Jewelry Business Tips: Multiple Streams of Income Part 5, Wholesale

Jewelry Business Tips

This Part 4 on a series of posts about multiple streams of income in handmade jewelry business.

What is multiple streams of income?  It’s a combination of income generating activities.  It will mean different things for each individual depending on what you want your business to be and your life circumstances.  For me, it meant that I sold online, at craft shows, in a retail space, at home parties and in shops.  For you it could be a different combination.

Part 1 is here.  (An overview of multiple income streams.)

Part 2 is here.  (Selling online.)

Part 3 is here (Craft Shows)

Part 4 is here. (Consignment)

Jewelry Business Tip - Multiple Streams of Income Part 5, Wholesale

Selling Your Jewelry to Stores Wholesale

Last week we talked about selling jewelry on consignment, which involves dropping off your jewelry to a store and then getting a percentage of the sale when your pieces sell.

Selling wholesale is typically more desirable than consignment because when someone makes a wholesale order, once you fulfill the order and get payment the transaction is complete.  The jewelry now belongs to the store and you no longer have to worry about having inventory out and about and not sold.  Your part of the transaction is over.

Although I did have some wholesale orders at the very start of my business, I would say it’s much more typical that you get wholesale orders the more time you’ve been in business.  However, you can definitely search out those opportunities at any point in your jewelry making career.

The key to being profitable is to make sure that you set up your pricing correctly from the beginning so you can offer your products at wholesale prices.  Typically you offer wholesale at a 50 percent discount when a customer reaches a certain threshold in their order.  You do not have to do the 50 percent discount, but it’s kind of expected in wholesale.

There are lots of things to consider.  If you start getting a lot of orders, are you able to fulfill them?  Do you have a catalog or a line sheet that you can present to potential wholesale customers?  Do you make jewelry that even can be sold in wholesale?

One way to get wholesale orders is to do a trade show.  Trade shows are a big expense from the booth fee, designing your booth to traveling to the show, but they have a big payoff.

To be honest, I don’t have a ton of experience in the wholesale world, but I wanted to present it as an option to you.  If this is something that interests you, then I suggest you work out your pricing first so that you know it will be worthwhile and profitable for you.

Want to get Jewelry Business Tips right in your inbox?  Fill in the form below to sign up:

(check jewelry business tips, craft show tips or both!)

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required



I am interested in


Jewelry Business Tip: Multiple Streams of Income Part 3, Craft Shows

Jewelry Business Tips

I wrote a post about How to Be Successful Selling Handmade Jewelry about a year ago.  That post gave an overview of some tips.

We’ve been talking about multiple streams of income!

Part 1 is here.  (An overview of multiple income streams.)

Part 2 is here.  (Selling online.)

And today is Part 3.

Jewelry Business Tip - Multiple Streams of Income Part 3

Part 3:  Craft Shows

I love craft shows and I love talking about craft shows.  I even have a Craft Show Tips eBook (just revised and re-released today!)

Why craft shows are great:

  • I always felt shy and lacked confidence in selling my products – until I started doing craft shows.
  • I wasn’t exactly sure who my customers even were – until I started doing craft shows.
  • My online sales picked up from doing craft shows.
  • I got my products in more stores from doing craft shows.
  • I got so many custom orders from a craft show that I eventually had to stop taking custom orders for a while to get caught up!
  • I have met so many friends and mentors from doing craft shows.

It’s kind of hard to believe now, but I used to be very shy (and I still often am.)  When you’re in the public doing craft shows you really have no choice but to get over it, even if it is just for the craft show.  At first it’s not easy, but it does get easier with time.

Doing craft shows put me face to face with my customers.  I could see them, learn about them and talk to them.  I found out what people were looking at and what they purchased.  I learned more about my customers and then I could figure out where to find them and that’s helpful for all areas of business.

I started selling online before I started doing craft shows.  I really started doing craft shows to help my online sales.  And it worked.  I started meeting people at shows who became long time customers who purchased from me everywhere I sold, including online.  Not everyone would buy that day, but I made sure to give them a business card and ask them to join my newsletter so I could keep in touch.

Craft shows helped me get several other of my income streams.  I met shop owners and eventually was selling in many different stores.  I would have never met the people who owned the store that I eventually had my own retail space in without doing a show.  I find out about more shows from doing shows as well.

A large portion of my sales are custom orders and I got most of the original custom orders from doing craft shows.  Often these people have remained customers and continue to make custom orders.

Some of my very closest friends I met doing craft shows.  Craft shows are amazing because you meet like-minded people there.  Not everyone understands what you go through to make your products, but these people do!

Ready to try a craft show?  The key to being successful is to be prepared!  My Craft Show Tips eBook will help you be prepared.  Learn more about it and purchase it here.

This is a brand new edition just released today!!

