How to Start a Jewelry Business

If you’re reading this, you are probably a fan of jewelry, or at least you know that there is some money to be made in the jewelry business. 

Though this market is quite saturated, if you get your business set up correctly, there is opportunity for you to succeed in this industry. 

Just know that you are up against some big brands that bring with them customer loyalty, big ad budgets, social media followers, and more. Thus, it can be difficult for small jewelry businesses to break into the big market. 

However, by finding your niche and focusing on that, you have better chances of doing well. 

In addition to that, global online jewelry sales keep growing. A 2020 accessories report showed that the watches and jewelry segment of the accessories market is expected to increase by 6.3% by 2025. This is excellent news for those looking to break into the jewelry market. 

So, while you are entering a challenging industry, you may find that with hard work comes great success, and hopefully some fun along the way.

The Easy Parts of Starting a Jewelry Business

Starting a jewelry business doesn’t have to be all stress. In fact, there are parts of getting this type of business up and running that can be easy to get through. 

Here are some of the easier things you’ll have to do for your jewelry business. 

Decide What Type of Jewelry to Sell

When you ask someone what comes to mind when they hear the word “jewelry,” you will get all sorts of answers. Some will think of homemade jewelry. Others will think of costume jewelry. And others still will think of high-end pieces. 

So, you need to find your niche and decide what type of jewelry you want to sell. This is one of the first steps in the process. 

Here are a few different types of jewelry you might consider selling:

Costume jewelry. This type of jewelry is also known as fashion jewelry and is the type of jewelry people often wear every day. It doesn’t have to be gaudy (even though the term “costume” suggests it). It can be your favorite bright-colored bracelet you wear to work. Or it can be outrageous jewelry you wear to a costume party. 

Costume jewelry is typically made of out cheaper materials such as beads, wire, plastic, synthetic gems, and more. Costume jewelry is at a much lower price point than other types of jewelry. You can expect these pieces to be under $100. 

They are made for the everyday customer and can be mass-produced. Costume jewelry pieces are not one of a kind. 

Handmade jewelry. This jewelry category has grown massively in the last few years, particularly over the last year, as many people have been looking to pick up new hobbies with all the time spent at home. 

Online marketplaces such as Etsy are a haven for handmade jewelry. Whenever people need unique pieces, they typically head to websites like Etsy to find them. The reason people love Etsy so much is that you are supporting small businesses. Each seller has their own shop, and you won’t find major brands on here. 

Also, there is something for everyone on Etsy. The options feel unlimited and can even be overwhelming at times. Often sellers on Etsy will offer pre-made pieces as well as the option for people to order custom items, which is highly desirable. 

The price points on Etsy range greatly from low-priced to very expensive, as sellers set their own prices on their work. 

If you are interested in using Etsy to sell your jewelry, we will go into more detail about it below. And if you’d rather opt for running your own website to sell your product, we will discuss that option below as well, and how you can use Wix to do it. 

Fine jewelry. This category is the crème dela crème of jewelry. Fine jewelry is made of precious metal and gemstones such as gold, silver, platinum, diamonds, rubies, and more. 

These pieces are high-quality and typically not meant for everyday wear but rather for special occasions. Additionally, fine jewelry has the highest level of craftsmanship and usually is not mass-produced. 

This type of jewelry consists of investment pieces such as engagement and wedding rings intended to last a very long time.

The Difficult Parts of Starting a Jewelry Business

Owning a jewelry business sounds like fun, especially if you are a big fan of jewelry yourself. 

However, starting your own business of any kind comes with some challenges, and the jewelry business is no exception. 

Two of the things you may struggle with as you start building your jewelry business are creating a business plan and building a marketing strategy.

Business Plan

While much of your jewelry business will be creative and inspiring, you can’t get to the fun parts until you take care of the heart of your business: the business plan. 

Regardless of whether you opt to self-fund or try to find investors to fund your jewelry business, you need a business plan in place. This allows you to calculate how many products and supplies you need, the cost of production, and how you can become profitable. 

For help on how to write your own business plan, check out our beginner’s guide here or try using software to assist with templates to create a top-notch business plan. We’ve tested and reviewed business plan software to find the top six options at various prices.

If writing a business plan is something you feel you cannot possibly tackle on your own, consider bringing in a professional to help you put this plan together. This is a step you cannot skip.

Marketing Strategy

You’ve got the ideas for your jewelry business and your business plan in place. Now you need to ensure you have customers so the business is successful. 

You get customers to buy your product by developing a marketing strategy. 

To do this, you want to research and gather information from competitors that allow you to develop a strategy covering multiple channels. 

You should focus your marketing efforts on the following areas:

Social media. You can use your social media channels to talk about what sets your brand apart, and post user-generated content to share photos and videos of real customers loving your jewelry. This also presents an opportunity to show how customers can style your jewelry and visualize themselves wearing it. 

Email marketing. Though many people think email marketing is outdated, it still reigns as one of the best ways to improve customer retention and keep your brand at the forefront of peoples’ minds. The key to email marketing is finding the sweet spot of sending enough emails, but not too many. 

SEO. This is a free way to get traffic to your website. A great SEO strategy implemented into your products, blog posts, social media, and more can help you show up at the top of search results and drive more traffic to your website. 

