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Grow Your Own Jewelry Business

Grow Your Own Jewelry Business
by Anne Marie Hunter, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Do you dream of starting a jewelry business, with your own field of dreams waiting to be planted?

Many businesses start with a unique vision that includes hope, creativity, skills, personal commitment, business integrity, an organized plan, products to sell and more. These are just some of the seeds that will nourish your jewelry business to fruition.

Write your mission statement. Just as seeds are small and grow into something so much more, your mission statement can simply be two or three sentences. However, it is the initial seed from which you will cultivate your business--now and in the future. As you construct your mission statement, give serious thought to your passions and values. This statement should reflect who you are and the creative gifts you have to offer.

Write your business plan, which is comparable to planting a money tree. Outline a cash flow forecast that shows the future of your business. Consider how much you want to initially invest in jewelry-making and promotional materials, photography and other essential start-up requirements. As a jewelry business owner, you will juggle many responsibilities simultaneously and managing the business cash flow is strategic to your success.

Open a bank account and obtain a credit card for your business. As you begin to sell, you will also need to consider taxes, permits and licenses. There are many professionals and online resources to help answer questions, as your business grows and blooms.

Design a cohesive collection that reflects your creative strengths. Also, take into consideration your ideal client or market. Then, price your jewelry as a professional does. If you are serious about having a successful business, take into account supplies and time, as well as operating costs and taxes.

Develop a marketing strategy. It's safe to say that most creative people don't love marketing. However, planting these all-important seeds is essential. Wear your own jewelry and don't leave home without business cards. Will you have a website or join an e-commerce community, such as Etsy? Determine if you want to have a blog or newsletter. With any marketing you choose to do, be consistent. Ask for referrals from friends, customers and relatives--and build relationships with your buyers.

Create effective promotional materials including a dynamic logo and printed pieces for your jewelry business. A logo in high-vector digital format can be used for printed materials and online. Always choose top quality printing. Your business card may be the first impression you make with a potential customer.

Photograph your work. Excellent photographs of your work are vital. Consistently, those who have successful jewelry businesses say that people will not buy their work without superior images that show it off. Though jewelry is challenging to photograph, many jewelry artists have learned how to photograph the beautiful fruits of their labor with professional-looking results.

Once your garden has grown and is ready to be harvested, where will you sell?

Customer service is first. For ongoing business success, regardless of the sales venue, the single most important seed you can plant and nurture is customer service. Provide your customers a fabulous buying experience and they are more likely to return and purchase your beautiful jewelry again--and tell others about you, as well.

Selling your jewelry: There are many outlets for jewelry sales. Online stores, your own website, crafts fairs, home parties, galleries and boutiques are some of the venues where your sales can bloom. Most jewelry artists try many options on their way to finding the best choices for flourishing sales.

Additional sales venues: If you have considered selling jewelry at shows, fairs or festivals, learn about venues you would like to enter and types of shows to avoid, how much inventory you need and how to market before the show. Only plant the seeds you are most interested in, and those most suited for your garden.

Display your jewelry attractively and watch sales bloom. To transport and show your collections, design or acquire a jewelry display that is lightweight, compact, easy to set up and store. Like a beautiful bouquet, a professional looking display can attract attention, then foster and enhance sales. And, wrap up that bouquet with complimentary gift packaging--customers will love it.

Consider accepting credit cards. Many jewelry business owners find this to be a key component for increasing jewelry sales. Setting up a business merchant account is easy these days and many user-friendly options are available for small businesses to accept credit cards.

Website sales: Once you have a jewelry business, people will assume you have a website. Whether you hire a web designer, or choose to build and nurture your own site, a well-designed website is essential--if you want sales to truly blossom. It is important to have an easily navigable website with a cornucopia of excellent quality images and a streamlined, user-friendly shopping experience.

Finally, grow your skills and creative imagination. Sow seeds of design inspiration by enrolling in advanced classes, studying video tutorials, reading jewelry-making books and keeping up with industry trends.

Planting the seeds and growing your own jewelry business is both exhilarating and challenging. Successful jewelry artist and entrepreneur, Angie Boothroyd, writes, "As exciting as starting a business is, it can feel overwhelming. Don't worry. It's supposed to feel that way." Like gardening, "It's not just the beginning that's messy. It's messy pretty much all the time. But then, if you wanted clean fingernails, you probably wouldn't be a jewelry designer."

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