How do you open a jewelry store? How do you become a jewelry designer who makes money from your business? How much does it cost to become a jeweler? Let’s try to understand how to open a jewelry store and how much it is necessary to invest.
To identify the cost to open a jewelry store, however, you must first understand what type of business you intend to undertake. Furthermore, the cost to open a jewelry store is very different from one country to another and there are great differences even within the same region or city. A jewelry store in central Paris requires a very high investment, while a small self-made jewelry store in a medium-sized town is much less demanding.
For this reason, we immediately rule out the idea of opening a large jewelry store that sells collections of famous brands and, perhaps, even watches. To open such a business, very substantial investments are required and, probably, if you want to open such a shop it is because you already know the jewelry market and do not need advice.
Identify the type of jewelry
Let’s see, instead, how to open a shop that sells jewelry made by you. Of course, you must have taken a course, school or apprenticeship to learn the trade, but we take this for granted. First you need to know what kind of jewelry you want to create and sell. If you are at the beginning and do not have a well-stocked bank account, you can opt to make jewelry that is not too expensive. So, begin to imagine what kind of jewelry you want to make (more on that later) and what materials you need. On the web there are countless resellers of materials for bijoux and jewelry.
The choice of stones
You might be surprised to find that many stones used for jewelry are not as expensive as you imagined. Of course, not all stones of the same type are the same. The quality of the stone, the color, the cut are very important. Those looking for maximum savings and have a lot of time available, as well as a strong manual skill, can also think of collecting some of these stones in the bed of streams: quartz, for example, is a very common material. However, it will be necessary to find who cuts the stones. Polishing them is easier and with a little good will and some tools suitable for polishing, which can also be found for do-it-yourselfers, you can further reduce costs. But it might not be worth it. Online you can find pre-polished labradorite gems for about 9 euros or dollars, smoky quartz for less than 1 euro or dollar, amethysts for a few tens of euros. This first phase will be used to fine-tune the budget forecasts, that is, to compare revenues and expenses.
A business plan
Therefore, it is essential to start with clear ideas. What kind of jewels do you want to propose? Before starting to daydream, you need to be well informed. And do two preventive accounts. Developing a business plan for a small business is simple. Grab a pen and paper or, more easily, go to the keyboard of your computer or tablet and write a list:
• What are your goals
• Which competitors you will be dealing with
• What are the expected costs (we’ll talk about them later)
• What are the revenues you expect
It is not enough to have everything in your head: you have to put everything in black and white to have really clear ideas. For example, consider the second point: Who will your competitors be? Are there other jewelers in the area? What kind of jewelry do they sell and at what price? How do you plan to differentiate your jewelery offering? And, above all, are you sure that your jewels will please you? Also, are you thinking of proposing traditional or very innovative jewels?
• Look at the websites of your likely competitors
• Monitor their social networks to find out about their marketing activities, if they have them
• Find out if they have a YouTube channel
• Regularly visit the gioiellis.com site to be updated on jewelry news and trends
• Analyze the pros and cons of the competition
The choice of style
If you have not already identified your style and are looking for what could be the right idea to be successful, it is time to identify your market niche. It is a reasoning that must be done for any type of business. Do you want to produce a few jewels, but very expensive and purchased by few people? Or do you focus on quantity with cheap jewels or with a medium-low cost? Start doing a survey among friends and relatives on their tastes and their propensity to buy. Collect as many answers as possible (it’s a small market survey) and write down the result. It will help you in the decision.
It is not enough to know, however, that your prospective customers love a certain type of jewelry. You must also be able to make them happen. If you find that most would buy a white gold solitaire diamond ring, will you be able to do so? Take a look at the different styles of jewelry:
• Classics, in gold, diamonds, precious stones
• Cheerful and a little hippy, inexpensive
• Vintage genre
• Composed of natural elements
• Fashion bijoux
• With a strong design connotation
The first option, the cheapest, is to open an exclusively online store. There are many platforms that offer the possibility of building a website with e-commerce included. But be careful: also think that selling online is not that simple. How do you plan to ship the jewelry? Does the cost of the jewel include free shipping? Do you know how returns are managed? And how long can the jewels be shipped? These are all important aspects for those who sell online. The investment, however, is a few hundred euros, depending on the type of site and, if you have a minimum of digital culture, you can make it yourself. Alternatively, you can turn to marketplaces such as Etsy or eBay. Even if it seems disappointing to you, you may think that starting online allows you to understand the satisfaction of your work. In addition, you must consider that a website is now still necessary for an activity in the world of jewelry.
