This can be affected by Holiday schedules and plant shut- downs. The plant is normally closed the last 3 weeks of December, the last week of June and the first week of July.
• Antique Bronze, Bright Bronze, and Pewter will take 10-12 weeks during these times..
A. All interior padding and clear shields will be removed and discarded prior to bronzing helmets.
B. Identification numbers and any other ranking ID's must be RAISED to be visible following bronzing. Info PRINTED on the helmet will be covered and not visible following bronzingFREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What IS baby shoe bronzing? Are those REALLY my baby's shoes in there??
A: Baby shoe bronzing, GENUINE bronzing, is actually a multi-step process where your actual baby's shoes (YES...the REAL shoes your baby wore) are identified, sealed, stiffened, coated and then COPPER ELECTROPLATED and lacquered to preserve them forever. They are NOT dipped in molten metal...as this would destroy the shoes. And they are not PAINTED as this is not genuine bronzing. They are handled with the greatest care as we know how much they mean to you.Q: How will the FireAwards communicate with me about my order?
A: We will send you an email when we put your order into work. And we may also send you an email if we have a question about your order. Please note these messages depend on the email address you provide when you place your order. Also note that occasionally, our email messages may end up in your SPAM folder. So if you are expecting to hear from the factory and do not, please check that SPAM folder...just in case. Then, if you still have not heard from us, Contact Us and we'll respond back to that message.Q: How long does the bronzing process take?
A: After we receive them, bronzed baby shoe orders take 6-8 weeks in the Bright or Antique Bronze finishes before they are completed and shipped. In the "Pewter" finish, baby shoes take from 8-10 weeks before they are completed and shipped. And bronzing other items takes 10-12 weeks of in-factory work. Be sure to add time for return shipping. We ship completed orders back by insured USPS Priority Mail.Q: Are there any times during the year when delivery might be delayed?
A: Yes. We close our factory for 2-3 weeks each summer (usually the first two-three weeks of July) for employee vacations. We also close each year around December 17 until January 13 for our holiday shutdown. So please note these dates. Orders will be delayed while we're closed. So please be sure to add 2-3 weeks to the normal turnaround time. And if you want your order processed and shipped back to you BEFORE we close for one of these annual shutdowns, be sure to get them here allowing for the normal turnaround time PRIOR to our closing. (Our offices and receiving dock remain open during these times. So please feel free to continue to send in orders or to contact us if you have any questions.)
Thanks for your patience and understanding. And we promise they’ll be worth the wait!
Q: Why does it take so long?
A: The bronzing process is not just a simple "dip and dunk" process. Each order must be carefully entered into our system, shaped and stiffened and then dried. Next, they are coated with a material to make them electrically conductive. Another drying period is required...and then they are copper electroplated. Following another drying period, they are polished, antiqued and then polished again. A coating of lacquer is then applied to protect them from tarnishing. Finally, the orders are mounted onto the bases, inspected, packed and then shipped. It takes time to create heirlooms that will last forever. Check out our video to see how the bronzing is done.Q: Can you rush an order?
A: We apologize but we made the decision quite some time ago that rushing orders through our process led to less-than-acceptable quality…so we stopped accepting rush orders. We know that you might need this order for an occasion, but ask that you understand this policy and allow us to take the proper amount of time to make sure to get it right for you. In the event this is for an occasion, you might want to simply give the recipient a card noting something very special is on its way to them…and it will be worth the wait.Q: Can you bronze shoes that aren't leather or plastic?
A: We cannot process felt, velvet or fur shoes. And we cannot process knitted, crocheted, lace-trimmed, terry shoes or slippers. These loose or soft materials simply don't hold their shape well during plating and tend to become stretched or misshapen.Q: What about bronzing baby running or tennis shoes?
A: These now make up a large portion of our business and they look terrific! The antique bronze finish looks and processes best on these shoes.Q: And soft soled baby shoes? (Cloth shoes or shoes with soft leather soles. Rubber soled and hard leather soled shoes come out fine!)
A: We can bronze these…but due to their extraordinarily soft composition, the soles are practically impossible to flatten out and usually turn out somewhat bowed at the bottom. Because of this, these kinds of shoes are not covered by our satisfaction guarantee.Q: Can you bronze REALLY OLD baby shoes?
A: Absolutely...and they usually look amazing! We do our best to bronze them "as is" with any holes or extra wear showing even after bronzing. We treat them gently as we know they mean so much to you. The only time there is an issue with old shoes is if they are literally falling apart when we receive them. If they are dry-rotted or just so old the leather is breaking up, then we CAN most-probably still bronze them...but only at Customer's Own Risk (see below). If we believe they are past the point of saving, we will tell you...as we don't want to chance letting them get any worse. Any questions regarding old shoes bronzing, please Contact Us.
Q: What about Robeez baby shoes?
A: We can bronze these...but due to their extra-soft composition, we cannot apply our Satisfaction Guarantee as, even though we do our best to shape them as naturally as possible, they may appear a bit stretched following plating.Q: Can you bronze christening slippers?
A: Yes. However, due to the material christening slippers are made of, occasionally when they are bronzed, they can appear somewhat stretched out. Also, on these slippers with frilly lace, the lace must be pressed down against the body of the slippers and may not be completely uniform around the slippers. Due to these issues, christening slippers cannot be covered under our Satisfaction Guarantee.Q: What if I don't want holes in my bronzed unmounted baby shoes?
