How to Start a Successful Jewelry Business in 10 Steps

Starting a jewelry business can be easy if you set it up the right way. Our expert explains everything you need to know and shares some important tips.

If you’re a jewelry enthusiast, you must have thought about turning your passion into a source of income. Whether you design your own jewelry or you’ve got an eye for antique pieces and quirky independent designers, starting your own jewelry business is the perfect way to make money doing what you love. 

It’s actually a lot simpler than you might think. If you set your business up the right way, you can put yourself on the road to success. All you need is yourself, some great jewelry, and some time to do the necessary research.

You’ve already got those first two down, and as a small business owner myself, I can help you with the last part. In this article, we’ll go over the business side of things, and I’ll walk you through my 10 simple steps for starting a jewelry business. 

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10 Steps to Start a Jewelry Business

Before you start snapping artsy shots of your jewelry for your website, here are some things to consider to make sure your new business has everything it needs to be successful. 

1. Develop Your Brand

There’s a place on the market for every niche and every style, so there’s really no wrong answer when it comes to the question of what jewelry to sell. 

That said, a focused theme or style will help you develop your brand and market your products. If a potential customer comes across a photo of one of your pieces and decides to visit your site, they’ll be hoping to find more jewelry in the same style. 

It’s also a great strategy to offer as many options as possible – for example, some people like gold-colored chains, while others prefer silver. Many people will be looking for the perfect design and the perfect color, so providing multiple color options for each product is a great way to grow your sales. 

You could even consider offering a custom jewelry service for those willing to pay extra for a unique piece that exactly matches their taste. 

2. Consider Your Target Market

Many aspects of your business will depend on who you’re aiming to sell to. This includes your marketing, your pricing, your product descriptions, and even your company name and logo. 

Is your jewelry line suitable for children, teenagers, or adults? Are your pieces refined and elegant, or quirky and fun? If you plan to sell your jewelry on your own website, you should also keep your target audience in mind when choosing your site’s color scheme and aesthetics. 

This process can get complicated, and there are marketing experts whose entire job is focused on this area. However, it can be done simply, too. The most important thing to prioritize is consistency – if your messaging, marketing, and products are consistent in style, then you will be able to develop a brand successfully. 

3. Choose a Name for Your Business

Naming your business is a big step, and it’s not something you need to rush. You can note down possible contenders and refine the list over time as you work on other elements of your business plan. 

For jewelry businesses, using your own name is always an acceptable option. You are the creator of the products, and it’s an industry standard for the designer to become the face and name of the brand. 

If you’re worried about using a name that doesn’t describe the style of jewelry you offer, you can consider expressing your style through the logo instead. 

4. Create a Business Plan

Even if you’re planning a solo endeavor, a business is a complex project, and you’ll benefit from a structured plan of what you intend your business to be. You can also use your business plan later down the line if you find brands you want to partner with, or if you decide to seek funding and expand your business. 

For now, a well-written plan will help guide the decisions you make as you set up your initial business model. Here are some things to consider:

  • A summary of your business 
  • An analysis of your target audience
  • Your marketing campaign plans
  • Members of your management team and their roles (this can be just you)
  • Your financial goals 

5. Research Licensing and Insurance

Most small businesses will need a number of licenses and permits to legally operate within the United States. Figuring this out might seem like a job for an expert, but you can find a lot of information online, and the U.S. government even offers free business counseling. You can also read our guide to registering a business in the United States.

While some businesses will require a federal permit, jewelry does not fall under any category of business activities regulated by a federal agency, so this is one less thing for you to worry about.

You will, however, need to research your own state and city to find out what kinds of licenses and permits they require. You can start this process by visiting your state’s website for information.

There are also multiple kinds of insurance to consider. General liability insurance is the most basic and important, and it will help you if someone claims that one of your products caused them harm. If you plan to rent a physical building to operate your business out of, you’ll also need to research commercial property insurance. 

6. Choose Your Distribution Method

You may have had this decided from the start, but if not, now is the time to choose how you want to sell your products. You can choose just one method, or if you’re planning a large venture, you might use all of the following options:

  • Your own online store
  • Digital marketplaces like Etsy or eBay
  • Jewelry fairs and pop-up events 
  • Local shops and boutiques 

Each of these options has its own strengths, but I personally recommend setting up your own online store, even if you plan to sell offline as well. It gives you the most control over your business and your profits, as fairs, boutiques, and digital marketplaces will all take a cut out of your revenue. 

With a personal online store, you also have far more opportunities for customization, which may help you develop your brand and cultivate a reputation. You can use Pay.com to easily accept credit cards and other payment methods on your website.

