SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Shopping for the perfect engagement ring doesn’t necessarily involve going from store to store these days. More people, particularly millennials, are buying remotely, direct through Instagram.
The Clear Cut, a direct-to-consumer engagement ring and fine jewelry company, says more couples are spending time together in quarantine, and, as a result, many are taking the next step.READ MORE: Lake County Luxury Hotel, Housing Project Raises Concerns Over Wildfire Risk
Kristen Cepriano’s fiancé purchased a custom engagement ring without ever seeing it in person.
“With a big purchase like that obviously it’s always nerve-wracking to have to do it remotely but they did a good job in answering all my questions,” said Christian Lapinig, a Clear Cut customer. “And then, when I finally received it, it looked way better in person.”
Lapinig first found the company through Instagram. The San Mateo County couple got engaged this past August on Treasure Island.
They’re among a growing list of clients making hefty purchases via social media. The Clear Cut says its sales are largely driven by Instagram and more recently TikTok.
One particular TikTok has racked up more than 1.1 million views.
“The nature of the business is we do most of our custom rings completely remotely. So we deal with clients from all over the world who reach out to us. We have a phone consultation with them,” said Clear Cut co-founder and CEO Olivia Landau.
Landau says the brand has not only sustained its business during the COVID outbreak, it has seen a 150 percent year-over-year increase in third-quarter revenue in 2020. Currently, it’s averaging 7 figures per month during the pandemic.
Landau and Kyle Simon, a married couple, launched the New York-based company in 2018.
“I think now everyone’s stuck at home, everyone’s so comfortable buying everything online, a diamond is just another purchase,” said The Clear Cut co-founder and COO Simon.READ MORE: Theft Leaves San Jose Couple Bereft: 'We’re Heartbroken, All Our Precious Things Are Gone'
The Clear Cut starts the design process virtually and uses Zoom, FaceTime and videos to help clients craft the perfect ring.
“Kind of always knew that 2020 was the year that we wanted to get engaged but she definitely thought it was not coming because of COVID and I love surprises and we pulled it off,” said Charlie Bergevin, a Clear Cut client.
High school sweethearts and San Francisco residents Bergevin and Stefanie von Gunten got engaged in Lake Tahoe.
“I didn’t even look at the ring pretty much until I proposed because we were also living together and it was COVID,” Bergevin said. “So we got it shipped to her friend so I hadn’t even seen it.”
With some hints from von Gunten’s friends, the ring turned out to be exactly what she had dreamed of.
The Clear Cut says its rings are generally priced between $5,000 to $250,000.
The company says it sold a 7-carat ring via DM for $200,000.
“There was clearly a white space that the industry was not catering to this new generation of millennials who are purchasing luxury items differently than our parents used to,” Landau said.
Landau said their price points are below that of traditional retailers, which are two to three times more expensive for a diamond with identical specifications.
The pandemic has also inspired Cepriano and Lapinig to move up their wedding date.MORE NEWS: Indoor Restaurant Dining Resumes, Movie Theaters Reopen in SF and Santa Clara Counties
“We just decided to have an intimate wedding instead and I think, especially being in quarantine, we value the simple things in life a lot more,” Cepriano said. “We’ll be having the wedding in July of this year.”