I’m continuing a series on niche markets for handmade jewelry designers. By focusing on a niche market, you reduce your overall costs of doing business because your supply costs go down due to your focus on a smaller array of components. Your advertising costs are also decreased since it’s easier to reach a more defined jewelry market. It’s always important to test new niche markets before you go into production to make sure you have a focused audience that wants to buy your product.
A jewelry design market that seems to be under served, at least in my area, is the market for upscale children’s jewelry. Most of the jewelry I see in children’s boutiques appears to be mass produced, possibly imported from overseas. This is important for several reasons. Much of the imported jewelry is cast in metals that contain lead which is a known health hazard to children. Parents are aware of this and are likely to be picky about the jewelry they purchase for their children. The second compelling reason to offer upscale children’s jewelry is parents are willing to spend more on their children these days and children are much more knowledgeable and demanding about what they want.
Why not design an upscale line of jewelry for children using sterling silver or gold filled findings and components? You could advertise your jewelry as being designed with only sterling and gold filled, emphasizing that these metals are lead free. This would be an excellent marketing point. You could incorporate cute, little,sterling silver teddy bear or doll charms or any number of other child motifs. Parents will feel good about purchasing your jewelry for their children knowing your jewelry designs are made of lead free, high quality components. You could display your handmade children’s jewelry on specially designed cards that have a cute children’s poem or saying that would appeal to both the child and her parents
To market your child oriented jewelry line, you could team up with an elementary school who could use your jewelry for school fund raising. Another good market would be gift shops of children’s hospitals. This particular market alone could be a huge source of business! Imagine how many people visiting hospitalized children would like to take the sick child a beautiful piece of jewelry! Other co-marketing arrangements could be made with groups such as local girl scout organizations, 4H clubs, and children’s art councils. Of course, you’ll want to set up a website and include your web address on all of your marketing materials.
One word of warning. I would design jewelry for children older than 6 years of age if you’ll be using beads. Children younger than this are at risk of swallowing and choking on them and are prone to chewing on anything they can get their hands on. You might want to include this warning on your jewelry display card.
If you’re ready to approach a new jewelry market, I hope you’ll give this one some thought. It may open up a whole new profit center for your jewelry business!