INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
How The Clear Cut’s Founder Olivia Landau Grew Her Business To 350+ Y.O.Y. Growth since Launch
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Olivia Landau: Thankfully, my loved ones and I are staying safe and doing the best we can during these challenging times!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Clear Cut.
Olivia Landau: I’m the Founder and C.E.O. of The Clear Cut, as well as a 4th generation diamond expert and a G.I.A. Graduate Gemologist (G.G.). The Clear Cut initially started as an educational blog for friends and family while I was in college and after having met my partner (and now husband!) Kyle Simon, we pivoted the blog into a direct-to-consumer diamond jewelry company. We specialize in fine jewelry and engagement rings and are changing the way millennials purchase and interact with diamonds. I wanted to provide accessibility and transparency to the diamond industry, which is traditionally inaccessible and opaque. Today, we’re selling millions of dollars’ worth of diamonds and have expanded beyond custom engagement rings, and has a growing collection of fine jewelry that continues to grow and expand. Fueled by a growing social media presence and community, we’re empowering a new generation of customers and growing 100+% quarter over quarter.
How does Clear Cut innovate?
Olivia Landau: What sets us apart from our competitors is our personalized concierge service and user-friendly remote selection process. We strive to work with transparency: we only work the highest quality ethically sourced diamonds at the fairest prices, which is unmatched by the big box stores.
Prior to COVID, 70-75% of all of our bespoke engagement rings were done completely remotely. We’ve recognized that this is an area of our business that we want to invest in and continue to grow in. Soon, we will be launching our own technology, and we’re excited to share this with our customers soon!
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Olivia Landau: Initially, we were hit really hard and didn’t know what was going to happen, but as time went on, we recovered better than we ever could have expected. While Q2 2020 was one of the worst economic quarters in U.S. history, we had our best quarter ever with millions of dollars in sales, and Q3 was even better! COVID-19 sparked a once-in-a-lifetime migration to online sales. We were ready for it from the beginning because we were already selling 70% of our custom diamond engagement rings remotely.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Olivia Landau: The pandemic has been tough for so many companies! While our business was ready to support the shift to online sales, our team had never been fully remote before. We learned the value of checking in with one another and being authentic. Something positive that came out of the pandemic is that we became much closer as a team!
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Clear Cut in the future?
Olivia Landau: It is so important for me to decompress at the end of each day. My favorite ways to relax are working out and cooking! As for the company in the future, we want to be this generation’s jeweler for life! We’re working on exciting technology to create the future of bespoke diamond jewelry shopping.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Olivia Landau: We have a lot of different competitors from small Mom-and-Pop shops, big box stores, and various online retailers. We stay in the game because we provide a unique approach and a personalized virtual experience that’s unparalleled.
Your final thoughts?
Olivia Landau: Love is not cancelled even in the pandemic! So many couples across the country are taking the next big step in their relationship and celebrating their love for each other. Every time a Clear Cut couple gets engaged, I feel so hopeful that we can get through this tough time!
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