Jewelry Manufacturing: Getting Started

Ever wondered what it’s like to lose fifty-three million dollars? 

Diving headlong into a manufacturing industry can do that for you (it happened to Kanye West).

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Direct to Supply

In this article, we’ll address how to avoid needless start-up expenditures, excessive opportunity cost, bad deals, ambiguity and unsatisfactory production. When you’re dealing with endless consultants, you can burn money fast. As opposed to working directly with a committed manufacturer who can take you from design to production in two to four weeks.

You don’t necessarily need a distribution deal with a company like Gap, just sound designs, reliable product and a respectable online presence.

It will apply, no matter what stage you’re at and whether you’re a retailer, a designer or are looking to outsource your jewelry manufacturing operations. 

I’ll also discuss a bit about how manufacturing operates in Taxco, Mexico, the mecca of silver in Latin America and our base of operations. 

Takeaways from this article will include tangible goals to move you towards the next step in your jewelry business. 

For designers, this will mean turning sketches into jewelry and eventually into bulk-orders that will allow your business to thrive online.

For procurers, this could mean finding an optimal supplier that offers high quality, fair prices, a point-of-contact with a background in enterprise professional services. 

For manufacturers, you may be looking to outsource part of your operation to a supplier who can maintain standards for quality and reliability at a lower cost or to simply expand your product line. 

In 2018, a jewelry industry report valued its revenue at nearly $280 billion, so there is not question that there is plenty of opportunity here. The question is simply how you and your brand will choose to take action in this quickly growing market.

Steps in the Process 

This will vary, depending on your role. Feel free to skip down to the section you find most relevant. 

If you own a jewelry store, whether it is online or brick-and-mortar, we have a few ways to get started. First, reach out to us to let us know you’re interested. 

We’ll ask for pictures of your pieces to get a sense as to what it will cost to produce your pieces. After that, we can either provide 3d modelling, 3d printing and model casting as services or you can simply provide the model to us at our shipping address in Taxco. Digital files can be sent by email. 

Just scroll down to the contact form at the end of this article to reach out if you want to get started. We don’t charge anything to talk! 

Once we have the model(s), we can start production. Generally, before we start a large order, we’ll want to get your approval on a prototype, which can be either videotaped or sent to you. Custom orders must be above $1,000 in value, and shipping of the final pieces is free to the USA and Mexico. 

If you happen to be outside North America, feel free to reach out, and we’ll check on shipping costs. Usually, international shipping rates are not expensive, although they can take a bit longer. If you have seasonal demand projections, we can align with your schedule. Recently, we’ve been doing significantly more business with designers and retailers in Brazil, and we haven’t had any issues. 

If you’re a designer, the process is much the same, depending on how much experience you have. You will need accurate sketches and specifications of your jewelry pieces. We’ll send your sketches on to a designer who will produce a fully 3d design of your sketch that can be used to create a model with a 3d printer. We’ll send screenshots of the 3d model to get your approval before we proceed with the 3d printing. 

The last stage is casting your 3d printed model, so we have a replicable prototype. As always, if you are already further along in this process, all we need is a model. Using this, we can create a prototype and can move forward with a bulk order once you approve of the prototype.  

For those who are procurers or are interested in outsourcing or in expanding your manufacturing base, the process is much the same. Generally, the only difference here is that production could take place at a significantly larger scale. 

If you’re in this role, we assume you’re already somewhat of an industry expert. It’s likely that you already have your own models etc. Just reach out to us using the form below, and we’ll reach out for a call. Our average time in between being contacted by a new client and starting manufacturing for them is about three weeks, but usually this is mostly for them to take time vetting their various options. We are generally ready to go shortly after receiving the new model(s) and after doing a bit of internal administration to figure out what our production schedule will be. 

Managing Jewelry Retail Growth with your Manufacturer

It is often better to establish a working relationship by ordering your jewelry in smaller quantities, starting out. This allows us to find any faults in the manufacturing process before they are repeated many times over. It also helps build mutual trust over time. A strong foundation, although it may not be our most lucrative deal, is nonetheless the key to building your retail following with stability for the long-term. 

Sometimes, this also aligns nicely with the demand requirements of newer designers. As notoriety and interest grows in their brand, they start to need more pieces. Organic growth in sales for new designers aligns well with the natural desire for gradual escalation in the supplier / designer relationship.   

It is often much the same in the case of a manufacturer interested in outsourcing. Rather than completely shutting down their domestic operations, companies instead often simply start with little production abroad and then expand as long as things continue to go swimmingly. 

If you have any questions, please reach out below. We’d be glad to chat, to look over your sketches or pictures, to come up with pricing estimates, production scheduling and more.