6 really useful tips on how to start to work in jewelry!

By Esther Ligthart on Thursday, 01 September 2016, in Inspiration

infographic!

Ever walked passed a jewelry store and feeling how wonderful it would be to work every day with beautiful jewelry, smiling happy clients and take a plunge into the colorful world of jewelry? Whether you would love to work in a jewelry store or for a jewelry company, here are some tips to get you started!

Bizzita 6 tips to start to work in jewelry

How it started for me:

I fell into the jewelry world. It wasn’t a calling and it wasn’t a plan. Yet, when I lived in Valenza, one of the hottest jewelry places in the world, I fell in love! I learned a lot by listening, observing, doing and just trying. You know those people who write letters to their younger self? Well, I tried to imagine what I would my younger 22 year old self, before I started working in the jewelry business. And I want to share it with you!

Here are my tips for you on how to start in the jewelry business.

 

  1. Try things out! one of the first things you might want to consider is to start with a course. But if you are like me, you might want to try out various positions within the jewelry business, before choosing a definite education. I am not at all opposing to a proper education, before starting, if you know already which way you would like to go. Really, you should go for it! But there is so much to say for just trying things out and then make a more informed decision. So, go on, try different jobs!

  2. Read!  Today’s world is so different than when I started out. Blogs, websites and Google are just all a click away, even 10 minutes in the bus, can be a great time to do some research. Read a blog, read different blogs! There are a lot of blogs to choose from. Everyone has not only their own style, with a different background and approach to the jewelry world. From very formal to very informal. From a fashion angle to a gemstone loving approach. Read and learn!  Go to websites that inform about jewelry. There are many great ones!

  3. Seek a mentor. I am the first to admit that I did not do that, and I regret it! I am, still today, terrible at asking help, whilst I tell others that they should never feel embarrassed to do so!. And I am still working on that, but I understand the value of a good mentor at any age! Someone who possibly is a little older than you, has experience in life and in the business and is willing to be a mentor. Learning from others saves you a lot of time!  Try and ask, you will probably be surprised how many feel not just flattered but happy to share and give back to people with the same passion!

  4. Raise your standards. Say you have made it. A jewelry store offered you a job! That’s great! Allow yourself to get comfortable with jewelry, with lockets, with the material, with moving around clients with jewelry. Once you start to get the hang of it, it’s time to raise your standard. Observe what you could improve, every single day. Your attitude? Your knowledge about gemstones? Is there something that isn’t part of your job description but that you can take on? Could you do social media for the store or brand? Could you add value to your service, to your approach every single day? Then go for it. You will see that it will not only make your boss very happy but it will bring you a great sense of fulfillment. We all want to be appreciated and feeling fulfilled in what we do. We rarely get that by not developing our own knowledge, skills, habits and character.

  5. Visit trade fairs. Visit a trade fair! You will see more jewelry than you could ever dream of if you visit JCK, VicenzaOro, Basel World, Inhorgenta or one of the other bigger jewelry trade fairs, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to listen, to go out and meet people, ask for opinions, advice or just listen to people’s story. Whilst walking around, you’ll see very different brands. What do you like? Why do you like it? What can you learn from window displays, the approach to clients, do you spot trends? Buy the magazines, talk to people, look and really observe and then listen, listen and listen some more!

  6. Education. Now it is time to talk about education. Perhaps you have found out that you love gemstones so much that you want to become a gemmologist. Or you know that you want to end up working for a company that requires the knowledge of a gemmologist. Perhaps you discovered to have a commercial talent for this business. The possibilities are endless, but there are schools of management or entrepreneurship that focus on the fashion or luxury business, like the Essec Business School, the Bocconi Institute and many more. Be bold and ask companies that you admire or love to work for, what kind of education they would recommend.

 

6 really useful tips on how to start to work in jewelry Bizzita

This infographic was created by Esther Ligthart for Bizzita.com. You may Pin it or share it on social media. All rights reserved.
 

 

 

The reason I write this article is really because of two reasons.

The first is that often people, when I say I write about jewelry, they have this sudden glance in their eyes. For some it's the glitter and glamour, or because they love jewelry so much themselves. To others it seems so much more interesting to what they do themselves. Both are only assumptions. Although glitter and glamour are definitely a part of the jewelry world, behind the scenes it is a business. Knowledge, training, dedication, money, years of efforts, high risks, and much more are all part of that business. The glitter and glamour is the outer shell. If you get in it for just that, you won’t last very long :-)

 

 Bizzita JW 2014

Visiting a trade fair can be a very inspiring activity! 

