Are you a jewelry designer looking to start a jewelry small business? Read our guide to find out the next steps.
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Are you wondering how to start a jewelry small business? Or maybe, more specifically, how to start a jewelry business online?
In this article, we’ll go over how you can start a jewelry business, the best place for you to sell online, how much it costs to start a jewelry business, and some general do’s and don’ts for small business owners!
Is A Jewelry Business Profitable?
While jewelry may be your passion, at the end of the day, a business needs to be profitable in order to stay afloat. Any business that is planned well and started with the right intentions has the potential to be profitable.
Whether you will sell handmade, bespoke, or wholesale jewelry, there is potential for profit in all corners of the internet and beyond.
Do your research, plan well, and you will go far! Keep reading to learn how you can set yourself up for success.
How To Start A Jewelry Business
Below we’ve listed some important questions you need to ask yourself when you begin planning to start your very own jewelry business.
What Kind Of Jewelry Are You Selling?
This is the most important question any small business owner can ask. What are you going to sell?
Do you make earrings out of wire-wrapped crystals? Air dry clay? Is there a wholesaler you’ve fallen in love with and want to share their pieces with the world? Or will you sell a combination of the two?
Whatever you decide to do, do it because you are passionate about it, and it will make your experience as a new small business owner more enjoyable and successful.
What Is Your Brand?
Who are you? What makes your jewelry/business unique?
This can be as simple as choosing a name that means something special to you, making a beloved animal or family symbol your trademark icon, or even just deciding what colors you’re going to use in your advertisements.
Pick something that is authentic as that will draw more customers in 2023 than a cookie-cutter “minimalist” brand would have before the 2020 COVID shutdown. Customers want to purchase from a real person when they shop small.
Where Do You Get Your Jewelry?
If you’re planning on making your own jewelry, you’ll need to find a consistent source of materials. Price and quality are crucial not just for your own sustainability as a business but also for customer loyalty.
An example of this is a customer taking a chance on a new small business, purchasing a piece of jewelry from you, and it being great quality, reasonably priced, and a piece they can wear for years to come. They tell their friends and family and end up purchasing another piece from you. Unfortunately, in the time between their first and second purchase, the quality of materials from your main supplier has dropped dramatically. The second piece this customer purchases is poorer quality, breaks easily, and makes them tell everyone they had previously sung your praises to avoid your shop. Cheap is not always the best.
You want to profit, of course, but you can’t sell a subpar product for a higher price and expect to gain and keep a loyal customer base.
That being said, being expensive is also not always the best, either. Do your research, test materials, and find a good balance of price and quality that benefits both your profit margin and your customers.
Do You Need A Studio?
This is entirely up to you. Running a small business out of your living room is far from unheard of, but if you find yourself needing a bit more space, a studio can be a good idea. Studio space can be used for creating, packaging, and shipping your jewelry pieces.
Having a designated workspace outside of your home is a good way to keep your personal and business life separate. You can have all materials shipped to your studio and use that address when shipping to avoid having to get a P.O. Box or use your home address.
Where Will You Sell?
Location, location, location! Even in this age of the internet, you have to consider the “location” of your digital storefront. We’ll go over omnichannel platforms a little later on in this article, but it’s important to think about not just the design of your online store, but the user experience and payment processor as well.
You can also sell your jewelry through already-established online sellers like Etsy. Check out our articles on finding the best place to sell your jewelry, if Etsy is the right option, and how you can get started with selling on Etsy.
Along with selling online, if you don’t want to commit to a physical storefront full-time, you might consider selling at your local farmers market. To take advantage of your temporary storefront, you can add other products to your offerings and diversify your customer base.
Finally, if you want to open your very own brick-and-mortar jewelry store, you have a long journey ahead of you, but it is one that’s often worth the hard work! Look into commercial real estate loans if you dream of a physical storefront of your own.
How Will You Market?
Social media is a cheap and easy way to establish your jewelry business’ online presence, advertise to potential customers, and start defining your brand. Email marketing can be easy and fruitful if you already have a large personal network. You can start an e-newsletter that customers can subscribe to using software like Constant Contact or Mailchimp to design your emails and maintain your subscriber lists.
Small Business Musts
Now that you have a better idea of what kind of business you’re going to create, let’s go over a couple of things you need to do when starting any small business.
If you don’t have the savings or resources to start your business on your own, there are plenty of different funding options you can explore.
An easier (but riskier) way to fund your new business is using a business credit card. Going with this option will allow you to access credit quickly and won’t limit what you can spend it on. But be sure to keep in mind that credit cards charge high-interest rates on any balances you carry from month to month.
A personal loan is another option you can explore for funding. They’re relatively easy to get and require no previous business credit history. The problem with using a personal loan is that you won’t get the liability protection you would with a business loan.
