Home Based Jewelry Business Owners – 6 Tips To Beat The Bad Economy

Selling Jewelry In A Bad Economy

How To Sell Jewelry Even In A Down Economy:

With uncertain economic times happening in the US and some other countries, your financial situation may be tightening up a bit. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do as an artistic person to help make things better for you and your family. Here are 6 tips for making money with a part-time, home-based jewelry business during bad economic times:

1) Make your own polymer clay beads. If you love original handmade beads and have been buying them to include in your jewellery making projects, make the beads yourself instead! Some customers love the look of authentic coral, turquoise and bone, but aren’t willing to pay for it right now. For them you can create very convincing replicas at a fraction of the cost using polymer clay. You’ll save on expenses while creating truly one-of-a-kind designs that will sell. This translates to happy customers which means a profitable home jewelry business for you.

2) Don’t forget that even when the economy is tight, people still need to give presents. No matter how bad it gets, people will still give gifts. If you are finding it hard to sell your current jewelry designs to your regular customers, you need to ask yourself a couple of things. Are my jewelry prices too high for them? Or do I need to find new customers? You will either have to find a way to reduce your costs and make lower ticket items… or market to a higher income bracket. You should understand that a person who once bought diamonds, may now settle for buying higher end art jewelry. People still buy during hard times. They just buy differently!

3) Wear your jewelry at all times. It is by far the cheapest and most effective advertising you can do. I have received many custom jewelry orders simply by just wearing the stuff I make. In fact just this week, I have requests for 6 custom beaded lanyards just because I wear one to hold my membership card at the YMCA. You may remember me writing about a similar situation when someone else bought the pirate crossbones jewelry lanyard I was using that day. Wearing your pieces also gives your product good real life testing, so you can always be improving your designs.

4) Shop regularly at dollar stores for discounted jewelry supplies. Just because it is in the dollar store doesn’t mean it is low quality. Businesses go under all the time and their liquidated inventories get sold in these types of places. There are 6 different stores I frequent regularly. However, learn the difference between good and bad quality materials. Dollar stores can also sell crappy stuff that isn’t worth buying at all!

5) Get creative with your supplies. There is no reason why you have to buy all your jewelry making supplies at a craft store. The hardware store can be an economical resource for wire, metal sheeting, cording, swivels, clasps and tools. For some tips on finding these alternative jewelry findings read this article: Cheap Jewelry Making Supplies For Bead Artists

6) Simplify your designs. Instead of putting 20 meticulously handcrafted beads on a single piece, consider using one beautifully made focal bead on a simple cable. This will save you time and materials which is what drives the price of your pieces up. Look at what is hot in polymer clay jewelry on Etsy right now… Image transfers onto polymer clay pendants; Focal beads; Rose pendant jewelry. Think big bang for your buck and you will sell your handmade jewelry when others are having a hard time doing so!

So whether you just need a few hundred extra dollars a month to offset high gas and food prices; Or a home jewelry business to help compensate for a lost job; You can turn your beading hobby into a source of income if you get creative with it. Education, supplies and a dream is all you need!

Has this bad economy effected your jewelry making business? Share your stories below. You may end up with some great feedback from the many readers that drop by here on a regular basis.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Karla, 11 October, 2008

    Thanks for stopping by. Your site has a ton of helpful info here. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!

  2. Cindy Lietz, 12 October, 2008

    You’re welcome Karla! I enjoyed reading your blog as well. Thanks for popping by!

  3. stephanie, 14 October, 2008

    Great advice Cindy!

  4. Cindy Lietz, 14 October, 2008

    Thank you very muck Stephanie!

  5. tina, 11 November, 2008

    Great advice Cindy! As always, your experience and tips are not only helpful, but positive and uplifting.

    I just wrote an article in a beaders group about the negative side to beading, how much competition there is today, compared to just 10 or 15 years ago. My focus was mainly on the Corporate magazine industry, how they create more subscribers, how much they know about their subscribers, and how many more new beaders they create on a regular basis. It’s very hard to stay ahead, not just with the down-turn of the economy, but keeping up with the competition. Galleries, shops, markets and fairs include more jewellers than ever….Beads are a drug! lol

  6. Anna Sabina, 11 November, 2008

    I always check the clearance jewelry section at the store. Some of the jewelry on clearance is ugly but maybe I can get a nice chain and cover the ugly focal bead with PC; ends up being cheaper than buying a nice chain separately. I also have bought several necklaces and stripped the beads off of them; never pay more than $3. Last year I went to a mall costume jewelry shop ( Claire’s) and they had a table of ghastly looking necklaces with beads 10 for $1.00. I bought some that some that had a bunch of gothic looking lockets and took it apart. 15 lockets together looked ugly but I have used them individually to embellish picture frames or covered boxes. I also check garage sales and have bought some brooches for 10 cents because they are missing rhinestones; I pick the rest of the stones out and use them for embellishments. Or buy a funky old Brooch and use it to make textures in PC.

