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Fast Start Your Jewelry Business

Lesson 2 of 5

Owning a Business is Work

Kari Chapin

Fast Start Your Jewelry Business

Kari Chapin

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Lesson Info

2. Owning a Business is Work

Lesson Info

Owning a Business is Work

A big part of your vision is what do you want to sell and who is going to buy it? And to do that we really need to think about our ideal customer which happens to be one of my favorite topics in the world is who are you going to sell to and there's a couple of things that you need to think about when you think about your ideal customer, what do they want to wear? How much money do they want to spend? What do they need this jewelry for? Or if you make special occasion jewelry that's a really good example of that so you would be able feeling special occasion jewelry you would be able to think about for example, brides, their mothers of the brides and what kinds of things are they looking for for their bridal parties or for themselves? So you would have your ideal customer in mind that would be somebody getting married and then you would be able to break that down. What kind of wedding are they gonna have? What is their budget for that all of that kind of good stuff? So all of that comes ...

into your vision. Who are you going to sell? Tio when I started making these fast start courses, even I thought about my ideal customer who did I imagine sitting in the audience watching this and I based the the work that I created in the conversations that I had with my guests based around what I thought that person would want to know or hear about her what they most needed to hear about her what they most wanted snow so that's a really good place to start when your vision in your business is who is your business for because without you could be the best at whatever you're doing in the world but if you don't try to sell it and actively find someone to buy it, then you're not really in having a business you're having a really expensive hobby that makes you feel bad because it's not a successful business which is what you wanted so don't make yourself feel bad intentionally that is that is my advice okay, so you've got your vision you got your plan, you're working on your ideal customer and then how are you going to do it? So I want to be a little bit more practical here you are going to need supplies, which means you're going to need to invest money and what your business needs to be. Six cecil for example, if you don't have a computer it's going to be really hard to have a web site, if you want to stamp people's initials into metal to sell initial necklaces or rings, then you're going to need a hammer and stamps and metal obviously so investing in your supplies is something that we all need to start out doing at the beginning, particularly if we intend to be profitable often the equipment or what we have available to us at home in our, you know, dining room, craft space or in our guest bedroom, which we've turned into a studio. Often the supplies that we have that there are based for hobby work. So as you decide to take your business more serious and try to up your game a little bit, you're probably going to have to up your supplies and there's a lot of different ways to go about making that easier for yourself, like looking where you can buy stuff and bulk opening wholesale accounts and working with suppliers directly to get what you need, and we are going to talk about that later in the course, but so to get started today, you need to have some supplies available to you, and that includes your tools, so not only do you need to have the supplies to make your craft, but you need to have the tools to sell what you make and to get the word out so under your tools, you actually need a camera, which honestly, could be your phone right now, the the camera on my phone is better than the like three year old cannon camera that we have now the the work that my phone does is actually better than what my really fancy camera does at this point in time you know you need to have access to the internet you don't have to own your own computer but you need to be able to get on one tio build an online store if that's the way that you want to do it if you want to sell it craft shows you need to be able to have the stuff to supply a craft show booth and teo build a successful space for you too lay out air products so supplies and tools we really cannot cannot skip over that the most of it would be great if anybody in chat wanted to share with us what their favorite tools were for jewelry making actually ask intellects of that and she gave us a great list in the guide of things that she started out with but she tells a funny story which is one of the most common tools that jeweller hughes I think it's some kind of plier that helps them make findings and finishing is a lot easier on that she had been in business for oh a long a long while before she even knew that that basic tool existed and it was able tio change the way that she did production she was able to do things a lot faster to batch her work much easier made a huge difference to her and she didn't even know about it so that's where your community can really come into play as somebody has a great supply or trick that they want to share, that would be amazing to everybody out there who's watching who maybe doesn't doesn't know about it themselves they're really carry piece saying it's definitely her pliers red scorpions saying how beading needle is the most important thing laura ji say it's crow shade wire, which she uses for crystals with freshwater pearls on monica's agree she said, you have the pliers, it's all about that for her as well, yeah, so I mean it's really interesting and also alexis is something that I thought was so smart that I think I mentioned to every other guests that he did a podcast with she said that as a jeweler her hands are her most valuable tool it's that on lee, you know, and it's, the thing that keeps her business going every day is her hands and it's the only thing that she can't go to the store and just replace if they were out or of her wrist start to hurt much or if she she didn't say this, I just I'm just imagining this, but like if she punctured her finger and like can use it anywhere, you know, whatever it is like she couldn't replace her hands and so having the best quality tools that she can have really as an investment in herself and in her business because it it saves her hands and helps her do better work, which is what we all want to dio. So lastly, what you need to get started his courage, which we sort of tip we sort of touched on a little bit a little bit ago, but you really need to believe that you can do this and that you want to do this, and I just want to put in a quick little mention of you don't have to do this, which I think is a part of the conversation that gets left out a lot. You could be really interested in business or having a business benefit if you come to find out that it's just not the right thing for you, it's okay not to do it and it's also really ok to just have a hobby. So if you really like making jewelry and you get a lot of compliments on it in these days, any time we make something somebody will inevitably say to us, you should sell that you don't have to sell that you don't want to, you can just be ok making something that makes you feel good and that makes you happy without having to monetize everything that you love are or that brings you enjoyment. We don't have to try to make money off of everything that makes us feel good, and the same goes for for making jewelry if you're really on the fence about having any kind of business, but in your case, a jewelry business on dh, you just can't bring yourself to starter, begin. I mean, really ask yourself, do you want to be in business? Because knowing that about yourself is actually sort of the linchpin of what you need. Tio continue to be in business for all time if you are not one hundred percent committed to being in