How To Succeed As An Online Entrepreneur? Vashi Dominguez Explains …

Vashi Dominguez
“By leaving no stone unturned; Vashi diamonds are everyone’s best friend.”

It has been less than 10 years since Vashi Dominguez set up the online diamond and fine jewellery store Competing at the top with some of the world’s most leading luxury jewellery brands, Vashi has quickly become the go to guy for diamond advice and jewellery, turning over a profit of £10 million. Providing expert advice to an audience of millions of people worldwide and jewels to celebrities from Myleene Klass, Leona Lewis, Binky Felstead, Holly Willoughby and many more, Vashi Dominguez gives his top five tips on how to succeed as an online entrepreneur.

Vashi’s Top 5 Tips

Turn your passion into a much needed resource: I firmly believe your character dictates how far you will get in life. Drive and determination can turn a great idea into a multimillion pound empire. From a very young age, I had always had a fascination with diamonds, as I became intrigued at how something so small could be so valuable. I studied gemmology, worked within the industry and eventually sold my electrical business to focus all my efforts into diamonds. My aim was to offer the web the best value on diamonds and fine jewellery. I started doing this by selling jewellery through eBay, which then launched into my independent site,

Turn obstacles into prospects: Increasing competition together with a downturn in the economy can make it very difficult to turnover a profit, especially if you’re a small business. I was turned away from over 200 offices before anyone would meet with me. Having said that, for every problem there is a solution and that is why it’s extremely important that you conduct due diligence to turn most of the threats into opportunities.

Be proud of your achievements: It is important to step back and be proud of what you have achieved, whether it’s taking an idea and turning it into a fully-fledged business, building trust amongst your customers and employees and/or winning awards.

Look after your clients: It depends on the industry but the one thing that I’ve learnt, is that customer service is paramount for any new business. If you provide your customers with the best service then they will always come back and that is essential to grow any business long term.

Be aware of your competitors: There are millions of online businesses all targeting the same group of people. At, we offer the strongest guarantee in the business backing every product with the combination of a no questions asked money back guarantee including great value and a lifetime warranty on all diamonds and fine jewellery. This allowed our business to create a gap within the marketplace, separating us from internal and external competitors.  With continuous competition battling to be the best on the high street in addition to online companies, it’s vital that your business stands out and offers something quite unique. I quickly recognised that the best way to connect with my customers is to offer a product with great value at the comfort of their own home by directly dealing with the mines to avoid high street inflation.

Having the right business ethic and product: Business can be tough and it’s essential that you do your research and evaluate the pros and cons. I also feel it’s important to establish the purpose of wanting to start your own business e.g. does your targeted customer really need your product or service? What are you prepared to sacrifice in order to achieve it? Will your idea turnover a profit in the next five years? Is there a gap in the market for it? Familiarising yourself within the area of business you wish to get into and all its competitors, are the key tools needed to succeed in the world of online business. It’s also important to install trust within your brand at a very early stage. I believed it was essential to deal directly with the Diamond Trading Company, the world’s largest diamond miners, to ensure that our diamonds are ethically sourced. We only deal with associated companies whom, like us, proudly adhere to and enforce the standards established by the Kimberley Process (an international system that polices the trade of diamonds) to ensure that they’re from sources free of conflict; therefore building trust with our customers and making us a recommended and reputable company.

Ultimately, running a successful online business with an ego doesn’t mix. If you’re in business for the wrong reasons it will not work.

What Are You Afraid Of?

Jesus Flores, of Harvey, Illinois, has been afraid of storms for as long as he can remember. It’s not a typical fear he experiences. Most people get nervous when high winds send tree branches flying, thunder rattles the rafters, and lightning strikes nearby, but Flores and others like him have it much worse: They have a real phobia.

There is no name for this particular phobia, surprisingly. We have names for all the features of it — the fear of lightning and thunder (brontophobia or karaunophobia), the fear of rain (ombrophobia or pluviophobia), and the fear of tornadoes and hurricanes (lilapsophobia) — but at the moment there’s no Greek name for the whole shebang.