The second reason is that I met with young students this winter at the TEFAF. They were attending the jeweler school in Schoonhoven, the Netherlands. They were the most uninspired group of students I ever met. Standing in front of Van Cleef & Arpels, Wallace Chan and Chopard and they were….bored. They had lost their enthusiasm and interest, complained that teachers weren’t connected with the current jewelry industry. Nothing about social media, nothing about marketing. Their dreams, whether big or small, seemed kind of crushed.

juwelier toekomst

Your own future jewelry store? 

This kind of disappointment comes not  from the school failing at being up to date, but from expectations. When we have high expectations and they aren’t met, things can become a huge disappointment. Hence the reason why I suggest to start working, before making a definite choice, if you do not have really clear which way you would love to go. And even if you do, it won’t hurt to try out as much as you can, even when studying. To be fair, the students might have had a point here and there, but what they failed to see was their own responsibility. They could have reached out to me or they could thrown themselves into the world of social media, or whatever they felt was adding value to their knowledge and education.

 

The jewelry business is a fascinating world. It’s diverse, it’s exciting and it’s fun. It can become, for you, whatever you make of it. I hope this article will help you to get started!

 

 

Useful websites: http://www.jewelers.org/ja/careers-education/jewelry-careers-guide

Useful PDF : http://www.jewelers.org/images/files/jewelry-careers-guide/files/inc/78363bb543.pdf

 

Comments (7)

  • Breda

    Breda

    13 October 2016 at 06:36 |
    I received this mail from Breda Haugh, a wonderful jewelry designer and maker from Dublin. She pointed out her tips and I found them precious, so I hereby, with her permission, share them with you: Jewellery design and making.
    I am a jeweller and designer based in Dublin, Ireland. Jewellery for me began in art college where I was attracted to the qualities of metal above all other media. Many take this route.
    For those who are thinking about the practical side of jewellery as a career:
    Jewellery falls under a number of categories:
    1. Traditional precious metal pieces set with diamonds and gemstones. Engagement rings etc.
    2. Modern precious metal designs with or without gemstones. Various brands. Tiffany, etc
    3. Studio jewellery. Small precious metal collections by designer/makers. Sold in retail or gallery outlets and through the studio.
    4. Fashion silver jewellery-transient designs. various brands

    5. Costume jewellery in non precious metals/plastics/leather/textiles-fashion outlets, Zara, Top shop etc. etc…

    6. Art jewellery – displayed in galleries and made in a variety of media such as wood, plastics, and precious metals with gemstones. These are sometimes conceptual pieces created to make commentary. This work appeals to the niche market interested in design and art. The emotional element is less important, but the work has a certain status. In the US there are collectors of jewellery in this category. Various galleries: Contemporary Applied Art, London, Galerie Ra, Amsterdam.
    1 A few questions to ask: Do you love the meanings and sheer beauty of gemstones? Is fashion and colour important to you? Are you creative and inventive? Do you like to draw and paint? Do you observe the world around you? Did you enjoy metalwork in school? And have you patience? Do you window shop in: retail jewellers, galleries and fashion boutiques?
    Become familiar with what attracts you. Get a sense of the materials involved such as: metals, beads, gemstones etc. Have fun.
    2 If possible it would be good to get a part time job: perhaps in a retail jewellers, an antique shop, a gallery etc. I did and learnt so much
    3 It is a very good idea to do a short jewellery making course before you make a long term training commitment.
    4 As Esther suggested read widely. There are many good books on the design and making of jewellery in libraries and bookshops, as well as magazines and information and on line too.
    5 Museums are a wonderful resource also. Every country has artefacts made in metals and other materials. There are often very interesting lectures to go to also.
    6 Seek advice from makers, designers, or anyone you come across in the business retail or manufacturing.

    The gathering of such knowledge, helps clarify your area of interest and ability. The next step is education and training.
    Jewellery design and making.
    I am a jeweller and designer based in Dublin, Ireland. Jewellery for me began in art college where I was attracted to the qualities of metal above all other media. Many take this route.
    For those who are thinking about the practical side of jewellery as a career:
    Jewellery falls under a number of categories:
    1. Traditional precious metal pieces set with diamonds and gemstones. Engagement rings etc.
    2. Modern precious metal designs with or without gemstones. Various brands. Tiffany, etc
    3. Studio jewellery. Small precious metal collections by designer/makers. Sold in retail or gallery outlets and through the studio.
    4. Fashion silver jewellery-transient designs. various brands

