While lots of people enjoy making jewelry as a hobby or as a way to give gifts to family and friends, only a few will take the next step of trying to sell their jewelry through their own business model. Fortunately, for anyone interested in selling jewelry, whether you want to be able to live off of the proceeds of your business or you just want to sell your pieces as a way to fund your hobby, you have lots of options available to you. Choose to follow as many or as few of the following steps as suitable to the size and complexity of the business model you had in mind.
- Figure out what to call yourself. Branding is one of the most important steps in getting your business up and running, and the first step in the process of branding is to figure out what to call yourself. The name of your business should reflect the specific product that you are offering to your customers, and it should give you a way to stand out from your competition. So when you are trying to choose a business name, reflect on what makes your product unique and what you are specifically offering to your customers. Is your jewelry stylish? Expensive? Romantic? Chic? Why would your customers choose you over someone else? Are your pieces made with better quality materials? Are they more affordable? Considering these questions should help you pick a name, logo, color scheme, and branding strategy that will be suitable for your business. Get your logo and contact details printed on some business cards for you to hand out to those who might be interested in learning more.
- Get your paperwork in order. Check to make sure that the business name you picked is not registered already in your state and that the domain name is still available. Next, you will want to figure out which tax forms and what other paperwork you’ll need to figure out. Do you plan to sell any of your products out of state, for example at craft fairs in other areas? How much money do you expect to earn annually from your business? Do you expect to spend enough on materials to need to claim these items as business deductions? These are all important factors to keep in mind when you are starting out.
- Have some professional photographs taken of your jewelry to display on your website, on your Etsy account, and at any events you attend. You can either hire a professional photographer or rent a nice camera and ask a friend to model for you!
- Figure out the best way for you to sell your product. In this age of the Internet, there are lots of options available to independent sellers in marketing their own handmade goods. Etsy, for example, provides a great market opportunity to private sellers at varying levels of business. Check out this Etsy Spotlight on OasisBloom to inspire you.
If you really want to start this business as a way to build up a career, you won’t want to only sell through Etsy. Instead, you will want to have your own website where you either link to your individual sales pages on Etsy, or where people can buy things directly. Offering multiple places to see your work is a good way to instill in customers the idea that your business is real and official. You can also consider starting a website where you don’t sell your own goods, but where you do at least advertise your presence. You can also consider selling through other channels like eBay.
- The next step in selling your handmade jewelry is to take advantage of the sales opportunities in your local area. Lots of communities have farmers markets, jewelry shows, craft fairs, etc. where local artisans can sell their goods. Attend one of these events to test the waters to see how your items do in the local market. You might have to try out a few events before you figure out where your products are most welcome. Make sure to go the extra mile when setting up your booth so that your station at each fair looks really good and eye-catching. Order some nice looking eSigns.com custom banners to hang at your booth. Having a professionally made sign will give a much more legitimate feel than something homemade. And bring real glass display cases for your items to show them in the best and most presentable way.
Building a career as a jewelry designer is a great way for a creative and artistic person to turn a hobby into a living. But there’s no doubt that it requires some real effort and time to make the most out of the resources at your disposal. As you work on building your own jewelry business, take lots of care with each of these decisions to end up with a business model that is capable of growth in the future and before you know it, maybe you will even be able to open your own jewelry store somewhere in the world!