Why start a jewellery design business?

If you’re a creative person with a talent for design then starting your own jewellery design business could allow you to turn your passion into profit. Despite the recession, which has hit the jewellery market hard, if you take the right approach there is still money to be made.

Why start a jewellery design business?

Many people dream of turning their hobby into a real business - and that is how many jewellery design businesses start. If you are a creative person, enjoy working with your hands and like designing new things then this could be the ideal business for you. There is also the opportunity to specialise and it is fairly attractive to new entrepreneurs because the start-up costs can be quite low. Thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever to start marketing and distributing your products.

What skills will I need?

It goes without saying that you will be good at creative design and enjoy working with your hands. Some people start a jewellery design business having taken a related degree or other course, or they may have worked within the jewellery or design industries. This isn’t always the case however – as previously mentioned this is a business that for many starts off as just a hobby. As with any business, you will need to possess a great strength of character and a determination to succeed.

What are the keys to success with this business?

Establishing a strong brand is absolutely essential in this business. This is a highly competitive market and you will need to work hard to get your creations noticed. A strong, coherent brand identity which flows through everything including your name, logo, marketing materials and end products will help you to stand out from the crowd.

Think carefully about who you are aiming your jewellery at and if there is a particular theme which runs through each collection you make. You could, for example, specialise in pieces that incorporate gemstones or choose to specialise in retro jewellery. You will need to work hard at marketing and think about where and how you can distribute your products. This could include setting up a website and selling your jewellery through the internet, selling your goods at trade or craft fairs and distributing directly to shops. The latter can be especially difficult because it can be hard to convince retailers to stock your collection when you are unknown and have no track record. They have no way of knowing if your jewellery will be a profitable line for them or not – so to make it an easier sale to the shop you might want to consider initially offering them your goods on a sale-or-return basis which means that the shop effectively carries no risk.

Start-up costs

Start-up costs are generally fairly low. You will need some money to buy jewellery making equipment, as well as the actual things that make up your pieces. There is also marketing and branding to think about – something which you definitely shouldn’t skimp on, especially in the early days. This is usually a business that can be run from home, so there is no need to fork out money on expensive business premises – simply allocate a room or a dedicated space within your house that you can use as your studio.

Your next steps

Conducting market research is absolutely vital. Find out if there is a market for the jewellery you intend to make and carefully research what the best ways for you to distribute and market it would be. You might want to start by visiting a local craft fair and looking at how other jewellery design and craft business operate.