    5. Costume jewellery in non precious metals/plastics/leather/textiles-fashion outlets, Zara, Top shop etc. etc…

    6. Art jewellery – displayed in galleries and made in a variety of media such as wood, plastics, and precious metals with gemstones. These are sometimes conceptual pieces created to make commentary. This work appeals to the niche market interested in design and art. The emotional element is less important, but the work has a certain status. In the US there are collectors of jewellery in this category. Various galleries: Contemporary Applied Art, London, Galerie Ra, Amsterdam.
    1 A few questions to ask: Do you love the meanings and sheer beauty of gemstones? Is fashion and colour important to you? Are you creative and inventive? Do you like to draw and paint? Do you observe the world around you? Did you enjoy metalwork in school? And have you patience? Do you window shop in: retail jewellers, galleries and fashion boutiques?
    Become familiar with what attracts you. Get a sense of the materials involved such as: metals, beads, gemstones etc. Have fun.
    2 If possible it would be good to get a part time job: perhaps in a retail jewellers, an antique shop, a gallery etc. I did and learnt so much
    3 It is a very good idea to do a short jewellery making course before you make a long term training commitment.
    4 As Esther suggested read widely. There are many good books on the design and making of jewellery in libraries and bookshops, as well as magazines and information and on line too.
    5 Museums are a wonderful resource also. Every country has artefacts made in metals and other materials. There are often very interesting lectures to go to also.
    6 Seek advice from makers, designers, or anyone you come across in the business retail or manufacturing.

    The gathering of such knowledge, helps clarify your area of interest and ability. The next step is education and training.

    7 Education varies from country to country but usually falls into these two systems:
    • After a pre apprentice course you may become an apprentice to a specialist in the trade. This I believe still occurs in Germany, and the UK, but is rarer in other countries.
    • Attend a training college or art school with a specialised jewellery department. The offerings vary from country to country so do some research to pick the best course for you.
    In the UK the Goldsmiths Centre is a specialist jewellery skills training school.

    8 As a skilled craftsperson in the jewellery industry you may work within a high end retail, a manufacturing concern or in your own workshop as a:
    • Diamond mounter who makes up fine bespoke pieces of precious metal jewellery, usually set with diamonds and gemstones.
    • Model maker who makes the prototypes/models for production pieces
    OR work to the trade as:
    • Setter, who sets diamonds and gemstones
    • Engraver who hand or machine engraves lettering etc.
    and
    • Jobbing jeweller who does repairs.
    As a designer maker/studio jeweller you fulfil a number of roles:
    • Design your own jewellery collections for sale
    • Design and make bespoke one off pieces for private clients.
    • Freelance design work for manufacturers.
    As a Designer – who doesn’t make jewellery- you may:
    • Design bespoke pieces and jewellery collections in a high end retail jeweller’s e.g Tiffany.
    • Design collections of jewellery for distribution within a jewellery manufacturing concern (without a retail presence).
    • Freelance specialist design work

    When you do get that job … be ambitious and learn and improve.

    Asprey
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxzqRxscfcM

    The goldsmiths centre
    http://www.goldsmiths-centre.org

    reply

  • Jamillah

    Jamillah

    18 October 2016 at 23:00 |
    Wow, what a great resource! So glad I found your blog :) !!

    reply

  • Grenier

    Grenier

    17 November 2016 at 18:38 |
    Thanks a lot for the article! I think the rules could be applied for every types of business. I've just opened the tv service and I'd say that i did everything from this article. Thanks a lot. Will share in facebook :)

    reply

  • Sophi

    Sophi

    18 November 2016 at 16:17 |
    Thank you for the advice! I love your blog! I just start my blog. Since I'm a girl I love jewels and know I hope I can work in this field! So I will take your advices to heart!:-)

    reply

    • Esther Ligthart Ligthart

      Esther Ligthart Ligthart

      18 November 2016 at 16:51 |
      Good Luck, Sophi, with your blog. Isabella, my Jack Russel says hello to your beautiful Airdale terrier...:-)

      reply

  • Sophi

    Sophi

    18 November 2016 at 18:32 |
    Thank you!?Luce says hello to her cousin Isabella!?

    reply

  • Neill Breslin

    Neill Breslin

    04 January 2019 at 08:55 |
    Hi,

    I was searching the web and came across your excellent resource page.

    I just wanted to say that your page helped me a lot…

    Our blog page also is going to provide high-quality content soon

    Here is the link https://www.dublinjewelersonline.com/

    Also, our blog might make a nice addition to your resource page.

    Either way, thanks for the awesome resource page.

    Cheers,
    Neill Breslin

    reply

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest. Optional login below.

Jewelry news

Little diamonds in your inbox ;)

0
Shares

LOVE what you see?

Close

Hit the buttons to follow me!

0
Shares