When it comes to maintaining your own professional jewelry design business, there are several different routes worth exploring as you decide which business model best suits your monetary and personal interests. One of the most important day-to-day, relevant business decisions you’ll need to make is that of whether you want to
– Periodically go into a retail jewelry store to buy all the supplies you wish to work with
– Shop online and purchase your materials in bulk from a wholesale dealer
But which option is the best for you and your small business needs? This really depends on a handful of different variables.
What sort of quantities are you typically looking to buy? Many of our students and graduates work on a project-to-project basis, designing very specific looks for individual clients. For example, maybe you had a client commission you for a project in which she wants matching necklaces made for each of her granddaughters.
Especially if this client had a general look in mind, you’ll probably be purchasing materials specific to this particular project, materials that you might not work with otherwise or on any other projects in the future. Naturally you’ll be looking for smaller quantity here. If these are the types of projects you typically find yourself working on, wholesale just doesn’t make sense for your business model.
But maybe this doesn’t sound like your day-to-day workflow at all. Do you own your own small boutique store (whether it be online or brick and mortar)? If that’s the case, you’re the one in control of your own projects, and your workdays probably consist of making repeated executions of the same one piece.
For example, if you have an Etsy shop and people are going crazy for a certain pair of earrings you have photographed and listed online, you’ll be spending the next few weeks making a ton of different pairs of that same earring design to ship out to all the buyers who ordered a pair. If this sounds like you, wholesaling is the perfect option, and one that will likely save you a great deal of time and money.
In any case, before deciding where you’re best suited to start shopping for your materials, we highly recommend you take a step back to analyze what type of workflow you see yourself most enjoying. Once you have a better picture in mind of the kind of business you’d like to operate, the decision to partner with a wholesaler will become a self-explanatory one.