Friday, January 8, 2010


I feel like I've been in a vortex these last few days while I've been taking inventory of every bead, finding, and foot of wire and chain in my possession! This is the first year that I will be filing tax forms regarding my jewelry business, so this is all very new to me. I'd thought I'd emerge into the real world for just a few minutes to share what I've learned from this seemingly daunting task.

This is not a "How to" but I found these steps helpful to getting started.

1. Organize:

Purge out old beads & findings that you don't think you will use. I've put these in a separate box labeled "Do Not Inventory" that I will hang onto for a while and then most likely give away or keep for personal use. These are items that I purchased before I started my business and they just don't fit in with my theme or style anymore.

2. Inventory software program or spreadsheet:

Get a good computer program to enter data. I bought an Excel spreadsheet program from an Etsy seller that seems to be working out very well so far. I had to tweak it a little but so far so good! Here is the link to the item:

You can also make your own spreadsheet in Excel, but this program includes a jewelry cost worksheet that is linked to the prices of your inventory so that you can more easily figure out the cost of the goods you've sold. I'm excited to try that!

3. Just start:

Start counting and jump right in! I had all my beads mixed by color in a box, but now I've separated them into small ziploc bags to make everything easier for next year. When I receive orders from now on I have learned that I will keep it in the original bag with the coded label so that re-ordering the same bead/finding will be so much easier. I will also enter the price/code information onto my computer spreadsheet so I have all I need right there. You'll also need lots of small ziploc bags for storage and adhesive labels to label items for easier reordering.


I dreaded this task but now after diving in I must say that I am so inspired! I have discovered beads and findings that I purchased and had every intention of using, that have long been forgotten. I have my sketchbook out and am collecting ideas for ways to incorporate stock that I already have into new jewelry designs. The best thing is that they are already paid for and if I use them I won't have to count so many next year!

Okay, back to my counting. I want to get finished so I can start creating again...

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


  1. Great suggestions Deborah. I have been wondering about how to get started with this same task and what would be involved. As of right now I am considered a hobbiest and not a small business and I don't know if I should try to get small business license or not. It seems like so much more paperwork. Good luck with the counting

  2. Thanks for the tips. I've been preparing myself for a similar task of my own... I'm motivated to start now!

  3. You sound very organized and I hope the counting continues to go smoothly! Since you can't deduct the amount you spent on your inventory until you actually sell it, does the spreadsheet you got help you keep track of your cost of goods sold for each item you sold in 2009? That's the most daunting part for me - and I'm even a CPA!

  4. Beaded Tail:
    I know doing all this work won't necessarily help me for 2009 but going forward it will.

    About the Jewelry cost worksheet:
    As you click on the space to enter the used beads/findings, etc... there is a pull-down menu to select the items from your inventory sheet. The prices are entered automatically when you enter the amount needed for the product. That will be a huge help!

  5. I haven't filed ever either, and I've been thinking about doing it this year, because I really should... but I'm scared! I don't know what I'm doing... gah!

    Thanks for the heads up that it's not so bad. ♥

  6. Inventory gets me organized. I sort of look forward to it and I have some new work coming this year, so I want to put some things away.

    Looks like you are off to a good start,


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