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Meet Danny Lustig of Lustig Jewelers in Vernon Hills

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danny Lustig.

Danny, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started my journey in our family business, Lustig Jewelers, when I was just 8 years old. Our original store, located at 1256 N. Milwaukee Ave in Chicago, was an old fashion 6000 square foot one story department store. On the right side of the store was jewelry and the left, clothing, appliances, stereo equipment, televisions, luggage, etc. My job, at such a young age, was cleaning the store and stuffing envelopes for customer mailings.

My father, Ted Lustig, believed the store’s focus should be based on the philosophy that the customer always comes first, along with honesty, integrity and transparency. This culture has allowed us to be in business 68 years. In 1972, my father made the decision to focus on only fine jewelry, custom design and jewelry repair. My father retired and sold our Chicago store in 1996.

In the interim, I attended Bradley University where I studied business and marketing. Upon graduating in 1979, I made a career decision to work in the family business. In 1986, we opened our store in the Hawthorn Shopping Center in Vernon Hills. After 20 years in the mall, on September 1, 2006, we moved ½ mile down the street to the Aspen Pointe Shopping Center, where we currently do business.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As with all retail businesses, there are always peaks and valleys. The challenge as a retail owner is always evolving and looking for new opportunities. The digital world we live in creates many challenges as well as many opportunities. I am actually very excited to see how our industry will evolve over the next 20 years.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Lustig Jewelers story. Tell us more about the business.
I am proud that Lustig Jewelers is a family owned jewelry store in business since 1949.

Engagement rings, loose diamonds, anniversary rings and men’s wedding bands have always been our specialty. We take pride in our custom designs and repairs. In our 68 years in business, our philosophy has not changed. We strive to be provide exceptional customer service and will never divert from that belief. Thus, I seek out vendors who carry unique designs and are committed to superior customer service.

I am actively involved in the marketing and merchandising and management of my company.

Custom jewelry design has become 30% of our business. Today custom jewelry design is all about imagination, whatever you can dream of can become reality.

We still do custom design by hand, but our main focus today is 3D CAD technology. This technology provides an interactive approach in creating jewelry via computer software.

I am personally proud of the culture my father started 68 years ago. We stress education and transparency, and are never pushy. Eleanor, my Mom, coined the phrase in 1982 “Come in as a customer… Leave as our Friend…” That saying still holds true 35 years later.

Our best advertising is our customers. Online reviews and referrals keep our customers coming back generation to generation.

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