Have you been wondering how to start an online jewelry business?
Maybe you’ve always had an eye for finer things in life. Perhaps you have a vision of the perfect collection in your head, and you’re keen to make your mark in the industry.
Whatever the reason for wanting to create an online jewelry boutique, now’s a great time to start your journey. Worldwide, the value of the global jewelry market is expected to increase from $230 billion (as of 2020) to around $292 billion by 2025.
Of course, if you want to get a piece of that market, you need a plan.
Starting a jewelry line and running your own online store can be a daunting challenge. Fortunately, we’ve got ten steps to help you dive in right here.
Let’s get started.
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1. Identify a Market Opportunity
Before you start any business, it’s important to know there are customers out there keen to buy from you. That’s why you need to do your research before making and selling jewelry.
The last thing you want is to spend endless time and money designing a line of DIY jewelry to sell, just to discover that no-one wants it.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to gather research. Secondary market research sources like NPD, Nielsen, and MarketResearch.com help you track down reports already conducted on your industry. Buying research reports can be a little expensive, though.
Remember, there are different kinds of jewelry companies that you can consider. Are you interested in selling high-quality fine jewelry? If so, you’ll spend more on your initial materials, but you can also sell for a higher price and maintain a great brand identity. If you prefer costume jewelry, you can manufacture designs for a lower price, but you may need to earn the highest sales.
Sometimes, it helps to do some of your own product research too. For instance, you can:
- Conduct a competitor analysis: Check out other online jewelry business competitors on the web and find out what they’re doing right (and wrong). This will help you to differentiate your brand.
- Run surveys: Go on forums and social media groups to find people interested in jewelry who might be willing to answer some questions about the products they love.
- Bookmark jewelry blogs: There are tons of fashion and jewelry bloggers out there who stay up to date with the latest collections and lines. Visiting their publications can help you discover new and upcoming opportunities in your market. Here’s a list of jewelry sites to get you started.
- Look at Google Trends: Tools like Google Trends allow you to search for trending topics in an industry, so you know which items are popular. For example, there's been a recent rise in the demand for charm bracelets, clay jewelry, and resins.
Think about the kind of jewelry stores that you’re interested in too. It helps to choose a space you’re passionate about when finding your niche. That could mean focusing on things like wedding and engagement rings or even trying your hand at statement earrings.
2. Define Your Target Audience
Once you identify a market opportunity for your jewelry business, it’s time to get to know your audience a little better. Identifying demand in your industry and finding the exact audience you should cater to are two processes that go hand-in-hand.
Whether you’re selling jewelry from home that you made yourself or working with a specific manufacturer, you won’t appeal to every customer.
Think about the kind of people most likely to be drawn to the kind of pieces you’ll sell. For instance, if you’re selling high-quality diamond engagement rings, you’re looking for people in relationships with a certain level of income. The more you know about your audience, the easier it is to target them with your ads and brand.
- Demographics: This includes gender, age, income, geographical location, marital status, and other defining features.
- Psychographics: The behavior of your target audience, including their interests, dislikes, hobbies, lifestyle traits, and shopping preferences.
- Needs and pain points: What kind of issues are you trying to solve for your customers? Why would they come to you?
It’s much easier to compete in a busy market like the jewelry industry if you have a specific niche. For instance, instead of just targeting people who want engagement rings, what about focusing on people who need custom and affordable rings? Or how about putting your audience in specific groups like vintage jewelry lovers, frugal buyers, gifters, premium shoppers?
3. Make a Business Plan
When you’re learning how to start an online jewelry business, it’s easy to overlook things like business plans. We all want to jump straight into selling, but your business plan is crucial for keeping you on the right track. Think of it as a compass to guide you through your company’s growth.
A well-designed business plan for your jewelry-making business will remind you of your company’s purpose and help you decide where to go next. Potential investors and loan providers will also need to see you have a business plan. People investing in your company need to ensure you’re making and selling jewelry successfully.
