More Than Just Making Jewelry – the Small Business World Online in a Nutshell

Grab your favourite giant mug – fill it with tea or coffee, and get ready for a glimpse into the business side of things …

Disclaimer: I’m no expert on the business side of things, this is meant as a helpful guide on topics I’ve encountered so far

There has been so much to learn along this creative journey. It’s a good thing I love to do research to seek out answers, problem-solving at it’s best! Credit goes to the PBL (Problem Based Learning) Cohort during my BEd. studies at UBC for nurturing my joy of research!

As a person who loves creating and just wants to create for the love of the process, I’ve only really dived into the business-side of things head-first a few months ago, and have already encountered multiple pathways of learning that have been explored but are still needing to be polished (keep scrolling! Tips & Resources below):

Product Lines
Line Sheets
Algorithms (FB, IG)

To make your life (hopefully) easier, here are some things I’ve learned about so far and the resources that have helped me understand the handmade small business/online world:

Purpose: an online selling platform with a global audience
Pros: established audience base, buyers from around the world
Cons: your shop possibly getting lost in the plethora of other shops
Resource: How To Sell On Etsy: Beginner’s Guide To Etsy Setup & Success

Purpose: to have customized platform that shows your image, design, and brand
Pros: lots of platforms out there with domain and hosting options
Cons: takes time finding the option best for you (worth it though!)
· make sure to research what is available and compare
· what is your main purpose of having a website
Website Setup – WordPress vs Wix vs Squarespace
Shivar – Website Building Comparison, Squarespace vs Weebly vs Wix
YouTube – Which is Better: Squarespace or WordPress
Sitebeam – Comparing Two Websites Side-by-Side

SEO – Search Engine Optimizationthis gets a category all to itself because of how much of a mind-blowing curve this was for me
Purpose: strategies to use keywords to bring your item to the top of the page
Pros: lots of cutting and pasting 🙂
Cons: takes time for this to become second nature, lots of front loading research to find keywords relevant to your brand
Handmadeology – Simple SEO for Etsy Sellers
Handmadeology – Your Etsy SEO Manual

Purpose: to show your pieces
Pros: can be fun to do using neat props, showcase unique details
Cons: time consuming and the window for the best natural light can be a challenge to capture
· take photos in natural light
· use interesting props relevant to your brand
· make sure to have photos with a plain white background
· use a photo light box
Jewelry Product Photography: Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
YouTube: DIY photo light box

Product Lines
Purpose: to create signature pieces vs. seasonal designs
Pros: keeps your brand organized, fresh, ever-evolving
Cons: none
· Signature Lines should be designs or pieces that you want to be known for
· Seasonal Lines should rotate every quarter-with each season, or twice a year… you set the time it changes.
· Each Line should contain about 10 pieces
· Popular or favourite pieces from seasonal lines can turn into a Signature piece
Resource: Biz Ladies: Creating a Product Line

Line Sheets heard about it? I just did this week and just did some research today
Purpose: to get your handmade beauties into boutiques and stores! aka Wholesale
Pros: organization, you do this once and keep it updated
Cons: takes time (but is worth it! even if Wholesale is not your thing…yet)
· created with coloured photos of the individual pieces from your collection with a white/plain background
· includes your logo, website, name, contact info
· individual photos to include a description of – product name, item number, wholesale price, SRP, materials
· to think about – minimum order, postage/shipping cost, minimum quantity
Resource: Indie Retail Academy, How to Create a Line Sheet that Makes Selling Easy

Purpose: to be aware of the changing algorithms in popular social media to ensure your posts are being seen by your target audience, be familiar with the (new) tools available, avoid making posting mistakes
Pros: being aware of what tools are available to ensure your posts are seen, post optimization
Cons: takes consistent pro-active research to stay ahead of things
Resource: Hubspot, How the News Feed Algorithms Work on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram


Best Overall Resource that Covers Most of the Basics (not affiliated):
Renae Christine, The No Fail Handmade Online Business Formula (Free Video Series)


Other things to do, keep doing your research! I’m certain that there are several other helpful sources out there in the world of the interwebs to guide you to your answers.


Good luck!!

ps: i am not affiliated with any of the external links, there are lots out there also worth a read-through! If you have helpful resource links, please feel free to share and post them in the comments 🙂

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