Have you found yourself wondering if your hobby could become a legitimate business?
Every jewellery business needs to start somewhere, whether it is the dining table, kitchen bench, office, or garden shed. Many businesses also form out of a hobby, providing a great opportunity to work from the comfort of your home and earn an income from your developed skills. Starting your own business will ultimately give you the chance to make money doing something you love.
The jewellery making industry is indeed crowded but still offers room for newcomers who bring a fresh take to an existing design, or an entirely new niche. Like any other business, a jewellery business requires serious time commitment and it is essential that you consider all important factors before diving straight in. With careful planning and an awareness of commitments required, you can create a successful business.
First Things First
If you are considering starting your own jewellery business you want to begin by firstly examining the market to see who is out there and what is trending. What are other handmade jewellers doing? What are key jewellery trends? This will help you to then decide what your focus will be.
This takes us to the next step, defining your mission statement and business goals. While this may appear to be unimportant, spending some time defining the aims of your business ensures you are aware of the scope your business and helps to highlight the specific factors you will need to consider. Reflect on, and write down, the purpose of your business and your business priorities. Considering how much time and money you are willing to invest is an integral part of this process.
Other factors to consider include expected costs, for example, startup costs and cost of materials. Will you base your business online, or will you also sell your jewellery at markets and other venues? Careful planning comes from being firstly aware of expected costs and your desired business direction.
What’s Your Angle?
Your jewellery can generally take one of three angles; fine jewellery, fashion jewellery or somewhere in the middle. Fashion jewellery follows trends, uses less expensive materials, and is offered at a lower price. Fine jewellery uses precious/semi-precious metals and gems, is priced at a higher price point and is often luxury and occasion jewellery.
When choosing which angle to take be mindful of your existing strengths and skills and importantly, do something you love! Don’t just choose a market or angle only because there is opportunity there. If you don’t love it, you will not put your effort into your business, and your business will fail to get started.
After you’ve chosen your angle, you will then need to further define your ideal customer. Who are they? Why do they wear jewellery? Where can they be found? What other things do they enjoy? This helps when creating your jewellery and also later on when you start marketing and selling your jewellery.
Don’t try to be everything to everyone, pick a particular market and do it really well.
Design and Inspiration
Follow jewellery trends and create your own mood and inspiration boards to keep inspired. This could be as simple as creating Pinterest boards or finding physical materials and elements to assemble on a bulletin board. Collect colours, textures from nature and travel, and images from fashion and jewellery blogs.
Production and Materials
How you will make your products depends on skill level required, materials, price point and design. Some methods of jewellery production require specialized training and certifications.
Handcrafting jewellery can be one of the most involved yet personal ways of making jewellery as you are doing everything yourself. Handmade jewellery often requires the assembly of existing elements including chain, wire, beads and cast pendants. This type of business is easier to scale, as elements can be purchased in bulk.
Establish your voice, vision, and story.
Emotional stories work well and help to connect with potential customers on a deeper level. Have a place where your customers can read about who you are, and share your processes and inspirations with your social media followers.
Don’t focus too much on branding early on, i.e. don’t spend all your time designing a logo, website and packaging. Focus predominantly on the core of your business, your jewellery. All those other things can come later.
There are plenty of online jewellery resources and tutorials. Also look for local workshops and programs. There are casual classes and short courses that you can benefit from to widen your skillset.
Take Photography Seriously
High quality photos of your products will make all the difference to selling handmade jewellery. Quality photos will help to capture the unique elements of your pieces and it is likely, particularly if you have an online business that the images are going to have to sell your jewellery. To take photography seriously you don’t necessarily need an expensive camera. An iPhone is suitable and there are many DIY tips online.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may have legal considerations. This is particularly relevant when registering a business name or when it comes to tax. Do your research.
Starting a business is hard work yet it can be extremely rewarding. These factors above are only meant to be used as a starting guide to get you thinking about what your business may look like and how much time may be required. Don’t be afraid to chase after your goals and always be patient with yourself.
You may also be interested in reading our other useful blog posts that are relevant to starting a jewellery business: