How do I get my product in retail stores and online?
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.We have a two part question. First, you wish to get your designs into retail stores, so, you are now a wholesaler as much as you are a jeweler.
How do you intend to distribute your jewelry? What trade associations are you going to approach to help you figure out where your particular style is sought. Some of the more noted are Jewelers of America and the Jewelry Information Center. You can find all kinds of articles on Google about how to get your particular product line to the right distribution channel in retail.
When you decide what you're going to do and whom you will approach, then you go into a connections program. If you're going it alone, in particular, you definitely want to start networking--you'll need to make sure you get a list of retail stores from your association that can help you find all the different brokerage houses and retail chains that will entertain looking at your particular line of jewelry.
Make sure that you choose the right ones that will favor your creativity and jewelry type. If you work with crystal, you don't want to approach Tiffany's...get it? Click here for some extra information to help you along with your search: http://tinyurl.com/jwlry24
Remember too, these stores and buyers are bombarded with designers trying to get in the door to show what they have come up with as the next major design line for their store. It has to be the "Purple Cow" of jewelry to really get their attention.
Second, as far as getting your stuff online--there are a ton of sites you can market your jewelry to that are user-friendly and effective.
I'll share an example of one store that you can look through to see what that particular online store offers: www.artnouveaupassion.etsy.com
This designer has a simple design, but with her efforts in online marketing she has gotten more attention as of late and is progressing well in her sales. She has been working with ETSY.com for a while now and has found good success with that particular distribution channel.
Mind you, if you are going to market yourself online, you will need to understand internet marketing a lot more than if you were to just have an association, like the ones above, work it for you.
Doing things yourself though allows you greater profit. It just takes more time to get it done correctly. There is a learning curve to some of the sites too. But if you have the time and desire, you can definitely use the internet as an effective tool that will produce you income for your business, and notoriety for your creative designs.
Keep it rollin!