Wondering whether jewelry making is profitable or not has got to be the biggest, most elusive question entrepreneurs and creatives ask themselves each day.
Today, however, we’ve decided to settle this discussion once and for all, by providing answers to some this question.
So, is jewelry making profitable? Can you live off jewelry making?
The truth? Well, it depends. Whether you make a living off jewelry making (and selling) or not depends on what you are selling, how you market your products, and how your audience receives it. At the end of the day, the profitability of any venture will depend on whether you target the right market for the product or not.
On the other hand, there are hundreds of jewelry makers selling their unique pieces on Etsy and eBay among other platforms. So, if you are looking at the profitability of jewelry making from this angle, then we’d answer yes to whether jewelry making is profitable or not.
The bigger question, therefore, becomes – what do you need to do to make your jewelry making venture profitable? What can you do differently to find a market and sell your pieces with ease?
Tips for Running a Profitable Jewelry Making Business
- Find a niche and stick to it
Before you start creating and selling on Instagram, you need to first take into account the fact that jewelry market might hold huge potential, but it’s also very crammed with people and selling pieces almost similar to the ones you’ve been imagining and drawing in your scrapbook. Therefore, if you are going to face off against your competitors and win a share of the market, you have to think a way of breaking through.
We recommend finding a unique theme with untapped potential and capitalizing on it. When you have unique merchandise or jewelry that sells to a particular group, then it means that your position on the market is created.
So, even if you are quite passionate about jewelry making and wish to sell your pieces someday, you shouldn’t start by buying or borrowing design ideas form the wide market. Neither should you start a dropshipping business. You need to create and sell something different to your audience.
On the same breath, you need to identify a theme (within a niche) that you can easily break into and profit from. Concentrating on a theme simplifies marketing and advertising since you are selling to a particular group of people specific things only they (and their friends/ loved ones) would buy, share, and talk about. Even if someone from a different part of the world buys it, they’ll take that action because you have something that’s unique and of interest to them.
What we are saying is that you need to focus on an interest that’s not been fulfilled. Just be patient and lookout. It’s there, somewhere; for you to find and tap into.
To identify such untapped opportunities, use the internet, run polls, and listen to what people are saying, looking for, or complaining about.
- Invest in quality
If you want to make profits from jewelry making, never underestimate the value of good quality pieces. Put in your all creative energies and source for high-quality materials. At the end of the day, people will buy value and quality over quantity.
And the best part about quality is that as long as you have a few satisfied customers, then you are on the path to success. As you already know, one bad review could be the reason for your business’ collapse. Therefore, regardless of the pressure, you might be under, never underscore the importance of quality.
If your niche is all about personalized jewelry, give it your best, and make the best-customized pieces of jewelry you can.
- Understand the value of the jewelry you are selling
For example, you should know that the profit margins recorded for selling diamond jewelry will be much higher than what you get from gold jewelry. Gold faces significant market fluctuations depending on the market conditions, which means that if you are investing in this line of business, you should price your pieces based on the market conditions.
How to make money selling jewelry from home
Despite the steep competition, you can make money from jewelry making, even when selling jewelry from home thanks to the huge demand/ consumption of jewelry, as well as the growing jewelry business niche. However, you cannot depend on such market dynamics alone. You have to take some measures to make your hobby or side-hustle profitable. Below are some of the things you could do to turn things around.
- Find your In
As mentioned above, you need to find a niche and theme. In this case, we recommend that you decide to choose between costume and fashion jewelry, fine jewelry, vintage, or something in between.
Costume jewelry, for example, is trendy, has a low price-point since it’s often mass-produced, and the jewelry is made of cheaper metals/ materials.
Fine jewelry, on the other hand, has a high price point, the pieces are made with semi-precious and precious metals/ gems, the pieces are created with superior-level craftsmanship, and they are ideal for special occasions, luxury events, or weddings.
And if you choose to sell any other jewelry that really isn’t fine or costume jewelry, you will be selling mid-range pieces, art collectibles, crats, and other gems. In this category, you are looking at the uniqueness of design, medium-range price points, and the statement pieces or gifts.
With a specific niche, you can determine the pieces you will be selling with ease. Finding customers will not be as difficult anymore.
It’s important to note that one of the biggest mistakes you could ever make in jewelry making (or in any other business) is trying to produce and sell too many of different products by using a wide range of metals, gemstones, and other materials. While this move might feel like the best thing you could do, it’s not an ideal branding strategy, and your customers will be lost for choice when it comes to identifying your brand. The other caveat with this approach is that you end up buying more materials than you need, and this could lead to losses by increasing your overheads unnecessarily.
