Trend Setter: Chanel gold metallic

Setting aside our disdain for Devin Wenig and the atrocities he’s committed against female owned proprietorships within the luxury clothing categories on eBay, there’s still a million reasons to continue shopping.   There are incredible steals up for the taking if you have the patience of a saint to weed through the China manufacturer direct duplicate listing spam, and the flooding of toxic Chinese garbage that has destroyed the eBay search engines.

A female politician, who will remain unnamed (for my own protection, not hers), from Washington, D.C, who is in part responsible for the creation of the policies that enabled Devin Wenig to FUCK all clothing sellers just purchased a $600.00 vintage Celine gold metallic brocade jacket for $19.99 with the cost of shipping billed to the vendor, leaving zero profit.  It’s awesome that a million dollar women can spend so little in the businesses of population she destroyed, wearing a design Chanel is currently bringing back as a current fashion trend.

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Aside from the fact that the common folk usually doesn’t have $19.99 left over at the end of the month to purchase such a lovely jacket, there are still those who maintain a somewhat healthy budget and really should be paying closer attention to the steals and deals they are missing!

Do I sound bitter? I think it’s safe to say I’m feeling about as venomous at the irony of who benefitted from my steal & deal markdown sale as a coiled rattler.  I could never have predicted that the signee of the policy that put me (and thousands of other women) out of business would be the beneficiary.

At least she kept it American. For that I am thankful.

Click to Shop: Luxury Preowned Fashion Steals and Deals

Unfashionable Melodrama: Google vs eBay

A significant story ignored by American media outlets;   Google funneled more than $30 billion out of the pockets of millions of Americans, handing their livelihoods directly to the Chinese government, and the “great recession” is now a “great depression” for a fair majority of small American families who relied on eBay for their survival.

Over the fourth of July holiday weekend, I intended to create a youtube video for personal monetization in an attempt to supplement my failing ebay business.  The saying, “Those who can’t, teach” applies here.  It was supposed to be a SEO, Cassini search and A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) oriented video but the more I researched, the more the direction of my video veered further and further off course as I learned why so many eBay sellers lost pretty close to everything; their businesses, their homes, their marriages, their ability to survive.  Why did it happen?  What was the cause of it all?  The answer is senseless!

Someone at Google made the decision to remove our listings from their search engine, ensuring that we would never see a sale for the next 5 years to come.  The manual deletion of eBay by Google was done by a human being.

As a rule,  all other search engines crawl Google and post their results in their own search engines.  Since ebay wasn’t included in Google searches, eBay wasn’t included in any search.

Ebay Corporation acknowledged it may have lost up to $200 million in revenue, but what has never been mentioned in any of the articles I read during my research is that Ebay only generates an average of 15% of its profits from the actual sales of  its vendors, the small American seller.  This means the damage done to eBay Corporation was dust bunnies under the bed in comparison to the utter devastation done to its vendors.

On paper the losses incurred by the individuals who make up the small American selling population is somewhere in the range of $3 billion.  When you add the cost of lost revenue;  sales that didn’t happen on inventory that sat on the shelves beyond its expiration date, overhead losses and the balancing act of losing their livelihoods, their homes, their cars, and their ability to even pay basic living costs as a result from the feud between eBay and Google , the numbers extend far above $30 billion. Ebay did not take the brunt of the “manual deletion”.  As with all of the big bank bailouts, the fortune 500 free rides, again, it was the people who bared the burden of bad leadership and bad decisions.

For the duration of the time ebay was removed from the worlds search engines, at no time did eBay ever attempt to off set or counter balance the loss in sales traffic or  revenue.  There was no television advertising, no newspaper ads, no magazine ads, not even a silly Weird Al Yankovich style social campaign.   American Ebay sellers were literally snuffed out while John Donahoe was handed a $130 million severence package and Devin Wenig took the helm.  eBay, under Devin Wenigs leadership,  plastered Chinese government-owned products all over its front pages and at the top of every “best match” and “lowest price” search result.  Ebay shoppers worldwide were directed and redirected to shop China at a time when American businesses were most vulnerable.

