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Topics: Jewelry, Making, Marketing

Q.
I have taken a few jewelry making classes at a local art school. I want to know, do I need to go to a 4 yr university to turn this hobby into a full time business? And where do I begin with marketing myself besides going to trade shows? Thanks for your help!
- Vicki
A.
You do not need to go to a university to turn your jewelry-making hobby into a business. However, running any business is filled with as many pitfalls as opportunities. To learn more about the realities of running a business, view the business articles in the Business and Marketing section of the Jewelry Marketing articles. You can also contact an adviser from Score.org, a community of retired business advisors who provide free advice to people who want to learn about starting a small business. Also, many universities have small business development centers where you can learn how to set up a business, write a business plan, handle finances and more.

In terms of beginning to market yourself, a marketing plan is part of an overall business plan and depends upon many factors. You can download a free business plan template at the website I just mentioned and questions contained in the template will guide you through the questions you need to answer to formulate an effective marketing plan.

- Dr. David Weiman
Dr. David Weiman is a respected expert in the field of marketing and selling handcrafted jewelry and a well-read contributor to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads "Ask the Experts". He is the author of Introduction to Marketing and Selling Jewelry, The Jewelry Selling Answer Book and The 5 Keys to Selling Handcrafted Jewelry (all available through Fire Mountain Gems and Beads). A free newsletter on selling handmade jewelry is available at his website: www.MarketingJewelry.com

Additional Resources:

Products sold by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® are intended for experienced jewelry-makers and designer-artists;
children 14 years of age or younger should use these products with adult direction.

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