When his phobia was at its worst, Flores would feel anxious in the days preceding a forecasted storm. He would stay glued to the National Weather Service radio station or the Weather Channel on TV. As the weather approached, his anxiety would mount, and when the storm was upon him, he was gripped by such terror that he would hide in the closet.

Things are better, he says, since he started his web site in 1999. The site put him in touch with hundreds of other storm phobics. “I don’t feel like I’m alone,” he says. And mentioning there are lot of students with phobias, that’s a relevant information.

Understanding that others have the same problem has helped him deal with his phobia. “I started hearing some of the more extreme things that people do” to avoid storms, he says. One woman he talked to would call an ambulance whenever a storm was brewing because she felt safer in the hospital. Stories like hers brought his own fears into perspective. “I wouldn’t even come close to that anymore,” Flores says. Now, he doesn’t feel intense anxiety in anticipation of a storm, although he will stay indoors and cancel appointments when one rolls in.

Phobias are, by definition, irrational fears, although they are “usually based on some realistic harm,” says Mia Weinberger-Biran, PhD, a professor of psychology at Miami University, Ohio. “Sometimes they develop out of a frightening encounter,” she says, but often they develop without any obvious cause.

When it comes to treating phobias, the usual combination is psychotherapy and behavioral therapy. Talking to a psychologist or psychiatrist can help sufferers understand what the phobia means to them and how it started, Weinberger-Biran says.

Then comes the hard part — learning to overcome the fear by gradually increasing exposure to the feared object or situation. “You need to be pretty creative with this,” Weinberger-Biran says. “It’s not always easy.” Storm phobia is a case in point. For someone with a fear of heights (acrophobia), treatment might involve exercises like standing on a second-story balcony until that feels comfortable, then a third story, and so on. The same approach would be hard to apply to storm phobia.

Learning the science behind severe weather is one way people can overcome the fear of it. The idea was put into practice by John Westefeld, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Iowa, who did the first research on severe weather phobia. Westefeld has held counseling sessions where phobics sit down with him and a meteorologist to talk about their fears, and talk about the weather.

Flores stresses that people with this phobia should seek help from a mental health professional, and stick with it. Many of the storm phobics he has talked to, he says, start therapy during the spring and summer, but quit when winter comes and storms are less common.

In addition to professional help, sharing the experience with others seems to do the most good. Those who have gotten involved “feel a strong sense of community,” Flores says. “They feel more at peace with their fear.”

At what age can contact lenses be worn?

Although spectacles have become an increasingly sought after fashion accessory these days, many children would prefer to wear contacts. In some cases, the shift from glasses can improve self-image which can be a major motivator for many young people.

Sometimes, it’s not appearance that drives the desire to switch, but sports performance. Although quite safe to wear for the majority of sports, glasses can occasionally be distracting and many children would prefer to have contact lenses that they can just forget about.

Understandably, parents are often concerned about whether these are suitable for youngsters. There is no hard and fast rule about at what age it is possible to begin wearing lenses. It depends very much on the child in question. For example, a child as young as seven or eight might be deemed quite capable of using lenses, whereas a teenager might not.

contact lenses children

In most cases, the best course is to speak to your optician with your child present. They will be able to judge how responsible and motivated your son or daughter is. Your child will need to be able to insert and remove their own lenses and take responsibility for the accompanying hygiene programme. This means that they must be willing and able to clean their lenses without adult assistance.

The optician will monitor your child’s progress and eye health and if they feel that they are not managing in a hygienic and responsible manner, most will not hesitate to withdraw the prescription. Quite often, the knowledge that they will have to return to wearing spectacles can be enough to ensure that children and adolescents take adequate care of their lenses.

There is a wide variety of contact lenses available and the optician will provide the necessary advice and guidance. For instance, they will recommend whether hard or soft lenses are most appropriate and whether or not disposables are a good option for your son or daughter. In some cases, such as astigmatism, it may be possible to use corrective contacts to improve the condition.

