How to Start a Jewelry Business in 13 Simple Steps
As you can tell from these stats, selling jewelry online or starting a home jewelry business has massive potential and is a superb way to make money on the side. Entry levels to getting a slice of the huge spend are very low. You can create handmade jewelry at home and use your online store to reach customers all over the world.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to starting a jewelry business:
Create your online store
Source your materials
Decide on a business model
Brainstorm a jewelry business name
Clear any legal issues
Understand your audience
Determine your pricing
Choose where to sell your jewelry
Design a jewelry brand and logo
Take large, clear photos of your jewelry
Optimize product and category pages on your website
Build a free marketing strategy
Consider online advertising
How to start a jewelry business online
01. Create your online store
Every business needs a website—your soon-to-launch jewelry store included. Why? Because a website opens your small business up to a world of potential customers. People can find your jewelry and make an order even if they’re thousands of miles away. Your customer base expands dramatically from just the town or city you’re in.
At this early stage, you don’t need to invest hours into starting an online store. Get your jewelry store up and running by choosing an eCommerce platform like Wix.
Then, start designing your store with the help of an eCommerce website template. These are premade sites that have been professionally designed and optimized for sales.
Don’t worry, the templates themselves are completely customizable. You can edit page layouts, change colors, add or delete features and pages, and upload custom imagery throughout the site. Here are some features you’ll want to consider when choosing the best eCommerce template for your jewelry website:
A homepage with a large hero image that grabs a visitor’s attention
A navigation bar that helps shoppers browse categories
Large product images that zoom in when a visitor hovers their mouse over them
One-click add to cart buttons that simplify the buying process
Prominent call to action buttons (CTAs) that drive shoppers to convert, like Shop Now or Add to Cart
Information page templates for your about section, shipping policy, returns policy, and payment methods
Take a look at Linkedge Jewelry’s homepage, for example. They’re using a Wix template that has a hero image on the homepage that showcases their jewelry line and style. There’s also a navigation bar and call to action that drive people towards the product catalog.
02. Source your materials
The next thing to consider when starting an online jewelry store is the individual pieces you’ll be selling. Start to think about the materials you need to create each jewelry piece. This can include items like:
Beads and gemstones
You’ll need a plan of action on where you’ll source materials from. Local craft stores, online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay, are a great starting point for small businesses. There are also some other options you’ll find by googling. Most of the time, you’ll be able to source good quality materials that don’t break the bank.
Speaking of costing, it’s crucial to price up how much it’ll cost to manufacture your jewelry. Price up each individual element to get a total manufacturing cost for each time, and try to shop around for the best deal. The lower manufacturing costs you have, the more wiggle room you have to make a profit on each sale.
03. Decide on a business model
Your jewelry store’s online business model describes the way you’ll source products and sell them.
There are tons of options to choose from in the jewelry business, such as:
A custom jewelry making business: Source materials and create your own custom, handmade jewelry to sell online.
Sourcing fine jewelry: Curate styles you love from various jewelry suppliers and designers. Build a brand around the quality or style of jewelry, then resell their products to your customers at a profit. Customers can come to your business to find a specific type of jewelry (or designer).
Dropshipping: Work with a jeweler or wholesaler who picks, packs, and sends the item to a customer whenever they place an order through your website.
Create a business plan that explains which model you’ll use. The document shares how you intend to source, manufacture, and sell your jewelry, alongside information about the person you’re planning to sell to.
Need help creating a business plan? Here’s a free template you can use to jot down how you’ll manage your new jewelry business.
04. Brainstorm a jewelry business name
Every business needs a strong business name. It’s how customers will get to know you, and will be front and center for all business assets—including your website, invoices, legal documents, and customer’s bank statements.
There are two routes to take when you’re brainstorming a business name. You could go for a name unrelated to jewelry and create a standalone brand that later becomes known in the jewelry industry, like Tiffany’s and Swarovski. Or, your business name could obviously imply that you sell jewelry, such as Goldsmiths and The Diamond Shop.
Our Business Name Generator is a superb place to start if you prefer the latter. Simply add the type of product you’re intending to sell—such as earrings or necklaces—and hit enter. You’ll see a list of jewelry business name ideas to choose from:
Good brand names are short and easy to remember. Avoid any words that are difficult to spell. The easier it is for a customer to remember your brand name, the less trouble they’ll have finding you online.
It’s also sensible to check that the domain name and social media handles are available for your chosen business name. The Wix name generator shows this for you, alongside various domain extensions other than the traditional “.com”.
Having the same brand name across various platforms boosts brand consistency, too—something proven to help businesses increase revenue by as much as 33%. So you’ll want to match your domain name to your business name. The easier it is to remember your jewelry brand’s domain name, the more chances customers will visit.
05. Clear any legal issues
By this stage, you’ll have a brand name for you to sell your jewelry. But before you start selling your products online, enquire with the trademark office to check you’re not infringing on another business.
