Thinking of Starting a Jewellery Business
22 Oct, 2014
Behind the Scenes
Finding work which fits in with school hours and holidays is very difficult to find and so many of us are turning our hands to learning new crafts which can turn into earning us an income from home. The easy part for me, was learning how to make jewellery and come up with a collection. The hard part was setting up and running a business when I had no experience in setting one up before. It was a daunting task and I feel I have learnt the hard way as I didn’t know anyone who had done this before or where to look for help. Although I had done a day’s business course it wasn’t enough and I’ve learnt a lot about what not to do!
It was only recently at the IJL that I realised what the British Jewellers Association (BJA) had to offer new start-ups. I'd always thought they were there for established brands and I now wish I’d found them earlier as it might have saved me making so many mistakes!
The BJA is a voice for the British jewellery industry and has over 1000 members ranging from designers to manufacturers covering the whole aspect of jewellery - new designers, jewellery wholesalers, stone suppliers etc. They are a font of knowledge in all areas of the business from copyright and patenting advice to a mentoring scheme for new designers. Their staff are very friendly and helpful no matter how silly you think your question might be.
They have a very useful online handbook for anyone setting out into the world of running a jewellery business. It is very clear and concise to read and covers all aspects that you need to think about. It takes you through from your vision and strategy to business plans, financials, marketing etc. It has become my jewellery bible and I’d recommend it to anyone starting out.
There are too many other benefits of being a member to mention here but a few which I feel are very beneficial and are worth a mention are:
Access to a wider audience
- As a BJA member you are listed on their website which many buyers use as a tool to find new products.
- You can upload your press releases which are often utilised by the national and international press.
Trusted suppliers to help with advertising your business
- They have a list of trusted suppliers so if you are looking for web designers, photographers etc you can look here first.
Discounted Training Courses
- You can never stop learning in this business and the BJA have negotiated preferential rates for product training to skills improvement courses with various companies.
Discounted Rates for Trade Shows
- There is a trade show directory on line and the BJA have negotiated some discounted rates which helps with planning which shows you want to exhibit at during the year.
Recognised and trusted logo
- When you become a member you are given a logo with a membership number on which can be used on your website, stationary etc. All members have to abide by a Code of Ethics and so the recognised logo can give your customers security that they are receiving a high quality, ethical product.
- Successful people in the jewellery business have very kindly signed up to give their time and become mentors for others who would like some help and guidance.
The BJA has so much to offer a new business and I’d recommend anyone who is setting up a new jewellery business to become a member and take advantage of the many benefits it has to offer.