Selling jewelry can be extremely profitable. The wedding jewelry niche is a growing concept, but it is also extremely competitive.
Many large retail chains aggressively market wedding jewelry. During the prime wedding seasons, spring and summer, stores flood print, TV, radio and social media with marriage advertisements, including wedding jewelry ads.
You can succeed, but you need some preparation. Like any business, you need to do your research. Get to know your industry inside and out.
The more you know about everything involved in a wedding, the more knowledgeable you will become, and you will understand your client base. A solid business plan and sufficient capital increases your odds of success substantially.
Size of the Market
The size of the wedding industry market is enormous. The wedding jewelry business is an $11 billion industry.
Over two million couples get married in the U.S. every year. Couples, on average, in the United States spend $30,000 on a wedding. Jewelry sales alone for the bride and groom average between $8,000 and $9,000.
Starting a wedding jewelry business can be expensive. With the potential of selling $9,000 of jewelry per sale, adequate capital is critical for any wedding jewelry business. You need to finance basic stock and, if you choose to have a brick and mortar store in addition to online sales, you will need display samples.
Self-financing or obtaining a loan from family or friends makes the most sense. Banks hesitate to lend money to jewelry startups without high-value assets as collateral. Once you establish yourself and can demonstrate a positive cash flow, lending institutions will be more likely to lend you money for expansion.
Online vs. Brick and Mortar
The decision as to whether to open an online store only or a brick and mortar depends on many factors. Capitalization is the key determinant. A brick and mortar store obviously requires much more overhead than an online store does.
However, if you want to establish yourself in your community in the local wedding scene, you may need a place to showcase your material. Brides, in particular, will want to touch and see firsthand their bridal jewelry. After all, it will be something they expect to cherish for a lifetime.
You don’t have to invest in an elaborate storefront. Consider using a room in your home, if necessary. You can set aside your basement, a room on the first floor or some other space and set up a display case.
Type of Jewelry to Stock
Determining what types of jewelry to stock takes research. If you want to establish your own brand, then keeping track of trends and producing pieces accordingly is important.
You can create fabulous pieces by buying wholesale gemstone beads and freshwater pearls, for example. You can emphasize design uniqueness and personalization of the pieces for the bride and groom.
Establish your brand by staying in touch with fashion trends and creating your pieces accordingly. Visit local, established jewelry shops. Use websites like the one run by the Jewelers of America to learn about the latest styles, colors and types of trending gemstones.
Also, pay attention to what celebrities are wearing. For example, this year, long dangling earrings were a trend at all the award shows, and have made their way to mainstream retail.
Finding the right wholesaler is critical. Take the time to research companies online to compare prices and customer service. Just starting out, you want a company that will not only provide you with reasonable prices, but will work with you in determining what sorts of materials you need.
Locally, you want to be active in the local bridal scene. Target your advertising at new brides in your area. You can advertise in local print and other media for couples in the area.
Participate in bridal shoes and follow up with potential customers afterward. Work in collaboration with bridal shops, florists, caterers and beauty salons so they can give your referrals. Leave brochures at businesses connected to the wedding industry like hotels, limousines, and spas.
Know your market. Millennials, for example, have a reputation for environmental consciousness and holistic items, so emphasize that in your advertisements.
It is critical you have an informative and user-friendly website. Set aside extra investment capital if necessary to ensure you have a site that keeps a visitor’s attention.
Regularly post informative articles on wedding and wedding jewelry related topics. Contract an SEO firm to increase your Google search ranking statistics.
Remember the importance of personalization to new brides and grooms. Customized or personalized pieces are very modern.
Try something like offering etching or engraving. You can provide a service like taking a family heirloom and using a gemstone from it to create a modern piece customized for the couple.
Don’t forget about future sales. You want your new bride and groom to come back to you for other jewelry needs. Provide free cleanings and repairs, for example, when they buy a piece from you.
What You Shouldn’t Do
Don’t undercapitalize. Make sure you set aside enough capital to get you through slow periods.
Don’t make your shop a dumping ground for all types of jewelry. Ensure your jewelry tells a story. You want a collection that is cohesive, not a random collection of pieces with no relation to one another. If you want to define your brand, don’t launch a jewelry line that doesn’t work well with the rest of your collection.
Don’t concentrate on what you personally may love and think the world should also like. While you want to be true to yourself, remember this is a business. Learn what sells and create your line around that.
Don’t use amateur photos. Get a professional to take pictures of the pieces you post on your website.
What You Should Do
Do learn about jewelry and jewelry making before you open your shop. For example, take a metalworking or jewelry making class. If you are an experienced jewelry maker, then hone your skills and keep abreast of the latest industry developments. Take a business and marketing class. Learn all you can about gemstones and designing.
Do talk over your plans with your spouse, trusted friends or a business expert. Listen to that person. Quitting your day job may make sense to you, but your spouse may think differently!
Do watch your resources. You don’t want to overspend on the stock before you make your first sale.
Starting your own wedding jewelry business is a fun and exciting undertaking. Profit margins are high and the potential market is huge. If you go about it the right way, it is not only personally satisfying, but profitable, too.