Growing your handmade jewelry and craft business beyond your living room means finding your niche and lowering your overhead so you can bring in the maximum profit. The following tips can help you turn your hobby into a viable income.

Tip #1: Make It Official

Taking the steps to make your hobby into a business in the eyes of the law is a major step toward success. State- and municipality-specific laws vary. You may need a local or state business license, state tax ID number, or a vendor's license. You will also need to start filing self employment taxes. The Small Business Administration can help you find the requirements for your state and walk you through the federal requirements. While making your business official does mean you are on the tax radar, it also means you don't need to worry about any penalties. A business license is also often required if you want to pursue wholesale pricing on jewelry supplies. There is another benefit to making your business official if you work with fine metals or stones in your jewelry. These more expensive jewelry materials are best kept insured against loss and theft, and you may need to show your business license to qualify for business insurance to protect your wares at home and at craft shows.

Tip #2: Network With Other Jewelry Artists

Creating or joining an existing network of jewelry artisans can be one the best things you can do for your developing business. Specific guilds are available depending on the jewelry medium, such as the Society of American Silversmiths. These networks can benefit you in many ways. You will have access to more experienced jewelers and artists, which can help you learn new skills. If you have a local group, you can work together to take advantage of opportunities that are specific to jewelry artists. This could include taking out an advertisement together, pooling resources to set up a retail location, or even putting on your own craft shows or jewelry sales.

Tip #3: Find a Wholesale Supplier

Another way to build your business is to quit paying retail prices for your supplies. Purchasing wholesale can save you a lot of money over retail, which means more profit in your pocket. Wholesale bead and jewelry suppliers that don't sell to the general public are one of the better options, since you can get supplies that are harder to find, thus giving you the ability to create more unique designs. One issue with wholesale buying that some newer artists are nervous about the minimum order requirements. If the size of the necessary order makes you hesitate, consider tapping your guild or network and pooling resources with other jewelry artists to make an order together. Contact wholesale bead importer companies directly to find out business requirements and order minimums.