A: If you DON'T want holes in the shoe bottoms, we can do this. But we'll have to add $15/pair to the bronzing price for the special handling it requires. If this is what you'd like, be sure to make this selection when placing your order.
Q: How do I care for bronzed keepsakes?
A: Just wipe them occasionally with a soft dry cloth. Never use polish or cleaners which will cut through the protective lacquer coating that preserves the finish.Q: What if I've lost my shoe laces or buttons?
A: Since most buttons are so old, we cannot replace them. But for missing shoe laces, we will automatically replace them.Q: Can I have my shoes bronzed with NO LACES?
A: Yes…but they MUST be accompanied with a note stating "Leave shoes with no laces." Otherwise, if shoes are sent in without laces, we will automatically add laces to them before bronzing.
Q: I ordered from you a while ago for my first child. Now that I have another baby, I can't find a match for the mounting I ordered last time. Can you do bronzing on a new pair of shoes and mount them onto an old-style mounting so both children's baby shoes can be on matching bases?
A: Sorry...but when we discontinue a style/mounting, it is truly no longer available. The only bases available now are the ones on this website.Q: What are "walnut-finished" or "oak-finished" bases?
A: Our walnut-finished and oak-finished display bases are high-quality pressed board plaques with a heat-applied outer vinyl layer that gives the appearance of real walnut or oak. Our premium "solid walnut" bases are just that, solid real wood from top to bottom.Q: Can bronzed keepsakes be displayed outside?
A: Our bronzing is for indoor decorative purposes. If placed outside, even with our protective lacquer, the elements will break down the finish and it will eventually discolor (but it will NOT wear off). If you want your bronzed keepsakes to be outside, we recommend your applying an extra protective coating of clear polyurethane AFTER you receive the bronzed items back. This will give them more protection against the elements. Regardless, we cannot guarantee how long they will retain their finish if they will be outside.
Q: I got an email or call from the company and they said they can only do my order at "Customer's Own Risk." Specifically what does this mean?
A: Doing an order on a "Customer’s Own Risk" basis means that we think we can process the order, but due to the makeup of the item being bronzed, (material or poor condition) there is a chance that there will be a problem and the customer (you) has to assume the risk if they want us to proceed. There are a few problems that can occur with a "Customer's Own Risk" order.
First, it could turn out just fine! (Most do.)
Second, for any "Customer's Own Risk" order, if there is a problem encountered during processing, we reserve the right to stop processing and return the order to you in the condition it is in at that time (or discard the item if it can't be "saved.") If this happens, no refunds will be paid.
Third, if the piece we’re processing is damaged or destroyed during processing, we cannot be held responsible as we have clearly warned you that this is a possibility. And if this happens, no refunds will be paid.
Fourth, if the job is completed and there are visible blemishes on the piece, we will not redo the work…as with "Customer’s Own Risk" jobs, our policy is to process the pieces one time and only one time on a best effort basis. And if this happens, no refunds will be paid.
And finally, orders done on a "Customer’s Own Risk" basis are not covered by our Satisfaction Guarantee.
VERY few orders are what we would consider "Customer's Own Risk" orders. But we have to have this policy so you, the customer, are clearly aware of the possibilities if you send one in. Thanks for your understanding.Product Notes
• Finishes - All baby shoe bronzing styles are available in either Bright Bronze (shiny copper), Antique Bronze (hand-brushed, deep darker) or "Pewter" (rich, antiqued gray metal) finishes. And all finishes are genuine electroplated metal and not painted like some other so-called bronzing. Bronzing of most other items available in any finish appearing on the style pricing page. Note: There are no photographs yet of other keepsakes preserved in the Pewter finish. To see a sample of this finish (on baby shoes...to get an idea of what it looks like), please click here and then click on the picture of the Pewter baby shoes.
• Shoe laces are tied as if being worn where the bows lie on the sides of the shoes. They cannot be left untied as they may break off during the bronzing process.
• For each baby shoe bronzing order, the price is the same for a MATCHED PAIR as an UNMATCHED PAIR. If you send in an unmatched pair, please note this on your paperwork.
• If your shoes have bells, there is no extra charge for the bronzing.
• Baby shoe bronzing mountings accommodate shoes up to 6" long. If your shoes are longer than 6", we can still mount them on our bases, but they may hang over the edges. In these cases, the satisfaction guarantee may not apply. Also...prices for bronzing baby shoes apply to shoes up to 6.5 inches long. For shoes 6.6 - 8.5 inches long, we price these as "Youth Shoes" in the Other Keepsake Bronzing section. Shoes 8.6 inches or longer are priced as ADULT shoes.
• Boots (unless they are less than 6" long) do not fit onto baby shoe styles. If you would like boots on bookends, please simply order them mounted on individual walnut bases and note "please mount on sides of bases as bookends" and we will mount them like that.
• For multiple orders, please be sure to mark the babies' names on the soles of the shoes.
• The sweet scent of bronzed keepsakes - When you receive your bronzed keepsakes back, you will notice a sweet aroma when you remove them from the package. This is from protective lacquer we apply to each item to keep it from tarnishing. It is not anything to be concerned with.