Craft Show Tips eBook

Announcement:

These Jewelry Business Tips will be continuing on Wednesday in combination with my Craft Show Tips posts.  You’ll get weekly Jewelry Business Tips and a monthly Craft Show Tip.  Sign up for the new combined newsletter here.  (You can choose to get just Craft Show Tips, just Jewelry Business tips or both.)

 

Jewelry Business Tip: Multiple Streams of Income Part 2, Selling Online

Jewelry Business Tips

I wrote a post about How to Be Successful Selling Handmade Jewelry about a year ago.  That post gave an overview of some tips.

Each Friday I’ll be bringing you a free tip right here on the blog or you can sign up to get a weekly Jewelry Business Tip in your inbox below.

Jewelry Business Tip - Selling Online

Last week was Part 1, which was an overview of multiple streams of income and you can find that post here.

This week is Part 2, selling online.

Before we even start, let me say that this could be the subject of an entire class or even an entire website.  This is just an overview.

People come to selling online in different ways.  Some people start at craft shows and in person selling then then go to online.  As I mentioned last week I actually started online first on eBay and then switching to Etsy when it opened.

Etsy

Etsy is a great place to get started, especially if you don’t have much technical website knowledge.  It’s pretty simple and you can get started right away with very little cost.  However, I know that a lot of people think they can just pop their stuff up on Etsy and it will sell.  Etsy is a platform, which means like any other website you have to promote it and make sure people can find it with things like keywords and SEO, etc.  We dig into that in my Intro to Jewelry Business eCourse.  (Sign up below to be the first to know when this eCourse is running again.)

Etsy can be a place where you can refer your customers and then you have a website to put on your business cards and things like that.  You can use social media and have email updates (like my Jewelry Business Tips Newsletter) and refer people to it.

Etsy isn’t the only place online to sell your handmade jewelry, though.  ArtFire is another place similar to Etsy, but with different options.  And there are others.

Your own website

You can have your own website and sell your jewelry there.  Even if you don’t have a shop on your website, I think it’s still important to have your own website.  The great thing about having your own website is that when your customers come to it, they’re not distracted by anybody else’s products for sale.  They are there just to look at your handcrafted jewelry and that’s all they will see.

I’ve been blogging for a long time.  I blogged about things I knew my customers would like and then also showed photos of my work and work in progress.  I would let them know when I had new jewelry and different events and venues where they could purchase it.

How do you figure out subjects for your blog?  Well, you have to first figure out who your ideal customer is.  If you haven’t sold anything yet, you can guess.  If you have you can make a customer profile from what you know about that person.  Think about what you sell and why your customers buy it.  (I’ll be offering a free mini workshop on all this to my newsletter subscribers soon, so make sure you get on the list below.)

Photography

When you’re selling handcrafted jewelry online (or really anything) photos are very important, maybe the most important thing.  If you’ve sold in person you probably know it’s pretty easy to get a sale when people are picking up and trying on your jewelry.  Online you have to give them a similar experience through photos.  It’s so important that we spend one whole week on it in my Intro to Jewelry Business eCourse.  In fact, I will be re-releasing my eBook all about photography for handcrafted jewelry soon!

Descriptions

Another very important aspect is your description of your work.  Does your customer feel like they are there in person?  Have you provided all the important details?  Do they know why they should purchase your jewelry pieces?

I hope this overview has given you some ideas.  Make sure to sign up for my Jewelry Business Tips newsletter to get weekly tips in your inbox.  (Plus the free mini workshop that I’ll be sending to all subscribers soon!)

Sign up here:  (You can chose Jewelry Business Tips, Craft Show Tips or both)

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required



I am interested in


Jewelry Business Tip: Multiple Streams of Income (Part 1)

Jewelry Business Tips

I wrote a post about How to Be Successful Selling Handmade Jewelry about a year ago.  That post gave an overview of some tips.

Since so many people have asked, I have decided to teach an online Jewelry Business eCourse!  It starts on March 2, 2015.  It’s a 5 week course with videos, worksheets, audios and PDF eBooks designed for you if you’re wondering how on earth to get started selling handmade jewelry.  (Registration is open!!  More information here!)

Each Friday I’ll be bringing you a free tip right here on the blog or you can sign up to get a weekly Jewelry Business Tip in your inbox here.

Jewelry Business Tip - Multiple Income Streams Part 1

You might be considering starting a jewelry business or perhaps you’ve already started one but haven’t been making as much money as you want yet.  Is it because you’ve put all your eggs in one basket (as the saying goes)?

There are certainly people who are Etsy superstars or have a lot of success doing just craft shows.  However, I have found that most people reach the income they desire not in just one way, but by having multiple streams of income.

What does that mean?

It’s a combination of income generating activities.  It will mean different things for each individual depending on what you want your business to be and your life circumstances.  For me, it meant that I sold online, at craft shows, in a retail space, at home parties and in shops.  For you it could be a different combination.