It wasn’t until 2015, four years after the fact that ebay began to roll out corrections of the issues that caused Google to take action, and six years until we saw one commercial on one single TV channel… for less than a week.  Unfortunately for todays small businesses the unethical and manipulative behavior continues within ebay’s own search mechanism.  Government owned manufacturing plants in China continue to spam, flood and dominate ebay’s search engines with toxic, cheap manufacturer direct to consumer products, and eBay continues to suppress small American vendor listings because, “it’s what the public wants”.

Is it?  Is it really what the public wants?

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I’m pretty sure the only reason anybody ever bought what appears to be a $800.00 dress for $1.00 was because they didn’t have the appropriate finances to buy a proper dress. Common sense might tell you one thing, but need usually dictates everything else.

As you can see, the direction of my video quickly turned away from eBay search engine optimization. The goal was to introduce eBayers to the many webmaster tools Google offers because so many are unaware of it.  For a brief moment I even became a Google cheerleader but after uncovering the truth and living a life of utter financial devastation as a result of the feud between ebay and Google, I’m having a hard time cheering either of them.

The end of this video sprite was supposed to segway into an exploration of Google webmaster tools for struggling eBay sellers, especially the home based businesses, but I just couldn’t do it, not with a clear conscience.  It’s safe to say that at this moment, I have no love for Google.   I’m so angry about what I’ve learned that I decided to scrap the video and share what remains.

What happened to the small eBay vendor can never be changed and most will never be able to recover.  We watched the downfall of one of the worlds greatest and most influential community based sites without ever actually knowing the story behind it.

Googles’ actions against ebay may not have been a deliberate punch in the gut for eBay based businesses, many of which are single women, women with special needs children and sole proprietorships created at a time when jobs are scarce, I find myself struggling with forgiveness equally as much as I continue to struggle financially.

Millions of ebay sellers were rallying to have Donald J. Trump elected into office under the false belief that it was inequality of trade deals being the root cause of our destruction when the reality of it all is that it was Google, Devin Wenig and eBay all along.

Spread the word.  Maybe they’ll grow a conscience and right the wrong.

I’m not holding my breath.

Americana: July 4th, Fashion and Style

As you don your red, white, and blue and head out to enjoy the beach, social gatherings and fireworks for the Fourth of July holiday, what favorite all-American style in fashion history will you be wearing?

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This classic white sundress featured in Vogue Magazine, July 2012, should be a staple in every womans wardrobe.  Years after this Ralph Lauren made it’s debut in stores across America,  it is considered a staple whose “trend”  life extends beyond the pales of being current.   Well designed fashion will always be in style no matter how many years have gone by.  It’s equally as fashionable today as it was back in July 2012.

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Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2016 RTW inspiration boards were pasted with printouts of vintage posters and pictures of all kinds of handmade, homemade souvenir embroideries. That summer,  sundresses, printed scarves, sandals, straw hats and bags—things that women from all over the world could enjoy wearing while celebrating patriotic holidays.  While this specific dress was actually inspired by Italian living, American women can cetainly take ownership!

The 2016 collection use of stripes which ranged from soft and subtle to bold and extra large in horizontal, vertical or diagonal patterns and remains timeless.  Perfect for the fourth of July.

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From the time Esquire first introduced America to the Varga Girl in 1940,  Alberto Vargas’ classic choice of fashion, many of which were patriotic, remains inspiration for July fourths today and for decades to come.

Alberto Vargas (PinUp) is a great source for Americana and patriotic fashion inspiration. Inspired by the Folies Bergère of Paris, The Ziegfeld Follies was a series of elaborate theatrical revue productions (and the more elaborate high class Vaudeville variety show) on Broadway in New York City from 1907 through 1931.

Alberto Vargas was painting in a store window in May 1919 when he was asked by a representative of the Ziegfeld Follies to show his work the next day to Mr Ziegfeld … he was to become the most famous and prolific pin-up artist of all time.

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Whether you choose to wear a UNIF Americana Denim Jacket, a classic Ralph Lauren white dress, Dolce & Gabbana stripes or if your style is to inspire others with fabulous fashions of the past, remember two things:

1) Have a happy July 4, 2017 holiday!
2. Have a safe July 4, 2017 holiday!