Before visiting the optician, it is best to talk to your son or daughter about their expectations and to discuss the level of responsibility that will be expected from them. If you don’t wear lenses yourself, it might be a good idea to ask a friend or relative if they would be willing to demonstrate the procedure to your child.

Online Fashion Sites – Best Option For Luxurious Eyewear

Women with sophisticated tastes know the importance of having jewels in their fashion arsenal; they’re symbols of affluence and complete luxury. When it comes to really extravagant eyeglasses, branded eyeglasses features gems and optical technology.

Branded sunglasses display the impressive workmanship of the glasses designers. The frames have a very sleek shape and their jewel accents are often delicately and carefully applied to completely support the fine jewellery-making techniques branded eyewears is renowned for; they’re also created from high quality plastic, metal or both to guarantee stability.

Branded sunglasses

At the same time, the lenses are not only polished to sparkle but they are also given protective coatings to guarantee their ability to defend the eyes from the dangerous or damaging outcomes of UVA and UVB rays from the sun. Worth mentioning also is the fact that these lenses can be personalised according to the prescription of the wearers, so should they require special lenses like varifocals (these are also referred to as modern lenses which are made of three different strips of lenses; top strip supports the normal prescription and can support far distance eye activities such as driving, mid strip is for moderate distance eye activities like watching TV or using the computer and bottom strip is for close distance eye activities like reading and needlework) or single-vision ones to correct myopia, hyperopia as well as astigmatism, it’s not really a worry for branded sunglasses.

Online fashion websites always talk about the artistry behind the styles and their complementing proportions. These sites frequently point out that there’s certainly no need to wear other accessories if you have on a set of branded sunglasses because these eyewear already provide the supremely elegant appeal most women often opt for. The jewel-encrusted hinges draw a lot of light to the face and the noticeably feminine curve of the frames and lenses (which by the way are always big) enhance any type of facial shape; you can be confident that there’s a pair of sunglasses that’s great for you.

Due to the high grade quality materials and the flawless designs, these sunglasses cost a lot. If you’re willing to purchase something that would last you many years or something that you will always be proud of using, online designer sites declare that branded sunglasses are often a worthy choice.

Listening to Your Favourite Beats Under Outdoor Lights

While hip hop music may have originated in the urban environments of New York City, it is enjoyed today by people from all walks of life. Every day and night all over the world, people can be found listening to their favourite hip hop beats; at home, in clubs, and during specialised outdoor concerts and events.

Attending outside events has become a very popular activity for hip hop music fans in recent years, and whether it is a small garden at a bar or an entire music festival, outdoor lights a crucial part of outdoor event management. Outdoor lighting is created through environmental or garden lights, which are installed both as a way to enhance audience safety and to create a pleasing atmosphere for the concert audience. Hip hop has evolved a lot during its long and diverse 30 year history, and it is just as much at home today under garden lighting as it is in the back streets of the Bronx.

garden lighting

Hip hop is more than a musical genre, and also incorporates a number of other cultural activities that are well integrated into wider hip hop culture. Hip hop fans often talk of the 4 elements of hip hop: B-boying or breakdancing, graffiti writing, DJing, and MCeeing or rap. This wide range of different activities associated with hip hop culture, together with its strong, vibrant, and global personality, have helped to make it one of the biggest and most commercially popular musical genres in the entire world. From its birth as an underground music genre in a small part of New York City, it is now an entire culture that has spurned countless music artists, sub-genres, fashions, and entire industries.

Hip hop music sounds great during the night time hours, and is often enjoyed under garden lights either at home or during concert events. Outdoor lighting has to be able to provide adequate illumination for the safety of a concert audience, while also having an aesthetically pleasing effect that enhances both the music and the general event location. Ambience is one of the keys to the design and placement of garden lights, and an important consideration for event managers putting on night time events. Luckily for event managers, there are a number of companies dealing with the installation of entire lighting systems, for use as both a security product and an atmosphere creation system. While it may be a log way from the dark and dank surroundings of a New York club, many people from all over the world are listening to their favourite hip hop beats under the ambience and protection of outdoor lighting.