Once you get the all-clear, consider registering your jewelry business. Registering as an LLC, rather than remaining a sole proprietorship, prevents you from being liable for any issues you run into as your jewelry business grows. Plus, forming a registered business often comes with tax advantages. This can be beneficial especially if you plan to scale your jewelry business from side hustle to full-time job.
A new bank account is key, too. That way, you can easily keep track of your business expenses and income without it getting mixed up with your personal transactions. Choose an accounting tool that integrates with your new business bank account. Knowing exactly what’s coming in (and out) will help you when it comes to paying taxes.
Another thing to consider is the legal requirements for jewelry selling. Depending on what type of jewelry you’re creating and the business model you’re using, you’ll need to comply with jewelry rules and regulations to avoid landing yourself in hot water. For example, some countries require you to obtain a certificate when buying jewelry to confirm it's authentic. Others may need your jewelry to have a hallmark in order to be able to sell it for its maximum value.
06. Understand your audience
Whatever products you’re selling online, you need to know your potential customers. A solid understanding of these buyer personas means you can craft products and pricing that they’ll enjoy—and create a marketing plan to position your products in front of them.
Do some market research on what type of person would buy the jewelry you’re selling. Are you selling low-cost fashion jewelry pieces that teens would wear? Or customized jewelry at a higher price point for women aged 30+? Where does your target audience live?
The easiest way to do this is to do some competitive research. Find jewelry retailers selling items similar to yours, and look at the people they’re marketed at. Chances are, your potential customers won’t be too different.
You can show your jewelry to various people and survey them. Would they buy it for themselves or someone else? What qualities does the person receiving your jewelry have?
At this stage, your goal is to know as much as you can about the people most likely to buy your jewelry. Don’t be afraid to schedule interviews with family members, and arrange focus groups to get feedback. Video conferencing tools like Zoom or Google Meet can facilitate focus groups without having to meet up in-person.
More data will come as you begin to sell; that’s where you’ll get a better understanding of your audience. But at this stage, you need to know what your ideal customer looks like. You can work backwards and fine-tune your entire business strategy to create content for them, market your jewelry to them using their own language, show their demographic in photos—and more importantly, create a product they’ll buy.
07. Determine your pricing
Speaking of your target audience, you need to know what price point they’d consider buying your jewelry at. This can be as simple as asking what they will be willing to pay for this type of jewelry during your research.
You could also look at what similar jewelry products are selling for online. You want to price competitively: too high and you’ll alienate people; too low and you won’t make enough profit to make your new jewelry business sustainable.
Regardless of where you decide the perfect price point is, make sure you factor in costs for production and material. For example: if materials for a bracelet costs $15 and you’re selling it for $20, you probably won’t make much profit, if you do at all.
Start by calculating your costs. That includes:
Then add between 5-20% profit margin, depending on the overall price range of your item. That way, you’ll turn a profit on each item—regardless of how much your overheads are.
Remember that the first prices you set for your jewelry business probably won’t be the same prices you retail at a few months down the line. When you’re just getting started, the key is to do lots of research. If you find that very little customers buy because feedback tells you that it’s out of their budget, consider bringing prices down (and vice versa). You’ll soon land on a price point customers are willing to pay for your jewelry.
08. Choose where to sell your jewelry
One of the biggest decisions you’ll make as a small business owner is where you’ll sell your products.
Marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon are popular for jewelry makers to sell their products to a worldwide audience. However, there are many perks to setting up your own online store:
Avoid paying fees to the marketplace to process transactions.
Gain complete control over design and user experience.
Any marketing you do for your jewelry website benefits your own brand (not the marketplace’s).
There’s no reason why you couldn’t do both, though. If you created your website with Wix, you can easily integrate your store with marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. This allows you to list your catalogs on these marketplaces. By integrating with eBay, you can manage all your inventory from your website’s dashboard.
09. Design a jewelry brand and logo
Earlier, we touched on the fact the name of your jewelry business forms the foundation of your brand. This stage is where you’ll create other assets to enforce brand consistency, such as a logo.
You can get professional design help with this, but if you’re just starting out, you can take the DIY approach. Use tools like the Wix logo maker and decide on a color scheme for your website. You’ll want to have consistent branding across every touchpoint your customer has with your jewelry store so they recognize you.
That’s why you should also create other branded assets while you’re in this stage, including:
Social media headers
It might take some time for your brand to start etching into the minds of your potential customers. But the value of strong eCommerce branding is tenfold: 60% of millennial consumers expect a consistent brand across all channels. That loyalty they have for a well-known brand is worth 10x more than a single purchase.
10. Take large, clear photos of your jewelry
You need to invest in high-quality photography when snapping pictures of your jewelry. A high-quality camera is essential for taking photos of your items.
It’s smart to have a variety of product photos for your online jewelry store. Items shot against a simple and clean background make it easier for potential customers to see the jewelry piece in all its glory. Also consider shooting close-ups and photos of the jewelry being worn.
Flair Accessories, for example, shows what their necklace looks like on a model:
Make sure shoppers can see the item in reference to something they’re familiar with, which will help them gauge the size, depth, and color of the jewelry. This has an extra bonus of helping alleviate returns: 22% of returns happen because the product looks different in-person.
