You will need to find a product you want to make and perfect it. Start small and one day you will look up and you will have so many products and a thriving business! For instance if you have a thing for crystals and gemstones you could start with our raw gemstone settings. Purchase some stones and some settings, make the items, photograph them and get them listed on your site. If they aren't listed they can't sell!
Maybe you like stamped jewelry and want to create stamped items. Teach yourself how to stamp. We make blanks for stamping but we don't sell stamping tools but you can find some really amazing companies that do like Impress Art or Beaducation and of course you can find stamps at your local Hobby Lobby to get started!
Maybe you like resin jewelry and the options for this are endless! You can do breast milk jewelry, hair keepsake jewelry, cremation jewelry. Or you can do resin with colors and glitter, resin with gemstones or resin with dried flowers! I would start with cup settings for most of these
When I was starting out I was SO broke. I would take 50$ and buy supplies and make and list the items. I would create things in a way I could make as many listings as possible with as many different variations as I could. Then when something sold, I would take all the money from that sale, buy supplies and create more items. The key to all of it is being creative but more importantly it is getting the items listed so they can sell.
The hardest step for me was and still is, photography! I think everyone struggles with some aspect but I think most people struggle with photography and I cannot tell you how many times I have re-photographed everything I make and sell! It's exhausting! The thought of taking photos just frustrates me hahaha Get a good camera, I currently use a Canon EOS with a micro lens if you are at a loss of what type of camera to buy. Learn that camera the best you can and although I don't use it currently I would recommend window light as that seems to create the best photos but it isn't always convenient. You have a day scheduled to take photos and its cloudy and your photos come out looking moody and not in a good way. for this reason I created a light box from foam board purchased at a craft store and white duct tape. Get some flood lights from the hardware store to attach to the top of the foam board box and you have an inexpensive light box! You will have to play with your settings on the camera at this point to get the right feel.
Take some time to get your lighting correct, it will save you a lot of frustration in the future. You can get a great program for editing photos from www.befunky.com they also have templates to help you create ads for promoting.
Once you have them listed you will want to promote them. I recommend PAID advertising first. Google is difficult to get set up but they will help you with whatever you need. Paid advertising is out number one best source for traffic. Next is social media sites Instagram and Pinterest are the best that I have found and if you have an email list, even if its only 2 people send an email announcing the new items you have listed. You can market your business without it costing anything but paid advertising will bring more, better and faster!
Shopify is great because they are always trying to help their sellers, sell more. They have an email program that is reasonable on price, they connect with venues that could increase your sales and their team is always working on new and creative ways of assisting you with growing your business. I really haven't seen too many venues that put in the effort like Shopify does.
I absolutely do not recommend marketplaces like Etys, or Ebay etc. No matter where you are selling you will have to promote and do the work. On marketplaces it is a little easier to get traffic but it is not sustainable at all. If they make a change in something on their site, your sales go into the toilet and you work to figure out what it is and work to correct it. I worked and worked an worked all the time to try and figure out algorithms and changes to maintain my sales. It never worked and I was stressed out all the time chasing the fix!
They also have the ability to just shut you down for any reason or in some cases NO reason. Maybe they don't like something you have created and they will remove the item and limit access to your store. Starting your own shop on your own .com is the only way to go and if you do this from the beginning you will be a lot more content as time goes on even if it is a little more slow.
Another thing I would recommend is to keep it simple. What I mean by this is focus on what you love and don't get dragged into too many things. Its really easy to get sucked in, like payment processing. You get a paypal account, a square account, your web site payment processer etc etc. You do this thinking that you are making it easier for people to purchase but what you don't think about is all the work you will have to do to maintain all those accounts haha Get a business checking account and use the payment processer on the site you are using. When you are doing a creative business the last thing you want to do is spend most of your time running your business, you want to create!
If you have any questions about something I have said here or something I have missed you can contact me at email@example.com