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advice for newbie

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  • advice for newbie

    Hi everyone,

    I would really appreciate some advice on how to progress from the few items I've got. I want to make a business from my jewellery but a few items is not enough to start an online store and I don't have enough to fill a table at a craft fair so I don't know whether to go for broke and buy as much as I can afford to make more items so I can open a store or should I focus on trying to sell what I have already? My budget is only around £500 and out of that I was hoping to keep a float. Any ideas and advice would be really welcome

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum.
    Do you have any other form of income?
    Businesses have flourished on a low start up budget, but sadly not many.
    Try selling what you have - see what works/doesn't then re assess


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    • #3
      Originally posted by greannancrafts View Post
      Welcome to the forum.
      Do you have any other form of income?
      Businesses have flourished on a low start up budget, but sadly not many.
      Try selling what you have - see what works/doesn't then re assess


      Sensible advice. In my experience it is unlikely that you can make a steady income from this but it is a great way to make some pocket money. Don't be put off, start small and see where you go.
      Good luck
      Janice Phoenixjewellery from


      • #4
        If you have a good idea of what sells consistently rather than once in a while you could safely spend your money but if you feel unsure its a good idea to test the market first. I have been selling jewellery for six years and have found that only a few items sell year in and out and it took me a few years to find this out but I have also discovered that everything eventually sells over a long period of time.
        Thinking about it I have nothing in my shop that has been there more than two years and of course you can always take apart items that don't sell and make something else.
        Chris W.
        Gemstone Jewellery and Gifts


        • #5
          Thanks for all the advice, it's given me quite a few things to consider.


          • #6
            I agree with what's been said. It's not easy to make a good living from making jewellery. Start off by doing it part time until you've worked up a good customer base and know what sells well and the right prices etc. It took me 5 years before I was ready to do it full time. I now have to work really really hard to make a good profit from it. I virtually never get a day off. The costs are also really high. It's not only the materials but the marketing materials, displays, advertising, insurance, equipment, craft fair costs, travelling, accommodation, electricity, packaging, postage etc etc etc. Don't let me put you off though as the rewards are fantastic. You get to work for a really nice boss doing something you enjoy. I wouldn't swap it for anything.
            Best wishes



            • #7
              thanks for the advice. So how do you go about building up a client base? Would you say that craft fairs are the way to go during the early days? I notice many people prefer using ebay to start off with although it's not something I'm very familiar with so wouldn't know where to start.


              • #8
                To be blunt; have you thought this through?

                How long have you been making jewellery? Do you know for sure that your jewellery will sell? What is your target audience? Where are you going to sell your products? etc

                I have been experimenting with jewellery making and selling for a while now and I still have not got it right, I always make things that I like but I know that they are not always to other people's taste, although funnily enough, if I don't like something, it doesn't sell!

                The biggest piece of advice I could offer is the old saying "don't put all your crystals in one basket" (see what I did there )

                See if you can do some market research, try to develop your own style and niche and don't think that you can spend £500 on beads and make a living out of this


                • #9
                  Try listing some items on Misi, Folksy or Etsy rather than Ebay. See if you make some sales. Show things to friends and family, see if they are interested in buying your things and then telling their friends. Take your items into your work (if you have another job) or get family to do so for you. Wear your stuff and if anyone comments say you made them yourself and give them a business card (you can get these done fairly cheaply). Call local schools and see if they're having any events where you could have a stall, it's not as full on or costly as a big crafts fair to do one of these type of events.

                  Sorry for the blurt, I'm tired, but hope there's some ideas in there for you. Good luck.

                  My Misi page
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                  • #10
                    Thanks again for the advice I really appreciate it.

                    Cupcake I love your work, and thanks for the pointing me in the direction of those websites, I've never heard of them before.


                    • #11
                      How about tryin some jewellery parites, either at yours or at friends places? This will be a cheap way to see how your jewellery is received and get some cash to expand your range if you decide to go down that path. There are loads of threads on here about jewellery parties if you need some advice about them. Its the only way I can think of, bar taking stuff into work [or getting other people to do this for you] thats free, so may be a good way to start.

                      Hth, sorry for the ramble!

                      Please visit my website - forum members discount details on offers thread!


                      • #12
                        It's definitely worth just selling your few items to start off with, and if you do well that will increase your available funds to make more!

                        Let us know how you get on!

                        Visit my blog!


                        Etsy shop:


                        • #13
                          It seems to me there are two ways to do this.
                          1 The big way: get grants, borrow money, buy in stock, invite other people to let you sell there stuff and have a proper shop.

                          2. The little way: don't give up the day job, make one piece of jewellery, price it well , sell it, put the money back in the business, make two things, sell them, make four things etc.
                          How to sell? Wear the first piece. Babble on about and show the second batch off to the family. Third ones - take them in to work, mother and toddler groups, small gatherings you are into. Fourth batch look out for little parties, fund raising events and ask for a space to open up your display box. Fifth lot - look for fundraising at school events, charity dos, you should have made contact with other crafters by now, find another little person and suggest you share a table. Sixth batch, you have a table at a village fete. Then somewhere you get the idea that you are almost making a living wage and do big fairs, markets then you can think about a shop.

                          Where am I? It's taken me 8 years, I've done the big fairs and need to do the markets.....but it's cold and wet and I'm titchy and can't put my stall up by myself and don't have anyone to help me and I'm wimping out.
                          I have never borrowed money off anyone. I've had a very supportive husband when I gave up the day job.

                          What about websites? I think they are a way of people finding you - like an advert. I think you get sales by putting yourself out a bit. People need to see and feel your goods. Then they get to know you, then they buy from the website.

                          It's hard work, it's a slog, but I loved every minute of it.

                          Hope you do to.


                          • #14
                            I don't have the experience to back up what I'm saying, but I would say that selling through one of the online stores like etsy is a really safe way to start. You can see what pieces people like without a huge outlay and as a buyer, I often ask those I have bought pieces from if they would make something in a particular colour or style if what I see isn't exactly what I want or want it for someone who has a favourite colour.

                            You could also try taking things in to work - another safe way of starting to sell as again there is no outlay and everything you earn you get to keep. One of my colleagues has done that and sold a huge boxful of jewellery in the last week. It wasn't to everyone's taste but she sold enough to make it worthwhile and she has also got some commissions. Most of us didn't even know she was into making jewellery in the first place so it was a great way of her advertising too!

                            Good luck with whatever you decide to do!



                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Daisy Mae View Post
                              I would say that selling through one of the online stores like etsy is a really safe way to start.
                              Yep that's what I'm thinking!

                              Thanks for the advice everyone, it's been enlightening.