The step from hobbyist to business person is a common phenomenon among jewelry makers. ?How do I start a jewelry business?? is one of the most often asked business-related questions posted on our jewelry forum. Janice Parsons, CEO and owner of The Bead Shop, uses her many years of business experience to help you answer this question in her CD class Marketing Your Jewelry (available for $29.95 plus shipping at beadshop.com).
However, she doesn?t hand over the magic formula we?d all love to have so that we can have a successful jewelry business. Instead, Janice creates an interactive environment to allow participants to focus on their goals. Presented in a 15 page Adobe virtual book, Janice asks pointed questions and provides fill in the blank statements that require a response, and therefore, personal reflection. It?s formatted so if you print up a hard copy of the book, there?s room for you to write in the answers to her questions. One reason for these questions, of course, is to make you stop and think about your intentions, thus forcing you to narrow your goals. I thought this was particularly enlightening since many of us make the mistake of trying to do too much when we have just started our fledgling business. We may try to sell through too many venues or make jewelry for every audience from department stores to gallery owners. Janice tries to steer the novice into finding her ?voice,? as she puts it.
By defining who you are, your preferences and tastes, she helps you define your jewelry and your business goals. Along with the reflective nature of the CD, Janice offers personal advice she as gleaned over her almost 20 years as a jewelry designer and bead shop owner. Other information includes jewelry business terminology, pricing suggestions, and general business resources.
For those just starting a business or thinking of start one, this CD is probably a good place to start because, though like I said Janice doesn?t have any magic formulas, she makes you face some realistic issues and includes some helpful information and resources about things such as how to determine your customer base and how to figure out a good price for your product. Fifteen pages is limiting, so don?t expect to find every single answer to your jewelry business questions. However, if you?ve been struggling with determining how to begin, this is a good place to start moving in the right direction.
More experienced business owners will find some of the information in the CD helpful and some you may already know. Much of it, like pricing and audience, you may have already figured out by now. Then again, some of us still haven?t found our ?voice? or we tend to try to cater to too many venues and we have trouble focusing on what exactly we want to accomplish in our jewelry business. So, if you think it?s time for some personal/business reflection, then this CD might be worth considering. Either way, there aren?t too many classes available about the jewelry business, and if you do find one, it will normally cost more than $29.95.