How to Start a Jewelry Business

Starting your own jewelry business can be an intimidating but also incredibly rewarding experience. Whether you’re interested in making your own pieces, producing your designs with a manufacturer, or selling pre-made products, a jewelry business can be a great way to bring in some extra cash or even a full-time income. Although the jewelry market may appear crowded, you can set yourself for success by creating a strong business plan, identifying and targeting a specific audience, and cultivating a unique brand for your product.


[Edit]Setting up a Plan and Legal Foundation

  1. Create a business plan as a roadmap. A business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines what your business is and where it is going. It should also include an actionable, time-based plan for reaching those goals. To start, you can search online for templates and examples of small business plans, especially for jewelry businesses. Then, for your own business, write down your:[1]
    Start a Jewelry Business Step 1.jpg
    • Vision and mission: what you want to achieve with your business.
    • Products and activities: the kind of jewelry you will sell and any other activities you will participate in (such as teaching or bespoke commissions).
    • Customers: types of people you hope will buy your jewelry.
    • Customer Service: how you will reach and interact with your potential customers (such as email, social media, or a physical storefront).
    • Suppliers and Resources: everywhere you will get your supplies, including labor.
    • Income Sources: how your business will bring in money (jewelry sales, workshops, or commissions, for example).
    • Pricing and Cost Structure: how you will determine prices for your jewelry and what types of payment you will accept.
    • Brand and Visuals: key elements of your brand and how you will represent yourself visually in marketing materials and online.
    • Marketing: how you will get the word out about your business.
    • Team: everyone involved in the business and what their roles will be.
  2. Choose a name for your business. The name of your jewelry business may be the first thing your potential customers hear, so make sure it is unique and memorable. Consider choosing a name that relates to common industry terms so your potential customers know what you’re selling: the names of materials you work with frequently (“gold” or “beads”), your method of production (“crafts” or “creations” for handmade pieces), or your style (“boho designs” or “minimalist”). If you plan to make a very specific type of jewelry, feel free to be more specific with your name (“The Pendant Boutique” or “Crochet Bracelet Creations,” for example).
    Start a Jewelry Business Step 2.jpg
    • To ensure your business name is not already taken by others, run a quick search to see if the website name is still available. You can also check with the Patent and Trademark Office, your local government, or an attorney, who can conduct a name search for you.[2]
    • Many successful designers incorporate their own names into the titles of their jewelry businesses.
  3. Register your business with a government agency. Different countries and U.S. states have different regulations, but many will require that you register your business to achieve legitimate legal status. Since procedures vary from location to location, it’s best to start by contacting your city’s Chamber of Commerce or Small Business Development Center. They can help guide you through the steps to legally register your business.[3]
    Start a Jewelry Business Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • When registering your business, be sure to clarify what records you’ll be required to keep going forward. You don’t want to be stuck with the wrong data when it comes time to file your taxes.[4]
  4. Build a basic financial model. Estimate all your costs and compare them to your expected sales to determine if your business is realistic. Make sure to include overhead costs like equipment, utilities, marketing, and labor, as well as the cost of supplies. If you overall costs are greater than your expected sales, think about how you can change your business plan to create a more sustainable venture. Consider ways to reduce your expenses as well as methods for increasing your income.[5]
    Start a Jewelry Business Step 4.jpg
    • For example, if you want to use high-priced gemstones in your work, you’ll need to sell your pieces for a higher cost in order to make a profit. This may determine the types of customers you’ll need to target.

