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When Olivia Landau started her educational diamond blog in 2016, she had no idea it would transform into the multimillion-dollar brand it is today. The Clear Cut brand, in its current state, officially launched in 2018 and specializes in creating custom rings for clients.
“It was through working with [my co-founder and husband Kyle Simon’s] friends when creating their custom rings that I realized most people don’t know the first thing about buying a diamond,” Landau said on the latest episode of The Glossy Podcast. “[Kyle and I] quickly realized there must be a whitespace in the market, if strangers [in the market for a ring] were trusting me with their life savings. … That’s when we decided to commit full time to making this happen.”
Though Landua, a fourth-generation jeweler, initially did not anticipate working in the industry, her vast knowledge of diamonds and gemstones has fueled her company’s growth. According to Landua, since The Clear Cut’s launch, it’s doubled its revenue every year. Building off that momentum, the company built a cutting-edge proprietary software system in 2020, allowing it to elevate the customer experience by matching clients with gemologists, while simultaneously scaling backend manufacturing and distribution.
As The Clear Cut continues to capitalize on the wedding boom, Landau and her team are focused on simplifying and further customizing the diamond shopping experience, while continuing to educate customers.
Below are additional highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited for clarity.
Modernizing diamond shopping for Gen Z
“The consumer is changing so quickly; the traditional way of selling [jewelry] does not translate well to our generation or Gen Z. We grew up with the internet and with information at our fingertips, and being well-versed in any purchase we made. We’re also exposed to so much more than what’s in a glass case in our local jewelry store, because we have social media and the internet. Our consumers are [often] couples shopping together — 95% of the time, they’re either doing the whole process together or one partner comes in armed with a PowerPoint presentation; [the ring] is no longer a complete surprise. … Plus, customers and couples are shopping [more intentionally]. They’re getting their information online, they’re seeing things they want, and they want to get exactly what they’re looking for. They don’t want to overpay for it, they want the best experience possible, and they’re not going to settle. This new crop of DTC or online jewelers understands the customer. I was the customer when I started The Clear Cut, so I understood what our followers and our clients are looking for. … We’re democratizing a private jewelry experience that was only for the super wealthy or celebrities before.”
Natural cut vs. lab-grown diamonds
“[Only selling natural gems] is something that is a differentiating factor for us. It goes back to when we started the company. I’ve always said I wanted to provide my expertise and my opinions for all of our customers, and that I wouldn’t recommend something I wouldn’t purchase myself. The rise of lab-grown [diamonds] has only, over the past year or two, really taken off. [However,] we’re seeing that the value is just not there; people are spending $20,000-$30,000 on a lab-grown diamond, and the stone won’t have any inherent value. At [The Clear Cut] we have a lot of people come back to upgrade or trade. That’s not something you can do with lab-grown [diamonds]. A lot of companies have seized the opportunity, because there’s so much money to be made on lab grown and the margins are so high. But we’re one of the largest digitally native jewelry companies that are only focused on natural. Hopefully, we made the right decision.”