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One of the things I have learned over the last two years is that, when you first get into the jewelry making business you will spend your days making product. I, at the time, wanted to see my jewelry on people and in galleries badly enough that I would sell for rock bottom price. I would NEVER pay myself for my time. DON’T make this mistake. Don’t underprice your jewelry — you will burn yourself out within a very short amount of time.
Your best bet is to make your jewelry and build inventory. Give yourself a 3-month period where you say to yourself, “I will design in March, April, and May. Then, in June, I will start advertising and selling at fairs, bazaars, and other venues.” This will give you time to put together a sales plan and get everything organized — as well as help you build inventory. (Note: Some may even need six months to do this).
Make sure you have many sources of revenue. For instance, I have Etsy and Fairs. I also sell to galleries, have my own website, reps in two statesm and a third coming next month. (Goal is one in each state by December 2012). I even consign at many shops in different cities during the Christmas and holiday season. I wouldn’t recommend this to every person due to the fact that you have to always tack on that 20 to 30% of the sales that the shop owner will want out of you. This makes it harder to sell your jewelry or you have to lower what you want out of your jewelry — which means you will lose money. Just don’t try and make it your only revenue stream.
Finally, you will want a good system to keep track of which piece is going where. There is nothing worse than accidently taking a few pieces to a fair with you, selling them, then getting home and realizing “OH CRAP! I had those listed on Etsy and they have been sold.” If you’re lucky, you will have all the same materials to throw it together on a moment’s notice and get it packaged. But, honestly, it is better to make sure you have a good system down for organizing your products and sales.
My next article will explore the different selling avenues for selling jewelry.
Kayla Schmult is an entrepreuner, owning a business for handcrafted jewelry as well as opening another up for organic hand made beauty products. She has been running her jewelry business for three years now and started from the ground up, turning a fifty dollar bill into five hundred dollars. She knows the importance of social media from running fashion row walk and Organic West. She runs two full-time blogs for each business, as well as blogging here now for Financial Bin. She is also on her way to becomming a freelance blogger due to her desire to share with others what she has learned. She is a stay-at-home mother who takes care of her disabled husband whom she has been married to for four years and together for a year before that. She also homeschools her two children. She manages her time well I guess you can say!