Advice on Naming Your Jewelry Business

Oct 13, 2008

If you're looking for advice on choosing a  jewelry business name, preparing for your first craft show, or dealing with folks who want a "deal" on your jewelry, you're in the right place!  Today I'm sharing the answers to those questions thanks to Viki Lareau who writes the Bead Biz column in every issue of Beadwork magazine.  Viki has been in the jewelry-making business for more than 20 years and is the author of Marketing and Selling Your Handmade Jewelry: The Complete Guide to Turning Your Passion into Profit.--Michelle Mach, Beading Daily editor

I'm having trouble deciding on a name for my business.  Is it better to include my name in the name of the business?--Gerry

I would go so far as to say it's probably one of the least important aspects of this type of business.  Whether you use your name or not will have no bearing on your success.  But to give you some direction, base your decision on how big you see yourself taking this.  Is it always going to be a small at-home business?  If so, including your name is probably more appropriate.  Do you hope instead to grow into a midsize or even a very large business?  Then it's probably better to not use your name, especially when it comes time to sell the business so it's not solely tied to the owner.--Viki Lareau

I have my first craft show coming up.  How do I know how much inventory to bring?  I've never done the show, so I don't want to sell out.  But I'm not sure how much I should be making just in case it's very busy.  Help!  Thank you!--Debbie

This is a great question.  Whenever you sign up for a show, you are allotted a set amount of space--a 6- or 8-foot table, or maybe an 8 by 10 booth.  Whatever size space, you need to fill it with merchandise or display props.  It is a good idea to have a dozen or more pieces as back stock.  As you sell down, you'll need to fill in.  But when you're running out of jewelry (never a bad thing), you'll need to fill in with more postcards or business cards or mirrors or more display props.  You can't afford to have the table look sparse, because that gives the impression that all the good stuff has been sold, and you won't sell the rest.  Over time, you'll become an expert at making a 6-foot table look amazing no matter what your level of stock.--Viki Lareau

Everyone always says they love my jewelry, but no one in my area seems to want to pay for it.  Everyone wants a deal.  It's very frustrating.  Help!--Sandy

You're just marketing to the wrong people.  Often our friends, family, and co-workers are not our best customers just because we know them.  You might need to approach stores or shows that are out of your area and are a better fit for your jewelry.  Even though it's more work, it's often worth the effort to achieve bigger sales.  Plus, these people will only know you from your business, so there is no expectation of special favors.--Viki Lareau

For more answers to your beading questions, check out the Bead Biz column by Viki Lareau in every issue of Beadwork magazine.  In the October/November 2008 issue on sale now, Viki answers questions about sales tax and what to do when a store closes, takes all your consignment pieces with it, and disconnects their phone (yikes!).  In the December 2008/January 2009 issue, she'll answer questions about protecting yourself from bad checks and dealing with returns.  Subscribe to Beadwork today to make sure you don't miss that issue!  If you're just getting started, you will also enjoy Viki's book, Marketing and Selling Your Handmade Jewelry which covers everything from building your portfolio and pricing to designing marketing materials and filing taxes.  Buy a copy of Marketing and Selling Your Handmade Jewelry.


 Michelle Mach shares beading news, contests, reader galleries, and other beady stuff every Monday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website.



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Comments

BobR@3 wrote
on Oct 13, 2008 3:53 PM

Actually, in some areas, there is a solid reason to use your name for a business, especially if you are just trying things out. If you use a false business name or a DOB, you might have to file a statement in a newspapaer, get a business license in that name, and perhaps complete other steps, such as a checking account. If you use your name, you can bypass many of these steps and see how things go. A flop? No big deal. A rip-roaring success...change the name. Bob in WA.

JenniferJ@43 wrote
on Oct 13, 2008 4:48 PM

I just finished my first big two-day show and have to say that I had Viki's book right there in my bag.  I would highly recommend it for a down-to-earth take on the steps needed to create an identity and not get too caught up in the details.  The "business" side has taken more of my time, but because of the tips she shared, it has been much easier and a lot more fun.

On the naming topic, I was sitting here on my couch with a man I'd been dating just a few weeks.  He's a marketing type, though, and so we were discussing names for my blog that I wanted to start.  He asked me to start naming the things I love about my jewelry in a sort of brainstorming exercise.  I ended up jumping around the living room getting more and more excited about texture and color and shape and size and brightness and funky designs and just plain old happiness...it was almost like a counseling session when I said that I think my stuff "just rocks!!" and, so there it was... Jen Judd Rocks.  :)  It's not just me and my superstar wannabe self, but it's the rocks and baubles that I love!!!

Thanks for continuing the biz tips...they're always helpful!!!!

Belinda@20 wrote
on Jun 2, 2009 3:25 AM
I've only been beading for a few months. I have only been making strech bracelets and earrings; clip and pierced. I have been giving them away and always hear that I should sell my work. I do have an eye for color and design. No sets are alike. I would love to sell my jewelry. How do I get started? It's great to know there are places like this to get help. Thanks for all advice.
jas@11 wrote
on Sep 21, 2009 1:53 AM
hi. i am from the phillipines and i just started making my own bead accessories and hopefully sell it soon. i am so happy that i found this site and makes me more interested and inspired to continue on with this mini-business of mine. i am a doctor but i find it interesting to make bead accessories, part of my artistic side. Its really fun thinking names for the business, and i am so happy that i got one and i named it Aprilbeads. April because my birthday is on april and my stone is diamond, which is the girls bestfriend, the beads of course is from the craft that i will be making and sure its a girls bestfriend also. thank you and i hope with you're advise and free downloads can help my business to succeed in the future. More POwer
kaltawy wrote
on Nov 25, 2010 7:39 PM

Hi, I agree with all what you said, i find it so  easy to start by using your own name, then go for a professional one, i named mine www.dreamlandjewelry.com/ , but started with using my personal name first and then when things went good i changed it, anyways thanks again for your informative article, i appreciate it.

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Funkysak wrote
on Jan 6, 2012 9:00 PM

Hello. I'm new to the area so-to-speak. This is a great site for every level of jewelry makers. Thank you for your advice on the subject. What I'd like to know is how to present myself and jewelry to merchants on consignment or otherwise. I do have a partner and we usually present together. We are looking to broaden our Funky S.a.K original hand made fine art jewelry business, and one way is to have our jewelry on display and for sell in various shops and boutiques ect.  I believe I want to know how we should dress and what should be the next thing after hello my name is so and so and......What?  I mean what should be our presentation? I'm long winded I know. But, any thoughts on this? Thank you.