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How to Become a Jewelry Designer (Without Any Experience)

BY Peter Vey    |    11 May, 2018
It might seem impossible to become a jeweler designer without years of training and amazing art skills, but this is far from the truth.

Always dreamed of creating your own fine jewelry collection? It's easier than you think. 

It might seem impossible to become a jeweler designer without years of training and amazing art skills, but this is far from the truth. In reality, starting a fine jewelry line has never been easier. 

To begin, all you need is the following:

  1. A unique idea that other brands haven’t discovered
  2. Basic business and marketing knowledge
  3. A small amount of startup capital

Believe it or not, these are the only three components you need to start a jewelry business. While drawing skills and production experience/knowledge can be helpful, they absolutely aren’t a necessity. And you definitely don’t need to learn any complex 3d CAD software to make your first jewelry piece. 

Female Jeweler Designers Discuss a Bracelet Design

“OK, if I don’t need any drawing or jewelry software experience, how can I possibly start a jewelry line?”

The truth is learning complex 3d modeling software takes years, and most people just don’t have time to learn all those new skills. And working the jewelry bench handling diamonds and other precious metals takes even longer.

The smart strategy for a new jewelry designer is to partner with a 3d designer and production house. While basic drawing skills can be very helpful, you can still be a jewelry designer by solely developing ideas and overseeing the production process.

Sketching a Jewelry Design

That being said, you will still need some basic knowledge of business and marketing. You’ll also need to have strong communication skills because essentially you are the CEO of your company; you need to organize production, get your collection in stores, and develop PR and a social media following.

Here's a quick recap of what we've learned so far: 

Chart with Explanation on How to Become a Jewelry Designer

As we can see, although you certainly can do everything yourself, it's absolutely not required. If you don't have drawing, jewelry software, or production skills, you can still be a jewelry designer. And the truth is, most fine jewelry designers who have become successful don't usually handcraft their own pieces (especially after they've grown their brand). 

I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t this going to cost me a ton of money just to get started?”

Not really. Compared to a lot of other traditional businesses, like starting a restaurant or a tech startup, becoming a jewelry designer doesn’t need to take huge investments of capital.

It all depends how big you want to start, and how your business is structured. For instance, if you're looking to open up your own boutique shop in NYC, of course a ton of money is going to go to rent, hiring employees, and stocking your showcases with jewelry.

Compared to a lot of other traditional businesses, becoming a jewelry designer doesn’t require huge investments of capital.

Female Designer Drawing a Ring at a Custom Jewelry Studio

On the other hand, if you start your company online, you’ll spend a lot less money launching your collection. While you want to have a few pieces in stock for each item in your line, you can always produce the bulk of your inventory in response to your sales activity. This will limit costs and makes your business venture a lot less financially risky.

Of course, producing fine jewelry does cost money, so you’ll want to have a budget set aside for manufacturing costs. But opening your e-commerce store, getting started on social media, and retail outreach will have relatively low cost in terms of your time and money.

If you really don’t have the capital to start a small collection, you can always start a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign to raise money. This will have the added benefit of gauging interest in your collection.

Young Designer Researching How to Become a Jewelry Designer Online

Now that you know the basics of starting a jewelry design business, how do you actually get started?

If you have some ideas in mind, or even some basic drawings, reach out to an all-in-one custom jewelry studio for an inquiry. In addition to a cost estimate for your collection, you’ll get to see detailed 3d models of your jewelry before production starts.

The best part is, the studio will take care of the whole process; your 3d design, sourcing and production needs from start to finish. That means you won’t have to spend precious time going from company to company and navigating the production process to see your jewelry collection made.

Interested in the Next Step?