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.
Let’s take a look at one step you can take to create jewelry that stands out and sells.
How to Make Jewelry that Sells
Anyone can make jewelry. Making jewelry that sells is what’s hard. To make jewelry that sells you must find a niche within the category of jewelry. A niche will help you target a profitable market and create unique jewelry that stands out.
Find a niche for your handmade jewelry
People can buy jewelry anywhere. And most jewelry businesses are targeting a similar customer; women between the ages of 20 – 40.
So what makes a shopper choose your jewelry?
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?
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.
How to find a niche for your handmade jewelry
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.
One of the best ways to find a jewelry niche is to explore popular fashion styles. It’s important to not make up a style based on the products you already sell.
For example, if I make quirky, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, that does not mean “quirky and one of a kind” is a fashion style.
Instead, I would want to work from existing fashion styles. Such as:
Research the fashion magazines out there. Which magazine would your style of jewelry fit into. And don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole. Your designs must actually be fit for the pages of the magazine.
Choose one style you love and focus on it for all of your jewelry pieces.
Look into the different types of jewelry pieces you can make, what interests you, and which area is the least saturated.
Necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings are the most popular. A jewelry business could certainly carve out a niche by focusing on just one of those, or a niche within a subcategory of jewelry (e.g. engagement rings).
But there are many other ways people accessorize with jewels and metal that tend to be less focused on.
- pocket watches or wallet chains
- cuff links
- tie clips
- hairpins / combs/ clips
- hat pins
- body piercings
- belly or body chains
- clip-on earrings
- cuff earrings
- armlets / upper arm bands
Although not all of these would be classified as “jewelry”, they’re still great options if beads, jewels, and silversmithing are what interest you.
Focusing on one, less common, type of jewelry could be a good way for your jewelry business to stand out.
3) DEMOGRAPHICS & PSYCHOGRAPHICS
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.
You may start a jewelry business that targets men.
However, also consider the lifestyle, beliefs, interests, opinions, activities, etc. that may affect the way someone shops or accessorizes.
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 your business.
A foodie may be intrigued by food-shaped jewelry that comes in the form of gourmet or unique food dishes. For example, pendants or charms in the shape of mac and cheese, sushi, or decadent desserts.
Someone with an extravagant lifestyle may value high-end or exclusive 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 off 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.
Starting with your target market is a good way to find a niche based on materials.
For example, if I was targeting people who have an interest in spiritual healing, I would focus on making jewelry with healing crystals.
On the other hand, if I was targeting people who love bohemian styles, I may focus on turquoise stones. Not only would my Etsy shop and/or craft show display stand out being full of beautiful blue stones, but I would also become known as an expert.
Everyone has a favorite color. And most of us favor one or two colors in our wardrobes. You may find a niche and way to stand out by focusing on a few select colors for your handmade jewelry.
Imagine how eye-catching a booth at a craft show or an online shop would look with nothing but colorful neon pieces.
Or what a strong feminine vibe a brand would give when each piece of jewelry was made with soft, pastel-colored stones.
Research the meaning of each color and consider if focusing on one color would work with your brand and target market.
For example, I may target husbands buying jewelry for their spouses. Red is often associated with love and passion. Jewelry incorporating red stones and gems could be a perfect niche for my jewelry business.
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.
You’ll find more ideas for building a business that stands out in this article: How To Make your Business Stand Out (in a competitive market)
MAKE YOUR CRAFT SHOW DISPLAY STAND OUT
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.
Hey, I’m Erin 🙂 I write about small business and craft show techniques I’ve learned from being a small business owner for almost 2 decades, selling at dozens of craft shows, and earning a diploma in Visual Communication Design. I hope you find my advice helpful!