Should I setup and staff a small jewellery workshop to complement our main jewellery business?

I run a retail jewellery business. We sell mainly platinum engagement rings. We purchase castings which are then finished/sized/set by 3rd party workshops. We spend circa £6,000 per month on these 3rd party services. I am wondering whether at that level of expenditure we should look to set-up a small workshop at our premises to take on some of this work. I am thinking of 1 jobbing jeweller and some equipment like a laser etc. I believe I could save workshop costs as well as retain some of the precious metal filings. Plus we would also be able to offer a better service to clients. Are there any jewellers on this forum who have considered this problem?


Hi! I don't have experience in your field, but I just wanted to say congrats for the idea, and for your business in general: it sounds like you're doing good!

It sounds like you have two problems to overcome: money and the actual shop.

Money-wise, if you think 6k/month would cover salary, rent, utilities and other expenses, then you're already winning: like you said, you'd provide a better service to your customers, and that is very valuable on its own. Not to mention opening another line of business, which helps long-term.

Of course, you should factor in the initial investment in static assets; but I expect asset turnover to be quite good for you: you'll be able to maintain a steady flow of orders, so you're safe in assuming that your initial investment in lasers, etc will pay off.

So, all that remains is to find a good jeweller, right?

Sorry for my rant :) and best of luck!

Answered 9 years ago

When I owned my jewelry business, I made everything in house until the number of orders exceeded what I could produce, in excellent quality. I contracted two local jewelry instructors to work in house for the overflow. I found that there were too many issues with quality and design when I outsourced. Having someone in house allows you monitor, speed, quality and offer your customers the best service.

If you already have a space that you can reorganize to add the laser and setter then you only have to absorb the cost of the additional employee and the cost of equipment. Of course looking for gently used equipment is always an option.

You said that you use several 3rd party services, I am wondering if one of them is a small shop that my consider joining your venture, that way you are working with someone you know, like and trust already.

Answered 9 years ago

I believe you should set up a workshop. Jewellery making was good busy work for idle hands. Jewellery making is a viable low investment business for hands-on creatives, but crafting skills are not required. Whatever your motivation or skill level, starting a jewellery-making business comes with its own set of considerations and complications. In the U.S., alone, the jewellery industry generates a hulking $70 billion dollars yearly in sales, with the lion's share in fine jewellery. Read fashion and jewellery blogs daily to stay on top of trends for each upcoming season. One of Erica Weiner's most popular products, customers can personalize the engraved messages on one or both sides of these heart necklaces. That is what Biko founder and designer Corrine Anestopoulos did, launching her collection based on personal style. Success as a newbie in any facet of the fashion industry depends on strong aesthetic, unique design/product, and consistent branding. Before working with a designer to develop your branding and before designing individual pieces, run through a few exercises to define your overall signature. Clip ideas from fashion and jewellery blogs. Never stop being inspired, says Anestopoulous. Once you have established your products' aesthetic and nailed your customer profile, it should be easier to identify an overall look that will define your brand. On the low-cost end, you can set up a basic Shopify store with a free theme and develop the logo yourself using a free online logo-maker. Keep in mind that you will still want to reserve budget for professional product photos. We will discuss the importance of photography for jewellery later in this post. 3DM Jewellery Design Studio has coaching and courses you can use to learn how to design your own jewellery.
Handcrafting jewellery can be one of the most involved yet personal and versatile of the production methods. Depending on materials and design, some methods of jewellery production require specialized training/certification and expensive equipment. In many cases, with an amazingly simple lighting setup, you can achieve great DIY on-white photos of your products, even with your smartphone. Jewellery, however, can be a little more challenging due to its tiny details and reflective surfaces. “Don't skimp on photography,” Anestopoulos says, even if you are on a budget. While working with skilled people will yield better results, it does not have to blow your budget.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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