5 Things to Never Buy Used

Everyone loves a bargain. Today, the easiest way to find great deals on certain items is by cruising through online directories, garage sales and other sources of used items. It is not impossible to find items that are as good as new for no more than 10% of their original prices if you are willing to spend some extra time. Even with so many great deals on the market, there are still items that are better new than used. Which items are they?


It is always best to avoid buying used shoes. Shoes conform to the shape of the user’s feet when worn. After a while, a comfortable pair of shoes for one may not be so comfortable when worn by others. This is exactly the problem with used shoes.

Even if you can save 50-60% on the pair of shoes you want, it is much better to buy it new. Instead of going for used shoes, find discounts and special offers on new shoes or shop for the best deals online.


The biggest problem with buying a used mattress is that you don’t know what’s in it. After a few months of use, a mattress may have germs, bed bugs, dead skins and other unwanted substances on and in it. These substances are not only hazardous but also very difficult to remove.

Similar to buying pairs of shoes, it is always best to find deals on new mattresses than going for used ones. Thanks to the internet, you can find amazing bargains in just a few minutes.

bargain deals


Never – and I seriously mean NEVER – buy used drugs, no matter how much you can save on them. There are countless potential problems with buying used drugs and they are certainly not worth the savings.


Makeups and beauty products can be found at almost every garage sale and websites specializing in used items. The main reason why they aren’t worth the savings is because there are quite a lot of bacteria and health risks associated with using someone else’s cosmetics.


The problem with used hats is that they often contain sediment of dead skin, hair or even lice. Even worse, the sediment may not be visible. Why risk dealing with health issues in the future when you can still save a lot of money buying new hats? Buy hats during seasonal sales and avoid these potential problems.

Teenage Revision Habits

Andrew Buck is a lead practitioner of Design at Hastingsbury College Bedford and the inventor of the student exams app ‘Exam Pal’. He talks about his current perception of teenage revision methods and the use of digital technology against traditional methods of revision.

As a teacher of 20 years and the inventor of the smartphone app ‘Exam Pal’ I am constantly reminded of the importance of quality revision methods not only for my own students but also for our own app content.

As a company that scows the social media system hourly for potential customers a clear pattern is beginning to emerge.

Revision Habits

So what are the revision habits of your average teenager?

Students will turn to Twitter to state to the world that they have started revising or to vent their frustration at having to start revision. This is usually followed by another tweet of disgust having just received their exam timetable. Sharing their exam woes with others is a must. Through Instagram we see snippets of how students are revising. Many will be armed with the revision essentials such as numerous revision guides, highlighters and postcards. Many will be very pleased of their revision set up in their bedroom and proudly post a picture. Some will surround themselves with items of comfort for those long days ahead such as sweets, chocolate and a recent hot drink brought up by the parents.

Traditional methods are still the best and by far the most popular. Analytical note taking by working through their exercise book or revision guide onto a fresh A4 pad seems to be the order of the day. Flash cards in their hundreds beautifully presented and brandished with highlighters. Post-it notes in every wall space conceivable including the fridge and back of the bathroom door creating a skyline of yellow. The common use of a revision buddy seems to add company even though at times that maybe the loyal family pet.

All seems pretty normal, however there are a few trends that for us educational practitioners we may find slightly concerning. Procrastination is a common hashtagged(#) word. The boredom selfie, the revision pain selfie, the sleeping selfie, getting started for some is a huge battle to overcome. When to start and where to start can often be a problem especially when students can be sitting up to 23 exams this summer.

Distractions of any kind are a relief from revision boredom. We very rarely see students studying without some kind of device in the background whether it’s a tablet with a movie, a music media player or games console. It appears that today’s teenagers cannot sit in silence and purely study for long periods, a detriment to the times. Last minute cramming before the exam, studying into the early hours of the morning, the appearance of endless energy drinks and poor diets. It does seem that many students are unprepared for the hours of revision ahead and have a lack of knowledge for best practice.

