutions

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Making resolutions may have fallen out of style for individuals but it’s always the in thing to do for business. After careful consideration I have put together a list of goals or “resolutions” for 2015.

I resolve to provide greater support for boutique owners who have signed up with me by spending more time guiding them in managing their shops & assisting them with creative advertising strategies.

I will increase my sales by at least 10% in 2015 by further reaching out to the communities at large both in my local area & on the internet.

I will improve the excellent customer care by paying closer attention to the needs, concerns & desires of every one of my customers.

Just a few thoughts & plans to implement in the coming year. I hope the new year will bring you all wonderful blessings. Sign up to Orbb’s Fashion boutique, check out the beautiful jewelry, or set up your own boutique.

Treat Yourself in the New Year

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A few lovelies to treat yourself with 🙂

Earrings

1) Gianna Earrings $44
2) Gretchen Earrings $32

Necklaces

1) Alicia Necklace $52
2) Mona Necklace $62

Bracelets

1) Stacia Bracelet $76
2) Nabby Bracelet $28

Rings

1) Norah Ring $48
2) Therese Ring $64

Weekly Flash Sales and Getting the Word Out

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Setting up weekly flash sales is a must when running your own Kitsy Lane boutique. I have noted that some people like to choose their items the week before, but this has bitten me on the behind so I usually select my sale items within 24 hours of the deadline. Too many times I have made my selections early only to find that many of the items I had chosen were sold out by the time my sale started.

Only 12 items can be marked for flash sale each week. There are times that it is easy to fill & you will wish for more than that & there are other times that it’s difficult to find enough items for it. Your boutique will always have well more than 12 items, but not all items will reduce their prices when added to the flash sale. I’ve taken a few screenshots to illustrate, the button outlined in red is the one you would click to add to your flash sale & the number outlined in red is what the price will become while the item is in your sale.

Unable to place on sale, price does not go down:

Sale Example 01

Unable to place on sale, was in last week’s sale:

Sale Example 03

Perfect sale item:

Sale Example 02

On occasion there is a glitch where an item is included in a sale that comes from corporate HQ, rather than your sales, where the price would actually be higher if purchased from your sale. It can also be frustrating to have an item in your sale be added to a corporate sale the next day or really any time during your sale, because the item appears to be the same price on or off your sale, giving the illusion of there being no discount when the price is actually much lower than you could make it for your own sale.

After I make my selections for the coming week I like to take a screen shot of the collection, because the Kitsy Lane basic flash sale image is quite boring for social media advertising. In order to capture all items that will be in the upcoming sale in the same image I have to zoom the image out, do my screen shot, paste it into an editor & crop it down to just the items. Then I remove extraneous things from the image like my button selectors & usually the regular price. As final touches I often add cute little images & some text that goes something like this:

“Flash Sale

Date – Date”

An example of a recent sale pic I used:

24 Dec 2014 FS

I did actually commit a small error in that sale pic where I accidentally covered one of the prices, but no one is perfect & the image is still catchy. Just in case you’re wondering, I use 2 editors to make my images. I run Windows 7 which came with Paint, because Paint is not great at high quality graphics I only use it to paste my initial screen shot & then to crop the image down to the sale items. I like to consider myself frugal so all of the other edits are done in Gimp which is a free, open source image editor that I find quite handy for putting together a lot of pictures.

Sign up to Orbb’s Fashion boutique to work with me, or just to browse & buy if you like. 😉

Style it Up with Costume Jewelry!

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A few casual combinations for tops & necklaces. The tops are from a few different places, you can follow the links provided with the descriptions under the pictures.

Turtleneck Necklace

Black Turtleneck Sweater from Kohl’s regular price $36, currently on sale for $13.99
Cher Necklace regular price $68

Lace Top Body Chain

Lace Top from Kmart regular price $16, currently on sale for $11.89
Sadie Body Chain regular price $46, currently on sale for $42

Flutter Sleeve Layer Necklace

Flutter Sleeve Tie-Waist Blouse (plus size) from JCPenny regular price $42, currently on sale for 19.99
Margo Necklace regular price $42