Lot of people want to learn how to start a lucrative jewelry design business this year.
Are you one of them?
If YES, then this article is only what you need to read today.
Jewelry making is a viable low investment business for hands-on creative.
Jewelry consists of decorative items worn for personal adornment, such as brooches, rings, necklaces, earrings, pendants, bracelets, and cufflinks.
Jewelry makers often use metals, precious stones, amber, coral, beads, shells and enamel to craft jewelry.
Jewelries can serve as a marker of social status and personal status, as with a wedding ring, as an artistic display and also as a carrier or symbol of personal meaning – such as love, mourning, a personal milestone or even luck.
A jewelry designer creates designs for mass production, or for pieces to be made individually or in small numbers by them or other craft workers.
It might seem impossible to become a jeweler designer or start a jewelry business without years of training and amazing art skills, but this is far from the truth
Starting a jewelry-making business comes with its own set of considerations and complications.
It’s a saturated market but there’s still space for newcomers.
A good number of men and ladies are currently making millions with jewelry business.
Beauty products are in good demand especially if it is women because real ladies don’t joke with anything that could make them look presentable and classy. This is where finely designed jewelries come in handy.
If you want to know how to make jewelry into a profitable business, this post is for you.
This article will help you to successfully start or improve your existing jewelry business in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, India and perhaps anywhere else in the world.
Before we get into the core of this post, I’d like to tell you to grab some coffee or tea.
This is quite a long post and if you’re really interested in becoming a successful jewelry designer and starting your own jewelry business this year, you’ll definitely read to the end.
Steps to Becoming a Jewelry Designer with a Successful Business
You should have passion and be interested in the act of jewelry making, not looking at the monetary gains at the initial stage.
Aside showing interest, you also have to be creative and know if becoming a jeweler is right for you.
The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career.
You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do.
2. Know Your Niche and Target Market
Decide the category of jewelries you want to make. This is one important thing you need to do.
Try choosing a category of your interest.
3. Acquire Training
As an aspiring jeweler, enrolling in a jewelry design degree or program is good and if you plan to run your own business, you’ll need to include business courses to your curriculum, to prepare for branding, marketing, and selling your designs and creations.
While an apprenticeship or on-the-job training can sometimes be an alternative to formal education, the most common route to becoming a jeweler today involves a combination of both.
In case you decide not to attend college, you can still create a professional portfolio on your own.
The connections you make through your internship or apprenticeship will be vital as you pursue your career in fashion, and working with industry professionals will give you an opportunity to pick up important skills first-hand.
4. Have a Portfolio
Having a strong jewelry designers’ portfolio displaying your best work, skills and creativity is essential in order for you to show off your talent to potential employers, receive an internship, apprenticeship or entry-level position, a new job offer, or new customers, and it gives you the opportunity to stand out from the crowd because of your personal style and talent.
Use projects and tasks as opportunities to show off your originality and skills.
The jewelry that you add to the portfolio may include pieces you make for yourself or items that you have sold in your spare time.
Include your initial sketches of the designs that you craft and also ensure to use a high-quality binder to show that you take yourself seriously as a designer.
5. Study and Learn Fashion Business
In order to have a successful jewelry business in the long run, you must get educated about the business side of fashion.
You will need some basic knowledge of business and marketing, managerial and accounting acumen, strong communication skills, ability to organize production, get your collection in stores, and develop PR and a social media following.
If you’ve already undertaken a course but missed the marketing/financial side of things, consider doing short courses in these aspects of business.
Meet those who know the business, find out how it works and benefit from their experience.
Also try building solid relationships with a wide range of people such as manufacturers, investors, and buyers.
6. Employment (Job Search/Creation)
You might work in a retail store where you get a commission for your work, answering customers’ questions and designing pieces in a workshop on the premises.
You can also have a home studio where you craft jewelry and sell through an online retailer.
Your salary as a jewelry maker can depend on a range of factors.
You can create and sell your own jewelry online or at trade shows, so pay depends on moving the product.
