A couple weeks ago, I spoke a bit about how to set up a jewelry making business. If you are serious about building a business around what you love to do - design and make jewelry - you'll need a place to sell your finished product. I thought we could discuss how to build a website to sell your jewelry designs and creations.
You can, of course, approach someone in the business who has an existing website and negotiate with them to sell your pieces or maybe a local jewelry store would be willing to sell some for you on a consignment basis. You can establish a 'store front' on Etsy or eBay and attend craft shows. The contacts you make through these sources can just as easily be routed through your own website and cut some of your overhead costs. I've put together a few suggestions on how to get started if you decide you want to do it yourself.
First you will need to consider the basic format you will use. I would highly recommend using WordPress since it's easy to use, very compatible with customizing and element options and a premium theme designed for performance with an e-store will cost you about as much as a nice dinner out, and usually includes excellent technical support and help through user forums. Next you will need a hosting service. This is where all your website files will live. There are several great companies with a variety of plans available. As an example, I personally use 3dcart. And you will need a domain name. This is the .com address your customers will use to get to your shop.
Of course, if you are planning to sell your jewelry from your website, you will want to add a shopping cart function. This can be as simple as installing a plug-in, a pre-written program that quite literally plugs into your WordPress theme in the dashboard, and setting up a PayPal account. Depending on your level of experience in this area, you might need help with the integration in this step.
Before you begin any venture to build a website to sell your jewelry designs and creations, make sure you take some time to do research so you can decide what you want. Whether you jump in and do it yourself or decide to hire a pro, you'll want some firm ideas of a basic layout and possibly an outline of pages and content, color scheme and a logo. This is not something you'll want to enter into without some thought and planning.
And remember, I'm always here to help.