Sustainable Fashion Review: Rocksbox Jewelry Subscription

 

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I got invited by Rocksbox to try out their jewelry subscription service for three months. (I was super excited!!)  While I don’t buy a lot of jewelries myself, I think their business model is simply brilliant and sustainable.

Here is a little bit about their subscription service:

Every month, you pay US$19.90 to borrow jewelries from Rocksbox. Rocksbox will personalize and pair a set of three items based on your preferences, and then ship it out to you.  When you wants to have another set of jewelries, you simply ship back your current set with their pre-paid label and swap for a new set!

Their jewelry inventories are typically priced around US$70 a piece and they source from reputable and popular brands such as Kendra Scott.

If you really like the items they ship to you, you have an option to buy them. Rocksbox gives you a $10-25 monthly store credit to incentivize you to purchase their slightly-used but well-maintained products.

There is no sign-up fees, cancellation fees, or commitment to stay.  You can cancel it whenever you want!

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Catch:

While you can swap whenever you want to have a new set of jewelries , the max. number of sets you can borrow a month is limited by the mailing speed.  Their company is based in SF, and the typical lead time for a new set to arrive in LA (where I am based) is 4 business days.  Using this as my calculation basis, you can at most rent out 4 – 5 sets a month (assuming that you wear them for one or two days).

Another catch is that Rocksbox is a startup and they keep their prices so low initially (around US$20 a month) because they are trying to grow the company.  I do believe that as they get more users, their prices will go up and they will implement other strategies to make sure you keep subscribing!

So when should you get Rocksbox?

1. You don’t mind returning packages.  Maybe there is a post office near you, or you simply just don’t mind returning the packages.

2. When you spend more than $240 a year on trendy jewelries a year.  ‘Trendy’ jewelries usually don’t stand the test of time, and if you spend more than $240 a year on it, you should really get on Rocksbox to save your piggy bank and our environment.

3. Take advantage of their 1st-month-free promotions.  They are giving away free months to new users! Why not try it then? You never know until you try! 🙂

4. A big event is around the corner and you need new jewelries.  Well, they have yet make you pay for subscription cancellation.  So, go for it If you need statement jewelries for an upcoming event such as Coachella and you don’t want to shell out more than US$20!

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So now when should you NOT subscribe? 

1. You are too lazy to return the packages on time.

2. You are OCD and always forget where you put your jewelries! You may lose them and end up paying more!

3. Shopaholics.  You may like all the sets they send you, and you end up spending more!

4. You spend less than $240 a year on jewelries. While US$20 a month is so cheap, monthly fees do add up and surprise you at the end of the year when you wanna get a nice xmas present for yourself.

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Verdict

Try your first month because it’s free! After that, stay or cancel it depending on your preferences!

Hope my analysis helped and thank you for reading!

Smile and style on~

SK


Outfit Info

Jewelries :: Courtesy of Rocksbox

Shopping in Saigon, Vietnam Part 1

I am a big fan of Anthony Bourdain.  I love his shows and particularly, his episodes in Vietnam. After watching him touring around Vietnam, I had this skewed view of what the country should be: triangle strawed hats, short plastic stools, human pancakes on scooters, and dirt cheap delicious pho. Well, all of them are pretty accurate, but it’s only a fraction of what Vietnam is about.  When I came to Saigon, I was pleasantly surprised by how hip, young and modern the city really is.  I found a hipster art district full of colorful murals, and a lot of  local fashion boutiques.

I spent half a day shopping (the longest I ever shopped for), and I’d like to share with you some of my favorite places!

The Blue T-Shirt mainly sell crisp and functional basics., their clothes are all made responsibly in Vietnam.  This place started in 2013 online, and now they have 4 different stores in Saigon!  I went to the one in District 3, and bought this pink top!

Shopping in Saigon Sustainable Fashion Styles For Thought

Shopping in Saigon Sustainable Fashion Styles For Thought

Shopping in Saigon Sustainable Fashion Styles For Thought

Another shop I really like is LIBE.  LIBE reminds me of  Japanese fashion – minimal cut, simple pattern and loose fit. They sell casual clothing with a slight twist.  In my opinion, their clothes are perfectly made for L.A. where most people go for the casual chic look.