You can find some templates for business plans online. Most should include:
- Executive summary: explaining your business in a simple way
- Company description: what you do
- Market research: Where are you positioned in your industry?
- Product details: the kind of jewelry you’ll sell
- Funding options
- Marketing and selling plans
4. Make Some Jewelry
Here’s the part that most creative jewelry entrepreneurs love.
Once you’ve got a plan, you can begin to start imagining your jewelry line. Using the research you’ve already gathered about your market, think about how you can take advantage of the trends without making your jewelry the same as everyone else’s.
Consider making collections of jewelry rather than just one piece at a time. A collection can create a deeper relationship with your customer by telling a story. For instance, Bvlgari has a fantastic collection inspired by jewelry of the past, which helps to define the brand as one with history and heritage. When making your jewelry, remember:
- To educate yourself: Before making jewelry, it’s helpful to acquire some knowledge about production methods so that you can source the right materials and equipment for your business. Resources like the Jewellers Academy and All Free Jewelry Making offer courses that you can sign up to enhance your craft.
- Have the right tools: Keep a pencil and sketchpad on you at all times for recording impromptu ideas. Software for designing jewelry like Jewelry CAD Dream can really help to bring your vision to life.
- Think about materials: If you want to make money selling jewelry from home that you’ve made yourself, you’ll need beads, gemstones, clasps, precious metals, wire, and chains. Alternatively, you’ll need a third-party manufacturer who can work with these materials on your behalf to create your vision.
- Make your own samples: Whether you’re working with a third-party manufacturer or you’re making your products yourself, you’ll need some samples that you can show to potential customers. You’ll also need these samples for product photography.
Remember to take a lot of beautiful photos of your jewelry for your website and product pages. This is your chance to show off what you can do.
5. Find a Jewelry Manufacturer
When you’re thinking about how to get into the jewelry business, it’s important to think realistically. You may be able to make some cash by making products on your own and selling them online. However, making your own jewelry takes a lot of time and effort.
If you want to launch and scale fast, finding the right manufacturer is key.
Think about how you’re going to get the products made. You can work with smaller manufacturers who will make the jewelry for you based on your designs or buy wholesale jewelry from bigger companies.
- Jewelry quality: Make sure you can trust your manufacturer to create genuine pieces from the materials you ask for. If you promise customers sterling silver and they get painted metal, your company will crumble fast.
- Get samples first: Ask your manufacturers for samples of the materials you’re going to be using so you can check the quality. When you’re convinced that you’re getting something valuable, you can start ordering in bulk.
- Location: An overseas manufacturer might be cheaper when you want to jump into action fast. However, it can also take longer to get items to your customers. Working with a local jewelry vendor, like those you’ll Handshake if you’re in the US, could lead to a better brand reputation.
Another option is to use a dropshipping business model. This is when you set up a jewelry store and list items on your website. When a customer buys a piece from your store, a third-party supplier fulfills the order on your behalf. You don’t hold any inventory – this can be perfect for entrepreneurs who want to focus their time on promoting their business rather than worrying about order fulfillment. (PS Oberlo has tons of jewelry products that you can add directly to your store).
Entrepreneurship, side hustle, yearly project – whatever your reason for starting a jewelry business online, dropshipping can take a lot of pressure off your shoulders.
6. Build Your Brand
People buy from companies they have an emotional connection with.
A brand allows you to build affinity with your target audience so they fall in love with your mission, vision, and products. A good brand needs a memorable brand name, a stunning logo, a powerful website, and a striking color palette.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a brand expert to create something impressive. There are tons of great tools online to help you. For instance, Shopify has its own:
Each tool is pretty simple to use. For instance, I just had to enter the word ‘jewelry’ in the slogan maker, and it generated thousands of cool suggestions in 15 seconds. Check them out.
If you’re struggling to create all of the branding assets you need on your own, check out the freelance design talent available on Upwork, Fiverr, and DesignCrowd too.
7. Select a Price Point for Your Products
Choosing the right price for your jewelry items is crucial.