11. Optimize product and category pages on your website
Your jewelry website should have a homepage that welcomes visitors. A bright, clear image that gives customers an easy way to find the jewelry they’re looking for is the key to converting more people who land on the homepage.
But to make shopping even easier, create category pages for each type or style of jewelry. Categorize by bracelets, necklaces, and rings or by costume, antique or fine jewelry. Link to those categories from your site’s main navigation bar.
Here’s a superb example from Reva Gray who shows this in action:
You could get creative with these categories, too. Think of the circumstances people would be buying products under. Are they buying a gift for their wife? Looking for personalized jewelry? Searching for an item with a specific material? Categories for each of these make it easier for potential customers to find the products they’re looking for.
Inside your categories you will link to individual product pages. These standalone pages should include a product description of each item in your jewelry line. The secret to a product page that sells jewelry is including everything a customer would want to know about that item.
The essentials include:
Add to cart button
We also recommend these other product page elements:
If you think guidance on how to measure a ring size would be helpful, include it. If your customers often ask what type of materials they should purchase, link them to a guide that’ll help them decide. It’s an approach Medusa Label uses on its product pages to instill confidence in a potential customer’s decision to purchase:
12. Build a free marketing strategy
You succeeded in creating beautiful jewelry, but now you need to find the right shoppers in order to start selling. Start making a plan of action on how you’ll drive traffic to your online store and encourage them to buy your products.
The good news? You don’t have to invest cash into a marketing strategy to start bringing customers through the door. Here are some examples of free marketing tactics you can use in your early days of being a jewelry retailer.
Word of mouth
The vast majority (92%) of people trust product recommendations from friends and family more than advertising. Take advantage of this by asking your family and friends to share your website with their own social media network, or in conversations they’re having about jewelry. You could even create a premade template for them to cut and paste.
Similarly, ask your first few customers to do the same. Incentives—such as a discount on their next order—could be the reason they refer you to their friends.
This is a win-win for everyone involved. The customer gets another product for a cheaper price while your jewelry store earns a repeat customer and the extra visibility from personal recommendations that could bring even more customers through the door.
Visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest work great for jewelry retailers because shoppers can see what the product looks like in various settings. Facebook is a must, too—people use brand pages to look for information like reviews, website links, and contact information.
To promote your online jewelry store, create social media accounts on both of these sites. Build a following on them by:
Interacting with other jewelry-related profiles
Monitoring influencers working with other jewelry retailers. (You could send free products to those influencers in return for a shoutout on their page.)
Using the Shop features. If you integrate your business with Facebook and Instagram, your page will show a “Shop” section that highlights items from your product catalog.
Encouraging customers to share images of their jewelry on social media and tag your business. It’s a superb way to gain free publicity and get content to repost to your profile, like Brilliance In Diamonds does on their page:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This takes a longer time to pay off, but it’s worth it when it does. You’ll show up in Google’s results page for terms your audience are searching for—such as “women’s diamond jewelry” or “men’s wedding bands.”
Here’s how to optimize your jewelry website for search:
Use keyword research to find which terms your target customer is searching for when looking to buy jewelry
Avoid keyword stuffing. Search engines reward sites who mention keywords naturally, as opposed to stuffing them in every other sentence.
Create blog posts for people in the sales funnel. This can include articles like “How to pick a jewelry gift for your mom,” or tutorials on how to measure ring sizes. You could even hop on fashion trends like this guide to fall jewelry by Brilliance in Diamonds:
First, encourage site visitors to provide their email address by using a pop-up form or by adding the form to your site’s footer. Consider giving something in return for their email address, like a discount code or access to exclusive content.
Check out how Linkedge Jewelry uses a pop up and the promise of a discount to lure in new email subscribers:
Then, once you’ve got a mailing list, use email marketing to promote holiday sales, new products, and business updates.
13. Consider online advertising
There’s no doubt that the free marketing strategies we’ve discussed can bring customers to your website. The downside is that it might take a while for organic marketing campaigns to pick-up and start driving meaningful amounts of traffic.
For a quick injection of awareness and potential sales, consider investing in Facebook Ads. The targeting offered by Facebook is extremely granular. You can handpick people most likely to buy your jewelry with specific targeting settings. Here’s an example of what that could look like:
Interested in jewelry
An upcoming birthday
When you’re getting started with Facebook Ads, remember to keep an eye on budgets. You want to make sure that your campaigns are optimized to make more money than you’re spending on them.
Here’s a great guide on best practices for creating successful Facebook Ads campaigns.
Starting with a small budget in Facebook Ads helps get your first few customers through the door. Those people will get the ball rolling with reviews, feedback, and word of mouth referrals: ongoing organic marketing tactics you can harness to grow your business even further.
Ready to start your own jewelry business? Create your online store and start selling today.
Elise Dopson is a writer for B2B SaaS companies. Find her on Twitter @elisedopson.