Olivia Landau on Gemology, Building The Clear Cut and Pivoting During the Pandemic

Olivia Landau The Clear Cut

Tell us about yourself! How did you get started? How did you come to create Clear Cut?

I am originally from Miami Beach and live in NYC now. I am a 4th generation diamond expert, and G.I.A. Graduate Gemologist (GG). I studied Media, Culture, and Communications at NYU. After NYU, I attended G.I.A (where I met my husband, Kyle!) and my first jobs were at Tiffany & Co. on their engagement ring floor, and then at a diamond wholesale company. I started The Clear Cut as an educational blog for my friends and family, then together, Kyle and I turned the blog into a multi-million dollar direct-to-consumer diamond jewelry company, revolutionizing the way millennials purchase engagement rings!

What makes Clear Cut different?

What sets The Clear Cut apart from our competitors is our personalized concierge service! Our expert G.I.A. graduate gemologists work directly with clients to curate a personalized selection of the highest quality diamonds at the fairest prices. We also offer free educational content (across Instagram, TikTok and Youtube) to help our community understand everything about diamond shopping. Transparency is so important for our community and our content helps clients feel informed and empowered to create the ring of their dreams.

The gem industry is huge! How do you deal with competition?

It’s true, the gem industry is huge and because there are so many parts to it, we're focused on carving out our own niche in the industry and serving customers whose needs have not been met. As for the giants in the diamond industry specifically (that have been around for centuries!), we got on social media early because we saw the industry moving towards going online, and have built a strong community in the process. For us, social media is an incredible way for us to build and speak directly to the incredible women in our community! Because we were ahead of the curve, we were able to connect with a younger audience in ways that the older companies in the diamond industry haven't been able to.

What's the biggest transition or change that you have had to make since the beginning of the pandemic?

Initially, we were hit really hard and didn’t know what was going to happen! The biggest change we faced was at the height of the pandemic when NYC completely shut down. We were uncertain about what the future would look like, but as time went on, we were able to recover better than we could have expected. COVID-19 sparked a once in-a-lifetime migration to online sales and we were ready for it from the beginning because we were already selling 70% of our custom diamond engagement rings remotely.

What's the biggest setback that you've had since starting your company and how have you overcome it?

The pandemic has been tough for so many companies and for us, our team had never been fully remote before. We learned the value of checking in on one another and being authentic. Something positive that came out of the pandemic is that we became much closer as a team!

What's it like co-founding a company with your significant other? How do you set boundaries and manage a clear work-life balance?

I feel so lucky that I get to do what I love with the person I love most! Working with my husband has been an amazing journey. We have both learned so much over the years about our working styles and have found a cadence that works for us. We also have a lot of mutual respect for each other and having very different roles within the company has worked well for us. As for work-life balance, we try (as best we can!) to only be in work-mode at the office and that has helped so much!

Social media is so important! How do you curate your feed/utilise social media to get new clients and educate?

I couldn't agree more! On Instagram and TikTok, we have built an incredible community of strong women and because we have ongoing dialogue with our customers, we have gotten closer than ever. Each week on IG, I host “Wednesday Q & A” and get to interact directly with our followers and answer commonly asked questions about all things diamonds!

As you know, community is everything to us –– how has your community helped you navigate your personal and/or professional life?

I am so grateful for The Clear Cut community! Their feedback has been invaluable and continues to influence everything at the company from the products we release to the initiatives we launch - that has been key to our success!

If you didn't know Clear Cut has a scholarship fund for BIPOC women who are interested in studying pursuing a career in the jewellery industry. The scholarship sponsors their The Graduate Diamonds Program at GIA. After receiving her GIA certificate, she'll be granted a 6-month paid internship at The Clear Cut. After completion of the internship, there will be an opportunity to join the gemology team as a full time hire. Learn more here: https://theclearcut.co/pages/scholarship-fund