Handmade jewelry is a popular product to sell online and at craft shows. In fact, it’s probably safe to say jewelry is the most saturated category in handmade products. It’s a great place to start because even if you’re a beginner, you can create beautiful pieces and the start up costs can be kept relatively low. But that also means you’re dealing with a ton of competition and making sales can be hard.
What are you to do if you’re interested in starting up your own handmade jewelry business or already have one but are lacking in sales?
I know, I know, you’ve heard it before. But let me explain why finding a niche for your handmade jewelry is so important.
People can go anywhere to buy jewelry these days right? Stop by the mall and you have hundreds of options to choose from. Go online and there are even more choices. Even if you narrow the shopping venue down to a handmade marketplace, there are still several options when it comes to buying handmade jewelry.
So what makes a shopper choose you?
And not just once. What makes a shopper look at all your pieces and have a hard time choosing just one item. And then sign up for your newsletter, follow you on social media and check back regularly to see what they can buy next month?
Let’s think about that.
Which stores do you shop at over and over again and have to force yourself to choose between this or that each time you go in so you don’t blow your whole budget?
It’s the stores that target you. They offer several products with the same look, vibe, purpose, etc. so you’re more likely to find multiple items to buy. If they have to stock the store with products your teenage niece will love, your mom will buy and your grandma can also find a few items, they water down their selection and lose you as a loyal customer.
Do you really want to shop in a store someone half your age is shopping from? And how likely are you to return each month when you only found one or two pieces you liked on your last visit?
That’s why it’s so important to find a niche for your handmade jewelry.
It’s going to help you stand out among hundreds of other vendors, gain customers and more importantly, gain repeat customers.
Put yourself in the shoppers’ shoes for a second.
Imagine you really love boho style and are looking for a few pieces of jewelry. You saw a photograph of a model wearing a beautiful feather necklace with turquoise beading. You have no idea who made the necklace but you’d like to find a similar one to recreate the look.
What do you type into Google or a search bar? I’d probably search “feather boho necklace with turquoise beads”.
Which product, shop or website do you think will show up in the results? The one that has a couple boho-style pieces or the one that focuses on the boho niche, offers a wide variety of boho-style pieces, who’s website and shop has “boho” written all over it and has a product that uses the keywords “boho”, “feather”, “turquoise” and “necklace” in their product title and tags.
Now imagine both shops have a feather boho necklace with turquoise beads for sale.
You go into the first one that has a basic name and logo and a wide variety of handmade jewelry. There sure is a lot to choose from but only a couple pieces stand out to you. You like the feather necklace but just want to check out the other store before you commit.
You click to the other shop with a boho inspired business name and logo. The photos are all styled with a bohemian feel and every piece in their shop could be worn together because they’re all boho style. You not only like the feather necklace they have, you also see several other pieces you can imagine wearing with it.
Who are you going to buy from?
The vendor focused on the boho niche comes off as authentic and an expert when it comes to getting that bohemian style. They show you exactly how to wear the look through photos and help you imagine each piece of handmade jewelry in your wardrobe.
It’s extremely hard to communicate your expertise, authenticity and a particular vibe when you’re trying to cover such a vague or broad area with your handmade jewelry.
That’s why it’s essential to get focused with your handmade jewelry and find a niche.
So how can you break jewelry down and find an area to focus on? Here are 5 ways to find your niche. You can either use them on their own or combine 2 or more to make a truly unique jewelry business.
Look into the different types of jewelry you can make, what interests you and which area is the least saturated. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings are the most popular but there are many other ways people accessories with jewels and metal that tend to be less focused on.
Although not all of these would be classified as “jewelry”, they’re still
great options if beads, jewels and silversmithing are what interest you.
Define a target population and determine if you can make a product for them. Some common demographics are: age, sex, household composition (single, married, children, etc.) and profession. For example:
Age – staying on top of teen trends and what their favorite idols are wearing could be a great way to break into the market.
Sex – there are definitely a lot less handmade businesses making jewelry and accessories for men than there are women.
Household composition – fashionable jewelry that doubles as a teething toy for babies will appeal to moms.
Profession – dental themed pendants and charms may appeal to dental hygienists.
Consider the lifestyle, beliefs, interests, opinions, activities, etc. that may affect the way someone shops. Someone may be passionate about saving the environment in which case, making jewelry out of vintage, repurposed or recycled materials may draw them to your products. Offering biodegradable packaging or donating a small percentage of each sale to an environment focused charity or organization may also strengthen their bond with you.
A foodie may be intrigued by food shaped jewelry that comes in the form of gourmet dishes. A jewelry maker could get even more specific and focus on a particular niche within the gourmet food niche. Perhaps gourmet dessert jewelry, gourmet sushi jewelry or gourmet meat dishes in the form of jewelry.
Someone with an extravagant lifestyle may value high-end jewelry. A maker could offer handmade jewelry that uses high quality materials, precious gems and exclusive one-of-a-kind pieces. The experience would be topped of by first class customer service and beautiful packaging.
There are so many different materials you can use when making jewelry, honing in on one is a great way to fine tune your skills and build a strong brand. Metal, stone, glass, wood, wire, beads, shells and chains are just a few to choose from. Find a niche within a material niche and offer handmade jewelry in hypoallergenic metals or turquoise beads. You not only become known as THE person to go to when looking for a turquoise accessory, you become an expert on the material.
Choose 1 or 2 colors that are trending each season or year and create collections around them. Or choose your favorite color pallete and only create pieces that fit within it. Imagine how eye catching your booth at a craft show or your online shop will look with a sea of colorful neon pieces. Or what a strong feminine vibe your brand will give off when each piece uses soft, pastel colored stones.
What do you tend to gravitate towards when shopping for yourself? Classic, modern, vintage, edgy, quirky, goth? Be authentic to your personal style so you can connect with your ideal customer and never have a lack of inspiration. Building your products around a specific style will give your business a unique edge, especially if you combine that style with another niche to narrow your target market even more.
If you’re already making and selling handmade jewelry, don’t let that stop you from playing with your offering to find a niche that draws attention.
For more details on how to narrow down your products and find your profitable niche, download my FREE Chapter: MAKING PRODUCTS THAT PROFIT.
If you sell at craft shows or plan to in the future, your display must do its part to help your handmade jewelry stand out. As you probably know, JEWELRY is one of the most popular categories vendors sell under at craft shows and events. You must know what makes your jewelry different from other vendors’ and be able to communicate through visuals why shoppers should buy from you.
Check out this article for a step-by-step guide to walk you through coming up with a concept for your craft show display. It will also spark some ideas on different ways to photograph your jewelry.
Or join my FREE 5 DAY CHALLENGE. It will walk you through the exact steps to create a stunning craft show display and the worksheets that come with the challenge will help you create a plan.
The more you can stand out and communicate why your jewelry is the best, the more you’ll increase sales both online and off.
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