Price your products too high and you might send customers running. Choose a price that’s too low and you risk convincing buyers that you’re not offering quality products.
Start by thinking about how much it costs to make the items. This “cost of goods sold” includes things like labor, production, and material costs. You’ll also want to think about the overhead costs of running your store. Are you going to have a physical location to store items, like a warehouse? How much will you pay employees, and what will the shipping cost you?
It’s up to you to choose how much you’re going to charge to recoup the cost of your items and make a little profit. For instance, you might use the keystone markup method, where you double the price it costs to make the product.
Here are some pricing strategy options to help you.
8. Start Marketing
You’ve got your products, your prices, and you’re ready to start making cash.
Of course, you’re going to need to make people aware of your products first.
Marketing is an important part of learning how to start an online jewelry business. The good news is that there are tons of ways to get your name out there.
If you’re targeting a wide digital audience, then you might start by running Facebook Ads. Facebook advertising is popular because you can get really specific with your targeting. If you’re selling wedding rings, you could even target people who recently updated their status to “engaged”.
If you’re trying to build a long-term strategy for traffic, you can experiment with ecommerce SEO and make sure you’re ranking for terms in your local area. For instance, you might fight for phrases like “diamond rings in SoHo.”
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to build long-term relationships with your audience, which is great when you’re trying to sell multiple jewelry items to loyal customers. You can also experiment with influencer marketing. Check out this inspiring post from @carolinejsanchez on Instagram:
9. Set Realistic Sales and Distribution Targets
What do you realistically expect to accomplish with your jewelry store? When you’re learning how to make jewelry to sell online, you need to have goals in mind. Sales and distribution targets will give you something to work towards, but don’t push yourself too hard.
Maybe you can start by hoping to grow your revenue by about 25% every year you’re in business. A growth-oriented goal will make it easier to track your progress because you can use real numbers to guide you. The same goes for distribution if you’re learning how to sell other jewelry items from manufacturers online.
10. Start with a Soft Launch, Then Seek Opportunities
Finally, once you’ve set up a presence and have your jewelry collection ready to go, start with a soft launch. This is when you can start putting your brand plan into action and showcasing your marketing strategies in your industry. Remember, start slow, with a soft launch and look for opportunities to learn as you go.
Once you know that your company is making money, you can start looking for ways to grow your business with support from other companies. Find retailers who sell jewelry products similar to yours and see whether you can create a partnership.
If you think that you need extra capital to grow, look into investment opportunities, and make sure that you have your business plan ready to impress. You could even give possible investors some free samples so they can see the quality of your products.
Jewelry Business Store Examples
Let’s go through a few great Shopify jewelry stores to inspire your business.
Wolf Circus sells fine jewelry products, all of which are handmade in Vancouver, BC. The online store promotes itself as a go-to resource for “attainable luxury,” aiming to inspire people to embrace their confidence in their daily grind. Full marks for the mission statement!
Revival Jewelry is a one-of-a-kind jewelry store with a patent-pending technology that allows customers to store personalized photos into elegant jewelry pieces. They can view the image by holding the jewelry an inch away from their eye to peek through the gem. The brand does an excellent job of showcasing this in their homepage video, creating an exciting feeling that immediately attracts impulse shoppers.
What an interesting name, but let’s focus on the business for now. Hoochie Mama is a UK-based jewelry store selling multi-brand necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more. What sets it apart is its elegant product photography – you can see the high-quality shots of their products throughout their site. Plus, the store hits all the right notes with its product pages where they showcase detailed item descriptions, rich images, and links to their returns and customer care pages.
Get Out There and Sparkle!
At this point, you should know how to launch a jewelry brand online and start making money. Just remember that it’s going to take time and effort to ensure that you get the right results. You’ll need to do your research, consider your customers, and pay close attention to the market changes as your brand evolves.
The steps above will give you the guidance you need to put your jewelry store together, but it’s up to you to make sure that it outshines the competition.