Success Story: How to Make Money as a Jeweller

14th July 2020

Read how one participant worked with Ambitions and The Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) to find his path to self-employment

Our young person had graduated with a Foundation Degree in Jewellery making and a desire to be self-employed. However, he did not know where to start and was dealing with lack of money as well as a very tumultuous time at home. His family were experiencing a relationship breakdown, and he was having to provide a great deal of support. He came to Ambitions looking for business and creative support, as well as practical advice on his living circumstances.

Our participant was very motivated to make and sell his jewellery and had already set up his own Etsy shop. However, his online shop was not adequately showing the quality of his silversmithing.  We used this as the starting point to explore how best to market his business, planning in the following steps:

  • Teach and carry out high quality photography, to create professional quality images to promote on social media and his selling site
  • Cost analysis of material, time, and overheads, as well as researching market comparisons to identify appropriate price points. Create a rudimentary profit and loss table to use as a tool for costing in future
  • Develop a social media marketing plan based on jewellers he admired or wish to emulate; identifying keywords for trending searches, creating copy for regular posts which have a call to action or a question to promote engagement
  • Analysis of USP to differentiate from competition, deciding on use of Cornish materials and glow in the dark minerals
  • Promotion of work at Ocean Studios
  • Take part in Business Planning workshops
  • Took part in tailored Marketing Strategy workshops.

Behind the scenes we were also supporting our participant to look for apprenticeships or employment within jewellery studios which would develop his technical skills. This nearly came to fruition but unfortunately the studio could not finance the apprenticeship in the end.

We also looked for ordinary employment as he was concerned about the welfare of his Mum and sisters and wanted to make sure he could contribute through his income. A return to education was also explored, looking at universities in Scotland as his family may have been required to move.

Our participant has remained in Cornwall and has registered his jewellery business with HMRC. As a result of COVID-19, the rise in his benefits and continued support on the Ambitions programme he has put all his energies into setting up his business with a more resilient plan for marketing his products. He has invested in building a workshop in the garden and has a manufacturing plan once he can source materials again. He will continue to be a Real Ideas Member, and we will continue to support him accordingly.

Thanks to all his hard work and dedication, our participant has doubled down on his determination to become a jeweller. His confidence has really picked-up and he knows how to see tasks through to completion. It will not be long before he is back in the workshop and adding more products to his stock. Check out his beautiful creations here.