I have a few jewelry designs that I’m wanting to make. Do you suggest making samples and find an artisan to make multiples or only make a few to see the response I get? Also, do you know of any jewelry makers that will make items from a design?
It's always a good idea to test market your designs before moving to the next level of mass production. Mass production can be time consuming and more importantly, costly. It is better to work out any "kinks" before investing a lot of money into a design that performs poorly (because of an unpopular color palette or toggle snafu, for example). In the resource section below, there are links to some great jewelry-making articles focusing on design and how to sell your jewelry.
A question to ask yourself: will you be marketing your design strictly retail or wholesale? This decision affects your price points so you want to be sure to crunch these numbers before diving into mass production, to be sure you can sell your finished products with a healthy profit margin.
Finding local jewelry makers to mass produce your designs may take a bit of legwork but is completely doable. Local bead store owners are a great resource since they have jewelry makers coming to them every day and will know the quality of their work. Also, many cities have beading societies that might make reliable recommendations. Check magazines in your niche with ads for manufacturers and services. Put an ad on Craig’s List or in your local paper. You may wish to check out a local college or trade school to find art students who may fit your requirements.
- Kristal Wick, Designer, Author, Jewelry Making Expert and Swarovski Ambassador