How To Start a Jewelry Business for Beginners
Have you ever had an idea for a piece of jewelry? You probably search the web for this ideal piece, but you find nothing! Then the lightbulb moment strikes: Why don’t I just become a jewelry designer myself?
But can you actually just make jewelry yourself? Of course, you can! A jewelry business is a relatively low investment, making it easy for anyone to start out as a jeweler with the right amount of passion.
You can make your own jewelry line, promote it on social media platforms to build a customer base, and then start a handmade jewelry e-commerce business using an online store platform like Shopify and apps like Squarespace or Wix.
Whether you’re a creative with a line you have been itching to design for years or an artistically-challenged entrepreneur who loves jewelry, there is room for everyone in this industry!
If you want to start a jewelry business, keep reading for our step-by-step guide on how to make it happen.
What Kind of Jewelry Do You Want To Make?
When it comes to starting a jewelry brand and getting into the jewelry industry, you should start your new business by having a clear vision of what you want to make and who you want to wear it. There are generally three categories of jewelry: fine jewelry, semi-fine jewelry, and fashion jewelry.
You’ll formulate your marketing strategy and marketing materials based on who you want your potential customers to be. When creating your own jewelry business, your demographic changes everything about how you attract customers.
What Is Fine Jewelry?
Fine jewelry is the cream of the crop. Fine jewelry features precious metals and gemstones, like solid gold and diamonds. These cost a pretty penny, but they will last you a lifetime. While expensive, fine jewelry usually requires less upkeep and repairs than other categories, as the materials used are high-quality and durable.
Fine jewelry doesn’t need to be reserved for special occasions! It is a great option for people who love wearing their jewelry 24/7 and don’t want to worry about tarnishing or wear and tear.
What Is Semi-Fine Jewelry?
This is the middle ground between fine and fashion jewelry. Semi-fine jewelry is great because it offers high-quality metals and stones at much more affordable prices than fine jewelry. We love this category because it allows shoppers to have beautiful, trendy pieces without breaking the bank.
Our jewelry at BISOULOVELY is semi-fine. It’s so important to us that as many people as possible can enjoy our whimsical, magical pieces, and the semi-fine category really helps us do just that. These pieces are still of the highest quality, with the utmost care put into sourcing materials that make our ethereal jewelry accessible.
If fine jewelry is solid gold, semi-fine jewelry is gold-filled or gold-plated. This means your pieces may need some TLC over time—the layers of golden may peel off over time, and you may need to get them re-plated—but they will last longer than your trendy fashion jewelry pieces. At its core, a semi-fine piece has a durable and elegant base (usually sterling silver); you just need to take good care of it to keep it in prime condition.
What Is Fashion Jewelry?
If affordability and accessibility are your main concerns, you will likely want to start a fashion jewelry brand. Fashion jewelry (also often referred to as costume jewelry) is usually focused on trends. It’s pretty cheap and the necklaces and rings probably won’t last too long—but they’ll sure be cute while they do!
Fashion jewelry is usually made of brass, copper, or bronze, and then plated. If you have very sensitive skin, you may find that your skin reacts negatively to these materials.
How Do I Choose Which Type of Jewelry I Want To Make?
Take a step back and think about what brand you want to create for your jewelry-making business. Who is your jewelry company’s target audience? Will your products be mass-produced or handmade? It’s always helpful to think about what you want in a brand.
What do you think is currently missing in the industry that your online jewelry business can offer? Maybe it’s that you feel there is no brand speaking to you directly. Or you can never find styles that fit your aesthetic. Whatever the case, you can create this space for yourself with your own brand.
Once you choose which of the three jewelry categories you want to focus on, it is time to get to branding!
How To Create Your Brand From Scratch
So, you figured out what sort of products you want to make, but products alone don’t sell themselves. You need a consistent brand to tell your story and get people excited about your pieces. Here are some questions you should be asking to find your brand and your voice:
What Makes Your Brand Special?
