Starting a new jewelry company can be both exhilarating and difficult; there is immense freedom in creating your own business and supporting yourself based on your designs, though launching any company is always challenging. We’ve used our experience and knowledge to put together the top jewelry industry challenges for new businesses—and potential ways to deal with them. Read our tips below.
Designing for Your Market
Starting a jewelry business requires a deep understanding of your own work and of your target market. What kind of buyers are you appealing to with your pieces? Is there a niche in the market that your designs can fill? Are you aiming to woo luxury customers or fashion jewelry lovers? Once you determine who you are designing for and selling to, you’ll be able to better understand particular jewelry industry challenges as they relate to your business. For more details on starting a business plan and evaluating your market, read this post on getting your business off the ground.
Establishing Your Supply Chain
Two of the biggest costs a new jewelry company faces will be supplies and production, so you’ll want to shop around to make sure you have access to quality materials, and that your suppliers will be consistent and reliable. If you are looking for a production partner who can deliver beautiful jewelry, you may want to consider working with a jewelry manufacturer who can buy materials in large quantities and will guarantee quality.
Manufacturing at Scale
Another challenge facing growing jewelry companies is manufacturing at scale. On one hand, you don’t want to overspend and manufacture too many pieces at once, and on the other, you want to make sure you have enough stock to satisfy demand quickly and keep your customers happy. Working with a jewelry manufacturer can help take the pressure off of your production process—though try to avoid companies that require minimum runs when you are just starting out.
Be sure you find a partner who can help you cost-effectively keep up with demand! Always strive for flexibility and adaptability, and we are able to produce single one-of-a-kind pieces or batches in the thousands at quick turnaround speeds.
Creating Your Brand
Your brand is most recognizable for the products you sell and the way you present them to the rest of the world. Strong, distinctive branding tells your customers that your products are for them, and will help you stand out in the marketplace by creating a relationship between you and your customers. Branding extends to everything you do, from your logo to your packaging to your social media accounts, so take your time to think about what you want your customers to feel when they interact with your brand and your jewelry.
Getting the Word Out
Once you have a sense of your market and your brand identity, any new jewelry company needs to consider how they are going to advertise to their ideal customers. If you are focused on online sales, it may make sense to purchase ad space, while if you are focused on brick and mortar sales, you will also want to include some local advertising opportunities. Social media will be key in either case, particularly image-centric platforms like Instagram, where shoppers can quickly get a sense of your company’s aesthetic. Luckily, due to the popularity of online shopping and social media, many forms of advertising are now free, but you’ll still need to be strategic in terms of how you present your company and your pieces.
Going Online vs Brick and Mortar
There will be different challenges to your new jewelry company depending on how you plan to get most of your revenue. If you are selling mostly at craft fairs, home jewelry parties, or are leasing storefront space, you’ll have the benefit of attracting impulse shoppers and you’ll be able to give customers the opportunity to touch and try on your pieces—but you will also have a much higher operating cost than someone who is only selling jewelry online. Online-only businesses will have lower operating costs, but will likely need to work harder to differentiate themselves from other, more established online businesses and find effective ways to convert browsers into shoppers.
This leads us to managing costs, which is definitely one of the major jewelry industry challenges for both new and established brands. We recommend making a cash flow forecast for each quarter so that you understand your projected costs and income. It is better to be conservative when it comes to estimating sales when you are starting out. That way, you can be sure to save enough money to cover costs as time goes on while you are learning and growing your business. Find savings where you can, whether that is in packaging, manufacturing, or hiring freelance employees (or doing many jobs yourself).
Be Flexible, but Stay Committed to Your Values
Starting a new jewelry company will bring both expected and unexpected challenges, so you should anticipate finding ways to be adaptable, and know when to make compromises. That said, don’t forego the things that make your jewelry and your vision feel unique. Your jewelry business is an extension of your artistry and your commitment to your craft, and your customers should be able to feel that authenticity shine through.