September 26, 2016

How To Start A Jewelry Business

We often are asked for help from customers that want to turn their love of making jewelry into a way to make some extra money or move full time into having their own jewelry making business. We do our best to help support our customers whether they make jewelry to gift, wear or sell. With that said, we came up with SOS - our Shop Owners Series. This series of blogs is dedicated to helping our customers grow. Each SOS blog will address something we've been asked about or will share something helpful to those customers who have their own jewelry making businesses. We hope you enjoy this series and if ever you have a question - please email us and we will try to help: fun@beaducation.com.

Jewelry making requires skills and a creative mind. If you have an entrepreneurial streak and are looking for a way to supplement your income, consider starting a jewelry business. Jewelry remains popular for individuals who either want to update their look or give it away as gifts. It is also a must-have accessory for fashion designers. Plus, there is a virtually limitless number of combinations to choose from in terms of materials and styles.

Note, while jewelry making has plenty of potential, it is also a highly competitive industry. If you want to start a business in making jewelry, here are tips on how to start business that will allow you to do what you love:

1. Know Your Skills
Beyond just your design skills, you need to have enough technical abilities that will help you create designs that appeal to your target market and help you stay with or even ahead of your competition. Beyond that, your jewelry needs to be well built, strong, able to stand the test of time.

2. Know How to Source Your Materials
To make great jewelry, you need good quality materials and tools. Find out which suppliers can offer the best deals in terms of quality, selection, price and availability of materials.

3. Keep Track
Use a system of inventory to monitor use of materials and schedule purchases.

4. Know Your Business Goals
Know who your market is and how you intend to sell to them. Is your customer one who purchases your jewelry for every day wear or are your targeting those who will spend more for special occasions such as graduation gifts, birthday or anniversary gifts?

Consider what makes your jewelry designs unique and how you can sell to your target market. With that, create a marketing approach designed specifically for your business.

Be sure to set some milestone goals too such as completing your website, making sure you've completed your profiles for your social media accounts, meeting your weekly or monthly goals in both sales and creating new jewelry to sell, etc.

Taking the time to think this through and viewing these goals regularly can help you stay focused and meet them.

5. Set Your Prices
Your price should take into account the materials you used and the operating costs associated with your jewelry business. Keep in mind that your prices should not only reflect the type of market you want to sell to, they should also help you make a profit. They should also match your audience. You may be catering to an audience who is on a budget or one that expects to pay for something unique.

6. Decide How to Sell
Decide how you intend to get your products out there. You can choose from a number of options, such as selling from your own store, on consignment, at home parties or craft shows. Another great option is selling online. Ecommerce jewelry business models are booming and getting excellent exposure through blogs and social media. You could even learn how to sell on Etsy, a popular website for crafters and independent jewelry designers.

7. Get Professional Support
Professional support from an accountant or a business adviser, from the very beginning, is invaluable, especially if you are a beginner. They can help you set up the company, work the necessary documents for licenses, and assist you for tax issues and insurance coverage.

8. Create Your Brand
A distinctive business logo will help you become recognizable as a brand. Use this logo to create your brochures, pamphlets and other printed materials, as well as web pages on your online site.

Make sure you are consistent, your brand is how your customers will remember you, think of you and hopefully, refer to you. For professional-looking printed materials, try using Canva or hire a logo/graphic designer from Fiverr or DesignCrowd.

9. Market Online
Invest in a clean, easy to navigate website to promote your jewelry business. Potential customers want to be able to navigate your site easily so they can browse, choose, ask questions and buy from you. Get your website registered on online business sites and directories. If setting up a website is a bit too much for you, try selling on Etsy.

10. Learn Everything About Running a Business
Your business will fare better if you understand everything about managing a business. Learn what you can about your industry by reading books or taking lessons. You could also choose to hire an assistant or recruit a partner to help you. Your local Chamber of Commerce may have some great resources too. *

TIP from Beaducation owner Lisa Niven Kelly - If you end up hating the business end of things and it gets in the way of your creativity, go out and hire someone to help. Don't let your your taxes, managing your inventory or shipping kill your creative juices! 

I have seen so many jewelry businesses fail because the artist tried to be the business person and it just didn't work. Selling yourself can be hard. If you are hoping to introduce your line into stores, consider finding someone to rep you. They will take a percentage but it will be worth it and you can concentrate on makin' stuff!

11. Improve Your Skills
Take classes to learn more about new styles and techniques. Sign up for membership with sites, associations and groups that specialize in jewelry design and jewelry business. Read industry publications such as journals, magazines and online sites and blogs. This is how you will remain competitive not just as a designer but as a business owner.

12. Differentiate Yourself and Get to Know Your Competition
Research your competitors and make note of what sets them apart, what you like and things you may not like as much. Try to approach with the perspective of your customer. Once you have a good idea of what your competition is doing you will be even more ready to create your own list of what sets you apart giving you a better advantage of appealing to your customer.

What makes your business unique from the others? Do you purchase items Made in the USA, do you give back to a special cause, design with a specific style, etc? What sets you apart from your competition and why should customers shop with you over them? Making a list of all the great reasons your audience would want to shop with you is actually pretty fun and inspiring. Don't sell yourself short - be confident in what you have to offer.

We hope these tips will help you in starting your own jewelry business and wish you success in your new venture! Find more Shop Owner Series (SOS) here.

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