THE LOW COST ABALONE CAN REPLACE EMERALDS AND SAPPHIRES.
In everything, unless you're funded by deep pockets, START cheap and start SMALL! As a brand new wholesaler/ designer/ importer, you will want to use the least costly elements. That might be the artisans living/ working near you, your friends, relatives who will take a single semester of JEWELRY MAKING at Adult High School (my neighborhood had that class at nite, 18$ a semester!) That garage workshop could produce ten thousand dollars worth of wholesale jewelry a month. Get a web presence and it will go up as you'll be selling retail prices.
Next consideration: you want to manufacture with stuff you can get cheap that has a magical power and beauty. May I suggest ABALONE shell, WHICH LIES AROUND ON ROCKS waiting to be found, cut and polished? This is especially easy to do and inexpensive to buy in Asia, the PHILIPPINES, in MEXICO, IN MICRONESIA.OR THAILAND where they really work silver beautifully. And up an down the Pacific coast.
Seashells of all kinds (even the tiny little silver ones you see here, lend themselves to exotic, glowing Silver Jewelry. Charms, necklaces with hangy things all over their length, maybe waistline necklaces, certainly ankle bracelets. And you can mix them with charms. The combination is especially beautiful.
You want to create designs for third world artisans ..which will incorporate ABALONE. This incredible GEM is given us for free from MOTHER NATURE and it makes emeralds and sapphires go pale. It has a lotta cluck for the buck. You can use them as you would forty karat emeralds but throw them around a lot more carelessly and get the same spectacular glow to the eye.
I am giving you an URL (below) where you can check the type of money people get for these items, charms are 20-35$. It's a good price when you consider that you will bring fifty pieces in for a department store, twenty for a boutique, large numbers, ergo be dealing in volume at Point of Manufacture. (P.O.M.) http://www.bythebaytreasures.com/Abalone-jewelry.html
Their designs are a revelation. Do a google Image search on abalone + charms or beach glass and look at the designs out there. Print them out for your artisans in THAILAND or Baja California or better, Cuernevaca Mexico where there's five hundred year old silver jewelry artisanry tradition. Just don't let them know what kind of prices you can get from your clients. You want to use seashells, abalone, silver or gold charms as necklaces, bracelets and leather or macrame belts with stuff hanging on them. Oh yes, and anklets, those too.
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