7. Get Your Capital (Finance)
Compared to a lot of other traditional businesses, like starting a restaurant or a tech startup, becoming a jewelry designer doesn’t need to take huge investments of capital.
It all depends how big you want to start, and how your business is structured.
For instance, if you’re looking to open up your own boutique shop, a lot of money is going to go to rent, hiring employees, and stocking your showcases with jewelry.
When launching your own brand or business you can start small by using your room or house as a working place (office) in creating your first prototypes with small, relatively inexpensive stones.
The breadth of a jewelry designer’s job depends on whether you work in-house for a brand or set up on your own.
Mass production right away won’t be ideal if you don’t have enough capital.
Start small, grow from there and see what is successful
If you start your company online, you’ll spend a lot less money launching your collection.
If you’re looking to start off the business on a much bigger scale, you can draw up a business plan and look up for grants/loans around you.
8. Business Planning
Writing a business plan will be one of the best things you’d do for yourself.
A business plan for a small business enterprise can be seen as both an entrepreneur’s business ‘resume’ and its growth strategy.
The more you learn about the business side of things, the more you can concentrate on complex jewelry making.
If your initial startup funds do not cover your cost of living after paying your business overhead, you will need to keep some sort of job while starting your business.
A good business plan would help you:
- Direct your business ideas.
- Set goals and objectives, strategies and control measures.
- Convince capitalists and other investors that you have isolated some beneficial growth business opportunities in all aspects possible.
9. Find a Mentor
For the investments you make, be strategic. It is important getting a mentor or team that has the experience you don’t have.
Find someone in the fashion industry that can answer questions for you as you start and grow your jewelry business.
Once you’ve established your products’ aesthetic and nailed your customer profile, it should be easier to identify an overall look that will define your brand.
Success as a newbie in any facet of the fashion industry depends on strong aesthetic, unique design/product, and consistent branding.
Before working with a designer to develop your branding and before designing individual pieces, run through a few exercises to define your overall signature.
Remember, branding is more than just the look of your brand. It also encompasses your voice, vision, and your brand story.
Get ideas from fashion and jewelry blogs – collect images, colors, and textures from nature, architecture, fashion, or travel, and then identify themes that emerge.
After establishing your presence within a small community as a jewelry maker, it will be imperative that you get a shop in an excellent location where you can showcase your business to the larger society, she advises.
11. Get a Good Business Location
As your business grows, you will need to expand and situate your business in a populated buzzing environment with moderate competition accessible to your target market.
12. Business Registration
Depending on your state, country, the laws and if you’re starting big, you may have to register your fashion design business with the agencies or commission and get your license or certificate to begin work.
13. Production and Materials
Developing your products by hand or in a factory, at home, or outsourced depends on the complexity of the design, price point, materials, and skill level.
Depending on materials and design, some methods of jewelry production may require specialized training/certification and expensive tools and materials.
14. Manufacturer Sourcing
A manufacturer who is genuinely excited to work with you and who understands that they may have to provide quick alterations is vital to your business.
Even if you are certain that your chosen manufacturer is trustworthy, be sure to have them sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
By signing this agreement, they commit not to disclose information about your designs to third parties.
15. Price Your Products and Services Right
Learn how to fix the right prices for your products and services.
Ensure that the prices you set give you a nice profit.
Assign retail prices that are appropriate for the market you are targeting.
To position your retail prices correctly, it is important to research the retail prices of other comparable collections within your target market.
With this knowledge, you will determine your target costs, which you will use to get quotes from manufacturers.
16. Customers Insights
It takes a lot of gumption to start a business, and even with your passion in starting up a jewelry business, know your target market (i.e., who you’re making jewelry for).
It is essential to create and maintain a business atmosphere that has a reputation for providing topnotch operations that will keep your clients coming back for more.
Talk to and learn from your customers and test out which designs will sell best online and at trade shows.
Ensure that you make your clients feel valued and appreciated – focus on giving them the best experience each time.
Selling at trade shows and in boutiques, will enable you see how customers are actually interacting with your designs, which can dictate how you display and sell each piece.
