Talented crafters who produce beautiful pieces of jewelry as a hobby soon face a decision about whether to turn that hobby into a business. If you’ve reached the point where you think you can turn your pieces into profit, do some research about how to start a jewelry making business.
Begin With a Plan
All viable businesses have a business plan. Many templates are available online, but most of them will require you to spell out a budget for start-up and continuing costs. You must define things like whether you expect to continue making jewelry at home or if you will lease space for a workshop and store.
In addition, define your niche: what makes your jewelry different and unique? Define your target customer—is this person a trendsetter, traditionalist, or free-spirit? Many makers sell exclusively online with a dedicated online store or through established websites that provide marketplaces for artisans.
As a business owner, you will spend a great deal of time managing budgets, assessing inventory, and devising marketing strategies—all in addition to creating your designs. Factor in tools like a new computer, customer relationship management software, and accounting tools.
Take Care of Legal Requirements
Create a legal structure for your business and register your business according to state and local laws. Decide whether you want to risk doing business as a sole proprietor (which usually requires less paperwork but entails more personal risk if you are sued) or a limited liability corporation (LLC).
If hiring a lawyer seems like too great of an expense, research whether there is a volunteer group of lawyers in your area devoted to helping creative artists. If not, your secretary of state’s office or local county clerk’s office can explain the requirements for setting up a business in your location. You should also create a separate business bank account and find business insurance to protect your business from losses and litigation.
Assemble Materials and Tools
Your weekend workbench now must become a full-time workspace. Identify wholesale suppliers and obtain professional tools. List all the items you need to turn your designs into wearable art. Depending on the kind of jewelry you make, you might need yarn, wire, beads, charms, and fasteners or earring wire. For metal pieces and jewelry that uses precious or semi-precious stones, think about how you will finish the jewelry to bring it to the high shine and sparkle that appeals to your target customer.
Build an Inventory and Open for Business
When first opening your shop, you don’t want to be immediately swamped with orders you can’t fulfill. Do the math and figure out how many pieces you realistically believe you can sell per month, how much it will cost to produce that inventory, and how much profit you expect to gain from it.
When you’re ready, make a splash by announcing your opening to friends and family who already wear your pieces and enlist their help in spreading the word. Create business cards and a dedicated website to promote your brand.
Starting a jewelry making business requires commitment and planning. Dedicated makers can turn their hobby into profitable businesses with planning and preparation.