My niece’s 6-year old daughter told me the other day, “Warren, I wish I could get a job where I can make bracelets all day!” How cute! She definitely would have a lot of fun making jewelry. She most certainly could make money doing it. But I don’t think she was old enough to appreciate the amount of work, strategic thinking, and marketing and good business sense involved, in order to succeed.
But maybe she did. Jewelry making tapes into our creative souls, our artistic essence. The fact that you can make money at it, moreover, serves to heighten the experience.
Two girls — one 12 and one 13 years old — were determined to make money that summer. They had had some experience setting up a lemonade stand last year, but they were ready to make the big bucks. So they turned to jewelry. They created an attractive shelter along the side of the road, and posted clever signs — REFRESHING SPARKLES — to catch drivers going and coming in either direction. Instead of lemonade, however, their customers found cool earrings, and breezy necklaces, and yummy bracelets. And the two girls found success!
While there are many business challenges for jewelry designers, — young and old, alike — you can most assuredly answer the question — Can You Really Make Money Selling Jewelry? — with a resounding YES! It takes some planning. Some Moxie. Some start-up money. Some marketing. And some luck. But it can be done.
For people who sell their jewelry, their art is both a business as well as a source of creativity and self-expression. To be successful, they need to bring an understanding of business fundamentals to the business, and they need to find enthusiasm for business in similar ways to how they found their passion for jewelry. There will be ups and downs, as the economy changes or fashions and styles change. They will wear multiple hats — designer, distributor, manufacturer, retailer — and not always be sure which hat to wear when. They will need to understand marketing, pricing and selling. They will need to have a feel for reading and understanding people.
Successful jewelry design businesses today share several traits. They have a focus on what they do as a business model. They are comfortable working long stretches in a production mode — even though this can…