However there are many ingenious ways to revise that we have come across. Leaving a favourite sweet after each page or paragraph of revision often gives you motivation to complete. Revising in the bath with a wipe board to recall earlier revision is a common occurrence. Students revising on the go in their local café and revising in the car by using the multiple revision apps that are now widely available. The beautifully presented mind maps and flash cards that actually take longer than the revision itself, and of course the revision ‘onesie’. Telling your friends that you have locked your gadgets away in a safe or have deleted you social media apps will help progression. Posting a song or dance, without shame, to your revision notes and key terms you need to learn seems to be one of the strangest techniques we have come across. Recording revisions notes onto a media player and then listening to them whilst at the gym.

Maybe these revision habits have been going on for some time and maybe due to social media we are just more exposed to what is going on behind closed doors.

Here are the Top Twelve Do’s and Don’ts’s for revision to help you get started and avoid the dreaded pitfalls of #procrastination.


  1. Start revising 5-6 weeks before your first exam starts. Use the Exam Pal app to access and schedule your exam dates. Continue reading →

Ideal Figure: Secrets to achieve perfect measurement

Women always try their best to look perfect but reducing fat, working toward your ideal figure and keeping the weight off require some adjustments in lifestyle. You can not expect different results by doing same thing.

Losing weight or regaining a perfect figure does not mean using some dangerous pills or extended trips to gym. Here are some secrets to achieve perfect figure easily:

Diet: You should have a balanced diet. Ideally one should have 6 short meals in the day and no 2 major meals and also that too on time.

Exercise: Do the required exercise regularly to tone those portions of the body where you actually require it. Yoga & meditation are the best option to go for.

Ideal Figure

Move More: Avoid the use of elevator as much as possible. Play with the kids as it will help you to burn out extra calories. Running is not the only way to burn extra calories.

Avoid alcohol and smoking as they pace up the aging process and add up to weight. Replace all chemical oriented diet supplements with the natural & herbal options.

The Sizing Struggle

The perfect pair of jeans seems to be like gold dust – precious and near impossible to come across. Famously being the hardest fashion item to find in the right size, the right fit or even in the right place, denim sizes have baffled shoppers since their inception. But now many shoppers are struggling to find any items of clothing in their size, due to inconsistency in size measurements across different retailers and the phenomenon of ‘vanity sizing’ causing consumer confusion. According to a study conducted by SizeUK over three years, 60 per cent of women admit they are unsure of their dress size due to variations in retailer sizing. So in a country where high streets are homogeneous, dominated by the same fashion retailers, who can we rely on for the perfect fit?

Vanity sizing is a relatively new fashion scandal, which refers to the practice of assigning clothing sizes to garments bigger or smaller than norm for that size, making the wearer feel skinnier or fatter than they actually are. Although many consider it a myth, there’s no doubt that inconsistency in clothing sizes can have a psychological effect and cause frustration.

Launching a ‘name and shame’ appeal on Twitter revealed a list of companies people felt were the worst for inconsistent sizing, in particular two major fashion retailers. “I love H&M but there’s definitely inconsistency,” said freelance journalist, blogger and Twitter user Lor_witters_on. “It drives me crazy, especially when buying things without trying them on only to find it doesn’t fit.”

George launches the Wonderfit Jean - the magical jean where one size fits all

Primark also received a slight bashing. “I can buy a shirt in one size and need a t-shirt in another in Primark,” professed arts and crafts blogger and Tweeter c_brookes. “Their jeans are the same – one style in one size and another style in another.”

The best way to confirm any variance was by visiting stores and going about testing sizes the old fashion way – with a tape measure. First up is H&M, a Swedish retail giant who made around £446 billion in the last quarter according to Business Week, and were heavily mentioned in the Twitter appeal. Their in-store sizing chart suggests a size 14 will fit someone with a 36.25 inch chest, but when measured, a new cat print tea dress measures 35 inches, coming up smaller than the suggested measurement. In contrast, a pair of their slim leg, regular waist jeans, listed as a 30 inch waist on the tag measure at 32 inches, coming up wider than expected.