business, because you feel like you should be a business, or because people keep telling you you should be in business, but your heart isn't in it, then you were going to have a miserable time owning your business on that's, just true, I work for myself, and I write books, and I teach and I act as a consultant, and I do a few other things to earn money and it's, always the jobs that I take that are just based on the paycheck alone that are the worst for me that are the hardest when I work for the money, and not for the feeling inside is are the days when it's hard for me to get up, or on the days when I pushed off my working no like ten o'clock at night and then think, oh, well, I better get that done now or, you know, whatever it is you're here, you have to be really invested in really committed to what you're doing in order for your business to be successful on any level, and if you don't feel good about it and really want to do it, then it's going to be hard and it's going to make you feel that and you're going to be bad at it and that's going to make you feel that, and you're going to enter some sort of cyclone of of shame and horror and nobody nobody wants that they're actually definitely the chairman, the questions people are feeling anxious and they are feeling nervous about taking those first steps or they've taken the first steps. Things are really working out. Camacho is saying, for example, they're really bad and they're very nervous about self from self promotion, that's what's holding them back a little bit on dh other people say, you know, they're all over the place, they've got the great ideas, but they just don't know how to put into practice, which of course, is why they're here for this particular course, yeah. So ah, a little bit more about that that I think is worth mentioning is, any time you take a job with another person or you create one for yourself, there's always going to be parts about it that just fall flat out, find out, stink those those parts of the job are just no good. My day is like forty percent things that I really don't want to do for my business and then sixty percent thinking about those things that I don't want to do for my business, you know, like trying to get up the courage to get past what I really want to dio this is sort of a good way, a good segue way into our next slide, which is owning a business, is work and it's a lot of work and it's a lot of different kind of work, and with all of our work, no matter who we work for, comes, comes feeling things, and so whether or not we like it, how we're feeling is really a big part of how successful we are, and if you are shy around doing self promotion, I really got to say to you that that the only thing that's going to make it easier that's going to make you enjoy it more is getting out there and doing that rip heatedly and seeing some success from that and seeing community build around you and getting a good response for people there's no way to make work that you don't enjoy better except for what leased the only thing I found is to actually do the work that you don't enjoy and the more you do the work that you don't enjoy or that you're scared of or that you're nervous about the more you find ways to make it easier for yourself and the more you find ways to make it easier for yourself the easier obviously becomes too dio and the more you enjoy it and that that's where your tips and tricks and community and you know you're the shortcuts that you develop as time goes on that's where all of those things start to play a bigger part in your vision and therefore affect your plan and make a difference in the way that you do that you do your work so if you don't like it I'm sorry you still have to do it and that is just sort of the bottom line every every if you worked for somebody else if you worked for me there would be a lot of things that you didn't like about your job most likely but I would still need you to do them and you would need to do them so that you could get paid if you work for yourself it's the same way this is also a good time to bring up that if you can it's important to figure out where you as a person and and where your business begins because your business is not necessarily yourself you are a really big part of your business and your business reflects who you are is a person but just because your shy doesn't mean that your business needs to be shy just because you don't like being on twitter doesn't mean that your business doesn't like being on twitter your business isn't really is trying to take yourself out of it and shift your mind ships shift your mind set a little bit if you can and think about your business as for your customers which is ultimately what you want you want to create something for your customers that your customers love and wanted by repeatedly and want to have in their life and want to recommend to their friends and in order for you to do that you need to be thinking about what they want, how they want to be communicated with how they want to be reached, how they want tio look and how they want to feel and then you make things for them that match what they're looking for in their lives and then you give that to them and that's what your business does it's your business that's communicating with people online so unless you were to call your business you know your own name with your address in your phone number included, or whatever to say like, this is my business and you know it some place that I can show up and it's your house and you're really there, like, separate yourself from your business, if you can, and all of the ways that you find that it makes sense for you to do so, because if you can detach from that, then you can get your ego out of the picture a little bit and just become your business when you're working and have your business go out and do the work for you that's really what I think we're all looking to dio and sort of the end of the day, as have our businesses do a lot of the hard work, and your business needs to be on social media. Your business needs to not be shy. Your business card needs to get passed around if that's a tool that used to promote yourself, your website needs to be able to communicate well with your customer. Your customer needs to understand what you're doing, what you're about, how much it costs, how they're going to get it, how it's going to make their life better no matter what it is, and that's the job of your business and it's your job. To tell your business what to dio I mean, what kind of question coming in from about people who are wondering about how, what the minimum investment it is the starting job, a jewelry business. Is this something we're going to talk about it? We can talk about that right now, okay? We could talk about that right now because the answer is really vague and not specific. It depends on what kind of business you have. So if you are a metal smith and you need to buy gold and silver than the minimum investment for that person is going to be much, much different than the person who wants to make beated friendship bracelets that are so popular right now because that person needs something totally different illumined, specific kind of threat and the beads and, you know, whatever it is, a magnifying glass or whatever. So there really is no answer to that, because it entirely depends on what kind of jewelry you want to make. So I have a friend who has a really amazing jewelry business, and she just simply goes to our sales and first stores and estate sales and buys all of the jewelry that she can, and then she takes it apart, and she takes all of those beads and jewels and crystals and turns them into something. Politte lee knew she makes really amazing belt she makes wild headbands she makes all kinds of different accessories and jewelries from in jewelry from the other pieces that she finds and her investment is you know it could be fifty bucks out of state sales all day on a saturday and then whatever tools that she has at home so there's not really a very specific answer to that question