- Watch Trends
Learning more about past, current, and future trend is essential for the determination, as well as the validation of the jewelry category you’ve chosen to work with. For information about jewelry trends, read top jewelry and fashion blogs every day to stay on top of the news and trends, as well as seasonal collections. Use Google Trends for information about specific jewelry trends. For example, personalization is one of the biggest trends of today.
- Beware of your profit margins
This ties back to the resources and materials you buy to run your business. While the jewelry business is profitable, you might end up losing a lot of money, especially if you don’t calculate all the associated costs for running your business. Remember that you also need to factor in the cost of labor (and time), selling fees, as well as shipping costs. To figure out exactly how much you are spending or need, you need to track all your expenditure every week and month. By staying on top of costs, you can turn your business into a very profitable one since you get to make changes before things go sideways.
- Branding/ Value of Stories
Now that you know what you want to sell to your customers and even have an idea of what your products will look like, it’s time for branding. You need a logo and professional quality product photos. Make sure that your website is well optimized; and ensure that each element of your site envisions your brand image, voice, vision, and story. And since most fashion purchases are driven by an emotional story and real-life experiences, tap into that to connect to your audience on a more personal level. Let your posts share your process, as well as your inspiration for your design.
- Product Design process
You need to ensure that you have accurate (to scale) sketches, as well as 3D renders for all your designs. In the beginning, these processes will be easier, but as the demand for your pieces increases, so will your needs and you might have to outsource production to a manufacturer.
Besides the manual designing tools like pencils and a sketchbook, a 3D software like Photoshop or Illustrator, you might also need design software specific for jewelry making such as Matrix or JewelCAD.
You also need to have the right production equipment and tools. Your equipment will vary depending on the type of jewelry you focus on.
- Invest Product Photography
You might have heard it before, but we need to reiterate the fact that product photography will either make or break your online business, regardless of the niche you target and focus on.
The good news, however, is that winning in product photography is easier than you think since and you only need to get some basics in order. For starters, you need great lighting, and the interesting bit is that you don’t really have to invest in the most expensive lighting equipment thanks to DIY lighting options like on-white photos. Also, you don’t have to invest in a camera when you are starting, as long as your smartphone’s camera is decent.
Keep in mind, however, that photography might not be as easy when you are not the best photographer in the room, especially if you are on a budget because you need to make sure that you can work deal with reflective surfaces and tiny details; that will break or make the appearance of your products online.
To get things right the first time, especially if you are unable to hire a professional photographer, you might want to make YouTube your best friend. YouTube has a vast array of videos and tutorials on photography, make use of them.
Also, on product photography, you need to invest in stylists and models as you grow your jewelry-making business. The of models to showcase your pieces has got to be the most important product up-sell strategies, and you want to make sure that you get it right. By showcasing your pieces on real people instead of white surfaces, you customers get the real feel from your pieces, and this gives them the extra nudge they need to buy your pieces.
Besides the lifestyle shots, you should also make the most out of jewelry shots on white surfaces. The use of a whiteboard or surface is great as it reduces distractions while highlighting the different details of your jewelry piece, as well as the appearance of the jewelry in different angles. Also, product photography on white surfaces creates a cleaner, more consistent look on your social pages – this makes it easier for your audience to relate to your brand.
Lastly, you could enhance your product upsell strategies by partnering with apparel brands. These guys are always willing to partner since the partnership creates a bigger audience for both items/ brands.
- Set up your online store
The online space holds immense potential for the growth of your business, but only if you do things right. You have to make sure that things like SEO, mobile optimization, and user-friendliness of your site are well catered for, and these might require outsourcing. Regardless of the path you take in website creation and development, make sure that you have the best team working behind with you.
Once your site is up and running, and you have the best product photos, make sure that you put time and ooze your brand’s image into the product descriptions. Mention the prices, materials used, and everything else your customers might want to know about your pieces. So, if the products are hypoallergenic (this is a big plus), mention it. Don’t forget to use your target keywords in your product descriptions, whether on your website or on your social media pages.
- Market Aggressively
Your buyers will not just show up and start buying your jewelry if you don’t market, this is regardless of the uniqueness of the pieces or even when you have the best offers on the market. You’ve got to spread the word about your products, and do that with savviness. Use Instagram and Facebook to run ad campaigns, and make sure that your brand is well represented in all the other social media sites with your target audience.
One of the marketing strategies you cannot skimp or overlook is the use of testimonials and reviews; these are instrumental in boosting your brand awareness while building your credibility. So, encourage your customers to leave reviews on your website or social media page, and even on emails. Don’t forget to ask a customer for their permission to use the glowing review they sent via email. Social proof is critical for the growth of your sales.
What else can you do?
Show up for all the pop-up and artisan shows you see advertised on social media. These are great places for networking, learning, and meeting new customers.
While the jewelry making business might seem saturated, it won’t feel saturated when you get your in. Focus on unique pieces, trust your designs, be authentic, and always listen to your customers.