I found it quite hard to get green clothes in the U.S., but LIBE has some of the best green shades and I got two pairs of pants from them!  One of them is this faded green midi pants.  They are chic and casual, perfect for the hot summer in L.A.!

I hope you find this post useful when you travel in Saigon!  I’ll talk about other boutiques in the next blog post, and thank you for reading!

Smile and style on~

SK


Outfit Information

Top :: The Blue T-Shirt (Facebook Site)

Bottom :: Libe Workshop (Facebook Site)

Jewelries :: Courtesy of Rocksbox, a jewelry subscription service for $19.9 a month

How to travel in Vietnam for 7 days?

Chris and I visited Vietnam two weeks ago. We only checked out 5 cities in Vietnam, but I wanted to share some of our favorite food and activities to do if you get a chance to visit as well!

We flew into Hanoi first, then traveled down south to see Ha Long Bay, Da Nang, Hoi An, Hui, and finally flew out from Saigon.  When I travel, I tend to do and see as much as I can.  If you have a similar traveling style, this is the most efficient route to hit as many cities as possible.

Hanoi

1.       Egg coffee.

When you are in Hanoi, you have to try their famous egg coffee, aka cà phê trứng.  Coffee Giang is the first café in Vietnam that serves egg coffee and is considered the most original.  Egg coffee doesn’t sound that attractive, but I promise you it does not taste like egg at all.  They serve it in a small English cup.  70% of it is whipped egg custard with condensed milk, and the other 30% is Vietnamese dripped coffee.  I had 5 egg coffee on my first day there, and I still regret not drinking enough.  Luckily, I got ahold of this secret recipe. If you are interested in the recipe, please subscribe to my blog! J

 

Traveling in Hanoi Coffee Shops

2.       Food tour on scooter

While in Vietnam, I highly recommend you to ride on a scooter at least once. Chris and I took a scooter tour around town to try all the authentic Vietnamese food that has yet made ways to America.  I had so much fun riding a scooter and I also experienced the crazy traffic in Vietnam.  People never follow traffic lights or drive on the correct lane.  Running red lights and driving on the opposite-direction lane are super normal.  And so is seeing 5 people riding on a tiny scooter.

 

3.       Bun cha

Just two days before Chris and I arrived in Hanoi, Obama and Bourdain got Bun Cha at Huong Lien in Hanoi.  Curious and hungry, we decided to try out this place before we left! Results? Two happy bellies for a total of US$10.

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This is the place Obama and Bourdain went to for Bun Cha

4.       Massage

Massages are so cheap in Vietnam. Ranging from USD 7 to USD 35 per hour, you can get all the knots taken care of.

5.       Couch surfing

One of the reasons I travel is to meet different people and see their lifestyle.  The best way to do this is to meet up with a local person from Couch Surfing.  The people we met during this trip were all cool, smart and friendly. If I ever visit Vietnam again, I would definitely want to meet up with them again.

Chatting with Harry (from Couch Surfing) over my favorite egg coffee.

Ha Long Bay

1.       Cruise

Ha Long Bay is 3 hour drive from Hanoi and it is one of the most picturesque places in Vietnam.  We signed up for a 2 day, 1 night cruise to enjoy this natural beauty.  The food and amenities on the cruise exceeded my expectation, and I don’t think there is a better way to experience Ha Long Bay

Da Nang

Da Nang is a relatively developed city in Vietnam.  The city is filled with newly built resorts, high-end restaurants and roof-top dance clubs.  Personally, I didn’t find Da Nang as interesting as some other cities we visited.  However, Da Nang locates between Hoi An and Hui, and it makes sense to stay at Da Nang as a pivot point for your traveling.

1.       Intercontinental Resort

I have been to Thailand, Singapore, etc., cities that are known for luxurious resorts.  However, this place, The Intercontinental, is by far the classiest, most extravagant resort I have been to in Asia.  We decided to check in for one night because we were just so exhausted from sunburns and riding scooters.  You get to enjoy a private beach and an infinity pool here.  The sand is clean, and the water is crystal blue.  I can’t wait to come back here again.

