Sometimes, some extra money is really welcome. Make that “all of the time”. And sometimes you’re tempted to take the leap into being your own boss. In both cases, a sensible option is to turn your craft jewelry into a business. Today let’s start talking about helpful resources for growing that business.
(In honor of our readers’ interests, let’s say you can go from a tiny seed bead to a giant trade bead.)
There are several good books available to guide you from the first steps through the more advanced stages. Let’s look over a few of them…
If you consider yourself a beginner at jewelry making, you’ll get a lot out of Jewelry Making & Beading for Dummies. Just don’t take the title personally. One thing that recommends this book is that it’s part of the respected “For Dummies” series. Another is that it’s written by veteran crafters Heather Dismore and Tammy Powley. And best of all, it’s filled with countless friendly, clear tips on every aspect of jewelry making, including chapters on launching your own business. This is a great all-around resource for jewelry crafters, and makes a fine stocking stuffer.
Viki Lareau has written another really helpful book that’s an official Rings & Things Staff Pick. It’s Marketing and Selling Your Handmade Jewelry, subtitled the Complete Guide to Turning Your Passion into Profit. A glossy, relatively compact 94 pages long, this little volume covers every conceivable detail of building your reputation, pricing your work, and keeping things growing. Viki provides very specific points of advice, each in very few words, so every page distills her years of experience into readable form.
Plan ahead — once you’re in business you can save a lot of headaches by setting everything down in black and white. Business and Legal Forms for Crafts, by arts lawyer Tad Crawford, contains both printed and CD-ROM versions of documents you’ll use for every need. From copyrighting your creations, to leasing space, to setting up agreements to sell through a distributor, it’s all here. Every document is customizable to your exact needs, making it easy for you to run a professional business without hassles.
These three books are a good start on getting your craft jewelry business up and running smoothly. Stay tuned; we’ll come back and explore a wide range of resources for turning your hobby (or passion) into a career!
(Part 2: Newsletters)