There are plenty of jewelry brands out there, but yours should (and will!) stand out. Branding takes you that extra mile, connecting you with an audience that will appreciate everything you have to offer.
At BISOULOVELY, our branding is whimsical, fun, and shows off the things we love: anime, magic, and fantasy. Finding a unique voice is what helps customers resonate with you (and ultimately want to shop with you). That’s why we love leaning into mythology and astrology—these topics make our team happy, and our shoppers love them, too.
Shopping is about more than just loving an item: It’s about loving the brand. So, find what makes you special! Have a story and don’t be shy. Paint your branding canvas with words, colors, and beautiful imagery across all of your platforms.
What Have Your Competitors Done?
Market research is always a good thing. Now is the time to look up other jewelry brands and think about the following:
- What do these brands do well?
- What could they improve on?
- Where are they most successful at selling their pieces? Is it Etsy? Is it a personal website?
- How do customers feel about their price points? How do they feel about quality?
Take what serves you, and leave the rest.
How Are You Going To Make The Jewelry?
This is probably one of the most important questions aspiring jewelry business owners face. A jewelry brand is nothing without jewelry to sell! And we need to figure out how to make it. Here are some options:
Make It Yourself
If you have a knack for DIY projects and some extra time on your hands, this is a wonderful route to take. It is probably the cheapest way to start, too, since you don’t need to outsource or find a manufacturer. Just use the magic of your own two hands!
If you get flooded with orders for jewelry online, you can always recruit others to help you. Just make sure you know how to teach others how to make your jewelry so you can scale your jewelry store easily and quickly.
Find a Factory
Now, we’re back to the research drawing board. If your expertise or interest is in design but not execution, never fear! There are plenty of amazing factories that can help you bring your dazzling ideas to life.
When looking for a manufacturer, there are so many factors to consider. Of course, there is price, what the factories are capable of creating, if they can scale the business, and so much more. Do your research—and do a lot of it—to find a factory that aligns with your brand’s vision, mission, and business goals.
How Are You Going To Get Funding?
Starting a business costs money. Sure, starting a jewelry business is cheaper than creating a fleet of delivery robots, but it still requires a decent-sized investment. But how do you get funding?
You could try crowdfunding, which essentially means friends and strangers will donate small contributions to your project. After enough small donations add up, you may have enough to get started. You can always ask friends or family members to loan you money. If they’re savvy they may want to pursue a business partnership.
If you have the means, you can always invest in yourself. Having some of your own money invested also provides a great incentive to really work hard to get your business off the ground.
Time To Create and Sell
Of course, not all aspects of owning a small business are exciting or glamorous. There is a lot of business minutia that is quite important when you have your own online store — but for the sake of this short blog, we want to stick to helping you find resources that help your creativity fly free.
Once you have a business plan, a business name, a domain name, have registered as an LLC, have chosen an eCommerce platform, have a manufacturing plan, and have figured out how you’ll pay for this whole endeavor… it is finally time to create your dream line!
This is the fun part of creating a successful jewelry business. Create pieces to your heart’s content! Then, think about where you want to sell. Do you have a website for your products? Is your new jewelry in stock at a local marketplace? Are they on jewelry markets on Etsy, eBay, or Amazon?
You can play around and find what works best for your brand, but a great way to figure out this part is to think about your ideal customer. What do they look like, do, or even eat? Where does she shop? This should help you make sure you are putting your pieces in the right places.
Now, It’s Your Turn!
One of the most exciting things about BISOULOVELY is getting to see our pieces come to life on all of the wonderful people who wear them. If you’re an artist, you probably know how special it feels to see your art being loved, used, and appreciated out in the world. It is a feeling we wish we could bottle up because it’s unlike anything else in the world! We are so excited for you to start your jewelry business journey.
Register your business | Small Business Association
Why Consistent Branding Matters (and How to Establish Your Brand) | Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute
Types and Sources of Financing for Start-up Businesses | AG Decision Maker