If you do marketing right, you should have a solid understanding of how to work out your customers’ needs.
17. Stay Updated
Researching trends is one way to determine and validate your chosen direction.
The fashion industry changes from season to season, so it’s important for you as a designer to keep abreast of the trends.
Read fashion and jewelry blogs daily to stay on top of trends for each upcoming season.
Having a good grasp of what is trending will be enable you to focus on creating and trying out new designs.
18. Personal Promotion
Self-promotion is essential. Wear and showcase jewelries created by you as much as possible.
Learn how to use social media to your advantage by creating a strong visual identity and connect with journalists, clients and retailers.
Be mindful of your relationship with retailers: nurture them with personal meetings and use them to better target your designs.
One sign of a successful jewelry business is customers, and promoting your business is a sure way to getting customers.
Fashion and jewelry are heavily saturated industries — how will customers hear your voice above the noise?
Facebook and Instagram are one of the best advertising platforms because of the enormous traffic.
Your marketing campaign should cover a maximum of a target audience.
Use all available means to advertise your business.
You can use word of mouth, start with Instagram influencers, bartering product for a dedicated post and promotion on reputable fashion blogs just like the one you’re reading now.
20. Build Your Online Storefront
Now that you have your products, branding, and photography nailed down, let’s put it all together.
Invest in a professional user-friendly website or online store. This is a necessary investment if you are serious about presenting your product to the world.
Tailor your website to the image you want to project.
Update the site frequently, with new pictures and new written content.
Never stop looking for new ways to improve the customer experience.
Always be transparent. Implement a generous return policy.
Product descriptions should reflect your brand story and include details like sizing, materials (important for metal allergies), and, if applicable, material sources.
21. Hiring, Workspace and Team
If you elect to make the jewelry in-house, you’ll need a good workshop space for you and your team.
As you scale your jewelry business, determine the parts of the operation you enjoy most and tap into your own strengths. Hire around those to fill in the gaps.
You can reach out to local universities with renowned fashion communication programs to find her interns.
You can look for interns interested in design people interested in the management side of running a fashion business.
This depends on how you plan to run your business. Do you want to be the one working there, or you want to employ fashion designers that will work for you and give you daily or weekly returns?
Whichever it is, you must be ready to deliver the best quality services to customers that come around.
It is essential to note that hiring only qualified, well-trained and highly skilled designers, stylists and other personnel to your shop is indispensable to ensure the success of your business.
It is also your duty as the owner to make sure that your personnel are well trained and that they have a total understanding of each service offered.
Professionalism must be a yardstick of your business and of your staff.
22. Clients Satisfaction
As to getting designs that will attract customers, creativity is the major player.
Sometimes, when you get to know your clients, you could think of designs that are suitable to them, taking into cognisance their physical looks and what they like.
You could also come up with a unique design from your imagination that is not common.
There should be competence and excellent customer service in your business.
Ensure that you make your clients feel valued and appreciated – focus on giving them the best experience each time.
Different occasions and outfits call for unique designs, ranging from wedding, corporate, casual outing, dinner party and so on.
At every point in time, you have to know what your client needs it for.
23. Plan for Finding New Customers and keeping Them
When a customer’s likes and buy your designs, they usually become repeat clients.
Have a referral system for your customers to earn discounts on purchase or gifts by referring new friends to patronize your designs and services.
This system keeps making them market for you since it’s a win-win situation.
Benefits of Starting a Jewelry Business
These are some benefits of starting a jewelry business.
- Jewelry making is so wonderful because it turns creativity into pure profit. You can make a good income daily, weekly and monthly.
- From this business with proper planning, focus and saving you can open other fashion-related business like shoes, head ties, lace materials and even beautification business as you may have grown to understand color mixtures for different occasions increasing the number of your streams of income.
- It allows you to unleash your creative potentials which can take you farther than you would have imagined.
- You’ll become happy and more confident once you have become established.
- You’ll relish the unique daily interactions with clients and will be immensely proud to understand that your creations will outlive you by many generations.
