Are you looking for something enjoyable to do at your own pace and making some money at the same time? If you and / or your kids are into crafts, you might want to consider making and selling handmade jewelry.
It’s one item that will never go out of style. If you enjoy making handmade jewelry, you’ll have a good chance at making money with this hobby as you will love creating items with the endless choices of materials, design, and styles.
All you need is a wellspring of creative concepts, a minimum investment, and proper exposure to turn your unique designs into much sought-after pieces. As you gain popularity and experience, you can graduate from producing small amounts to “one offs” made for individual customers.
People may even pay a premium for your unique designs.
Make sure your jewelry business is both profitable and enjoyable for you. Consider how the pieces you will make suit your personality, and how it impacts on the time and resources you will need and your other obligations.
Do your homework first. Visit shops, flea markets or individuals who are into selling handmade jewellery. Find out what buyers look for and what types of pieces sell well. Ask your friends, relatives and colleagues about what motivates them to buy handcrafted jewelry in particular.
One bug reason is because of the interesting stories behind the item. It could be about the material used (like recycled aluminium tabs or bottle caps), who made the piece (a group of disabled persons, local girl scouts), or how it was made (was it knitted, carved or woven fused?). Share your jewellery story with your customers; it makes them more interesting to buyers.
From the initial information you gather, you can begin designing and making jewelry that customers would want or need to buy. Bear in mind that buying jewelry is not a necessity. Rather, people buy these to feel good, or to make a statement as to who they are, or what they’ve accomplished. Thus, your creations must be those that people can connect with their own taste or experience.
And then there is the question of pricing your pieces.
The basic considerations are of course the cost of the materials and tools you used, how much you’d like to pay yourself for the time and labor, and overhead expenses such as utilities, and cost of any rent you may or have incurred in selling your product. Keep in mind though how much your potential competitors have priced their own creations. You like to be at par with their prices; not too low or too high from what customers would be willing to pay.
To make good money making and selling handmade jewelry, you will have to decide how you intend to sell your pieces. Will it be through arts and crafts fairs? Wholesale or retail? Online or through private shows? Will you sell on cash basis or consignment?
The easiest and cheapest way to market your creations is to wear them. There’s nothing like being your own product endorser and user. People will see right away how your creation will match their taste. You can also talk extensively about it to people you encounter on a more personal basis.
Of course, you can certainly make much more money selling your items in arts & crafts fairs but you will also be incurring more expenses in terms of travel cost, booth rentals and securing local permits. You’ll also have to contend with frequent packing and re-packing. Doing your sales talk, you must be adept at talking to your customers at one end, and closing a deal with another, possibly all at the same time. Finding shows and arranging your schedule can also be nerve-wracking especially if these shows are miles apart or will happen close to one another.
Jewelry parties would be easier to handle and organize. But just like joining trade fairs, you will have to do some detailed planning as well. Finding and coaching your party hostess may be the easiest part. Plan the look and type of party (will it be a direct sales type of party? An instructional session on “How-To-Make-Your-Own” handcrafted jewelry? Or will it be for gathering custom orders?). And just like trade fairs, you’ll have to be an outgoing and bubbly person to be effective at selling.
Wholesaling your creations is another option but only if you have a sufficient stock of items to sell. You will get bigger orders, but you may need extra hands to come up with the volume required and maintain the quality. You can also consign your creations especially in the initial stages when you are still establishing your reputation and clientele. This method lets you sell more of your items in more outlets, but it will also entail having an efficient method of tracking your inventory and collecting payments.
But just as in wholesaling, don’t expect your partner outlets to give your items special care and attention unless these are much sought-after and very expensive pieces. You may also have to sacrifice uniqueness in favor of items that look alike but nonetheless sell just as easy.
Finally, there’s always the choice of selling online. The advantage, and disadvantage, is being available for customers 24/7. It’s best that you set up your own website with an option to secure payments over the internet. This will serve as your gallery.
You’d also need to have very good writing skills as you will be selling your creation using very descriptive and convincing words. Excellent photos set against a high contrast background are also a must to add to your product’s visual appeal. Also, remember to include other contact information aside from your web address to make it easier for customer to call you for special orders.
If you find website creation too taxing, you can also post your items on eBay and Etsy. The latter is particularly known for selling a variety of handcrafted items and lets you open a “shop” on the site itself free of charge.
Are you making money by making & selling your own jewlery or thinking about doing so? Be sure to share your comments, thoughts, ideas below…