Welcome to the second instalment of my 8 part blog post series about starting your own business! As I am a jeweller this will mostly related to jewellery/craft based businesses but I have tried to add in things to help as many new businesses owners as possible! In this blog post I will be discussing tools, specifically tools I bought when I started (So this may help those wanting to dip their toes into silversmithing!) and how I kept my cost down when buying the tools once I freshly left college! (And was skint!) 1. Buy the basics - When I started looking at tools I found myself looking at these amazing jewellers with their expensive tools and thought ''I need to have what they have, to be as good as them I need that tool'' Many of you will feel the same, but you do not have to spend all this money on all these tools. Buy the bare minimum of what you need to make the products you are making. Do you really need that £80 saw when the £15 one does the same job to begin with? Don't overwhelm yourself with what everyone else has, instead focus on what you need! Remember a good jeweller/maker can make something beautiful with the basics 2. The basic tools - So after my wee rant about not getting caught up in the tool world here is what I bought when I first started, the bare minimum: - Torch (I spent most my money on a decent torch)
- Files (Found a set of these in Aldi for £5) - Mallet (B&Q) - Bench Peg (Cooksongold) - Saw (Cooksongold) - Mandrel - (Cooksongold) These are the backbone tools of a jewellers kit, every jeweller has them, and these 6 tools can make anything from a ring to a pendant. You do not have to be a millionaire to make something that looks like its worth millions, its how well you use them. 3. What is in your home? - One thing I learned during a stone setting that was really testing my patience was that the usual tools we know of don't always help. When I was setting a stone the £10 burnisher I bought was just not doing the job, the handle was too big, it kept slipping off the setting and it lasted five minutes before I chucked it the returns box. In the end I found a long old nail which I cleaned and polished up and used that as my burnisher and it is the best tool I have for stone setting, I still use it to this day because it is the perfect tool! So before you fork out for an expensive piece of equipment think ''What else can I use? What is around me?'' And yes, I suggest you try using a nail as a burnisher! 4. Save your pennies
- Sadly though as much as you would love to save on everything sometimes you just have to splash the cash, but before you do look at your suppliers, do they give discounts and if so is there a pattern to them? Do they give discounts at certain times of the month? Is there a certain holiday coming up that you know they will give a discount out for or do they have a 10% off if you sign up to their newsletter? If so utilize all these discounts and savings! I hope this post helped when it came to buying tools! I felt quite nostalgic writing this post as the images of these tools are over four years old and are from when I first started! But if you take anything away from this post please remember. A good jeweller/crafter/artist can make something beautiful with the basics. Keep a wee eye out for my next blog post where I talking about funding, finances and savings!