7. Research Payment Methods

Even if you haven’t yet decided how you’d like to sell your jewelry, one thing is for sure – you don’t want to be paid only in cash! Even at jewelry fairs and pop-up stores, cash payments are falling out of fashion, and offering multiple payment options will help you appeal to larger audiences.

When it comes to payment frameworks, I prefer to use a payment service provider rather than attempt to set up and manage multiple payment methods myself. As a small business owner, it’s just not where I want to focus my time and effort. 

With Pay.com, you can start accepting card payments quickly and easily, no matter how small your business is. Not only can you customize your checkout page to offer your customers a smooth experience, but you can use the Pay Dashboard to keep track of the payments you receive and issue refunds if necessary. 

8. Design Your Packaging

Regardless of the price tag, buying a piece of jewelry is always an indulgence and a treat. This should be reflected in every aspect of your business, including the packaging. As well as keeping your product safe during transit, jewelry packaging also speaks to the quality of the product and the company it came from. 

You can choose to go down the classic route, with minimalist boxes and ribbons, or you can design something more original and exciting. 

Both strategies can work very well, but it’s important to remember to use high-quality materials and maintain a good eye for detail. Packaging is necessary when distributing through an online store, but it’s also a nice touch when selling face-to-face. 

9. Choose Your Shipping Methods

Once a customer has purchased a piece of jewelry from you online, you’ll need to send it to them. One important decision you’ll have to make is who will pay for the shipping costs. There are three main options for dealing with shipping costs:

  • The customer pays for shipping
  • You cover the shipping costs, and offer your customers free shipping
  • You and the customer split the shipping costs

If you choose for the customer to pay shipping, you can calculate the exact shipping fee during checkout. You can also label shipping as “free” and raise the price of your products to compensate. If you want to pay out of your margins, you can offer to ship for free and keep the prices of your products as they are. 

One of the most popular strategies is sharing the cost between the seller and the buyer. This is done by charging a flat rate for all shipping. The flat rate covers a percentage of the cost, and you pay the rest yourself. 

10. Create Your Inventory

When managing your inventory, you want to make sure you always have enough of the products that sell well and try to avoid a build-up of products that don’t move quickly.

When it comes to jewelry businesses, not all inventories are of the same kind. If you make the pieces yourself or partner with independent designers, you will need to think about how many units per design you will need. 

On the other hand, if you want to sell more unique pieces that you source from antique fairs and boutiques, or if you design one-of-a-kind pieces, your inventory will likely be smaller. 

The Pros and Cons of Starting Your Own Jewelry Business

Turning your passion into a source of income is the ultimate dream for a lot of people, but that doesn't mean it’s without difficulties. Below are some of the pros and cons you might experience if you decide to start your own jewelry business.

Pros

  • You can share your personal creations or handpicked pieces with likeminded people
  • You can make money doing something you love
  • You control how much time and effort you want to invest in the business
  • You can work from home and choose your own hours

Cons

  • You will have to deal with licensing, permits, and other business-related areas you may not be interested in
  • You may have to spend a lot of time manufacturing or sourcing jewelry for your inventory
  • It can take time for your business to gain momentum and begin making a profit

The Bottom Line: Is Starting a Jewelry Business Right for You?

After reading this article, you may already have your answer to this question. The process of starting your own business is generally less complicated than a lot of people think, but it does, of course, require effort. 

The most important thing to remember is that the business is yours, and it can be as small or large as you want it to be. Once the licenses and permits are out of the way, setting up your own website can be a fun experience, and you can take as much time with it as you like. 

The amount of stock you create is up to you, and with a simple payment service provider like Pay.com, you can choose your payment methods with just a few clicks, and keep track of the entire process in one place. Click here to get started now!

FAQs

How can a jewelry business accept credit card payments?

Pay.com offers a simple way to start accepting credit card payments. With both easy and advanced setup options available, you can create your perfect payment system no matter your skill set. Click here for more information on how to get started.

How much money do I need to start a jewelry business?

It depends on the scale of business you want to start, but it is possible to start selling jewelry you’ve already made at little to no cost. You can do this by listing your products on a digital marketplace platform like eBay or Etsy, or attending local craft fairs.

How much money can a small jewelry business make?

This depends on how much time you can put into the business and how much it costs you to make each piece of jewelry. If you develop a time and cost-efficient process, you can maximize profits without having to put too much emphasis on marketing and increasing sales.

How should I price my handmade jewelry?

The key to pricing is weighing the cost of production against commercial value and customer expectations. You need to be able to make a profit, but the ideal profit margin varies from person to person.  When you’re just starting out, it’s best to do some competitor research and see what other businesses charge for pieces of similar quality and materials.

Meet the author

Monica J White

Monica is a journalist with a lifelong interest in technology. She first started writing over ten years ago and has made a career out of it, with a special focus on fintech. She enjoys the challenge of explaining complex topics to a broader audience.

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