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Getting started in Making and Selling your Jewellery

Appearance/Etiquette

  • When you are out on "Jewellery Business” always look clean, neat and professional.
  • Always show up for appointments and don’t be late.
  • Simulate the fashion trend of your target market.
  • Wear your designs everywhere you go; the best way to display them is with simple, plain coloured outfits making your jewellery design the focal point.
  • Know what they cost; you may be complimented on your jewellery and "sell it off your neck”.

Product

  • Make your product as unique and high-quality as possible.
  • Know your target market, current designs trends, price expectations and make sure your designs appeal to your target market.
  • Presentation is important. Show your clients you care about your jewellery, presenting in smart individual packaging; offer free gift wrapping if you wish.
  • Keep your jewellery design collection stored in a simple system that can be ready to "go and show” at short notice.
  • Keep a record of what clients purchase; noting preferred design length, colours and general preferences, so that this information can be used when creating new designs.

 

Spread the Word

  • Have some business cards or fliers to hand out to potential clients and always carry them with you.
  • Visit local stores to see if they might be willing to sell your jewellery designs. Always have your jewellery designs with you and allow retailers to select their own stock. They will be more enthusiastic about selling something they like themselves.
  • Consider all small local businesses to be potential markets for your jewellery designs, but do not over-saturate an area.
  • Build a level of trust with retailers and visit them at regular intervals.
  • Leave/sell/give them displays to make your jewellery designs more appealing.
  • Try to negotiate a system (if the retailer is willing) where your stock is purchased – and if it does not sell in a negotiated time period jewellery designs will be rotated keeping it fresh.
  • If a retailer is not willing to purchase stock, the next best option might be to negotiate the rental of a small display cube in the retailer's shop for a weekly amount, in which you can display your choice of stock. Usually with this arrangement, 100% of the price of anything sold is returned to you.
  • Donate jewellery designs to local charity functions, making sure to include your brochure/card to promote your business.
  • Have a selling gimmick if holding jewellery parties. Offer the hostess an incentive to make the jewellery party a success and provide party invitations which best describe you and your unique jewellery designs.
  • Keep in touch with customers by regular email or SMS. Create an email newsletter or Facebook page to advise clients of new jewellery designs/showcases or sales. Email newsletters are an economical way to keep in touch with your clients.

Prices

  • Start small with inexpensive pieces to sell to friends, work mates and family. Make your jewellery designs as unique – but as high quality – as possible. Start with a small mark-up, and after building your reputation, you can then slowly increase your prices; do not over price your product and lose your market.

Customers

  • The more personalized the service provided to clients, the more successful you will be. Make your client feel that you are interested in their opinion and they have your full attention when dealing with them.
  • Always take a deposit for commissioned jewellery designs and provide a written quote. Clients can ask for specific jewellery designs to be created but change their mind later. Be sure to advise clients that late changes (or cancellation) to the jewellery design will incur a fee.
  • Repair or alter jewellery for as little cost as possible to keep good client relations.
  • Do not sell a jewellery design to a client just to receive a sale. Give your honest yet respectful opinion on the suitability of their choice. They will appreciate your quality of service and return later, remembering your integrity. This is also a good way to generate a greater public profile. Good and honest service will be commented on.

Business

  • Consider setting up as a business. The costs may be worth it in order to access wholesale discounts.
  • A small business course may be invaluable.
  • Make a business budget and stick to it, don’t get carried away with your spending.
  • Set up a credit card payment system.
  • Keep a detailed list of suppliers and individual component costings.
  • Stock left on consignment can be expensive and add to business costs, as payments can be slow.

Shop?

  • If opening a shopfront, having an established client base will help initially to generate income.
  • Consider "Location, Location, Location” for walk-in clients.
  • When displaying your jewellery collection, present it in an appealing fashion. An attractive, attention-grabbing display will sell better.