Two other options that are fairly niche and may not apply to your business or your situation are government grants and Rollovers as Business Startups (ROBS). Grants are the closest thing a new small business can get to “free” money. A ROBS provider allows you, for a fee, to use money from your retirement account tax-free to pay for startup costs.
Check out our article on startup funding to see all of your options!
Acquire Necessary Software
The most important software you’re going to need is payment processing software. After that, you can consider accounting software and even project management software to help keep yourself (and maybe your future employees) on track with your orders.
Register Your Business
If you decide to operate your business as a sole proprietorship or partnership, you don’t need to do anything to register your jewelry business as it is seen as an extension of yourself. Taxes can be simpler this way as you file both your business and personal taxes together.
The cons of structuring your business this way is that you don’t have the same liability protection you would if you were to incorporate your business. You would be held personally liable for any debts your business takes on.
There’s a good chance that the website builder you choose to host your eCommerce site will have a built-in payment processor. That being said, it might not be one you like the terms of, or you might need software with more features.
You’ll need to make sure your payment processor can take credit and debit card payments at the very least. If you plan on selling in-person in any way, you’ll also need a card reader, whether that is a physical POS system or a QR code customers can scan that links to your payment processing software.
There are almost endless options for credit card processing software. Read more about our favorite providers and how to choose which one is best for your jewelry business in our article about the best payment processing companies for small businesses.
The Best Omnichannel Platforms For Selling Your Jewelry
As a new business, it’s crucial to have a solid web presence, a reliable payment processor, and an easy way for your customers to purchase your goods and know they will be shipped to them safely.
A good omnichannel web platform can accomplish all three of these things with little to no stress on your end!
Shopify’s online store is an easy-to-use platform that offers a free trial, advanced design tools, and six different plans that allow you to choose the right one for your business size and needs. We consider Shopify to be one of the best options for getting started with selling online. Monthly rates start as low as $5.
As a web platform, Shopify offers a fully customizable website builder that requires no coding! There are thousands of themes, apps, and integrations for you to choose from. Shopify offers a free three-day trial and the ability to purchase your custom domain name directly through them.
Square Online is a cost-effective eCommerce solution that integrates directly with Square POS. Square offers a free plan, free web hosting, and, like Shopify, you don’t need coding knowledge to use their website builder to make your online store.
If you wish to get rid of the Square ads on your site, need more than 500MB of storage, or want to use a custom domain, you will need to upgrade to a paid plan. Plans start at $12/month billed annually.
Try Square Online
While the other vendors on this list are payment processors first with added website-building capabilities, Wix is a true cloud-based website builder with eCommerce capabilities. Wix has an easy learning curve, beautiful free templates, and a flexible drag-and-drop builder. They offer both website plans and business plans for their users.
The Business Basic plan starts at $27/month billed annually. You can even get a custom domain name free for a year! Wix allows you to accept payments through Wix Payments (in-house payment processor). You can take payments from major credit card companies, Apple Pay, recurring payments, third-party payment providers, buy now, pay later apps, and in-person payments with Wix POS.
Lightspeed is the priciest option on this list, but it offers some unique features for small business owners. The most interesting of these features is the Customer Loyalty Program function. Lightspeed Loyalty allows you to reward your returning clients with a point-based loyalty program.
Lightspeed is definitely more tailored for retailers, but it has plenty of useful features for online tutoring businesses, including gift certificates and receipts. Lightspeed eCommerce allows your clients to schedule their own appointments and send confirmations and reminders, offers reports you can run to determine the health of your business, and marketing features that can help with your SEO score and social media presence. Plans start at $69/month billed annually.
Shipping Options For Your Jewelry Business
If you plan on only selling online, you’re going to need a way to get your jewelry to your customers. Check out our article on Stamps.com to see if you can save money purchasing your postage through them vs. a traditional shipping service.
The good news is that Stamps.com and other third-party shipping providers offer integrations with most major eCommerce platforms. Make sure you compare the integration capabilities with your preferred eCommerce site before making your decision.
How To Start A Jewelry Business FAQs
How much does it cost to start a jewelry business?
The cost of starting a jewelry business will vary based on what kind of jewelry you’re selling, how much inventory you want to start out with, and the state you’re going to be operating out of.
How do I start a small jewelry business?
You can start a small jewelry business by deciding on your product, finding funding, acquiring necessary software, establishing your brand, registering your business, opening your physical or digital storefront, and marketing!
How do I start selling jewelry from home?
You can start selling jewelry from home by deciding on the kind of jewelry you want to sell, finding funding, acquiring necessary software, establishing your brand, registering your business, opening your digital storefront, and marketing!