Challenges Encountered in Jewelry Business
There are still some challenges you may encounter as a jewelry designer or when starting up your own business. They include:
Producing fine jewelry costs money, so you’ll need to have a budget set aside for manufacturing costs. But opening your e-commerce store, getting started on social media and retail outreach will have relatively low cost in terms of your time and money.
There is no business without competition, so be ready to compete fiercely but healthy.
Competition in this business is expected to increase, so jewelry makers with extensive experience or education in the field should do the best.
As with most artistic careers, jewelry designers’ creations will be scrutinized and critiqued by colleagues, as well as clients, so a tenacious personality is important.
Tips in Excelling in Your Jewelry Business
As profitable this business is, they’re certain things you must put effort to avoid because they can hinder your progress.
- Be creative, social and always available.
- Be organized, focused and polite to customers no matter the cost.
- Know and learn how to price your products and services correctly.
- Don’t cut corners when employing staffs. Under qualified staffs will ruin your business and image.
- Offer professional advice when customers choose styles that may not fit them. If you keep shut and it goes wrong, it falls back on you.
- To run a business successfully, make sure that your company is financially sound. Acquire enough funds to meet your routine business requirements and other expenses for many months.
- Having a line dedicated as a customer care line is very important so that your customers can reach you for an enquiry, bookings, complains and other details.
- Make your business place as homely as possible. Ensure all your customers are comfortable while been attended to or waiting to be serviced. It keeps them coming back.
- Run promos to bring in more customers.
- Study the Masters, to understand what makes fine jewelry.
- Participate in gem and jewelry shows.
- Create a cohesive collection to present to retailers.
- Learn and get creative ideas from your competitors.
- Create and post quality jewelry making tutorial videos on online video sharing sites that your target customers are likely to visit. It is also advisable to post details about your business alongside your tutorial.
- Don’t be afraid of growth. Always try to make your brand more visible and market on a national scale.
- You’ll never stop having new challenges, but the more of them you face; the better you’ll know how to roll with the punches.
- The one option for a unique and creative style is to be guided by your imagination and creativity because possibilities on what you can do in the process of jewelry making are endless.
- Do things a bit differently from where you learn the trade, be unique. Be open to suggestions from your customers to be and don’t dictate for your new customers as that sometimes puts them off.
- You can market handmade creations through a website, at craft fairs, local boutiques, homes, parties, workplaces, schools, churches and a host of other outlets.
- Be Generous. Offer to make free jewelries for some of your friends and have them tell others about your business. Do it often but be wise not to be taken for granted.
- Be business minded. Attend important events in a well-dressed manner with enough jewelries decorations that matched with your wears. If you receive a wedding invitation card, study the color dress codes and come up with jewelries that speak volume about the occasion and tell others beforehand.
- This design field is very competitive and some vacancies are not advertised, so it is useful to build networks and make contacts within the industry by attending trade fairs and exhibitions, for example.
- Drawing and computer design skills will help you visualize your ideas and share them with your clients and customers.
- Creating jewelry requires concentration and patience. You’ll need to pay close attention to minor details.
- Have the ability to imagine how something might look after its shape is altered or when its parts are rearranged.
- Many jewelry materials are valuable; being trustworthy is a very important quality in a jeweler.
- Use free or affordable CAD tools to design original jewelry and improve your skills.
- Be financially aware: start with a small production, support yourself with bespoke orders, make your own prototypes and find people with the experience you don’t have.
- When applying for a job, your portfolio should showcase your technical, manual and creative skills as well as your thought process.
- Do your research and keep up-to-date with industry news.
- Communication is important. As a jewelry designer you will be required to work with artisans, so practice explaining your thought process and concepts in a clear and concise manner.
- Because creative jobs are often based on your connections, learning how to network within the industry can mean the difference between success and failure.
- Ongoing professional development, either through continuing education or affiliations in industry associations, is also prerequisites for a successful career in this field.
Starting your own jewelry business may seem daunting at first, but the effort will be worth it once your shop is bustling with loyal customers.