Sit down with us this week as we meet entrepreneur inspiration Olivia Landau of The Clear Cut fame.
Founding The Clear Cut from a place of transparency, education and elevation, Olivia’s entrepreneurial journey began as an educator and blog writer — turning her jewelry knowledge into accessible content for us diamond laypeople. Now, The Clear Cut has transformed into a reputable jeweler that aims to become the go-to jeweler for the whole of their customers’ lives, offering sustainability and support for those milestone jewelry purchases.
Close friend of Neu Nomads, Olivia has always inspired our team. The spirit of entrepreneurship runs in her blood and oozes from her pores, and we’ve been fortunate many times to be on the receiving end of her wisdom. As she navigates The Clear Cut to new heights in partnership with her husband, Kyle, we’re proud to call Olivia a Neu Woman.
We caught up with her online last month to fit into her jam-packed schedule. Read a transcript of our conversation below.
As always, Olivia, we begin with an introduction. In your own words, who is Olivia Landau?
I am a fourth-generation jeweler, GIA Graduate Gemologist and the Co-Founder and CEO of DTC Diamond Jewelry Company, The Clear Cut.
Everyone has a story, and we love to hear them. Tell us the story of Olivia. Where do you come from, and what shaped you into the entrepreneur you are today?
I grew up around jewelry and entrepreneurship my whole life.
Both of my parents are immigrants. My father is from Antwerp, Belgium, the son of Holocaust survivors, and comes from a long line of diamond cutters and dealers. My mom is from Taipei, Taiwan and came to the U.S. without speaking English. They were both great examples of hustle and entrepreneurship. Neither of them went to college or came from this country, but they managed to build a successful antique jewelry business and a wonderful life for us in Miami Beach, FL.
I never thought I would work in jewelry or be an entrepreneur, but I suppose it was in my blood all along.
What a fantastic story. The word ‘hustle’ is emblematic of that generation: working hard for the dream they clung to and building an extraordinary life far away from their homes. It’s especially poignant that your family were jewelers too - a skill passed down for life and through the generations.
Continuing this image, The Clear Cut is ‘your jeweler for life’ – what was the inspiration behind that image? How do you keep your clients ‘for life’?
Creating engagement rings and custom pieces of jewelry for our clients is something we take very seriously and with a lot of responsibility. Our customers trust us with some of the most significant milestones in their lives, so we want to ensure we deliver an impeccable product and unparalleled customer service. We want to gain their trust, so they continue to come back for all their future fine jewelry purchases.
The Clear Cut was a business that seemed to mature organically as you and your husband matured. Would you agree with that description?
Yes, we started the business as a couple, but as the business grew, we grew as fiances and eventually husband and wife. Building The Clear Cut has been a very romantic and fulfilling experience to share together.
We love the idea that growing a business together is romantic. Working towards something, building together and hustling for your shared future is fulfilling and exciting. It’s undoubtedly hard but romantic too.
How have you found working in partnership with your husband? How do you manage the hard days? What’s it like celebrating the wins?
It has been surprisingly very easy to work with my husband. We have very different roles and skill sets, but we also have a ton of respect for each other at the same time.
Celebrating wins is much harder than you would think. I need to get better at celebrating and reflecting on wins instead of just moving on to the next thing.
That’s a great point about celebrating and reflecting on a win. It’s so easy to have a reflection process when we miss out, lose or fail. We take time to see what we do wrong, pick ourselves up and go again. But winning is different. It’s too often a quick acknowledgement, and then we move on to the next goal. Many of us need to practice taking time to reflect on our successes.
Speaking of relationships, you’re in the engagement industry, and so is your husband… That must have meant a lot of pressure when Kyle proposed! What’s unique about your engagement ring? How did Kyle get it right?
I always thought I would design my engagement ring, but I never knew what I wanted. When I was eight years old, I saw an art deco Asscher-cut ring in my mother’s shop inventory. I loved it so much that I told her to save it for me, but she disagreed. Instead, she said eventually, my husband would pick out my ring.
When the time came, and to my surprise, Kyle proposed to me with that ring from her inventory! I love it so much, and it is so special that they planned that together.
What a fantastic story! So special and such a secret for your mom to keep all these years!
That’s the power of jewelry – items with such sentimentality encapsulate those unforgettable moments in our lives. It’s why there’s such pressure to get it right. Of course, every engagement ring is unique to every couple. What is the most memorable piece that you’ve made?
Each one is so special. It is like asking which one of your children is your favorite! You can read all about our Clear Cut Couples and their proposals on our website.
Your business is renowned for its ‘education first’ philosophy. This is a rejection of previous generations, where it seems jewelers tended to be more opaque. Why is education paramount for The Clear Cut? How do you think education empowers customers?
We have always been ‘education first’ — we started as an educational blog, after all. I think knowledge is power. We want our clients to be armed with all the knowledge and information possible before entering the engagement ring process so they can make the best and most informed decisions for themselves.
Knowledge is certainly power, and now more than ever, consumers want to be informed when making decisions. That’s true in consumerism and entrepreneurship.
Managing a business comes with a lot of responsibility. What is a lesson, mantra or piece of advice that you hold dear? What inspiration of your own would you offer a woman who dreams of being in your shoes?
You have to bet on yourself and believe in yourself.
NEU WOMEN QUESTIONNAIRE
Neu mantra: “If there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.”
Neu self-care/healthy practice: Daily green juice
Neu female voice: My own
Neu spot to reconnect: My terrace garden
Neu decompress routine: Journaling and pilates
Neu weekend retreat: Miami Beach (home)
Neu travel destination: Puglia, Italy
Neu everyday look: Blazers, lug sole boots and a long coat
Neu sustainable brands you love: Neu Nomads!
OLIVIA IS WEARING
The dappled sun, the shade of unique colonial architecture, the sticky sweet smell of cañoncitos hawked by street vendors, and the cool taste of Argentinian wine. This fall, we’re launching our neu-est collection in the fabulous Buenos Aires, where the streets are filled with infinitely stylish porteños enjoying the most incredible atmosphere in Latin America.
Here at Neu Nomads, we often think of linen as the underdog in the sustainable fabric world. Naturally plant-based, hypoallergenic, and oh-so-cool, organic linen has it all.