Designer Interview

By: Fashwire
Jan 12, 2022 01:58 PM

What is your earliest design memory for your brand?

Very early on! I come from a family where the diamond business is in our blood. Being the only girl and the youngest in my family - I often dreamed of starting my own business in fine jewelry. I have always been drawn to the elegance of diamonds - Their magic and the way they make me feel when I wear them. I wanted to offer pieces that help women to express their own individual style and empower them to shine.


What inspired you to name your brand?

Lumijé is a play on the word “lumen”, which is Latin for light. Diamonds are rare prisms, reflecting light in many directions and casting their beauty everywhere.


“Jewelry has a special kind of magic that helps women express their individuality, personal power, style, and commemorate special milestones in their lives.”


What sets your brand apart from the rest?

What sets us apart is our focus on diamond jewelry, both fashion-forward designs and classic items. Lumijé brings over 60 years of diamond and fine jewelry relationships, credibility, and expertise. We have diamond experts in-house who can answer any questions consumers might have, as well as custom designed pieces. Additionally, we have a partnership with a renowned diamond manufacturer. This gives the consumer confidence that our diamonds are ethically sourced, produced, and are all natural (without any artificial enhancements). Lumijé offers 5th Avenue quality diamond jewelry without the usual retail markup.


Do you have a favorite piece that you have designed? 

We designed the Mask Hero Bracelet. It is a solid sterling silver or 14K gold mask charm on an adjustable chain to help support frontline healthcare workers. My daughter is a nurse. Earlier in the pandemic, she worked in a Covid ward. This was a difficult experience - I wanted to help in some small way. I love creating unique, yet classic diamond jewelry for consumers. Lumijé has an over 60-year history of creating bespoke pieces that we make to order. Recently, I did a special order of a very large one-of-a-kind eternity band made up of ovals. It is a unique and stunning piece.


What made you want to design jewelry?

I grew up around a family immersed in the diamond and jewelry industry for generations. I knew the 4C’s before the ABC’s. I am passionate about jewelry and women’s issues. Jewelry has a special kind of magic that helps women express their individuality, personal power, style, and commemorate special milestones in their lives. Our partnership with Bpeace offers women a chance to not only empower themselves through purchasing an exceptional piece of jewelry, but at the same time, spark tremendous change for other women - giving each Lumijé piece a special mission. 


What strongly drew you towards wanting to support women businesses?

I grew up the youngest child and the only girl. My brothers are not wallflowers, and each had a very strong personality. I grew up in a traditional household where my mother didn’t work - which was great - but I longed to strike out on my own one day. The diamond business is usually passed down from father to son, but I wanted to break the glass ceiling of the industry. I am determined to incorporate the empowerment of women into every aspect of my business, from the way our jewelry makes women feel, to charitable contributions with every purchase.

Lumijé partners with Bpeace, an international non-profit coalition of business leaders or "Skillanthropists" that provide pro bono advice to small women-owned business entrepreneurs in crisis-affected communities around the world. With the advent of COVID-19, Bpeace has begun an initiative to help women-owned small business owners within the United States that have been adversely affected by the pandemic. A percentage of every Lumijé sale goes directly to Bpeace.


What is the one piece of advice you would give to a new designer?

Be yourself. Have confidence in your vision and don’t fall into the trap of imitation.


What were some hurdles you had to overcome in your business?

The diamond business is male dominated. Businesses were often started by fathers who eventually brought in their sons. The diamond business moves with glacial speed in making changes. As a woman in this business, I often feel a glass-ceiling of sorts. I am determined to break through that ceiling and help other women do the same in their respective fields.


How did your brand navigate and overcome the pandemic in 2020?

Lumijé launched in November 2020, so the pandemic was already in full swing. As a result of the pandemic, consumer behavior toward online luxury purchases has changed dramatically - for the better. With generations of diamond and fine jewelry expertise, as well as trusted relationships in the diamond industry cultivated over generations, we are looking to capitalize on our strengths in with online luxury consumers.


“Lumijé helps consumers pay it forward by helping other women through their jewelry purchases.”


Do you find it difficult to have a brand based in New York? What are the perks versus the challenges?

Aside from the rents? Being in the heart of the Diamond District is so valuable for our brand because we have access to some of the finest jewelry artisans. It helps that many of these relationships have been forged for generations, which gives us an advantage over the competition when offering consumers the highest quality diamonds at the best value.


How would you describe your personal style?

I would describe my style as understated elegance with a stroke of innovation.


Where is your favorite place to travel? Why?

Italy. Exquisite art is intertwined with everyday life. It pervades everything Italians do. The food, the scenery, the history… It is a uniquely visceral experience.


What is the most important thing you would like your brand to be recognized for?

Lumijé has a mission to provide the highest quality and ethically sourced diamond jewelry without the retail markup. Jewelry empowers women in so many ways and Lumijé helps consumers pay it forward by helping other women through their jewelry purchases.


What do you envision for the future of your brand?

We would like Lumijé to become known as a trusted online destination for high quality, ethically sourced diamond jewelry and personal service from onsite diamond experts. Savvy consumers will make Lumijé a go-to place for fashion-forward styles and classic diamond jewelry. Consumers will see the impact of their purchases on our social channels and blog, spotlighting our continued partnership with non-profit Bpeace, which supports women entrepreneurs in conflict-affected communities. A percentage of every sale is donated to Bpeace to support the great work they do empowering women.