However, H&M maintain their sizes are tried and tested worldwide. Chloe Bowers, press officer at H&M, said: “H&M uses the same body measurements and sizes for all its 38 markets and they are based on Swedish body measurement lists. We do not work with ‘vanity sizing’. All departments within H&M work with the same body measurements and all garments are tried on mannequins or fitting models, so as a customer you should be able to buy the same size regardless of which department you are shopping within.”

Despite saying their clothing sizes are standardised across all departments, Chloe added: “A garment can feel different in size depending on style and fit, for example our young department ‘Divided’ might work with a more close fit fabric than, for example, our ladies department.”

H&M currently work with around 700 suppliers worldwide, who in turn use subcontractors, adding up to around 2,700 production units used in the manufacture of their clothes. With such a high number of links in the supply chain, inconsistency from supplier to supplier is showing through in their products. But they’re not the only ones. Continue reading →

How to survive a uni beauty crisis…

Here you are at the beginning of your university life or returning to lectures after a summer of re-sits and relaxation. Time for a fresh start and a new you, so here are a few tips to help you cope on your way, no matter what London Met may throw at you…

Hungover from freshers’ week?

To recover quickly from the night before, set your alarm for an hour before you are due to get up for lectures. When the dreaded alarm rings, take a paracetamol with a glass of water containing a vitamin tablet to replenishing any lost vitamins and minerals (Berocca, £4.99, is a hangover favourite). Go back to sleep for an hour, but don’t forget to reset your alarm! For breakfast have bread, butter and golden syrup – this replenishes potassium, sodium and fructose in your body, speeding up recovery. Avoid coffee as it’s a diuretic and will cause further dehydration. Also avoid aspirin and fizzy drinks as they may upset the stomach.

Running late with bed head?

For quick and easy, clean-looking hair, spray it with a dry shampoo (Batiste, £3.04, is a cult favourite which caters for all hair colours and ensures no white partings). Part your hair, apply some volumising powder to your roots and massage it into your scalp with your fingertips to give automatic lift (GOT2B Schwarzkopf, £4.07, is effective and affordable). Now give your hair a good brush out and if more volume is needed, back-comb the roots and give it a quick squirt of hairspray (Silvikrin, £1.01, is handy and cheap). If your ends are looking a little dry, rub a dab of straightening serum (Pantene Pro-V ice shine serum, £4.51) into your palms and run it through the ends of your hair.

beauty crisis

Looking pale and tired?

The eyes are the main focal point of the face, so if they look sore and puffy your whole demeanour will look tired and run down. So start by placing either a cold slice of cucumber or a cold camomile teabag to the eyelids for 10 – 15 minutes. This will brighten the whites of the eyes and help clam any puffiness. Now cleanse your skin by mashing up a cucumber and brushing it onto your face.  Leave it on for 10 minutes to cleanse and close pores, then rinse it off. Finally, smother your face with a daily moisturiser (Oil of Olay complete care, £7.65, is a good all-round cream, which contains SPF 15 to protect your skin from the sun).

Want to hide behind makeup?

Sometimes when we look tired it is easy to pile on the makeup, but this can make you look worse. Simply apply some liquid foundation to your face and some concealer under your eyes and across your cheek bones to make your face look brighter (Bourjois brush concealer, £7.49, is perfect). Next, lightly brush a bronzing powder on top and finish off with a lick of mascara and lipstick. If you don’t have time to apply a whole face of makeup, just pop on a red lipstick.  This will pull the attention to the lips and make you look sassy and natural. Finally, to keep your makeup on all day, give your face a quick squirt of hairspray.

Handbag essentials!

A few items can help you get through those hard days. First of all, a small tin of Vaseline (Lip therapy with Aloe Vera, £1.39) always comes in handy in the winter to combat chapped dry hands and lips, and in the summer it protects the skin. It will also stop frizzy hair if you pull a little through the ends with your palms.  Secondly, clear nail varnish not only helps with chipped nails but also stops a run in your tights. It can also stop you losing a loose button by applying it to the breaking thread. Lastly, plasters are a must-have in any bag. They can help with minor accidents as well as stopping an unravelling hem and, if your shoes are flopping on and off, you can stick a plaster or two in the heel.