Beading is an incredibly rewarding hobby to take up this year. You can make all sorts of jewellery from earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, plus, it can be a fantastic at-home business idea, if that’s something that interests you.
What’s great about beaded jewellery making is you don’t have to have expensive tools, materials, or crafting experience to make and sell them. To get started, all you need are a handful of simple tools, some jewellery making and design know-how, and a little bit of business savvy – all of which you can learn from scratch!
How to Start an At-Home Beaded Jewelry Business
Here are some important things to remember when it comes to selling your own beaded jewellery creations, especially if it’s your first attempt at starting a business.
Consider your market.
Do you want to sell your handmade beaded jewellery at fairs, festivals, or flea markets? Do you want to set up an online shop where customers can purchase your creations directly from your website or do you want to sell your pieces in a brick-and-mortar store? There are pros and cons to each approach.
If you’re looking for a home business idea that can earn extra money on the side, try selling your pieces online first. Then once you’ve got some experience under your belt, consider setting up shop at a local craft fair or flea market and see if there’s any interest from customers there.
Get inspired by other jewellery designers.
There are lots of jewellery designers out there who already have their own websites or stores. You can use these as inspiration for your own designs, maybe even ask them for advice on how they got started and what challenges they faced along the way.
Check out Etsy or Pinterest for inspiration, and find jewellery designers whose work you like. You can also look at fashion magazines or blogs that feature handmade or vintage items for ideas, if that’s your style. Once you find a style that works for you, try to mimic it as closely as possible so that your pieces don’t look too different from one another.
Research where to buy beads.
You can find beads at bead stores, craft supply stores, and online. Most of the time, you’ll be able to get the beads that you want in the size and colour that you need. If not, try looking for a substitute or alternative; maybe another type of bead will work just as well. You should also consider using vintage beads if you’re interested in collecting them—they’re often cheaper than new ones!
But if you want to set your products apart from the competition, making your own beads is a great way to do it. You can use any material that’s sturdy enough to hold its shape, such as glass, stone, plastic and metal. You’ll also want to choose colours that complement each other well; this will make your jewellery look more professional and well-made. For example, if you’re making jewellery using silver or copper wire and want to add colour, consider using enamel paints instead of coloured beads.
Find the jewellery making tools.
Jewellery making tools can be found at any craft store. You’ll need pliers and wire cutters to shape your beads, but you may also want to invest in a rotary tool (for polishing stones), an electric drill with a small bit (for drilling holes into metal) and other accessories that are specific to the materials you’re working with.
If you’re new to jewellery making, try to stick with simple tools until you get the hang of it. For example, round-nose pliers may be much easier to use than a flat-nosed one.
Price your beaded jewellery right.
Once you’ve made a few pieces and are ready to sell it, make sure you price it correctly. Jewellery is a luxury, so you want to charge enough to make a profit. But don’t price yourself out of the market by setting your prices too high.
If you’re selling online, the best way to figure out how much one of your pieces should cost is by looking at similar items on Etsy or similar sites. And don’t forget about shipping costs! If you’re selling online, remember that you’ll have to pay for shipping costs as well as labour costs (if you’re hand-making each piece).
Test out your beaded designs with family and friends.
It’s always a good idea to test out your designs before you start to sell them. You want to make sure that people actually like what you’re making, right?
Start by getting feedback from friends and family. Get their opinions on pricing and quality, as well; if they think your pieces are too expensive for what they’re worth, then you might want to consider lowering the cost of your products or cutting back on materials used. With some early feedback about your goods, you’ll have more confidence in taking the next step.
Use multiple channels to market your products.
You want to get the word out about your jewellery, which means using more than one channel for promotion. If you’re selling online, create a Facebook page and Instagram account for your brand. You can also buy ads on those social media platforms if you need more exposure.
If you have a brick-and-mortar shop, put up flyers in local businesses or hang posters around town advertising your jewellery for sale. You can also get the word out about your jewellery by going to craft shows and selling your pieces there. You’ll meet other crafters, who may be able to refer you to new customers or help promote your brand online.
At some point, you can have an online store and sell directly to customers, or websites like Etsy that can give you great exposure. The more places you’re selling, the faster you’ll make sales.
Making beautiful, unique jewellery at home can be a great way to earn extra money while having fun at the same time. Jewellery making is a creative process after all and should be enjoyable.
Ready to bring your jewellery design to life? Find a jewellery making class near you.