Frequently Asked Questions
All of OoLaLa's jewelry is handcrafted of the finest quality .925 Sterling Silver and 14K Gold-Filled beads, Sterling Silver Letter Blocks, Indonesian Bali and Turkish Silver beads, Hill Tribe Silver, Freshwater Pearls, genuine Swarovski Crystals, and original lampwork and Boro glass beads....oolala!
What am I getting if I purchase an item from you?
I pride myself on creating unique, one-of-a-kind pieces of what I like to call "wearable art"! Because all of my designs are original, and I actually make them myself, it means that you are getting a one-of-a-kind original design, not something that has been mass produced. You are supporting the artist and getting a design created with care & attention to detail with the very best materials I can find. You are also getting a unique piece of jewelry that incorporates not only my artistic design and talent, but the talent of other artists that I in turn support, lampwork artisans, precious metal clay artisans, polymer clay artisans, metal smiths, and more.
When will I receive my order?
Orders are filled as quickly as possible usually within *48 hours. For custom order pieces, I will let you know how long it will take at the time of your order. If you need your bracelet for a special occasion, or by a certain date, please let me know and I will let you know if I can make it in time for you to receive it by the date you need.
You can either call me at 540-533-0458 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
** Please allow 2-3 weeks for engraved bracelets**
What are your shipping charges and choices?
Standard shipping cost is $3.50 via First Class Mail USPS with Delivery Confirmation
Priority Shipping is $8.00 via USPS
Overnight Shipping starts at $20.00 (I will email you the exact cost at time of purchase)
I can ship overseas and to Canada - please email me for a quote of the shipping charges
How do I place an order?
You may order on line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You are also welcome to call me (540-533-0458) or email me, with your order or any questions you might have. Please call between the hours of 9am and 5pm. If your call is not answered, please leave a message and I will return your call as soon as I can.
What are lampwork beads?
Lampwork beads are beads made of glass ...artisan lampwork beads are made by artists who use glass rods and open flames to blow, twist and shape molten glass into miniature works of art. Some of these beautiful beads can take days, months or even years to make!
I have been collecting hand crafted artisan lampwork beads from reputable, self representing lampworkers for some time now. I absolutely love the colors and beauty of these glass beads. Due to the uniqueness and artistic talent, not to mention the incredible amount of time and money many of these torchers spend learning their craft, these beads can be, and usually are, quite expensive. These beads are kiln annealed, which means they are "cured", held for a specific amount of time at a certain temperature in a preheated kiln, usually computer controlled to ensure accuracy during the cool down phase, to properly and slowly cool down the glass beads ensuring a very strong and durable finished product. Each one of these little hand blown glass beads is truly a work of art in and of itself.
I also use a lot of borosilicate lampwork glass beads in my designs. Borosilicate (aka Boro) glass is a very unique and specialized variety of glass. Its composition is different from the "soft" glass that is normally used for beads, resulting in a much stronger finished piece. Although more expensive than a softer glass, Boro offers some amazingly gorgeous color spectrums when viewed in different types of light, but the colors are most dynamic & vibrant in direct sunlight.
Please be aware that not all lampwork beads are created equal. While there is a market for mass produced, cheap imported lampwork (mostly from Asia), as a consumer, you should know that most imported mass produced lampwork beads are made in sweatshop type factories, created by men, women & yes, even children making pennies a day and living in inhuman camp style lodgings during their work week, which consists of 50-70 hours/week, unsanitary factory & living conditions. Most - nearly all, of these beads are not kiln annealed, which makes their strength questionable, they are likely to break, usually within very short order. Sometimes all it takes is a slight shift in temperature to cause them to fracture, or even completely crumble. Any designer who uses mass imported beads cannot guarantee the strength or durability of any of their designs made with these beads. and any designer who uses mass imported lampwork has a moral & ethical obligation to price their work accordingly. Some of these lesser expensive lampwork beads are available at price ranges of $5.00 -$6.00 per set of 12 or even more beads.
