The information age has shown us that we don’t have to be in a physical or virtual class to learn critical skills. While it doesn’t act as a substitute, it provides novice individuals in any field to acquire enough to understand and eventually master a new skill. Therefore, starting your jewelry line with no experience is no exception.
The basics understand how much it will cost and best practices to get your business off the ground. It includes having a business plan, registering the business, sourcing for jewelry or materials and tools to make them, and establishing a brand before finally launching it. Let’s dive in.
How much does it cost to start a jewelry line?
What makes the jewelry line so lucrative is that the start-up costs are a lot lower than one would expect. Depending on whether you’re focusing on fashion jewelry or fine jewelry, the cost can be about $500 to $1,000 or more based on how big you want to start. You can start for a lot less, which makes it ideal for those who want to start part-time.
What makes it easier to get things on wholesale is that many B2B owners offer no minimum order, which allows for more flexibility with your initial budget. Platforms such as Alibaba have various vendors that typically have a minimum order of 10 pieces, but you can go as high as you wish.
However, that’s not all there is to start a business; that’s only the inventory. That means penning out a business budget to know how much you need and also track your spending. Some of the things you’ll need are company registration, business licenses, tools and equipment, marketing materials, packaging, advertising, delivery costs, wages if you’ll have staff, and petty cash for daily operations.
Once done with the budget, look at the money and hand and determine how much more funding you require to take the business off the ground. From there, you can source additional funds; there are several ways, find what works best for you. Remember, you’re better off waiting until you’ve raised significant funds before beginning the process. It prevents one from stalling halfway, for example, not having a website or marketing materials for the business.
With these financial aspects in mind, one can pull some money together and start a jewelry line. If you had been hesitant, then the fact that you require somewhat minimal initial cost compared to other industries should offer a gentle nudge you might need to launch your business. Once the capital gets raised, whether immediately or within months, consider the following steps on how to get started.
How to start a jewelry line with no experience
The internet is flooded with a lot of useful information to help us navigate our world. If you want to learn how to make pizza, you google it. If you’re going to repair the radiator, you look that up as well. This article is no different, as we’ll offer sound and practical information to help you get your jewelry line up and running. A book on start-ups has more to offer; consider this as the blueprint to guide further research.
Step 1: Come up with a business plan
Before everything, your business ought to start on paper. Here, you iron out everything you need to get up and running smoothly. Here, you make sure every aspect of the business is covered and allows room to poke holes and make informed changes. Writing a business plan can feel intimidating, but the great thing is it doesn’t have to be complex. Think of it as a way of organizing your thoughts. A few handwritten pages are plenty.
Some of the questions to ask include:
- What kind of jewelry do you wish to sell?
- What materials do you want to focus on?
- Are they handmade or sourced?
- How do I find the right supplier?
- Is the business online, or do I have to rent space?
- Who is my target market?
- How do I fund the business?
- What is my marketing plan?
In this phase, you have to investigate what’s going on in the industry and how others operate. Here, you examine what your competitors are doing, both successful and struggling to keep afloat. Pick a few top jewelry lines to look at their business model. What are they selling, and who is their target market? What makes their marketing a success, and what tools and materials do they use? Do they have a website, or do they rely solely on social media?
You are noting how others in the industry move to help gain a broader understanding of how to operate moving forward. In essence, you’re not going in blind as there are thousands of thriving businesses. Look up articles or case studies highlighting the good and the bad in business operations, particularly in the jewelry industry. From this, you can learn from those in the arena, implement what’s worked, and avoid pitfalls.
There plenty to document when formulating your business proposal allowing you to keep track of your ideas and the direction you wish to take. Equally, ensure that the budget is part of the business plan. Even after launching your business, keep getting back to the business plan for both directions and making necessary changes. The industry evolves quickly, and thus you have to keep pace.
Step 2: Legalize the business
Whether you’re in a brick-and-mortar store or online, at some point, the authorities will catch up with you, especially when it comes to the tax front. Therefore, the best approach is to legitimize your business, not to have a run-in with the law. The regulations for starting a business vary in different states and countries; search for the relevant requirements.
At this point, you’ll have to come up with a creative business name. The name should stand out but also speak of the type of business you’re in. With this, take your time as it’s something lasting since you may not want to rebrand later. From there, check the business registry in your country to ensure the name isn’t taken- you don’t want to create branding materials only to discover there’s an existing business with the same name.
