Who wouldn’t want to make money doing something that they love? Owning a home-based jewelry business can be a side business or a full-time business venture. Starting your own jewelry business can be a daunting task, but there are lots of resources available to help get you started. Handmade beaded jewelry sells well in gift shops, galleries and jewelry stores, and many jewelry sellers decide to open their own online jewelry shops to increase sales. Selling beaded jewelry at fine craft shows and jewelry shows is another way to start earning money through your own home-based jewelry business. Running a home-based jewelry business requires you to do a little bit of everything, from bookkeeping to marketing, and most of the time, you can create your own schedule. Running your own jewelry business selling your handmade beaded jewelry can be hard work, but the rewards are excellent!
1. US copyright law automatically protects your work the moment you turn an idea into something material: a sketch, written instructions, a piece of beaded jewelry, or all three.
2. Your beadwork or drawing does not need to be published or displayed to the public to receive copyright protection. And the protection is free.
3. If you plan to sell and/or teach what you've created, consider filing for copyright protection. Should you ever need to sue for infringement, your suit will proceed more quickly if your registration is on record.
4. To prove copyright infringement, you must demonstrate to the court that the work of the infringing part is substantially similar to yours as well as that he/she had access to your work and copied it.
5. If you have developed a design you are convinced will become a long-term best seller, you might want to apply for a design patent from the US Patent Office. The process is slow and expensive and requires a patent attorney. If you do this, you won't get your design to market right away. The advantage of a patent is that if you sue for infringement, you need only prove that the offending work is substantially similar to yours.
Source: Adapted from 'Copyright Basics for Designing Beaders', Beadwork, Marlene Blessing, Interweave Press, October-November 2010.