Consumers do have the right to question a jewelry designer about any lampwork bead that the designer has chosen to use in their designs. Find out where the bead(s) comes from, who the artisan was who created it.
What is sterling silver?
Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver. As pure silver is very soft, sterling is hardened with another metal alloy of not more than 7.5%, usually copper. Sterling silver is also sometimes marked as .925. Sterling silver will oxidize with exposure to light and air. It is best stored away from light when not being worn, but the best defense against oxidization is to wear your sterling jewelry. The natural oils in your skin will coat and protect sterling silver, keeping it lustrous and bright. A polishing cloth, available at any fine jewelry store will come in handy for the occasional polish.
What is fine silver?
Fine silver is defined as 99.9% pure silver, with no other metals. Fine silver is very soft, but due to less copper and/or other metal content, it doesn’t oxidize as quickly as sterling silver.
What is Bali (Balinese) silver?
Very ornate, highly decortated sterling silver beads handcrafted by Bali, Indonesia silversmiths. These carefully handcrafted works of art are always exceptional in detail and quality, with each and every intricate granulation detail crafted and applied by hand in an extremely labor intensive and time consuming process. All the imported silver I use, be it Bali or Thai silver is fair trade silver.
What is Thai - Karen Hill Tribes silver?
Thai silver is normally 97% silver, a higher silver content than sterling, but not quite fine silver (which has a silver content of 99%). Located in the remote mountainous regions of Thailand, the Hill Tribes craftsmen continue to practice the centuries old traditions of silversmithing. Their designs are often very intricate, always crafted of a higher silver content than sterling and is completely handcrafted, down to the very last minute detail. The silversmithing techniques used by these craftsmen (& craftswomen) are closely guarded family secrets, handed down through the generations. All of my imported silver, Bali or Thai, is fair trade.
What is gold-filled?
Gold filled describes when a layer of gold is mechanically bonded with heat and pressure to a base metal, then rolled or drawn to a given thickness. I use only 14k/20 gold-filled in my jewelry, which is strong and durable and wears as solid gold. Gold-filled items will remain gold for a lifetime if cared for properly. The gold in gold-filled items will not wear off as gold plated items will.
What is gold vermeil?
Vermeil is a process that combines precious metals. The inside core is sterling (92%) to fine (97%) silver, the outside is solid 22 or 24 karat gold. This combination produces jewelry that has the rich, warm look and feel of pure gold. Vermeil will develop and wonderful, warm rich patina over time, due to the oxidization of the underlying layer of silver. While much more stable than gold plate, (which will wear off after only a few wearings) vermeil will also wear off over time, and while it will generally take a couple years of normal wear, the end result is that you still have a precious metal product, sterling silver.
Do you accept custom orders?
Custom designs/orders are accepted and normally require a 1-2 week lead time. A non-refundable deposit of 50% of the purchase price is required before begining any work on a custom design.
Do you do home showings/parties?
Yes!! Home showings are a great way to get together with a few friends and colleagues in the privacy of your own home and enjoy a personalized jewelry shopping experience. My jewelry shows are designed as Open Houses, creating a relaxed and fun atmosphere where you can share your love and discovery of OoLaLa Jewelry with your friends and family. There is no lengthy presentation, no sales pitch and no pressure! At most of my home show guests are treated to my newest designs and styles that may not yet be available on my website! Door prizes are given away at every party. My hostess rewards are very generous! For hosting the home show, my hostess receives a percentage of sales credit towards her own purchase, as well as a discount! Also, as a thank you to my hostesses, they receive a free gift of their choice of any item up to $50.00 value!
Show Sales Hostess Reward
10% of sales up to $200- $499 = $20-$50 FREE Jewelry plus 10% discount!
15% of sales from $500 - $999 = $50 - $150 FREE Jewelry plus 15% discount!
20% of sales over $1000 = $200 FREE Jewelry plus 20% discount!
At each party where sales reach $1000, the hostess may also receive an item of her choice at *half price .
*Some exclusions may apply: Retail cost of item may not exceed $150, Free Jewelry dollars cannot be applied to half price items
How do I care for my new jewelry?