  7. Tante Sherry, 09 July, 2013

    Anna I’m so glad I ended up back in ’08 these are some really great resources Love the tip about getting rhinestones!!!
    I just got a pretty gun metal chain at a $ store to take apart and reuse
    oh & the locket on a tin sent my brain up to the net gear:)
    thanks again Charlie cat is saying it supper time(loudly) :)

  8. Adrienne lindsey, 12 November, 2008

    Love all the ideas you come up with. Some I have thought of and some I have not. It is great to have another perspective from which to gather ideas from.
    Thanks, Adrienne

  9. Cindy Lietz, 12 November, 2008

    @Tina: Thanks for your kind comments! I do feel there are always things you can do to make your life/business better, no matter the situation. Sometimes you just have to think about things differently. I’ve read your article and it is good. Although not as uplifting, it does shed some light on things about our business I hadn’t thought of. As always, it’s great to have you here!

    @Anna: You’ve got some excellent tips there! It is a fantastic way to find beads, clasps and other findings for a great price! Thank you for sharing your ideas!

    @Adrienne: You’re welcome! It is always good to look at things from a few different perspectives! Thanks for your comment!

  10. Miguel, 31 March, 2010

    Hi Cindy, thank you for all the good information you provide for all of us. I had a question for you; my wife started a clay beads jewelry business and we are trying to make a living out of it but we can not produce beads fast enough to try to contact more gift stores so we can sale more. Do you know any techniques or any equipment being sold to mass produce polymer clay beads? Thank you and hope you can help us. I lost my job and we are trying hard to cover our expenses with this beautiful product.

  11. Phaedrakat, 01 April, 2010

    @Miguel: Hi Miguel, I’ve never heard of any mass production equipment, per se. But you can buy certain machines that help some of the processes. Like the pasta machine — you can buy a larger one, like the DREAM machine at Polymer Clay Express. There’s a video showing it at that link.

    Being able to make larger sheets will allow you to make larger canes. Bead rollers might help you roll beads faster. Rock tumblers can speed up the sanding. Cindy has a video on how to use them.

    Then there are power tools to do the final buffing. You can also use a Dremel tool, like in this tutorial, but I have a feeling you are looking for the bigger power tools, like bench grinders or Foredom (jewelers) buffers.

    For most of us though, it’s the hand-made aspect of creating an art bead that makes polymer clay beads so special. Tiny irregularities and little differences in each bead are what show the buyer that the beads were made by hand, with love and creativity from the artist. I guess it depends on what kind of beads you’re actually making. Leave a comment about what kind of beads you make. Someone else can probably come up with some better ideas.

  12. Phaedrakat, 01 April, 2010

    @Miguel: Hi again Miguel, I’m sorry. I meant to tell you that I feel bad about your job. These are really hard times. I’m having difficulties myself (and most everyone I know has some big financial problem or job loss going on.) I wish you luck in you & your wife’s venture. Best of luck to you!

  13. Miguel, 01 April, 2010

    Thank you Phaedrakat. This names of tools will be enough to star searching for tools I can use to make higher volume of production; I am not talking hundreds of beads ,I am just talking about making enough so I can dream on going to more business or even on line to try sale more and maybe make a living out of this in the future…We are just making basic printings like flowers.

    Thank you for your support and hope the best for every one using this miracle product that can create beautiful things and thank you Cindy for your blog…….

  14. Cindy Lietz, 04 April, 2010

    @Miguel: Sorry to take so long getting back to you. I saw that Phaedrakat has been very helpful for you.

    The production of polymer clay beads doesn’t have to be that high tech to be successful. It is more a matter of figuring out a system for yourself that works.

    She Beads is a perfect example of a company that makes polymer clay beads on a commercial scale, pretty much entirely by hand. The link by my name will take you to an article and short video that will explain more of what I mean.

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