I’ll be talking about each possible income stream over the next few weeks.  But today I’ll give you an overview.

Online

This is actually how I started selling my handcrafted jewelry.  I sold first on eBay and then on Etsy when it started.  You might have your own shop on your website.  It’s probably best to do that because you then have total control.  When you sell on Etsy, it’s simply a platform – someone else’s website.  They make the decisions on what your shop looks like, etc.

Having said that, Etsy is a great place to get started.  I actually help you step-by-step through the process of setting up an Etsy shop and your first listing in my Jewelry Business eCourse because if you are new to selling online, it’s an inexpensive and easy way to get started.  You can get started right away without waiting for a website designer or doing all the research you need to do to get started.  You don’t have any excuses to get started.

Plus the fees are very inexpensive on Etsy.

Craft Shows

I love craft shows.  I think they are such a great way to get started selling jewelry.  You get to meet your customers (and the people who look at your jewelry) face-to-face and get their reactions.

They are a lot of work, though, lugging your jewelry, displays and tent somewhere, setting up, selling all day and packing back up again.

Finding the right craft show for your particular customer is really key to being successful at craft shows.  That and being prepared.  I help you get prepared and come up with a plan for selling at craft shows in my Jewelry Business eCourse.

Selling in Shops – Consignment

Once I started doing craft shows I started meeting people who sold handmade goods in their stores.  They mostly did consignment when I first got started.  That means they place your items in their shop and they only pay you if it sells.  Your items don’t belong to them; they still belong to you.

You split a percentage with the shop.  60 percent to the artist and 40 percent to the store is the typical split in my area, although I have had 70/30 and have done 50/50 in shops that were very popular or if it was raising money for a charity.  The terms vary as well as far as who is responsible for theft, etc.

We tackle this subject in Jewelry Business eCourse.  At the beginning of the eCourse you’ll figure out who your ideal customer is and where to find them.  That will help you figure out what shops might be a good fit for consignment.

Selling to Shops – Wholesale

Selling wholesale is more desirable than consignment because when someone makes a wholesale order once you fulfill the order and get payment the transaction is complete.  The jewelry now belongs to the store.

Although I did have some wholesale orders at the very start of my business, I would say it’s much more typical that you get wholesale orders the more time you’ve been in business.

The key to being profitable is to make sure that you set up your pricing correctly from the beginning so you can offer your products at wholesale prices.  Typically you offer wholesale at a 50 percent discount when a customer reaches a certain threshold in their order.  You do not have to do the 50 percent discount, but it’s kind of expected in wholesale.

Co-ops

You probably have been to an antique co-op.  There are different vendors selling their antiques.  It’s becoming more and more common to have art co-ops as well.

I was involved with a co-op store for years.  It was similar to an antique co-op, but this store had art, handmade and antiques.

I paid a monthly rental for my spot and then the store took a small percentage of the sale of my products each month.

Some co-ops require you to additionally work there a certain amount of hours per week or month as well.

It is a wonderful way to get in retail with less risk.

Custom Orders

When you start selling you will likely start getting requests for custom orders pretty quickly.  Even if you haven’t started selling you might have already had these requests.

A significant portion of my income came from custom orders, especially around the holidays.  People love to give personalized gifts.

Remember, if someone asks you to do a custom piece you don’t have to do it.  If it’s not something you feel comfortable doing (or even can do) or they’re asking for colors or a style that you don’t think would work, you can say no or maybe even suggest something different.

Home Parties

Home parties are a lot of fun and they are much more profitable than craft shows or selling in stores.  The people who come are specifically coming to buy your jewelry.  Most people will buy at least something small even if they don’t buy a lot.

I have had these in my own house, in my friends’ houses and in family member’s houses.  It’s just like the other home parties you’re used to.  (Like for Tupperware, etc.)  You have a host (or you can do this in your own home with yourself as the guest), they invite their friends and provide a snack/drinks and you sell jewelry.  You can do a presentation or not.  It can be a formal time or more open house/drop in.  I’ve done it all and it all works.

If it’s your close friends and family, they’ll probably do this for you at no charge, but I would still give them a thank you gift (or gifts) of your jewelry.  If it’s someone you don’t know as well, a friend of a friend, etc., you can set up a program where they can get a percentage of the night’s sales in jewelry.

(And of course this is something we cover in Jewelry Business eCourse)

Other places

Think about where your ideal customers are and then start showing up in those places.  At first you’re doing research, but then you can start to strike up conversations with people.  Maybe there’s a salon that would be a perfect place for your jewelry.  Ask the owner about it.  Maybe they would purchase wholesale or maybe it would be consignment.

I hope this overview has you started thinking.  I’ll get more specific in the upcoming posts!  If you’re ready to make a specific plan with help from me, I invite you to join my Jewelry Business eCourse!  Registration is limited so I can give one-on-one help and it closes on March 1st.

Jewelry Business eCourse