How to start a jewellery brand & make it a fully fledged business!
Hello friends! Today I want to share some of my best tips and tricks on how to start a jewellery brand and turn it into a business! Let’s chat!
Plan! Plan! Plan!
First up! This part is free! You have to plan! What kind of jewellery will you make, what style will it be? Who is it for? What is it made out of? Is it high street or high end?! where will you sell it? Who will make it?! How will you fund it?!
Before you do anything you really need to answer all these questions and think about about your design direction, the name, the market you want to enter and really make a lot of lists and plans. Ask your friends their advice and look at other jewellery brands so you know who your competitors are as well as what is popular and what people are willing to pay for products.
Also, it worth thinking about your brand logos, photography direction and who will be taking the photos. Not just the cool Instagram pics, but also the high res cut out images and lifestyle shots for your website.
Ok! Now take all your notes and google ‘how to write a business plan’ and start transferring your ideas into a business plan. This will include marketing, financial plans, production and so much more! It might seem a bit boring but you will find this business plan invaluable for referring back to when you are feeling lost. Or raising investment, if that’s something you are going to do.
Make it formal!
Eek! Now you have to register your business and open a business bank account. Top tip: if you are registering your company as your brand name, make sure the website domain is available as well as social media usernames. You don’t want to come up with an amazing brand name only to find out that someone else has taken all the names online already!
Ok! Now it’s the fun part! It’s time to start designing! This could look like sketches in a sketch book, CAD designs or starting to carve and mould pieces. It’s worth thinking about how you will be producing your jewellery and if you will be making it yourself or outsourcing it. If you are making it yourself, you might want to start considering production equipment like a jewellery bench, welding bench (like this one from BTH sales) or laser cutter.
When you are designing, make sure you keep a note of your costs of materials, time each one takes to produce and packaging costs so you can build these things into your pricing structure. If you are selling direct to consumer you can have lower margins, but if you are planning to sell to stores like John Lewis or Selfridges, they will usually ask for a 3 times mark up. Do you need to create a wholesale price which gives you a profit before the price is tripled to create the RRP.
Create a website and social media channels
Even if you are planning on selling your jewellery at a market or other peoples’ store, you will still need to create a website and social media channels so people can find out more about you and hopefully shop your products online. Even if you aren’t ready to share anything online, grab the user name and domain as soon as you can in case someone else takes it first!
Start producing jewellery
Now you have your amazing designs, business plan, website and social media channels. It’s time to start producing jewellery. This could be single items made by you, or in conjunction with a factory, silversmith, laser cutter or however you need to produce. The quantities could be large or small, but personally I would say if you have to product large quantities (for instance if the factory has minimum production numbers) then try not to produce too many lines to begin with. Also, if you are working with a factory, doing one design in multiple colour ways can be a good way to produce more designs without spending as much money.
If you are producing the jewellery yourself you have the freedom to make smaller run quantities, which means you can fill your website up faster!
Ok! It’s time to network! Share you work on social media, at business networking events, at local markets, on Facebook… and if you have the money to do a trade show, then now could be the time to book your exhibition space. Talk to everyone! You never know where your next opportunity will come from!
If you are shipping out small quantities of jewellery, then you can probably just take it to the post office and ship it that way. But as your brand grows, you will need to think about warehouses who can help with your logistics and courier companies like Momentumds (click here to find out more!)
Wow! Your business is really growing and it might be time to scale your business with employees! After all, you can’t do everything! Are you going to hire staff or use freelancers?! Hiring permanent employees can be a lot more cost effective than hiring freelancers, but it’s worth looking into employment laws and figuring out what benefits you need to offer people and what rights you both have. Ontario termination without cause is a great resource for fair working practices.
Next up! Keep going! Keep building your business, keep researching the market, keep innovating and investing in your company and keep growing! You got this!