How to Start a Hand-made Jewellery Business
The hand-made jewellery industry is a difficult one to break through. Identify what is essential to your success and some legal tips here.
Starting your own hand-made jewellery business is going to have its ups and downs. The fashion and retail industry is high saturated one, but don’t let that scare you. It is true consumers now have too many options to choose from online, and have become weary of who they purchase from. However, that being said if you can establish your own niche it can be highly successful. In the US alone, the industry generates $70 billion a year in sales. Follow the steps below to get your own jewellery business started.
1. Target Market
Firstly, there are 2 main target markets for hand-made jewellery. You can either start a fashion, (otherwise known as costume jewellery), or fine jewellery business. You can create costume jewellery with cheaper materials, not particularly expertly crafted and sell at an affordable price point. To create fine jewellery on the other hand, you need to use precious stones, more expensive materials, and expert craftsmanship. Therefore, this requires a higher price point.
Both angles have their pros and cons as well. Costume jewellery can guarantee more and quicker sales. Since the prices are low and affordable for most people, you should be able to see a lot of sales. Fine jewellery products will take a lot more specialised marketing to convince customers why your products are worth that money. Due to this, you won’t need to sell as many products as a costume jewellery brand to break even and start making sales.
There is also an in between target market, reflected by using semi-precious stones and materials of a mid range. This is also a good tactic as many potential customers might be willing to pay a little bit extra for something that will last longer. Those who frequently buy fine jewellery might also be intrigued to spending a little less than usual if they wish to save some money.
2. Design process
The design process is of course essential to produce your products. Being hand-made, often businesses start with the founders making the products themselves just in their garage or living room. It is still important to have a clear vision of what the product will look like, thus allowing you to play around with colours and materials.
The classic pen and paper always works, otherwise there are other options like Photoshop or Illustrator to create 2D or 3D renders. Finally, there are also jewellery specific designing tools like JewelCAD and RhinoJewel.
It is worthwhile to first research on how much materials will cost and what kind of materials you will be likely to use before starting your business. Look into wearability, longevity and quality based on what your target market is looking for. Also look into how easy these materials are to use.
If it is something you can easily work with yourself you can save costs on out-sourcing, but if it is difficult, you may need to then also research on hand-made production from a different company. All of which will have a significant impact on your budget.
It is also handy to keep in mind the current shift in environmental culture. Nowadays, eco-friendly and ethically made products are highly sought after. Finding a way to incorporate this will be highly valuable and can only add prestige to your brand.
4. Product photography
When dealing with such small products like hand-made jewellery, taking high quality images are essential to your business’ success. Research on photographers through Instagram, Gumtree, or perhaps post an ad out somewhere so you can see how much you should set aside for this.
If you’re dealing with costume jewellery, a good photography campaign can really elevate the aesthetic of your brand and entice buyers. For fine jewellery, it will really showcase the quality and beauty of the materials and unique design.
5. Ready to start your business
So after all of this you are now ready to officially start your own business. There are many things to consider in a legal sense before starting this process. ASIC provides a general guide to this step for basic pointers and tips.
When it comes to registering the business, you want to make sure it is done legally so that your business is protected while also not breaking any laws. It is also good to trademark your logo so that nobody can steal your unique design and assume your identity. You can also trademark designs to ensure your creativity is protected.
At the end of the day, starting your own hand-made jewellery business can be difficult to break through the mould. However, it can be extremely rewarding when done right. This is why it’s so important to do plenty of research beforehand so you know exactly what gap your business will be filling.
Taeisha is a Legal intern at Lawpath. She is a Law student at Macquarie University, previously completing her Commerce degree. She has an interest in Commercial Law.