but this is a great time to to work in the chat room and to ask other people who are there if you want to be a metal smith to say to them if you already are working and metal what what was your minimum investment like or what do you think are the five most important tools for someone to have and then you can price or source that out I don't think that there is a flat out answer to that question you might need a blow torch you might need alexa I know suggests and the fast and I didn't I had never thought of that she should just in the fast our action guide that you could use a sandbag instead of a jeweller's bench which had not occurred to me so I felt like that was that's a really good tip that's inside the action guide that I hadn't hadn't thought of before so I don't know that there is a super good answer to that or somebody has one share it yeah, let's experiences with the investment I love to know other people have done my sister has ah, it has a jewelry as a hobby and I would say off the top of my head that I believe she's probably spent about one hundred dollars, in the beginning buying mats and you should buy a lot of beginners supplies like bins to store all of her beads and I think my dad actually gave her an old fishing tackle box that really sort of where she kept her clasps and chain and wire cutters and things like that. So that's a lot of this this goes back to you like what? One thing that you need to be really sure of when you decide started jewelry business is that businesses work and there's no way there's no way around that just because you actually love what you do doesn't mean that you're going to have a whole lot of work behind you and I think it's really important to know that because if you're not willing to do all of the parts even the hard parts that make you uncomfortable and you have a tough time separating out how your business would feel about promoting itself versus how you feel about promoting your business then that's that's a tough spot to be in and that's what makes having a community really great because they can talk you through that but also just be aware of it and really ready to commit to it because I can't think of anything that's like super super easy, but so get to work. Ok? So while you're while you're doing that, you go ahead and answer. Answer some of these questions that may or may not appear on this monitor, ok, have toe do some thumb warring later to build up my found muscle, I think. All right, so, um, I want you to also think about this part of your business, and so I have come up with these questions for you to ask yourself, which are what you already have, that you already need that you need. How much time do you have to invest in this business? How much money can you invest? How solid are your ideas and what do you need from a business? So when you're really working on your vision or your plan, this is a fantastic place to start on. The reason is, is because you probably already have more of what you actually need to start a business than you even realize. I think that particularly these days, it's really easy to think about starting a business and it's really easy to get cut up and all of the fantastic, exciting things. That come along with that that don't have anything to do with us actually making our product, they have to do with selling our product and that's two very different parts of your business. So if you're really interested in having, like, a zip zooming fantasy, the web site and you want to get your branding all under control and you want to build a really being enthusiastic audience of supporters, all of those things are really, really important, except they don't mean anything if you don't have anything to sell those people. If you have spent all of your time on the sort of these really visible public elements of your business and you haven't made anything, then that's, that can be a little tricky, so you might already have a lot of what you need. I think that that elements like branding really nice websites and really great marketing materials are very, very, very important to businesses. However, I'm going to say something that might make me a little unpopular, but I believe this to be true where you are today, where you are today is not where your business is going to be one year from now on it's, not where your business is going to be three years from now, so if you are really letting stuff like your logo and your branding and those kinds of things hold you back, but you haven't built a solid business. You don't have a reliable list of customers, yet you don't already know where your sales are going to come from. I would say to sort of hold off on the major investment of those kinds of things. They're really worrying about them until you're more sure of what your business is going to look like and what you really are going to make until you've had a lot of great conversations with customers who tell you what they want to buy and that and you feel like you want to make those things. I do think that you need like place holders and you're being in your business in the beginning. I do think that you need a logo, and I do think that you need a website and I think that you need a shop banner and you need something about your packaging that ties the whole kit and caboodle together. I think you need some unifying themes, but I don't think it's anything that should stop you. From getting started as soon as you can, because those are the kinds of things that are going to change. So if you were to spend a lot of money with a branding expert or a lot of investment on a ten thousand dollar website with a really functional bulls shopping cart in all of these great bells and whistles ls it might not actually be what you need from down the down the line. So alexa is a really great example of this. She she talks a lot about in the in the bonus podcast about how she did thirty craft shows a year, on average when she started, and her web site, her dot com, will send you right over to her at sea story. At this point in time, her website isn't even done yet. She was able to build this thriving business and actually rent a brick and mortar. Now in seattle, that's open all the time for customers to come in in person and it's because she had her branding in her look together enough toe hold her business together, but she didn't define herself so clearly five years ago when she started, I am not a jeweler, but I go through this myself on my own web site, where I look at carrie chapman dot com sometimes, and I think oh my god, this girl is a mess like this page seems like clean and modern and colorful, and I go over here and clearly she did this herself after a bottle of wine and like too much too many wordpress youtube videos this is a disaster she needs toe pay someone to clean that up right away and talking about myself there, but, you know, so just really starting with where you're at and what your hat what you have is good enough like what you have going on right now is good enough, you don't have to have all of these things hold out and you don't have to commit teo any element of your marketing, and I think this is I'll have this in five years or this will be where I am and five years all you really need to come in, teo wholeheartedly at this point is yourself and that you want to make this business work and that you want this in your life and that you're going to make this happen. So if you just have a basic square space or wordpress website or whatever it is at this point in time, just do the best you can with what you have and if you haven't etc store make, make your store look the best you can with what you have when you're just starting out, you don't need to have a team or a bunch of a bunch of people doing this work for you. When you first begin, you can bootstrap and do a lot of it yourself. And most of the stories you hear of people who are really successful now started out exactly the same way. So that's. Good news, right there. You're already on the same track as so many other people who are doing fantastic today.

