Special Equipment Needed: Some tools your
husband might have in the garage: long nose pliers,
crimping pliers, bent-nose pliers, cutters
Best Customers/Target Market: Moms, just like
you and me!
Resources & Organizations that help: The
internet was most helpful, when I got started. Also,
bead stores can show you (usually for free) how to
make basic bracelets, earrings and necklaces. Bead
and Button magazine is inspirational.
Any Tips?: Before
I started making jewelry, I wanted to make sure I
would enjoy it. I took my old jewelry apart and made
new jewelry out of it! After a while, the "bug bead"
bit me and I would lie awake at night thinking about
new designs! So, my first tip would be to make sure
you like it before spending hundreds of dollars on
beads and tools. Secondly, contact a local bead shop
and they can provide (usually for free) basic
information on how to make earrings, close clasps,
etc. I began making jewelry gifts for my family. My
family would wear it to work and I would then get
orders from my parents' and sisters' colleagues. I
also let all my friends know that I made jewelry.
Word spread and I soon had people calling me to make
a particular piece. After a year of making and
selling a little of my jewelry, I decided to launch
a website. It took several months before I was
listed on the search engines, but by the time I got
my first online order I had only been making jewelry
for a little over a year. So, I guess my third tip
would be to be patient. It takes time to build a
business and you really don't get rich overnight.
Another tip would be to do craft shows and fairs.
The cost is usually nominal and it's a great way to
get your name out in the local area. I've also been
approached by a local store to display my jewelry.
I've also displayed in my hairdresser's salon. There
are so many opportunities it's hard to name all of
them. Also, I read all the magazines (Bead and
Button, Lapidary Journal) that I can get, then I go
online to check out new companies from which to buy
beads. If you want to be in the jewelry business, I
suggest getting a tax ID from your state. I buy all
my raw materials wholesale and it really does save
me a ton of money! The drawback is that you have to
keep very good expenditure/income records for the
IRS and your state taxing authority. In short,
making jewelry is a fun and somewhat lucrative job.
I have the flexibility of staying home with my two
young sons and I also bring in a little income for
the family. I haven't gotten rich, but I thoroughly
enjoy what I do!