Casually looking at the sunset on a floating pod. NBD.

2.       Ba Na Hill (Do Not Go)

A coworker of mine recommended me to check out Ba Na Hill, and so Chris and I rented a scooter the first day in Da Nang and drove 2 hours under the unforgiving sun to check out this place.  BIG MISTAKE! Ba Na Hill is the most westernized amusement park in Vietnam and it was built in 2015! When we got there, we took pictures with imitate French architectures and ate Brazilian BBQ.  I guess some people like it, and that explains the high reviews and ranking on Trip Advisor. But you are looking for something more historical and culturally rich, you should go to the Marble Mountains.

3.       The Marble Mountains

The only historical place we visited when we were in Da Nang.

4.       Sky36

If you visit Da Nang, you have to check out their night life because Da Nang is known for it.  Keep in mind that in any Asian countries, going-out is very frowned upon for girls, and people tend to be conservative.   We wanted to be more local and first went to a Vietnamese club (Name: OQ Dnd Beer Garden).  The music there was good, but everyone was very isolated.  In a traditional Vietnamese club, there isn’t a lot of mingling between different groups of people because you have to order a table and people usually dance around their own table.  And so, we left shortly and checked out Sky36.  This club is definitely more westernized and has a great panoramic view of Da Nang. The DJ there was awesome and people were more open to talk to each other.  And of course, Chris and I had a great time being the only people (really) dancing there.

Hoi An

I love Hoi An! I will come back here again just to enjoy the lanterns and the lit-up river.  Hoi An is 30 mins away from Da Nang, so we didn’t spend a night in Hoi An.  Instead, we took a taxi around 5, and had the same taxi driver pick us up when most stores closed around 10pm.

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1.       Morning Glory

You should come here for dinner instead of only eating street food! Food was amazing, and I wish I came here during daytime to take a cooking class.

 

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2.       Street Game

There are so many games on the street. We had so much fun playing and losing Dongs on games that we would never win.

3.       Shopping

This is the place to shop for souvenirs. Make sure you bargain for 30% – 40% of their ask price. If they say they won’t sell it, just walk away. This trick works 100% of the time.

4.       The Chef

We thought this was just a book store, but it turned out to be a roof top bar once we walked up to the second floor.  It is a good spot for sunset and you should come here for a drink before heading to dinner. We came here after dinner during night time, but the ambiance was still amazing.

Hui

1.       Car Tour

Pretty sure the majority takes a car tour to see Hui.  A typical car tour consists of a hotel pick up, 5 – 8 different stops, 1 English speaking tour guide and a hotel drop-off. You can get picked up at either Da Nang or Hui (Price will be different depending on your pick up location). We got picked up from Da Nang, and we paid around US$110 per person (5 stops, and no tour guide). Apparently, US$110 is too expensive and you should never pay more than $80 for what we got.

 

Saigon

1.       3A Station

This is similar to the Art District in Los Angeles. Wall murals, fashion boutiques, cute coffee shops, microbreweries.  Everything about this place is just so hipster! Come here during sunset time!

2.       Lesbian Banh Mi

Heard this is the best Banh Mi place in Saigon, but I think all Banh Mi’s are good, including the dirty ones you get off the street. They give you a pretty substantial sandwich for US$1, and they open after 3pm.

3.       Clothing Boutiques

A lot of our clothes are manufactured in Vietnam, and so I wanted to check out some local fashion boutiques and support the local designers.  I will talk more about where to buy in Vietnam in my next blog post! Stay tuned!

4.       Guan

Similar to “New American” restaurants in the U.S., Saigon has some of the best “New Vietnamese” restaurants too.  Bold and creative chefs in Saigon take Vietnamese food onto the next level.  We had this fried soft shell crabs dipped in passion fruit sauce at Guan, a roof-top restaurant in district 1. HEAVEN.

 

Hope you enjoy my blog post! If you have any questions about traveling to these places, please comment below! Lastly, follow me on Instagram for more pictures! J

Smile and Style on~

SK


Outfit Information

Top :: Madewell

Dress :: Nasty Gal (Old, Similar here)

Shoes :: Madewell