Class Description

Jewelry making blends function, form, beauty and craft – it is also uniquely rewarding because you actually get to see people wearing your art. Learn how you can turn your love of jewelry making into a thriving business in Fast Start Your Jewelry Business with Kari Chapin.

In this class, Kari will teach you the process of getting a jewelry business up and running. You’ll take a behind-the-scenes look at a thriving jewelry business as you learn the ins and outs of selling online, in stores, or through wholesalers. You’ll explore:

  • Common and niche markets and how to find the right fit for you
  • Creative ways to make your work stand out
  • Showcasing in a trade show booth vs displaying online

If you’re ready to pursue jewelry making as a serious business and want to start making sales, this course will equip and inspire you to create a business that showcases your unique skills and style.

Check out Kari's other Fast Start Classes:
Fast Start Your Sewing Business
Fast Start Your Beauty Business
Fast Start Your Paper Goods Business

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Kari Chapin - Getting Started Action Guide.pdf

Kari Chapin - Karis Bonus Podcast with Alexa Allamano.mp3

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Kim S. Joy

Loved this class. I have been in business for awhile but Kari reminded me of lots of things I need to remember. Like why I started down this trail. And LOVED the "There is no reason why you can't do this" slide. Thank you Kari. I feel this will be a great primer for those just thinking about or getting into the business- lots of nitty gritty information.