Whether you’ve made a conscious decision to go into the crafting business or you’ve simply realised you’re enjoying making higher volumes of jewellery and your masterpieces are receiving repeated compliments, there are many reasons selling your craft can prove extremely fruitful. But you’d be forgiven for struggling to know where to start and how to get your jewellery-making business off the ground. It can be daunting and you’ll no doubt meet challenges along the way. However, as your reputation grows – and along with it the demand for your creations – it will all prove worthwhile.
Here, we take a look at key considerations to bear in mind as you look to turn an enjoyable hobby into a thriving, profitable business.
It might be a saturated market but there’s still room for newcomers – especially those with something niche or decidedly different to offer. Find your style and stick to it. Defined collections with an obvious focus and selling point are far easier for customers to view and engage with than a vast selection of various styles, colours and designs with no consistency.
Think about your ideal customer - you’ll likely target the trendsetter, the bohemian, the bride or the classic, for example, in very different ways. You should also decide whether to home in on occasion or everyday wear. Defining your audience in this way early on in the process will help with your business direction and clinching the attention of your intended end user.
It’s wise to specify different price points for your jewellery too. This way, you can gauge what sells. Create show-stopping pieces to build your display around but chances are it’s the more simple pieces that will quickly sell.
Spend time working out how and from where you will sell your jewellery. Craft fairs remain a hugely popular venue for jewellery makers. However, understanding attendees and audiences will pay dividends here as some fairs will naturally give you more success than others. School fetes, for example, may be a better pitch for a children’s ‘make your own bracelet’, while bridal jewellery will be fitting at wedding fairs.
In the early days of your business, you may want to approach local shops or galleries to ascertain if there’s an opportunity for you to sell your jewellery. They may be able to offer you a shelf on a sale-or-return basis. Host coffee mornings (or attend others) to showcase your jewellery and ask around at local hotels, as they’ll usually have display cabinets selling local products.
Eventually, you may like to set up your own website and sell pieces through your own space. However, be patient as without an appropriately large advertising budget, sales may not come easily. Alternatively, online marketplaces like Etsy or Not on the High Street request minimal set-up costs for you to open a store within the site. All by Mama and Amazon Handmade are also highly recommended among creatives. You can build your online presence and test products on the target audience you know they’ll sell well with.
Spend plenty of time researching and developing your style and defining your signature principles. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration and provides a fantastic window on all current and incoming jewellery trends[. Many jewellery designers find it helpful to create digital mood boards, while others still value the traditional methods of sketchbooks and pinning images to a board on the wall. You could also look to fashion or travel blogs for inspiration for colour and seasonal trends. Meanwhile, online craft forums provide and advice and tips from other creatives in the same position as you – learn from them and draw on their experiences.
It’ll pay off to put time and effort into shouting about your new business. Start by setting up a Facebook page and ensure you’re regularly posting to achieve maximum engagement from readers. Instagram is a great platform for the jewellery-making sector simply because it’s image-led – this is a brilliant way to really show off the quality and craftsmanship in your products.
Consider running courses and really show off your expertise. Teaching what you know so well is a great way to add to your income with an added bonus of getting your name known too. Look toward groups like the Women’s Institute, which are often looking for activities to fill their schedule.
Turning your jewellery-making hobby into what you hope will become a lucrative business may feel daunting to start with. But maintain authenticity, stay true to your design instincts and keep that inherent passion alive and you’ll give yourself the best chance of success.
Thinking of starting a jewellery-making business? Get in touch for expert advice and to find out how we can help you put your talent to great use.