[Edit]Creating Your Product

  1. Make your own pieces if you enjoy hand-crafting jewelry. Making jewelry by hand can help you create unique, personalized products. Depending on your talents and interest, there are many ways to make your own pieces including beading, metalwork, fabric or string arts, and gemstone setting. If you already enjoy jewelry making, making your own products can also be a great way to translate a hobby into a profitable business venture. If you’re new to jewelry making, consider starting with free online classes to pick up some basic skills.[6]
    Start a Jewelry Business Step 5.jpg
    • Whether you’re an experienced crafter or entirely new to jewelry-making, you can refine your skills through YouTube tutorials, instructional books, and websites. You can also search online to see what in-person courses may be available in your area at local schools and craft stores. [7]
  2. Produce jewelry through a manufacturer if you prefer to focus on design. If you have an idea for the product but don’t want to make each piece yourself, you can hire a manufacturer to produce your jewelry. Start with accurate sketches or 3D renderings of your design, then hire an assembly team or third-party manufacturer to create the actual pieces. Most manufacturers can ship directly to your customers.[8]
    Start a Jewelry Business Step 6.jpg
    • To produce your designs, you can choose to use a simple pencil and sketch pad or invest in design software like Photoshop, Illustrator, GIMP, Pixlr, Inkscape or DrawPlus. Especially if you’re working with fine jewelry, you might consider jewelry-specific design software like JewelCAD, Matrix, or Rhinojewel.[9]
    • Local manufacturers can offer simpler communication and faster shipping times, while overseas manufacturers may be able to provide lower costs or more production options. Try searching,, or for options.[10]
  3. Sell pre-made jewelry for a more large-scale approach. Consider bringing in pre-manufactured jewelry from a wholesaler like Alibaba. You can then repackage and sell these pieces individually with a markup. This pre-made jewelry can serve as your entire inventory or you can use it to supplement your own designs.[11]
    Start a Jewelry Business Step 7.jpg
    • When purchasing jewelry wholesale, the price-per-item usually drops if you purchase more pieces. Consider waiting until you can place a large order to increase your profit on each piece of jewelry you sell.[12]

[Edit]Identifying and Selling to Customers

  1. Determine your potential customers and research how to engage with them. An easy place to start is by looking at jewelry businesses similar to your own. By visiting craft fairs, searching online selling websites like Etsy, browsing social media, or scheduling friendly chats, figure out who their audience is, how they sell their products, and how they engage with their customers. [13]
    Start a Jewelry Business Step 8.jpg
    • Speak with friends and family or do a poll on social media to determine what types of jewelry your potential audience is looking for and how they prefer to shop.[14]
    • If you’ve already sold any pieces of jewelry, ask your customers why they chose to purchase from you.
  2. Select locations to sell your jewelry depending on your customers’ preferences. Based on your customer research, make strategic decisions about where to sell your pieces. For example, if you learn that your desired customers don’t use online shopping, you’ll probably have more luck selling at boutiques or crafts fairs. Consider:[15]
    Start a Jewelry Business Step 9.jpg
    • Setting up a booth at local and regional arts and crafts fairs.
    • Selling at farmers markets.
    • Placing products at local boutiques by speaking to their purchasing managers.
    • Setting up a page on Etsy or Amazon.
    • Selling directly through your business’ website.
    • Hosting jewelry parties or selling to your friends and family.
    • Utilizing social media platforms like Facebook Marketplace.
  3. Price your jewelry so that you can make a profit. Start by determining how much it costs you to produce each piece of jewelry by adding the price of the materials, the time it took you to produce the piece (determined by an hourly market rate), the cost of the packaging, and any taxes. In order to make a profit from your jewelry, your retail price must be greater than the cost it took to produce it.[16]
    Start a Jewelry Business Step 10.jpg
    • Typically, retailers will sell jewelry at 1.5-2.5 times higher than the cost to produce the piece. So, for example, if it cost you $50 to produce a necklace, you could consider selling it for $75-$125.[17]

