Get Professional Advice for Starting Your Own Handmade Jewelry Business

Starting your own jewelry business can be intimidating and overwhelming. If I didn’t have a background in jewelry e-commerce, I might have never made the leap, and I would’ve missed out on such a rewarding, interesting experience. If you’re on the fence about starting your own business, or know you want to but want to be sure to do it right from the start–or if you’ve already started your business but it isn’t going as well as you’d like–read on to learn more about an online jewelry business class we have starting next month, hosted by experts from the Arts Business Institute.

How to Launch a Successful Handmade Business
Ready to Start Your Own Handmade Jewelry Business?
by Carolyn Edlund, Executive Director, The Arts Business Institute

You love spending time in the studio, using your skills to design and make jewelry that shares your personal artistic vision and inspiration. Have you reached a point where you are considering selling your work? Not just on a casual basis, but as a real, viable business?

I know the feeling. After graduating from college back in 1980, I founded a production ceramic jewelry studio and was able to build it into six-figure annual sales. That didn’t happen right away, of course. It took a lot of hard work, learning through mistakes and failures over the years. I had an art degree, but no business training. Art schools didn’t offer courses in how to run a business–and the vast majority of them still don’t. If you are like me, you had no access to the knowledge and skills you need to make your dream a reality.

Perhaps your skills stem from workshops or classes and many studio hours spent perfecting your technique. You are passionate about making jewelry, and you should be! Friends love your work, you get tons of compliments, and you may have received inquiries about creating custom pieces. Moving forward with a serious plan to start a business, design a collection for your chosen marketplace, present and market it professionally, and sell your work profitably can be a daunting idea. But it is possible!

launch a handmade business

For the past four years, I’ve been the Executive Director of The Arts Business Institute. ABI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching artists and designers how to launch and grow sustainable small businesses. We travel extensively, presenting in-person workshops around the country and teaching specialized courses for artists on business planning, developing a saleable collection, marketing, selling your handmade work, and more. It’s incredibly satisfying to see many of our creative students start profitable small businesses and fulfill their dreams.

I’m very pleased to announce that The Arts Business Institute has been invited by F+W to design and teach an online course, How to Launch a Successful Handmade Business. This is an opportunity to share our time-proven strategies to an audience of new entrepreneurs, without requiring attendance at an in-person event. The course starts on September 1, 2015.

One of the most helpful features of this new six-week long course is the Online Discussion Board. We know from our in-person workshops that attendees absolutely love asking questions and getting personalized input about their own businesses. The Online Discussion Board is a place for conversation, discussion and answers, making this course interactive with the experts!

My co-author is Arts Business Institute founder Wendy Rosen, who also founded the Buyer’s Market of American Craft (now the American Made Show) over 30 years ago. She has a vast amount of knowledge about the handmade industry and is a sought-after keynote speaker for art conferences and events nationwide. I know that you will find, as I have, that she has an insightful point of view and suggestions for artists pursuing their dreams. We invite you to learn more about this course at CraftU and join us.  —Carolyn

Learn more about Carolyn and Wendy’s online course, How to Launch a Successful Handmade Business, and start or improve your handmade jewelry business (or any handmade business) in time for the holidays!

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