Thursday, May 14, 2009

So you think you want to start a jewelry making business…

I have compiled some start-up advice for you. These suggestions are completely based on my own experience, and I hope that they are relevant to your business goals….

1. Medium – You have probably decided in what medium you want to work. If this medium is at low price range, then go for it and try your hand at it. You can switch to more expensive materials later on when you feel more confident. I personally started with sterling silver wire at a very early stage of my designs, and I think it was a really big mistake.
Copper is much cheaper and can be found at any hardware store. It is an excellent medium to practise wire wrapping techniques and as finished products, copper jewelry pieces are very beautiful and interesting.

2. Tools – Good tools are essential and, although they might be very pricey, they will pay for themselves later on. Don’t buy a set of tools even if the price point looks good to you. You don’t know at the beginning if you will use them all. Buy them as you go.

3. Your Company Name – Before you register your name, Google that name to check if it has been taken and is being used by other people or companies. I still like my company name - Ingo - which contains the two first letters of my first and last names. However, I think that adding the word 'Jewelry' was a mistake. First of all, this word has two different spellings and it might create difficulties when people look me up. Secondly, when I decided to have my own jewelry tags, I had to fit the whole ‘Ingo Jewelry’ name on it and this made my tag hard to read…

4. Improving Your Skills – You might consider taking extra classes or courses. Well, it’s always a good idea to increase your knowledge. I personally like to learn from books. Books are always a good source of information that resides just within your reach… I have taken two classes and found them close to useless. My goal was to learn about tools and techniques. Instead I was making pieces following the instructor’s taste and directions. They were all so primitive and poorly designed. So before registering for any class or course, make sure that you understand the course description. Buying a specific tutorial from an artist can be another good approach.

5. Organizing a Studio – I have read and heard that many artists work in their dinning room, kitchen or bedroom. Certainly not everyone can afford to have a special designate place. However, when you have at least small hidden corner of your house where you can easily leave your creative mess while you go back to your normal routine, you will be surprisingly more productive and even more motivated. When I have even 15 min time break, I go to my studio. Well, it’s not enough time to start a new project, but you can spend this time on fast cleaning or making some sketches too… There is always a pile of things which can be done in any given period of time.