My very good friend has a jewelry business.
However he does not make 'imitation' jewelry. He makes beautifully handcrafted necklaces, bracelets, earrings, waist bracelets and ankle bracelets from natural stones, polished stones, semi precious gem stones, gold, crystal, silver, brass, pewter, wood and some acrylic and glass...basically what ever he can get his hands on.
His average piece sells for $39
His selling point is that they are hand made by the artist and no two are alike.
He has been doing this for over 15 years and he has had a website for 7 years.
He goes to craft shows and county fairs.
He has magnetic signs.
He has business cards, and brochures.
He advertises on the internet and by direct mail.
And he does sell his jewelry.
He sells about 10 -12 pieces a year.
if he sold them for 99 cents each...he would be better off just giving each customer a dollar and keeping the jewelry because the components are expensive.
So you can make a jewelry business just by buying a jewelry making book...and making jewelry and selling it to friends. The biggest problem with making it into a big business is the 99 cent stores.
You see, I've watched him spend 4 hours making a necklace just to have someone say to him..'45 DOLLARS!!! I can buy one like it for 3 Dollars at the dollar store" and then he has to tell them his is real stone and theirs is plastic on elastic thread...and then they tell him...I don't care I just want something SPARKLIE!!!"
People just do not understand the effort that you have to put into something.
But...I have tried to discourage you. If you are not discouraged, then go ahead and start selling your designs to friends. There is a chance you could become the next "Alex and Ani"...and you never know unless you try.
it will be hard.