Jade Lustig recently added design house to her family’s already impressive CV with the 2013 debut of the Jade Trau jewelry line. For six generations, Lustig’s family business, Trau Bros. (a DTC Sightholder and Supplier of Choice)—with a New York City–based division called S. Trau for Lustig’s grandfather Solomon—sold loose stones, most of which were cut at his factory in the city. But when facilities migrated to other countries, Lustig, who had joined S. Trau in 1998, grew deflated.
“As soon as we stopped cutting stones, my creative outlet disappeared,” she tells JCK. “Then we were just reselling stones, and the only added value we could offer was if we were nicer or quicker than the next dealer.”
But her creative spirit never died. How could she forget, in her younger years, sorting through parcels of stones with her grandfather? And later, as an adult, working in his factory? Serendipitously, in 2011 she received an invitation from Forevermark to create a jewelry line. Lustig jumped at the chance: Not only could she craft a 15-SKU bridal line for Forevermark, but she could also design an even larger contemporary diamond jewelry line for herself. Her husband, Barry Lustig, a GIA- and AGS-certified gemologist, joined the newly formed Jade Trau to oversee operations and sales.
As Jade told the press last spring, styles are “characterized by clean lines that accentuate the intrinsic beauty of diamonds and a contemporary interpretation of romantic femininity.” There are ample selections of fancy-shape diamonds—the core of her diamond business. (Think marquise, oval, pear, and round cuts in smaller sizes, which make them accessible to a larger audience.) Offerings are only available in 18k gold and platinum.
“The concept is to create heirloom-quality jewelry that I found to be missing in the market,” Lustig explains.
Her ultimate goal: re-create the staple diamond jewelry wardrobe.
“Where our parents and grandparents bought tennis bracelets, girls today want to wear layers of high-low selections of jewelry like leather wrap bracelets from Sydney Evan and beads with 18k gold cuffs or diamond necklaces,” she adds.
While she showed a few pieces at last year’s Trau Bros. booth at JCK Las Vegas, she took up residence in the Prestige Promenade section of the 2013 show with a filled-out line starting at $850 retail. She received about 18 orders—most being completely new accounts with retailers who’d never bought loose stones from her family. Jade Trau jewelry is also available with Forevermark stones to authorized Forevermark retailers.
“I love the sustainability angle and accountability of Forevermark,” she says. “I believe in the story, and I want it to be an important component of my brand.”
As for rekindling her creative side, Lustig is happy about the decision—most of the time. “It’s really fun except for the days that it’s really painful, like on Monday when I got whole load of castings there were supposed to be in white gold but were made in yellow,” she says.
Star stud earrings in 18k gold with 0.45 ct. t.w. diamonds, $2,300
Cuffs in 18k gold with diamond accents range in retail price from $2,700–$3,800