75% sale on all Nordstrom brands (repost)

(Screenshot) Presidents day sale…You NEED to take advantage of these prices!
This is a re-post for anyone who may have missed it over the weekend.
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Rockabilly in a rural town

For close to 35 years I’ve lived in and around Palm Beach and Broward counties (Florida).  For the majority of those years, through all of the boyfriends, apartments, jobs and cars I’ve been through, the one thing that has remained consistent is my personal style.  I have always been a small town Rockabilly girl in a big city where fashion and personal style says just as much about who you are as a person as does the company you keep.

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Rockabilly do rag.

One of my favorite accessories is the do rag.  I like it because for most of my life I’ve only had long hair.  I have a big forehead so bangs of some sort have also been a part of my forever look.  The thing about a do rag is you can never have a bad hair day, and in a city of high humidity, that’s pretty cool.  It’s also pretty cool that I don’t have to take a shower and get all gussied up just to run to the convenience store for a pack of cigarettes.  Dirty hair?  Who cares?  I’ll just tie it up, covering my roots and off I go like a fashion plate!

So anyway…  back to the story of my my Rockabilly look!  I’ve recently moved to a very rural, agricultural town where the mjority of the population either works for the Sugarcane industry or for CAT corporation (Caterpillar Inc).

Suffice to say, the do rag doesn’t mean what it did in the big city…  The agricultural community knows my secret!  Do’h!!

In a small, rural agricultural town, a woman wearing a do rag is not sending the same fashion forward signals that it sends in Palm Beach.

 

In the palm Beaches I had style inspired by history, vintage posters and WWII.   But for my new agricultural neighbors,  they know exactly why I’m wearing my do-rag!  They know my hair is dirty or that I’m having a bad heair day.  While they still get a kick out of it because it’s not worn as commonly as it once was, the do-rag is closer to their roots.
Click here shop KirstenRaye’s full mix & match wardrobe

 

There’s a great vintage Ralph Lauren Western Wear Rockabilly skirt I would have kept for myself but it’s a size or two too large.  The link above will take you there.

The right word: Upcycle, Recycle or Restore?

When I bought this Dooney & Bourke bag, it didn’t look like this…

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It was a very scuffed up, abused, tan/camel leather that, when I saw it, my heart sank when I could see and feel how well it’s made. It’s a very strong and sturdy bag.  Certainly there must be something I can do to salvage it, right?

When I got the bag home the first thing I did before bringing it into my apartment was to wash down the leather with saddle soap, and bleach the inner lining. Such a pretty, supple leather.

As luck would have it, one of the first people I met in my new, rural, farming town was a leather worker whose job is to keep his employers’ saddles and leather goods in top shape. I gave him a call, he invited me to bring the bag to him, and with a smile he handed me everything I need to “practice a new trade”. I’m very thankful. It was a fun project and I’d like to do it again. The question is, what was I doing? Was I Upcycling? Recycling? Restoring?

Upcycle: Reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original.

Recycle: Convert (waste) into reusable material. Return (material) to a previous stage in a cyclic process. Use again.

Restore: Bring back (a previous right, practice, custom, or situation); reinstate.

Well I guess I didn’t restore it because my Dooney & Bourke bag used to be a tan/camel colored pebbled leather.  I removed some of the pebbling and created new texture in place of it, and also significantly changed the color.  It’s actually much prettier now than it was in it’s previous state, even when it was new.

I’m pretty sure I recycled my Dooney & Bourke bag.  I converted an old, abused bag and returned it to a state where it can be used again.

I’m positive I upcycled it!  To me, this bags appearance is far more attractive than the original.  If I were shopping at Dooney & Bourke, I would place a higher value on the custom red-brown leather bag.

Anyway, with a little guidance from my new friend, I stripped the bag, reconditioned it, treated it, gave it a marbled blend with leather paint and polish, antiqued it, then polished it.  It took about 3 days between drying times and sleep.  Since it was the weekend, I didn’t do much else so it took about 30 hours of actual hands on (manual labor) time.

What do you think?  Is it upcycled, recycled, restored or maybe a little of all of the above?

  •  Side note – whoever programs spellcheck for the world needs to update his dictionary.  “upcycle” does not need to be corrected.  It is correct, in every sense of the word.

 

75% off Sale on all Nordstrom brands!

(Screenshot) Presidents day sale…You NEED to take advantage of these prices!
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