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How to start a jewellery making business

Updated: Mar 19

Thinking about selling your jewellery can feel like an enormous step. But creating and maintaining a jewellery business is just as learnable as making jewellery. It takes specific tools and techniques, skills and knowledge and a desire to keep going even when it gets tricky - but if you can learn to make jewellery you can learn to make a business. You just might need a little help.


WHAT DO YOU NEED FROM YOUR JEWELLERY BUSINESS?


  • Do you need it to provide a full time income to pay your bills and feed your children?

  • Are you supplementing an income from another job or partners wage to pay for nonessentials?

  • Do you want to feel you are progressing with your work and get some recognition and raise your profile?

  • Do you want to cover the costs of materials and make space so you can just continue making jewellery?

  • Do you want a social job that gets you out and about?

  • Do you want more time to express your creative self and develop your own designs and ideas?

It may be none of these or a combination. By defining what you need your business to do it will help you make your business the right one for you.


DEFINE YOUR NICHE

Determine the type of jewellery you want to specialise in. Who will buy it? Once you know who your customer is likely to be it will give you a guide to what events to go to, what platforms to sell your work from, how to brand your business, how to market it, your price range and even how to display your work




WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN

It sounds formal but it doesn't have to be. A business plan should outline your objectives, target market, financial planning and operational details. A well-thought-out plan will guide your business decisions and keep you moving in the right direction. Where do you want to be in 6 months, a year, 5 years? Your business plan is the steps you think you'll need to take to get there. It's not a stationary thing. Your plan will evolve alongside your business.


DO YOUR RESEARCH

Conduct some market research to understand your target customers, competitors, and current trends. Identify gaps in the market and determine how you can differentiate your jewellery business. Visit events, browse online stores, comb through social media. What are other makers doing that could work for you?



THINK ABOUT YOUR BRANDING


Branding and marketing: Develop a strong brand identity that connects with your target audience. Your business name, logo, display, social media - in fact every visual element of your business should reflect your jewellery. Build an online presence through a website and social media platforms, and consider participating in local craft fairs or exhibitions to showcase your products.


PRICING AND PROFIT


Pricing and profit margins: You'll need to consider material costs, labour, overhead expenses, and desired profit margins. Research the market to ensure your prices are competitive while maintaining profitability.





LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

Legal considerations: Understand the legal requirements for starting a jewellery business. This may include registering your business with HMRC, obtaining necessary licenses and permits, and business insurance. If you plan to sell jewellery online, consider e-commerce and distance selling regulations and data privacy laws.



WORKSPACE & WORKFLOW

Is your workspace ready to create a larger volume of work? You might look at adapting or improving some of your processes to allow you to make more pieces more easily. You'll also need a comfortable office space - there is no getting around the admin, accounts and marketing required to sustain your business. Make sure you also have space to store all the extra things you'll need for the business - stock, packaging, display items etc all take up space.


FINANCES

Keep track of your finances diligently, including sales, expenses, and profit margins. Set up an accounting system and consider consulting with an accountant to make sure you are making the right decisions for you and your situation.




WHO CAN HELP


There are lots of places to go for help as a new small business. Google business support in your area and you will find plenty of help with all areas of your business. Local councils, universities, trade organisations and industry bodies often provide free or low cost training and support. Ask other jewellers or small business owners - we are a friendly bunch and are often happy to share our knowledge and experience.






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