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A Guide to Start a Home-based Jewelry Making Business

If you're good at crafting jewelry at home, why not set up your own venture? Making jewelry at home and selling it can prove to be an enjoyable and profitable venture. Here's a useful guide to help you start a home-based jewelry making business.
Tip to starting a home-based jewelry making business
Tip
Try to hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your jewelry for posting on your website, Etsy and eBay profiles, and social media pages. This investment is worth the money because attractive images will quickly attract the attention of prospective customers.

If you are creative, have an eye for fashion, and want to start something of your own from your home, then nothing will quite rock like a home-based jewelry making business. Not only is it highly lucrative, but it will also allow you to get an income from your hobby. Who knows, your small-time jewelry making business may turn into a high-end jewelry line someday. However, to do so, you must know certain things before you start your business. For example, you must conduct market research to understand the material cost, vendor management, manufacturing cost, registration cost, etc. Also, you must know about your target market. Even though it is a home-based venture, it is recommended that you have a foolproof business plan in place to avoid any kind of mistakes.

Get a Name

♦ Get a nice fancy name for your business. Don't choose a dull or common name.
♦ You will have to register your business and also get a domain name for your website. Hence, ensure that the name is not already taken and has a domain name available for the same.
♦ Choose a name that will make your jewelry sound exquisite and unique.

Legal Formalities

♦ After registering your business name, you will have to check with your local and county authorities for various kinds of work permits and licenses that you will require.
♦ It is advisable that you get a separate bank account to distinguish your personal expenses from the business ones.
♦ Get a resale tax number, and complete the formalities with the IRS. If you are hiring an employee, you will have to get the EIN.

Get Training

♦ If you are an amateur jewelry designer, it is highly recommended that you take professional training for honing your skills. Join a workshop, community college, or private classes to know more details about jewelry making.
♦ At these workshops, you will learn about the different types of materials, and the type of wire and findings to use with them.
♦ If you are interested in bead jewelry, some bead showrooms also take beading workshops. So, try to attend them to get better knowledge. It will also make you aware about the various tools and their usage.
♦ Not only will it provide you with a focus for your venture, but it will also expand the horizons of your knowledge and let you know about new designs.

Other Ways

♦ There are several tutorials on Internet. You can watch those and try out various designs at your home itself.
♦ Also, there are several DVDs available; you can also refer to them to learn more.
♦ Apart from that, subscribe to magazines, newsletters, and books. These will help you immensely to keep abreast with the latest trends and will also guide you for sourcing the materials.

Get Hands-on Experience

♦ It is highly advisable that you do an internship or apprenticeship with a jewelry making business. This will help you to understand about the sourcing of raw materials, inventory management, budgeting, sales, etc., in a better way.
♦ Also, it will help you understand about the tax formalities and permits required for starting the business.

Know Your Target Market

♦ Understand what will be your customer composition based on your products, price range, and preferences.
♦ If you are going for high-end fine or estate jewelry, professionals will be interested in your jewelry.
♦ If you are going for quirky jewelry pieces which cater to a younger generation, most of your target market will comprise of teenagers and women up to 30 years of age.
♦ You may also design special wedding jewelry.
♦ Based on a similar rationale, understand what kind of target market you are planning to impress, and focus all your efforts in that particular direction.

Know the Trends

♦ Like clothing, you will have to keep up with the changing trends in the jewelry industry, especially, if you are catering to a younger target market. For example, currently neon-themed jewelry is in vogue, while a few days ago, it was all about owls, eye glasses, little birdies, etc.
♦ You will have to browse through fashion websites and latest magazines to know what will sell like hot cakes, and include the designs in your jewelry line. Trying to sell something outdated that has no demand will not work well for your business.

Innovate

♦ Apart from being a trend-follower, try to be a trend-setter. Experiment with various materials to get new and innovative designs. Bring two diverse materials together to create stunning pieces of jewelry. For example, you can try to experiment with beads and feathers.
♦ Whatever you do, ensure it will look attractive and will be liked by the fashion-conscious crowd.

Make a List of Inventory

♦ Based on the type of jewelry, you will have to source various materials and tools. You will require gold, silver, or copper findings, clasps, and wires.
♦ If you are selling hypoallergenic jewelry, you will have to buy the inventory in this material. You will also need beads in various shapes, sizes, and materials.
♦ Apart from this, you can also use sea glass, semi-precious stones, cubic zircon stones, shells, Swarovski crystals, shrinkable plastic, wood, etc.
♦ You will also need various jewelry making tools. You can also source a ready-made jewelry making kit; however, it may restrict your creativity.

Sourcing Inventory

♦ Instead of sourcing your inventory from a retail outlet, try to get it from a wholesale store.
♦ You can also source it from stock clearance sales and Etsy stores. Enjoy the benefits of bulk buying.
♦ Ensure that you do not exceed your budget in buying these things, as you may run into losses.
♦ Don't hoard too much inventory as it may run out of fashion.

Software

♦ Try to get the help of software which will assist you in the smooth functioning of your business. There are many inventory management software which will tell you how and when you need to buy more stock.
♦ Also, there are several beading software which will help you create various designs with beads.
♦ You could also use a designing software to create jewelry graphics before you actually proceed to make them. This will save you a lot of time and effort.

Promote Your Business

♦ As your business will be home-based, it is even more important that you promote it to get the attention of people. Word-of-mouth works wonders for this business.
♦ Apart from setting up accounts on Etsy, eBay, etc., try to take orders through your website and social media pages. Print your name and contact details on your social media websites along with the designs so that people will be able to reach you. Also, keep updating the pages with new designs as this will help you engage with the audience in a better way.
♦ One of the best ways to sell home-based jewelry is to organize jewelry parties, where you can call your family and friends, and display your designs. You may then sell them at a discounted rate. You may even ask them to host a similar party next time.
♦ You should also opt for the traditional way of marketing, like giving ads in magazines, putting up posters, distributing flyers, brochures, and business cards etc.

Work Up the Cost

♦ Before putting a final price tag on a jewelry piece, ensure that you have covered all the costs. Calculate the cost of raw materials, and add your designing and manufacturing charges.
♦ If you are going to deliver the product to them, don't forget to add the delivery charges. If it is a gift and needs special wrapping, you must add the cost of packaging as well. Ensure that you make a profit with every piece of jewelry that you sell.

Business Expansion

♦ While you will work primarily from your home, you can also go out occasionally to promote your business. Participate in trade shows, craft fairs, exhibitions, flea markets, outdoor markets, jazz festivals, etc. Apart from retail, you can also work on a wholesale basis.
♦ You may even hire a helping hand to meet up with the deadlines. Try to partner with a boutique to offer complementary jewelry with clothes.
♦ During the gift-giving seasons, try to offer discounts or free jewelry to promote the business in the right way.

After your start-up begins earning you a considerable amount of profit and becomes popular among the customers, you can even think about coming up with a storefront outlet. As renting or buying a storefront can work out to be very expensive for you, it is advisable that you create a loyal customer base before venturing into it. Ensure that you come up with exquisite designs and good quality jewelry to gain more and more customers.
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Published: December 20, 2013
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