[Edit]Building an Effective Brand

  1. Find what makes your brand different and make it your main selling point. Understanding what makes your product stand out is the first step in defining your brand. If you already have an inventory of jewelry, examine it to see if any patterns emerge, such as a certain aesthetic or trend. Certain principles (sustainability or female empowerment, for example) may also guide your business and be part of your differentiator. Whether it’s a minimalist geometric look, a commitment to using recycled materials, or a dependably fashion-forward style, a consistent and unique brand can help bring in new business as well as repeat customers.[18]
    Start a Jewelry Business Step 11.jpg
    • Try searching online and saving images that inspire you to see if any trends emerge. Pinterest, Etsy, and Instagram can be great places to start.
    • If you don’t have a strong vision for your brand at the beginning, you can figure it out as you go. Make or purchase jewelry that what inspires you and then talk to your customers about what attracted them to your work. [19]
  2. Craft a logo that reflects your brand. Creating a memorable and effective logo can help make a great first impression on potential customers. When designing your logo, remember to keep your brand and target audience at the center of your decisions. Make a list of everything you want your logo to communicate about your business, as well as any aesthetic requirements, before starting your first design.[20]
    Start a Jewelry Business Step 12.jpg
    • If you have the resources, you can hire a professional designer to create a logo for you. Try searching online for designers through websites like 99Designs.[21]
    • If you’re on a tighter budget, there are plenty of free online logo makers. Shopify, Logaster, and Canva all offer easy to use logo makers or generators.[22]
  3. Start a website for your business. Your website will serve as one of the most public-facing displays of your jewelry business and should help to establish your brand. Create a website that includes images of your work, details on how to purchase it, and contact information. If you want to sell your products online, you can also choose to sell your jewelry directly through your website.
    Start a Jewelry Business Step 13.jpg
    • Purchase the domain name for your business through a registrar like GoDaddy, Namecheap, 1&1 Internet or Dotster.[23]
    • Based on your budget and design preferences, choose a service to host your website such as Google sites, Wix, Weebly, Intuit, Yahoo, Bluehost, Ruxter, or Squarespace. Many of these web hosts will provide templates for you to create your website.
    • If you want to sell your jewelry through your website, look for a web hosting service that offers built-in ecommerce software, like Shopify, Bigcommerce, Wix, Weebly or Squarespace. If you’re more confident in your web development skills, you can also choose to use self-hosted open source shopping cart software, such as Magento, Word Press with WooCommerce, or Open Cart.[24]
  4. Take great photos of your jewelry for marketing and online sales. Since jewelry is a largely visual product, good photos are critical to your business, especially if you’re selling online. Even the most beautiful piece of jewelry can look unappealing to buyers if the photographs are poorly lit or unflattering. Take high-quality photos of your work to increase online sales and create attention-grabbing marketing and online materials.[25]
    Start a Jewelry Business Step 14.jpg
    • If you’re not great at photography, hire a professional. Even just a handful of images can provide a strong base for marketing materials. [26]
    • Be consistent with your product photography and try to use similar backgrounds for all your photos. For backdrops, consider using plain white, wood grain, marble, or slate. Also think about photographing your jewelry on a model to show scale and styling suggestions. [27]
  5. Develop a presence on social media for your brand. Creating accounts on social media can help to advertise your jewelry company and introduce your work to new customers. Use these accounts to share photos of your products, information about your business, and updates like sales or new lines. Include links to your social media accounts in your website, marketing pieces, and even packaging materials. Encourage your customers to post photos of themselves wearing your jewelry that you can “like” or share on your own pages.
    Start a Jewelry Business Step 15.jpg
    • Instagram is a great platform for visually striking products like jewelry. Start a profile for your business and create posts featuring your most photogenic jewelry. Follow accounts for similar businesses and use hashtags like #jewelry or #instajewelry to attract new eyes. If you have the budget, try reaching your audience through Instagram ads.[28]
    • Facebook is great for staying in touch with customers, posting product photos, and sharing news about your business, like sales or special deals. Encourage your friends, family, and repeat customers to share your posts with their own networks in order to reach new audiences.[29]


Previous Entries How to Prepare a Relaxing Bath Next Entries What the Road to Success Actually Looks Like