With a registered business, other companies will be comfortable working with you as it’s a sign of professionalism. Additionally, you can get a business bank account and email address number to further build trust in your brand. Check if a domain name with your preferred company name is available and claim it immediately. Otherwise, you’ll have to settle for an alternative name.
Pro tip: The mistake budding entrepreneurs make is not creating a distinction between their salary and company money. Separating the two is vital not to hamper your company’s growth from overspending on the non-business-related issues. Equally, having a business bank account makes for easier accounting and filing taxes.
Step 3: Know where the jewelry comes from
There are two broad categories of people in the jewelry industry; those who source from suppliers and those who make jewelry from scratch. If you’re looking to get your items from a wholesaler, then the next step is finding a reliable company to order from. Know the exact kind you want, such as either fashion jewelry or fine jewelry. Underneath each, you can also focus on the material and stones such as brass, silver, stainless steel, gold, cubic zirconia, or sapphire.
The other category of people is those with the talent and tools in jewelry making. If that’s the route you’re taking, the first step is deciding what you want to create. Put down a few designs and after source for the relevant materials and tools required to make a quality piece of jewelry. Consider starting with two or three lines before diversifying to avoid stretching yourself, especially if you’re solo or have a small team.
Step 4: Create your brand
What do you want to be known for? This question helps you streamline your brand and lead to clear and concise messaging about who you are. Take a bit of time during this exercise since it does need to align with the kind of products you’re selling. For example, if you’ve opted for shelled jewelry, ‘elegant’ is not quite a fitting word. ‘Oceanic’ would be a more appropriate description.
To make money, you will have to make an initial investment in the company, including having products to market your business. Examples of marketing materials are logo design, website and social media banners, business cards, quality product photos, and relevant descriptions. Essentially, it means having marketing materials across all channels where clients can reach you.
With no experience, take time to search for reputable and professional marketing agencies or freelances that can provide you quality products. Ask for their portfolio and referrals to get a feel of their work and what previous clients have to say about them. Equally, don’t forget about getting quality photographs for all the items you publish online. You can source for photographers, though many B2B companies offer pictures and other marketing materials for free. Find out if that’s an option before moving forward. Equally, smartphones today capture amazing photos. With the proper techniques, you too can produce quality images.
Step 5: Launch your jewelry line
At this point, you’ve settled on where people will purchase the jewelry from. Given the recent times, the move to online stores has drastically accelerated and is thus an avenue to consider. There is plenty of eCommerce sites to choose from that can act as your storefront.
What’s fantastic is newbies and experts alike don’t need a web designer to have a professionally designed website. Ready templates and drag and drop features allow everyone to make something themselves, with plenty of room for customization. There are platforms such as Shopify that go a step further and offer you analytics and sales reports and additional marketing and management tools.
Pro tip: Whatever platform you settle for, be sure to purchase the domain name that matches your business. The best time to perform this search is to register your business where you can lock down the domain name before someone else buys it.
Sites such as Esty, Amazon, and eBay allow you to create a page without having a website. Plenty of entrepreneurs opt for these channels to expose them to thousands, if not millions, of customers daily. Before joining the platform, check other competitors to ascertain that your products are reasonably priced.
Even as we go digital, word of mouth remains king in marketing. The best place to start selling your products is family, friends, colleagues, and those in your immediate circle. They, in turn, send customers to you, and thus, your customer base increases. When you take this approach, you must provide excellent customer service and a friendly smile and professional tone to go with it. When people feel that you care and value them, and not their money, they are more likely to return.
Bonus: Learn jewelry making
If you love working with your hands and are keen on creating a personal line, then taking a class in jewelry making is for you.
Plenty of classes exist that allow you to learn this craft, and if you want to launch a national or global brand, then taking a college course on the same is advisable.
Meanwhile, using masterclasses, YouTube videos, or Pinterest is an excellent place to start, where you’ll get to learn the essential tools and techniques you need to get started.
As mentioned, the information provided here gives you a framework to get your jewelry line off the ground. Still, it is not a substitute for taking a jewelry and business course.
Here, the purpose was to remove the underlying anxiety of being a newbie in the jewelry industry and not know where to start.
With this knowledge, along with additional research and creativity, you’ll have a less bumpy ride on your way to success.