Aligning with trends in jewelry creates success.
Several readers requested I write about the business of crafts. I know many of you love making jewelry. Is that you? Do you dream of transforming that passion for jewelry-making into a real jewelry business? Ideally, a home-based jewelry business?! OK, aspirant jeweler, this article is for you.
Home Based Jewelry Business
In preparation for this article I read some statistics, and realize that jewelry-making has become one of the biggest home-based businesses worldwide. It appears that 80% of home-based jewelry is made by women at home. I can see why: working from home gives that all-beloved time flexibility. You can have lunch with the kids and take them to/fro dance practice, while you work full-time in the hours that you choose. Sometimes an entire room in your home can be written up as a tax-deductible expense, not to mention being able to expense your iPhone, iPad, and other jewelry supplies. So, provided you actually report some revenue, transforming your jewelry-making hobby into a business is a good thing.
And there are other factors besides financial perks and rewards. Mainly: you get to be creative! Now *that* is a good thing!
Jewelry Market Segmentation
While ‘making jewelry’ may sound like a small niche market, it isn’t.
The Jewelry market can be segmented by:
* Type of materials
* Styles (brands)
* Quality (price-points).
Each of these bases for segmentation are related.
It could for example, be a distinguishable Luu Chan bracelet (tutorial link), or have other distinct features/brands.
What this means is that you get to choose what kind of jewelry you wish to make. It offers you both variety and flexibility, and that is what the creative mind wants, in essence. However, don’t automatically assume that the type and style of jewelry you design will automatically sell at the price-point you decide.
Marrying the Wonderful Creative World of Making Jewelry with the World of Successful Selling
To make your fun jewelry making into a successful home-based business you must do marketing. Marketing is what helps you to marry the wonderfully creative world of making jewelry with the world of successful selling.
The most fundamental part of marketing is market research. This type of research should be the basis of, or at the very least an input into, your jewelry design and brand development.
As many of you have never done anything like market research, and as it may even sound scary, let’s start with the beginning of the beginning, and that is for you to learn about jewelry trends.
Success in the jewelry making business depends greatly on jewelry trends.
But following the current trends in jewelry will lead a home based jewelry business to success.
Where and How to Detect Trends in Jewelry
There are many ways and you should explore a number of them. This is how you should go about doing it.
Trend Spotting aka Market Trends Research for the Creative Mind
STEP 1: Make Your Own Market Trend Book
Buy a small lined notebook | journal dedicated to this purpose, or use an iPhone | iPad | Kindle app to collect all your info, photos and insights in one location. Have this with you at all times and write in it every day while you are doing this market trends spotting exercise. (If you want to make it fancy, use an Amy Butler journal or other fabric-covered journal).
This is how you should set up your market trend-spotting notebook:
- SECTION 1: Keep the first 12 pages blank for a few weeks. Then write here, in pencil, the TOP 10 JEWELRY TRENDS, as you have learned from your research.
- SECTION 2: novel things I liked. In here, write down things you see that you like.
- SECTION 3: novel things I notice to be very popular today.
- SECTION 4: Dedicate a third section of the book: novel things that I understand will become popular in the near future.
- SECTION 5: great information sources that you
- SECTION 6: the honesty pages. Here you write specific things that you see become popular, that are perfectly aligned with the 10 Ten trends, and that are the type of jewelry pieces ** that would you actually like and be able to make**. Those jewelry pieces, my dear aspirant-jeweler – friend, are your winning jewels of choice.
STEP 2: Collect the Data on JEWELRY TRENDS Info & insights
Everywhere. What matters is * how * you look. Be sure to ask questions. Strike up conversations with anyone in the jewelry business.
Begin at the beginning:
- Talk to the people who have (bought) your jewelry, on in official marketing language: ‘your existing customers’. Both observe them and talk to them about (your) jewelry and the jewelry they would like to get next.
- Roam in your own creative mind. Don’t forget that you personally are already aligned to some degree with the trends within society. As well, as you are creative, your mind can also help you to cross-fertilize ideas and to help you see what will be next and what could be next. This latter feature of your mind could help you become a trend setter!
- Browse in *any kind of * design magazine, jewelry magazine and well as magazines that are likely to be read by the kind of people who you design your jewelry for. And flip through catalogs of lifestyle merchandise chains, ranging from JJ Beans to upmarket brands like Ralph Lauren and Nordstrom’s.
- Examine fancy department stores as well as funky boutiques. Don’t just stop at the jewelry sections of these stores, but browse through entire stores to see what’s new. Also be sure to look at store displays. Many times the design of the display shows the trend, rather than the merchandise within that display. When I say, boutiques, don’t just think of little jewelry stores. Instead, think broad and look in shops like leading-edge museum stores.
- Watch TV. I don’t mean mindlessly, but rather ‘with intend’. Who is wearing what? How are things put together and what image, or ‘lifestyle fashion statement’ is portrayed? Oscars, fashion shows, and the likes are all good.
- Any time, any day, anywhere. There is never a dull moment left in your life. When standing in line in the supermarket, see who is wearing what kind of jewelry.
- Gorilla market research aside, market research is a serious industry. There are many professionals who make a living out of it, for you as well as for designers like Chanel, Kate Spade and Burberry. If you are lucky, you can find jewelry market research studies in public libraries and online, for free. These studies can be helpful: they can teach you how to do market research, and if they are not out-of-date, they contain valuable information for you. Just keep in mind, that today’s world is fast moving! So Google your industry on a regular basis, visit jewelry websites, and see what’s new’.
All these sources combined will also help you ‘how to look’, and you will develop a shortlist of places ‘where to look’. Update your trends- book on a regular basis, even when your initial jewelry market trends research is over.
Have funtrend spottingg!
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