Jewelry As a Hobby Versus Selling
I currently make jewelry only as a hobby for myself and gifts. I tried selling my pieces of work and discovered a few tips along the way.
My first attempt at selling the jewelry I had made was at a craft and farmer's market where the stall fee was $75.00 a day. It was a loss for me as I didn't sell enough to make a profit. When people are strolling through, they just want items for pocket change or small bills in their wallet including food.
Just like prior attempts at selling cosmetics, family and friends will spend their money at stores but if they know you, they want it free. I also do not take requests due to picky people who want unreasonable tasks.
It seems like jewelry repair could be a niche. With the right tools, you could charge a small fee including watch battery replacements. That is something successful at shops. If you can find a supplier, you could replace pearls.
My first frustration was tarnishing silver. There are products for cleaning silver but I can't spend my time polishing hundreds of tiny silver beads. I have stopped using silver or gold- plated beads.
I was going to try having a home party and made about 100 silver beaded necklaces that were really pretty. I packaged them up in gift boxes and stored them. I had a family emergency come up and didn't get to try the home party. When I pulled the jewelry out, I was discouraged to find they had all turned black. I would not be able to sell the items looking like that.
When I look at jewelry in stores, I am pleased in confidence that the items I make for myself are of better quality than what I see. It usually costs me about $30.00 a set to make real stone and pearl necklaces. I generally do not make much costume jewelry except for glass lamp-work beads.
I have accumulated a nice jewelry wardrobe for myself. I always get compliments. I do purchase some works by others to see if I can duplicate a technique I want to try. It helps to see it in front of me to see how it was made. I can usually figure it out.