- Wear it!! The natural oils in your skin help to keep it shiny & bright. Sunlight and air speed up the oxidation of silver. When you are not wearing your jewelry, keeping all pieces in sealed plastic pouch or plastic container with a lid will slow down this process. Pearls need air, if your piece is created with pearls allow some airspace.
- Do not use jewelry dips, tumblers or liquid polishes, these chemicals can & do harm some gemstones. Simply polish with a soft cloth, using water &/or a bit of mild dishwashing liquid if necessary to remove any traces of make-up or dirt. Tarnish can be removed with a blue jewelers polishing cloth.
- Don't shower or bathe with it on, water (yes, even municipal treated water) contains minerals (some heavy) that can discolor silver, all municipal water has some amount of chlorine in it, this can and will etch all metals, including silver and gold. Mineral pools are particularly harmful to jewelry.
- Always put on your jewelry last, after make-up, perfumes, lotions and hairspray, being particularly careful with any soft & porous gemstones such as pearls, turquoise & opals.
- Your jewelry is created for a lifetime of wear. However, as with all fine jewelry, it is not meant to be abused. Dry it with a soft cloth if it gets wet, don’t swim with it on, avoid bleach and cleaning chemicals when wearing any fine jewelry. It is usually best to remove your jewelry before going to bed at night.
- Some gemstones are harder than others, however all gemstones, crystal & glass beads can chip or crack if knocked hard enough, or sometimes just at an odd angle. Don’t hesitate to contact me for repairs should any damage occur to any piece you’ve purchased from me.
- If your piece contains heavy or large beads, it should be restrung after a couple of years of normal wear, maybe sooner if you wear your piece often. No charge for restringing. Examine your pieces occasionally, particularly near clasps, if you notice any signs of unusual wear or damage, please contact me for repair.
Most of all, enjoy!!
What is your return policy?
OoLaLa has a 10-day guarantee. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your OoLaLa purchase, you may return it in its original condition for a refund or exchange. Buyer pays return shipping costs. I offer one free restringing/resizing within 30 days of purchase to be sure of a proper fit. For resizing and/or increasing the size of your bracelet there is a charge of $5 per inch (or portion thereof) per strand for additional length. Please include a return shipping charge of $5.
*****Note: Engraved items are final sales and are not refundable.*****
What if my bracelet breaks?
Customer satisfaction is my number one priority. I use the strongest beading wire available, but I know that with today's busy life styles accidents may happen. Restringing cost is $5 per strand plus the cost of replacement beads (after the first 30 days from purchase). For resizing and increasing the size there is a charge of $5 per inch (or portion thereof) per strand for additional length.
Please Note: materials may have to be substituted due to the unique nature and/or rarity of some of the components used in my designs. Please include a return shipping charge of $5.
Where do I mail my return/restringing/repair?
Please follow these directions when mailing an item to OoLaLa:
You may ship the item back to me at your expense whichever way you prefer UPS, FEDX, or FIRST CLASS MAIL USPS. When shipping an item back please DO NOT REQUIRE A SIGNATURE, or the item may be sent back to you. OoLaLa Jewelry cannot be held responsible for damaged or lost return items.
Mail all packages to:
Attn: Returns or Restringing
1504 Brookdale Court
Winchester, Va 22601
What size bracelet do I need?
To determine the size bracelet you will need measure the wrist you will wear your bracelet on using a cloth tape measure. Measure below the wrist bone and DO NOT PULL TIGHT. Add 1" to this measurement. This is the size bracelet you will need. FYI standard bracelet sizes are 7" or 8", so your measurement should be pretty close to one of these sizes. If the bracelet is a gift and you don't know the wrist size, indicate what you think it may be. I will be glad to resize any bracelet if it does not fit properly.
Can I add to my Mother's Bracelet and/or Grandmother's Bracelet?
The wonderful thing about your OoLaLa bracelet is that it can grow with your family! Additional name strands may be added and additional blocks and birthstones for grandchildren can also be added. I will contact you with the pricing info once I receive your mothers bracelet and/or grandmothers bracelet.