Rosie is a library media specialist. An avid reader and life-long learner, Rosie enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise in many areas.
Where to Start Selling Handmade Jewelry
If you have been making jewelry and feel that your handmade jewelry is a product that consumers are willing to buy, then you may be ready to take the plunge. It may seem daunting at first, but it can be a lot of fun to sell handmade jewelry items to the public. There are many different avenues to choose, depending on your product, where you live, and how much money you are willing to spend up front. Below is a list of ideas, based on my own personal experiences:
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Great Ways to Display Jewelry
- If you are already working somewhere, get permission to bring a small display of some of your best handmade jewelry items to work. Place them in the lounge or breakroom where people can see them at their leisure. Leave a sign near the jewelry that explains the cost of each item and how payment should be made. I did this at a school I worked at and was shocked at the response. One month I brought home more money than my paycheck was for!
- Most schools offer some sort of Holiday Shop to parents and the community some time during the school year. Call the schools closest to you to see if you can be a vendor. Most likely they will give you a contact person, probably a PTA member and they will charge you a small fee to rent a space, $25 to $75. Every year I participate in a 3 hour Holiday Shop at a local elementary school. I have made anywhere from $100 to $500.
- Check the local paper for craft shows and other events advertising for vendors. Some of them will be "juried" which means you will have to apply and be accepted before you can participate. You may need to send pictures of your best handmade jewelry and describe your product. A few years ago I did this at a local University where they held a large community event. After going through the process of being accepted, I am now on their "list" and am automatically accepted, and receive an invitation every year.
- Go to a local business, such as a hair salon or small shop, and ask if they will display your product there. You can offer them a percentage of the sales or sell them the display at a cost that is acceptable to you. I own a small business and display my items there.
- Create a website that has a shopping cart for consumers to purchase your handmade jewelry online. I would suggest doing this after experiencing sales of your product face to face. You will learn more about your product by doing this first, which will help you to determine how your website should be presented. I use Vistaprint for all my small business website and email marketing needs. It is very user friendly and low-cost. I've just begun to explore the Etsy website to create a shop for my hobby creations: jewelry and crochet. I've found it super easy to setup and very low-cost. The hardest part for me is taking quality photographs of my work. The challenge for most with Etsy is getting customers to your site, unless you already have a customer base.
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Other Things to Think About When Selling Jewelry
There is so much more to tell you before you begin your journey of selling your handmade jewelry. I have written more articles about selling handmade jewelry and beading.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you are having fun doing it. Choose events to participate in, that you will enjoy. For instance, I avoid doing a certain craft show at one of my local high schools, because it runs from 9am to 5pm and you have to stay the entire time. That's a whole Saturday that I don't want to give up, plus set-up time and clean-up time. Now, there is a wine festival that I love to participate in. I usually take a family member or good friend that I enjoy spending time with. We sell jewelry and drink wine. Who can beat that?
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- Buying Jewelry Components
If you are a beader and need to purchase jewelry components in bulk, this article will tell you all about the best place to do this and why.
Jacobb9205 on February 10, 2015:
Awesome, thank you for the tips!
Jen Womeldorf from Phoenix, Arizona on January 17, 2013:
Great article! I wasn't aware of Vistaprint's website options. Thanks!
Audrey Surma (author) from Virginia on April 04, 2012:
Thanks daisydayz! I haven't done a show in several months now, and now wish I had the time. I opened an Etsy shop in February with mostly crocheted items - haven't sold one! I was hoping to have some success with it. Good luck to you!
Chantele Cross-Jones from Cardiff on April 03, 2012:
Great article. I recently did my first sale at a local arts festival held by a local gallery, considering it was a small event and it was my first one I was happy to make £50ish. I usual only have my little store on Etsy but wanted to try some real face to face sales. I have now signed up for 2 more local craft fairs so fingers crossed ill do just as well at them.
Audrey Surma (author) from Virginia on January 17, 2012:
Thanks for reading my article starstream! I saw your necklace - very pretty. Your article about helpful elves was inspiring.
Audrey Surma (author) from Virginia on January 17, 2012:
Hi oceansunsets, that is exactly the reason I don't do some shows - because of the cost, and also the time it takes to set up and then tear it down when it is over. , I now only do certain shows where I feel it will be worth my time and will produce a descent profit. Thanks for checking out my Etsy shop. I've only put a small amount of items up, as I have many more items to sell -just haven't had the time.
Paula from The Midwest, USA on January 17, 2012:
Hi Rosie, the biggest hindrance for me to sell at craft shows and the like, is the price to just set up. Since I don't know what I will sell, I have to accept the idea that I might end up paying just to be there and not cover even that cost. That is the worst case scenario of course, and perhaps that wouldn't happen at all. I do get excited at the prospect of selling my jewelry, and have sold a very little bit here and there.
I peeked at your Etsy, you make nice things! Very nice. Thanks for the information, voted up and useful.
Dreamer at heart from Northern California on December 28, 2011:
I am a jewelry maker too. I design necklaces and earrings. It is a fun craft and makes nice gifts too. Thanks for the article. I used a photo of one of my necklaces in my article on Santa's Helpers. It was a heart necklace. Thanks for the valuable suggestions!