How to Succeed in Designing Jewelry

February 9, 2002 | By | 1 Reply More

QUESTION on How to Succeed in Designing Jewelry:

I have been designing jewelry for a year and a half now and have so many more ideas I can do with it, but I need someone to help me. I desperately want to go bigger but cannot make enough product by myself. Where do I find the help to get me there? Where do I get the help without somebody stealing my idea? Are there labor unions where I can find such people? Example: Kathy Lee Gifford had “sweat shops” out of the country making her stuff. Or do I have to be rich and famous? How do people such as J. Lo get her own perfume line? Who produces it? Should I patent my idea before somebody gets rich off of my idea? If so, how? I know my stuff could be the next big thing in Hollywood. Should I just start sending some of my stuff to celebrities or morning shows or maybe the president? Or maybe In Style magazine? Will that get me anywhere? I am very motivated and I know I have something big. I just need to know how to do it. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

– Danielle




ANSWER by Yvonne Buchanan

Dear Danielle:

You raise a lot of questions! I will try to answer the most pressing one first: inexpensive labor. While sweat shops may be popular for certain segments, I wouldn’t want my business built on one, would you? It sounds like you have a great and unique product. Why not contact a local art school, pay students reasonable wages and give them some training in an art form at the same time?

jewelry designNow, to protect your work: Ideas are not copyrightable, but the expression of them is. Be certain to ask any workers you hire to sign a non-compete agreement. “Copyright” your work by including some type of signature design (a metal clasp with your name on it, etc.). The patent process can take months to years, so it’s best to make a mark with your design so the original ownership is not up for debate.

As far as marketing your jewelry, it sounds like you have a good start in local shops. Giving away to celebrities (local and national) is also a great idea. You can also send samples to style editors at magazines along with a press release or fact sheet on who you are and how you got started, and any notable successes your business has had. And if a celeb has been photographed in your design, mention that! Good luck, Danielle. Let us know how it goes.

And by the way: J. Lo got her own perfume line by becoming famous first. Work hard, and we may see your name on the perfume counter soon.

Yvonne Buchanan

Recommended Books on Starting a Jewelry Business:

Yvonne Buchanan is a 20-year veteran of public relations, marketing and advertising. She teaches public relations courses online for career changers, freelancers and students through The PR Academy www.learnpr.com and is co-founder of Real-World PR www.realworldpr.com , a public relations information provider for small businesses. Real-World PR offers public relations toolkits (manual/CD combinations) that allow small business owners to create and maintain their own public relations programs.

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Category: Business Ideas, Q & A

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  1. Zubke says:

    You could definitely see your enthusiasm in the paintings you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

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