There are so many business opportunities in Zimbabwe and the world at large to consider exploring for those that are business-minded or have been forced to be by circumstances. Running a business is like going on a journey, it doesn’t matter how you go as long as you are going. Jewellery presents a great opportunity for those who are fashionable, artistic and savvy. It presents many opportunities for self-expression and that means a wide market to take advantage of.
Jewellery refers to ornaments that people wear that can be made from a variety of materials that include but are not limited to precious metals and stones. So while jewellery is most often associated with precious metals and gems we will also bear in mind that jewellery can be made from everyday materials including glass and beads as examples. There are decisions you will have to make as to which market segment you want to satisfy. At the lower end, you will have a potentially wide customer base and your margins depend on your setup.
The market is quite wide and a niche approach would probably be the best. So you can niche based on the materials used, themes, target market and many other factors. Zimbabwean themed jewellery is one good idea as are beads from organic materials. Making the decision is much more important than the decision you make here. By this, I mean that you will figure out the how and the what of the market after you choose the market you want to serve.
Jewellery is as you would imagine a business that is based on trends and is closely linked to fashion. Therefore it would be to your advantage to be aware of trends prevailing in the fashion industry. This will inform you on how best to serve your market and what sort of creations you should be considering. A good example is what I can describe as African ethnic jewellery which we just commonly refer to as beads. These ornaments in their various expressions have been with us through time but they undoubtedly received a boost in popularity when the ridiculously popular Marvel movie Black Panther hit our screens in 2018. Keeping abreast of issues like these will give you an edge.
Another big thing you will need to be aware of is the importance of the online space. You will need eCommerce to play a big part in your jewellery shop. There are purpose-built platforms like Etsy which support eCommerce for jewellery and arts and crafts creators if that is the avenue you choose to go down. If you decide to go for conventional and precious metal jewellery you should still consider online selling but there’s a bit of a catch here. The bigger ticket your jewellery is the less likely you are to easily sell it online. This doesn’t make it impossible but just know that the more expensive your items the harder it is to sell online. So you should consider a showroom of sorts, which does not need to be a large space but must be secure especially if you are dealing with precious metals and gems.
How to best reach the market will depend on the market you have chosen to serve. We will briefly mention methods that work here but not all methods work with every type of jewellery. We established that the jewellery business is closely linked to fashion and trends and what works better in fashion and trends than influencer marketing? Influencer market is a method of storytelling and you will have to consider which story works best with your products. Your exclusive jewellery doesn’t look so if it is all over the place. Of it’s not just about what type of marketing but where. Places like Facebook and especially Instagram are great places to both advertise and display your products. Again be very conscious of the story your brand is telling and if your adverts tell the story.
If you do plan to deal in precious metals, particularly in gold jewellery you should be aware of the licencing requirements in Zimbabwe. The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development issues permits for Gold jewellery dealers. These permits are valid for a year and will require police vetting, premises inspection and clearance by the Jewellery Council of Zimbabwe. You can find out more here.
Jewellery is quite broad so there are many opportunities and segments you can satisfy. It’s important to remember that each segment has its own tips and tricks that work for it.