The initial costs
The costs to open a traditional jewelry store, a boutique in which to sell your jewelry are, on the other hand, higher. As mentioned, it is impossible to quantify an adequate figure for any country or city. But, indicatively, to open (without buying the walls) a small boutique in a non-central area and not in cities such as New York, Paris, London or Milan, if you start from scratch you can charge an amount between 30,000 and 50,000 euros. or dollars. If you think about it, it is not a greater investment than what is needed to buy a medium-sized car. But beware: if you want special furniture and the advice of an interior designer, the cost goes up and doubles. Of course, there is an alternative: just rent a small room and furnish it with Ikea furniture. This is not necessarily the wrong path. Indeed, it may be the right idea to test yourself.
How much does the equipment cost to create jewelry? Not too much. Basic jewelry making tools can cost anywhere from 2500 to 6000 euros or dollars on average. If you have taken a course or an apprenticeship you probably already know what you need. But don’t forget to take into account other necessary expenses. First of all the materials to work on. You can estimate an initial cost of around 2,000-3,000 euros if your jewels are made with not too expensive materials and you are aiming for the bijoux market. It starts from 10,000-20,000 euros if you use gold and stones of a certain value.
Another way is to outsource the production of jewelry. You can limit yourself to designing rings, necklaces and bracelets and having them produced by an external company: there are many that work for third parties. This hypothesis is not to be discarded, on the contrary, it is perfectly legitimate: you design the jewels and they produce them, applying your brand. Keep in mind, however, that this path starts from two assumptions: you must be able to design jewels with the software programs used by designers, on which the production in the factory will be based. Furthermore, no company will produce a single piece for you: you have to plan to buy, to resell, a considerable number of jewels. Therefore, a rather substantial initial capital must be invested. And last but not least, you need to have clear costs and revenues.
Packaging and marketing
Don’t forget a very important aspect: the packaging. A jewel will be appreciated more if given in a beautiful, elegant package that enhances the content. A pencil case is also a marketing tool: the packaging must be recognizable as well as elegant. It is an investment that is worth making and that is, at the same time, an advertising tool for your shop: do not neglect the packaging in which to store the jewel. Speaking of advertising: consider investing to make yourself known. Social media are useful, but not enough: newspapers and specialized sites, or in simple advertising through Google Ads are the tools you can use. Also think in advance about how to promote your business with special initiatives. For example, you could offer a discount on the occasion of the launch, or jewelry related to special occasions, such as Mother’s Day and the like.
Consumer surveys are all in agreement: those who buy a jewel are increasingly attentive to the origin of the materials. The sustainability and ethical provenance of the gold and stones used to create the jewelry is a highly regarded aspect and a marketing tool, as well as being fair from a moral point of view. Take this into account.
Choose the name
Speaking of marketing: what’s your name? Not you, your business. The choice of the brand is fundamental. A brand summarizes the history and philosophy of a commercial activity. Think carefully before choosing it. Consult a few people, explore the effect it has. The name must also reflect the type of jewelry you want to propose. Check Google if there is anything similar to the name you thought of. It is also important for registering the domain (the web address) of your indispensable site. Check if the name is already registered: the domain (www …) may not be available even if there is no corresponding site. Finally: choose simplicity. Distinguishing yourself does not mean proposing a name that is difficult to write and pronounce. Once the name has been identified, it is time to study the appearance of the brand. It is important to create a brand that is in tune with your style. You have to develop a logo and perhaps a simple slogan (it can also be something like: The jewels of … your name). Logo and associated image will be used for the website and social media pages.
Another aspect that should not be forgotten, when considering the costs of opening a business, is the financial one. You must have an electronic payment tool, a Pos, after opening a dedicated current account. Each bank has different costs, which are usually described on the website. Another cost, on the other hand, concerns the accounting management of the shop: a professional expert in the field will have to take care of the aspects related to revenues and expenses, in addition to payments to the tax authorities. The expense for an insurance policy should also not be forgotten: in this case it depends on how much and what you want to insure. But it is highly recommended. Finally, take into account the cost of the licenses to be able to operate and the payments to the social security institution in the countries where they are provided and, inevitably, the taxes.
How much earns a jewelry store?
The question is, of course, very general. And the answer is too: it depends. Let’s imagine that your jewels are of quality, in gold and precious or semi-precious stones, and are intended for a medium range. We also imagine your business is going well and it is not a period of economic crisis: you have customers who buy jewelry. The gross profit margin could be over 40%. On this amount you will then have to pay taxes. Given that this evaluation is very generic, it still remains an activity with an excellent possible income. It also happens, however, that a jewelry shop is unlucky and is forced to close because business is bad: before you start, do the math well.