“Hey, where did you get that?” A unique bracelet, necklace, or pair of earrings can help show off your style.
You can also share your creativity by creating jewelry pieces for other people. Here are some things to consider if you want to be a jewelry designer.
Here’s what’s great about being a jewelry designer:
- A chance to do what you love. Many artists struggle to get paid for their creations. Designing jewelry is a great opportunity to turn a fun hobby into a successful business.
- Easy to get started. You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to begin making and selling jewelry. You can start by creating simple, beautiful designs with some affordable materials and tools from online or local craft stores.
- A profitable industry. There’s a wide price range for jewelry. Some savvy jewelry customers will spend more money for high-quality and/or custom-made pieces. This means that you can consider selling some jewelry pieces at higher prices as you become a more experienced jewelry designer.
Here are some possible challenges facing jewelry designers:
- Lots of competitors. Making jewelry is a very popular business, especially with online sites such as Etsy. This can make it tougher for your jewelry pieces to stand out among the competition to potential customers.
- Limited creativity. Making jewelry is fun, but you can’t randomly create whatever jewelry pieces you want. You should always keep your customers’ wants in mind, which might feel like a limit on your creativity.
How to Get Started:
NOTE: Before you start your business, you should read the page on this website entitled “things to think about before you get started.” After you have taken the preliminary steps for starting any business, you can take the specific steps outlined below.
Here are some tips for how to start your candle business.
Begin with a simple business plan. This includes thinking about your goals and preferences. Ask yourself:
- Why do you want to create jewelry pieces?
- Who is your “perfect” customer?
- How and where will you sell your products?
Choose a business name. Be sure this name isn’t being used by another business. Also, make sure your name isn’t too trendy or too limiting.
For example, “Brandie’s Bracelets” might work as a business name … until Brandie decides to start selling other products such as necklaces, earrings, etc.
Keep learning about jewelry designs, even if you’ve already created some jewelry items. Google “jewelry tutorials” and/or check out websites like this one to take your jewelry making skills to the next level, whether you’re a beginner or a jewelry designer with some experience.
Find stores and suppliers to help you create jewelry. Check out your local crafts supply stores. As your business grows, consider buying in bulk (aka: wholesale purchasing) jewelry materials, design tools and related items. You can find wholesale craft businesses online. Some cities and towns also have local wholesale craft stores.
Make sure you have the right license(s) and/or permit(s) required to design and sell jewelry in your area and in any other area(s) where you might sell your products, such as at a store or event in a nearby city.
To start, check with the secretary of state’s office in your state. (You can Google that.) If you need to, ask a family member or friend to help you.
You’re now ready to start selling jewelry. Selling jewelry online with sites like Etsy (see this guide to getting started on Etsy) is a simple way to start. Also social media, especially visually-friendly sites like Instagram and Pinterest, are great free marketing tools for your jewelry items.
Another relatively easy option is children’s business fairs. These are one or two-day events in which young entrepreneurs can sell their products and services, (See this guide to children’s business fairs around the country.)
How much to charge:
An easy price rule for new jewelry designers is to simply charge 3 to 4 times the cost of jewelry materials plus packaging for each piece you create. For example, you might create a design that costs $5 in materials and another $1 for packaging, which totals $6. You can multiply $6 by 4 and then sell this jewelry piece for $24.
You can adjust your prices as you gain experience designing jewelry. This includes considering how your jewelry sales will cover other parts of your business such as time spent on labor (creating jewelry items), while still earning a profit for you and your business.
Taking it to the next level:
1. Keep watching for new fashion styles.
Popular jewelry designs change based on many factors such as popular shows, time of year, and celebrity endorsements. Pay attention to certain colors, designs, and other style types that seem popular at your school, in social media images/videos, and in other places.
2. Offer jewelry sets.
Consider offering matching jewelry pieces, such as earrings that match chokers. Matching sets or jewelry sets with items that compliment each other are great ways to encourage customers to go from one-time buyers to multiple-purchase buyers.
3. Have your own website.
Creating a website helps you sell directly to customers, which means you get to keep more of your profits from jewelry sales.
Having your own website also shows your customers that you’re more committed to making and selling jewelry, compared to jewelry designers who only sell products on public online platforms or sites.
4. Pay attention to economic trends.
You might think of fashion and finance as an unlikely pair. But the jewelry industry is affected by the economy in your city, state, and country.
Jewelry is still seen as a luxury, even though many people love collecting jewelry pieces. That’s why jewelry sales tend to be lower when more people are going through a tough economic period, such as the recent global pandemic.