We’ve always been fascinated by people’s expertise in niche fields here at TWC, but it wasn’t until we met the team at The Clear Cut, that we truly started to realise the complexity and art of creating bespoke engagement rings. Which is why we were eager to sit down and chat with Olivia Landau, Founder and CEO of The Clear Cut, a unique and gorgeous direct-to-consumer diamond business.
Olivia is a 4th generation diamond expert who has gained experience in the industry whilst working in the diamond wholesale industry as well as Tiffany & Co. As she accumulated experience over the years, she noticed that more and more of her friends were asking her for advice on purchasing their engagement rings which is what inspired her to start her own company with her partner, Kyle. Today, Olivia takes the time to meet with her customers to find their dream rings by supporting and reassuring them throughout the whole process. Everyone knows finding the perfect ring to begin your journey as a young married couple can be somewhat daunting, but the team at The Clear Cut are here to help you along the way.
AG: Hi Olivia! Thanks for taking some time off to have a quick chat with us. To start, could you talk to us about the process you and your clients go through when you decide to create a bespoke engagement ring? Are there specific demands that clients generally ask for?
OL: Thank you for having me! The first step with our clients is always a phone consultation. Some clients come to us through the website, where you can directly book a phone consultation, others come from Instagram, and many come through word of mouth referrals.
The phone consultation takes about 15 minutes just to get a sense of their preferences, their budget, and timeline. First, we talk about the type of diamond they are looking for, their design aesthetic, budget, and establish a timeline. From there, we work closely with our clients to find that perfect diamond that ticks off all the boxes. We then either have an in-person appointment in our NYC showroom or a remote appointment via email. We handpick and curate a selection on diamond based on their preferences. Once we have selected the diamond we want to move forward with we ask for a ⅓ deposit to secure the diamond. From there we start designing the ring. Each of our rings are hand made here in NYC a custom to the specific diamond the customer chooses.
Understandably, most clients want to talk about budget first. Most people think their budget is limiting in terms of what styles they can and can’t have. This is definitely not true, especially because there is so much more flexibility when making a completely custom ring!
AG: The meaning of the engagement ring in today’s society has gained a lot of popularity and is pretty much engraved in our culture. What are your thoughts about the symbolic meaning of the jewel and how do you explain its importance?
OL: To me, the diamond represents so much. An engagement ring is a symbol of love and commitment. Wearing this is a reminder every day of someone you care about and a representation of someone who cares about you. It is a timeless tradition that I love.
AG: We personally love anything bespoke here at TWC, and understand that it is a very popular consumer demand nowadays. Could you talk us through the technical ways you can create bespoke rings and jewellery and the craftsmanship process and art behind it?
OL: Every piece of The Clear Cut jewelry is custom-made in NYC. We work with master jewelers to decide what is best for each piece. Sometimes we use hand-drawn wire for our delicate bands and sometimes we use computer renderings for more intricate designs. First, we choose the stone, type of metal, and the setting. We then begin to craft each element of the ring from the band to the setting that the diamond will sit in. Finally, the centre stone is meticulously hand-set and the whole ring is polished to perfection before the finished piece is presented to our client.
AG: I’m sure we have a very interested audience here and I feel like they are dying to find out what main advice you give your happy couples when choosing the perfect ring. Are there specific styles you usually present to your clients that are currently popular, or do you feel like you have a good idea of what they want right away after a short conversation?
OL: Many of our clients know certain shapes that they prefer. From there, we usually show them the different options for settings, sizes, metals etc. Some clients don’t know what styles to request — for them, we work to find a cut that suits their everyday style.
We tell our clients to start by looking through our Instagram, starting a Pinterest board of styles they love, or even coming in to our showroom to try rings on. Our most popular setting is our super skinny 1.5mm solitaire set in either yellow and rose gold. More recently, however, we have been getting a lot of requests for the hidden halo design which adds an extra level of sparkle to any ring!
AG: Speaking of trends, what are currently the most popular tendencies regarding engagement rings? Have you noticed a style in particular that is in high demand and have you got your own idea as to what influences this specific ring fad?
OL: It’s harder to identify trends since every bride-to-be is so unique but I have seen multiple trends that are usually inspired by celebrities. Most recently, Emily Ratajkowski’s unique, asymmetrical ring has inspired a few of our clients to make double stone rings. For years, many customers have idolized Blake Lively’s engagement ring which popularized the oval cut on a thin, delicate setting. Cardi B’s ring brought back the pear shape.
Generally, round brilliants and emeralds are always popular — they’ve been consistently requested, especially since JLo’s timeless emerald cut and Miranda Kerr’s stunning round brilliant
AG: Although we have no doubt that designing gorgeous rings must be an exceptionally exciting career, we also know that everyone needs a break every now and again. Have you got any other passions and hobbies you enjoy doing on your days off?
OL: I love what I do: I get to work with incredible people and get to hear touching love stories every day which is a constant inspiration!
Recently, I’ve been trying to do something small every day outside of work that I really enjoy. Usually, that means squeezing in a workout class with ClassPass. Working out always clears my mind and I love trying new classes to mix it up.
A few weeks ago, I started designating more time for cooking with my boyfriend Kyle. I used to think that cooking was time-consuming, but I am learning new recipes and techniques (on Youtube) that are super fast and healthy. It’s something relaxing and fun we do together. Plus, it feels good to take the time to make something for yourself and someone you care about.
Especially on my weekends, I make sure I see my friends. They give me energy and always lift my spirits.
All of these little releases and hobbies help clear my head so I can be my best self at work. It’s becoming more and more challenging to find a work/life balance in 2019, so you have to find new ways to find your balance.
AG: And finally we’re curious, has the thought of being able to design your own engagement ring something that you have always dreamt of and if so, what do you picture as your dream ring?
OL: In my ideal world, I would have one of every kind 😂!
Since The Clear Cut creates bespoke rings, I see different combinations of stones and settings every day. It’s easy to fall in love with every stone we create because of the touching love stories behind them. Seriously, every day I find a new favorite ring. Diamonds really are a girl’s best friend and we become their BFF on their journey to create their favorite ring.
If I could narrow it down, I love rings that have meaning behind them, cuts that sparkle, and modern side stones.
Make sure you stay up to day with The Clear Cut’s newest collections, and follow Olivia on her social media.
Shop Olivia’s gorgeous jewellery selection below
Featured images via The Clear Cut
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