After university, I started creating textile necklaces in my spare time to inject some creativity into a rather monotonous work day. Jewellery making was a hobby that kept me busy effectively. But when my handmade masterpieces began to generate a growing interest in my surroundings, I began to wonder if my hobby could really become a business in its own right.
Most people who can be creative and like to use their hands will be able to create jewellery – it is not really necessary to have specialized skills. Whatever your background, you can also start making your own jewellery in order to sell it.
However, you will need to take into account some considerations and complications that are inherent in starting such an activity. One thing is certain: the market is very competitive.
In the United States alone, sales in the jewellery industry reach $70 billion annually – with jewellery accounting for the largest market share. Although competition is fierce, newcomers can still make their mark by creatively revisiting traditional jewellery expertise or serving a new niche.
In the wedding industry, consumers nowadays want personalized treatment. They are therefore increasingly using the services of independent designers who use alternative and less expensive materials. This industry, once dominated by renowned designers and major brands, has now become accessible to the (best) independent designers.
In this article, we will detail the process of launching a jewellery design activity, from design to manufacturing, design and marketing. This comprehensive guide includes expert advice, strategic ideas, and examples of jewellery stores that have been successful.
How will you position yourself?
Fine jewellery or fashion jewellery? That’s the first question you should ask yourself. Perhaps you will prefer to position yourself halfway between these two categories. Each category requires different considerations in terms of materials, manufacturing processes, sales prices and target customer profiles:
Fashion or costume jewellery
- Closely linked to trends.
- Metals and inexpensive materials (beads, wires, plated metal, plastic, synthetic gems, etc.).
- Lower selling prices.
- A production sometimes carried out in mass.
Target customers: typical consumers with a passion for fashion.
Example: short necklace with silver pendant.
- Precious and semi-precious gems and metals.
- Higher selling prices.
- Specialized skills are required.
- Luxury and wedding niches.
- Jewellery worn on special occasions.
Example: diamond engagement ring.
Includes all other types of jewellery, from jewellery made with mid-range materials (textiles of varying quality, metals, precious stones, wood, acrylic, materials used for 3D printing, etc.) to collectible and craft jewellery that requires a higher level of skill to manufacture.
- Emphasis on design and originality.
- Selling prices vary but are generally medium high.
- Jewellery worn on special occasions and to assert its individuality.
- Target customers: collectors, design experts, people looking for a gift.
Example: contemporary laser-cut acrylic necklace.
Once you have defined a general category for your jewellery e-commerce site, choose a niche for your products. Start by defining your target customers (socially engaged consumers, fashion enthusiasts, future brides, typical consumers, etc.), and try to determine the contexts or types of events that are best suited to wearing your jewellery (weddings, parties, everyday life, etc.).