Paid advertising. Places like Google, Instagram, and Facebook are the top choices to run ad campaigns, as that is where the most traffic comes from. Though ads are not cheap, they are proven to help grow businesses. However, that is only the case if you spend a lot of time optimizing your audience to ensure that your ads are going to the right people.

For more resources, here is a guide to the top 10 tactics for marketing on a budget, a deep dive into content marketing to drive sales, and a beginner’s guide to general online marketing.

Step 1: Pick your niche

Before diving into your business, you need to decide on a niche. 

Who is your target audience? You want to be sure to pick one that is viable, and that isn’t too overdone.

Understand your ideal customer

Create profiles for your ideal customer so that you can build your business from there. How old are they? What do they do for a living? Where do they live? What is their income? By defining who your customer is, you can be more in-tune with how to attract them and give them what they want or solve their pain points.

Step 2: Study the competition

When it comes to the jewelry industry, there is a lot of competition. Some companies have been in it for years (like Tiffany & Co.) and have their work perfected. Others are newer to the market and figuring things out as they go. 

Take your time to research competitors who are selling the same type of jewelry and are looking to attract the same customer as you. 

Find their price point, what their social media channels look like, read customer reviews, and more to see what you are competing with. 

With this information, you can build what will make your brand stand out and how your jewelry business is different from others in the market.

Step 3: Choose a business name

This step is more important than people often give it credit for. Your business name needs to be unique enough so that people can remember it, but you also need to make it easy for people to know what you’re selling. 

Your business name also needs to match your niche as well as your business purpose and goals.

Trademarking

Once you’ve chosen a business name, you’ll want to trademark your entity with the US Trademark Office. You’ll start by making sure that someone hasn’t already trademarked a business with the same name. Once you go through trademark registration, you’ll then be able to buya domain, build a website, and advertise your business.

Step 4: Build your website

When it comes to to selling your jewelry, you have a few options.

Etsy

Some jewelry businesses opt to run all of their sales through Etsy. This is one of the hottest places on the internet to buy jewelry, but it tends to be handmade and/or specialty jewelry. Etsy jewelry tends not to be mass-produced, though you can do that here if you want. 

Selling via Etsy gives you access to all sorts of tools, including: 

  • The Etsy app. This allows you to run your business on the go. Here you can manage orders, edit your product listings, message buyers, and more.
  • Shipping savings. You can buy and print discounted postage from your Etsy account.
  • Create your own website. If you don’t want to create a website with your domain and hosting, you can do it via Etsy instead.
  • Marketing tools. These will help you grow your following and attract more customers to your website. 

The pricing for selling via Etsy is fairly straight-forward: 

  • There is a $0.20 listing fee for each item. Items are active for four months or until they sell.
  • For each item sold, there is a 5% transaction fee and a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee.
  • When an item is sold via an Etsy Offsite Ad, you pay a 15% fee.

Ecommerce Website Builder

If you’d rather have more control over what you put on your website and how you run it, then you may want to opt to build your own website.

There are several great ecommerce website builders, but our favorite for something like a jewelry business is Wix.  

With the help of this builder, you will have your website up in just a few minutes. This is a significant benefit, as there are many other parts of your jewelry business that you need to focus on. 

If you have little to no experience in building an ecommerce site, Wix is for you. It simplifies the process so that you don’t have to stress about complications. 

Some of the great features you’ll get with Wix include: 

  • SEO-friendly
  • Fully customizable
  • Drag-and-drop builder
  • Free domain for one year
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • $300 in advertising vouchers
  • Visitor analytics
  • Payments are 100% commission-free
  • 500+ templates to choose from 

Wix offers regular website plans starting at $14 per month. But you’ll need an ecommerce plan if you want to accept online payments.

The Business & Ecommerce Plans for Wix are as follows: 

Wix also offers complete solutions for your brand with their Enterprise options that start at $500 per month.

Step 5: Design your product line

Now things really start to get fun as you get to bring your creativity into your jewelry business. With the technical stuff out of the way, you can focus on what products you want to offer. 

Look at the latest trends and other jewelry designers (be sure never to copy anyone’s designs) for inspiration and get creative! You can design and sell any jewelry pieces you want, and there is an audience for everything.

Make sure to wear your designs and get feedback from people to continuously refine your pieces. Once you decide on the first pieces you want to sell, you’ll start producing pieces in larger quantities.

Step 6: Choose your manufacturer

If you are handmaking the jewelry for your business, this step won’t apply to you. You will simply continue to design and create pieces to sell on your site. Make sure to take photos in good lighting and from multiple angles for your product images.

If you are not making the jewelry yourself, you’ll need to begin researching possible manufacturers to see where you want your jewelry produced. You may opt for something local or choose to go overseas to have it done.

Research potential manufacturers in depth and discuss your specific needs with each one you’re considering. Get everything in writing and sign a contract before ever paying anything.

Step 7: Start selling!

The final step in the process is to begin selling your jewelry!

Your marketing strategy will help you in this step, as well as sharing with friends and family that your business is up and running.  

Pay attention to your customer feedback and continue designing new pieces to sell.

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