Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How can I become a jewelry artist?

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I get asked this question a lot from students and other people I meet that buy my jewelry. Making the cross over from a jewelry enthusiast or part time crafter is a big step. There are certainly a few things to keep in mind:

1. Business versus hobby is a big difference, especially to the IRS. Are you committed to keeping accounts and records separate for business and personal expenses and receipts?

2. Are you ready to invest time into marketing your jewelry? It's one thing to have a few family members and co-workers buy your jewelry, but selling to the general public is a whole new challenge.

3. Do you have the resources to invest in producing a lot of inventory? Potential customers need to have more than just a few pieces to buy from.

4. Are you ready to pay other associated business expenses? Government licenses, business bank account fees, invoice pads, accounting software, associated presentation items, boxes, (and the list goes on).

5. Are you ready to be "on call" for your business? There will be no more, "yeah, I'll get back to you." You'll have to be ready to serve the customer!

6. Outside marketing is a must! Websites, business cards, making contacts with galleries.

7. Are you thinking about doing the art show scene? Plan on spending $1500 to get you booth ready. That doesn't even include jury and entry fees.

8.  Have you considered your costs in producing your work?  It's one thing to not be concerned about making a profit on a piece, but once you're in business, you need to be able to pay for your materials and overhead and (at least a little bit ) to yourself.

Phew! It's a big list, but certainly something everyone needs to consider. If you're not ready to make the full plunge yet, sites like Etsy or Ebay may be a better choice to "get your feet wet."

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